Blog currently back on Blogger

Well, for the time being, my blog has gone BACK TO BLOGGER!

This is mainly because I can use iframes and other plugins there and I cannot here.

So social hiking maps cannot be done here.

Word Press say it is for security reason but I can have it on the paid for site.

Blogger have always allowed it for nowt.

To my mind. WORDPRESS should sort out better security.

So you can find all the blogged stuff and a LOT more currently back on

MY MAIN BLOG

 

TGOC KIT LIST 2014 (What to leave out)

I really could do with getting my pack weight down to 26lb (inc)

But I am so struggling, what with the need for a start with 4 days food on board

The table is below with key, explaining what the tables show.

Any suggestions for what to leave out, gratefully pondered on…..

Key x = Carried Summary Top=Total
w = Wear Bottom=Carried
* = Taking
Walking  WT (g)  LB Have Pack
RUCKSACK – Osprey Exos 46 x * 1,100  2.42
RUCKSACK COVER x * 100  0.22
DRY SACKS (Assorted) x * 175  0.39
POLES – Leki Carbon Titanium * 520  1.14
SIT MAT x * 100  0.22                 1,995.00
    –                 1,475.00
Sleeping  WT (g)  LB Have Pack
Trailstar + Oookstar + Extra Pegs & Cuben GS x * 1,400  3.08
Marmot Arroyo SLEEPING BAG + Silk Liner) x * 800  1.76
NEO Air x * 375  0.83
Goose Feet Down Socks x * 30  0.07
Goosefeet Down Bootie Camp Covers x * 60  0.13
PHD Down Hat x * 32  0.07
MLD Ultralight Bivvy Bag` x * 200  0.44                 2,897.00
     –                 2,897.00
CLOTHING  WT (g)  LB  Have Pack
Shoes (Ecco Biom Ultras) w * 750  1.65 Only 1 of these
Shoes (Innov 8 Roclites 318 GTX) * 750  1.65
Lightweight OMM Gaiters x * 120  0.26
MONTANE WINDPROOF x * 102  0.22
PHD Minumus Down Jacket x * 375  0.83
X SOCKS Trekking (Wearing) w 60  0.13
MONTANE TERRA PANTS (Cut Offs) w * 350  0.77
Montane Wind Shirt x * 102  0.22                 2,609.00
     –                    699.00
Wet Weather  WT (g)  LB  Have Pack
PHD Alpamayo Smock * 485  1.07
Berghaus Paclite Trousers x * 300  0.66
Seal Skinz Trekking Socks x * 200  0.44                    985.00
     –                    500.00
Base Layers  WT (g)  LB  Have Pack
Helly Hansen SMARTWOOL TOP w * 250  0.55
Boxers Long w * 100  0.22
Katmandu Merino BOXERS x 2 x * 120  0.26
     –                    470.00
     –                    120.00
Hats & Gloves  WT (g)  LB  Have Pack
Montane Baseball Hat w * 60  0.13
North Ridge Gloves (Waterproof) x * 200  0.44
North Face Gloves Windproof x * 40  0.09
BUFF x * 60  0.13
Buffalo Mitts x * 60  0.13
MIDGE Hat x * 20  0.04                    500.00
EDZ Merino Beanie x * 60  0.13                    440.00
Spare Carry  WT (g)  LB  Have Pack
HiTec Zuuk Camp & River Shoes x 400  0.88
x Socks x 2 (L & S) (40g+60g) x 100  0.22
Montane Gilet x * 240  0.53
Berghaus Smartwool Top (Spare) x * 200  0.44
Ron Hill Tracksters ?? x * 220  0.48
Skinz Sock (For My Left Calf) x * 25  0.06                 1,185.00
                   685.00
Lighting & Torches  WT (g)  LB Have Pack
Petzl eLight Head Torch x * 35  0.08
Zebra Torch (Bright) x * 50  0.11
Torch Batteries (C032) x * 50  0.11
Tiny Tent Hanging Light x * 20  0.04                    155.00
     –                    155.00
NAVIGATION  WT (g)  LB Have Pack
Printed Maps and case x * 160  0.35
COMPASS x * 30  0.07
SMALL COMPASS (On Pack) x * 10  0.02                    200.00
     –                    200.00
OPTIONAL  WT (g)  LB Have Pack
Pocket Rocket x     86.00  0.19
250g Gas x   250.00  0.55
Primus Wind Shield x     59.00  0.13
1 Litre Titanium Pot x   110.00  0.24
Micro Spikes ? 400  0.88                    400.00
     –                             –  
FOOD  WT (g)  LB  Have Pack
Boil in Bag Meals x 4 (Mountain Trails) x * 560        1.23
Jelly Babies x * 250        0.55
Instant Chocolate Drinks x * 66        0.15
Thai Soups x 4 x * 80        0.18
Chocolate x * 200        0.44
Ginger x * 100        0.22
Fruit and Nuts & Cereal x * 200        0.44
Cheese x * 200        0.44
Squirty Drink Stuff x * 50        0.11
Flapjack x * 100        0.22
Water x * 300        0.66
Whisky & Sloe Gin (assorted) x * 400        0.88
Bread Buns x * 50        0.11              2,556.00
           –              2,556.00
Cooking Equipment  WT (g)  LB Have Pack
Jet Boil inc Gas x * 550        1.21
Spare Gas 110 x * 140        0.31
Titanium Spoon x * 11        0.02
Small Titanium Mug x * 70        0.15
SMALL PLATYPUS 1L x * 30        0.07
Big Platypus 2 L x * 50        0.11
Sawyer Mini Water Filter x * 65        0.14
Pan Cleaner x * 10        0.02
Lighter x * 20        0.04                 946.00
           –                 946.00
FIRST AID  WT (g)  LB Have Pack
SUN CREAM Factor 50 x * 25        0.06
BLISTER PLASTER x 2 x * 20        0.04
NEW SKIN x * 20        0.04
IBRUPROFEN x 16 x * 10        0.02
Paracetamol x * 10        0.02
IBRUPROFEN GEL TUBE x * 40        0.09
Wide Foot Tape x * 80        0.18
Small Foot Tape x * 40        0.09
PhysioTape Roll (5m) x * 120        0.26
PLASTERS x 6 x * 5        0.01
ZOVIRAX x * 5        0.01
FOOT TALC x * 40        0.09
TICK PULLER x * 0            –
Steri Strips x * 0            –
DRESSING x * 5      0.01
Tubigrip bandage x * 30        0.07
Anusol x * 25        0.06
Omeprazol x * 0            –
Immodium Fast melts x * 0            –
Tick and Midge Stuff x * 40        0.09
Foot Cream (Gerwol) x * 100         0.22
JUNGLE GEL x * 25        0.06
Small Penknife (inc scissors) x * 20        0.04                 685.00
             –                 660.00
WASHING KIT  WT (g)  LB Have Pack
MICROFIBRE TOWEL x * 125        0.28
Small Microfibre Flannel x * 40        0.09
TOOTHPASTE x * 20        0.04
TOOTHBRUSH x * 10        0.02
TOILET PAPER x * 10        0.02
SMALL GEL SOAP x * 25         0.06
Foot Cream x * 15        0.03
WAX POT (Small) x * 25        0.06
Nail Scissors x * 25        0.06
Lighter x * 20        0.04
Vaseline x * 15        0.03                 330.00
           –                 330.00
Miscellaneous + Elec  WT (g)  LB Have Pack
Leatherman x * 100        0.22
NX 10 Camera + Case & Batteries x * 1,100        2.42
Mini Speaker x * 60        0.13
Phone Charger x * 75        0.17
Mobile Phone + Batteries x * 420        0.92
Spare Music + Phone + Batt x * 140        0.31
Rail Tickets x * 5        0.01
Accommodation Booking x * 15        0.03
Cards (Cash) & Wproof case x * 20        0.04
Small Biro x * 5        0.01
READING GLASSES & Case x * 35        0.08              1,975.00
           – ü              1,975.00

The optional list shows alternative cooking equipment to the Jet Boil.
Although I like the Jetboil

The sections summarises the sections

WEIGHTS  (g)  KG  LB
Walking 1,475.00 1.48 3.25
Sleeping 2,897.00 2.90 6.37
CLOTHING 699.00 0.70 1.54
Wet Weather 500.00 0.50 1.10
Base Layers 120.00 0.12 0.26
Hats & Gloves 440.00 0.44 0.97
Spare Carry 685.00 0.69 1.51
Lighting & Torches 155.00 0.16 0.34
NAVIGATION 200.00 0.20 0.44
FOOD 2,556.00 2.56 5.62
Cooking Equipment 946.00 0.95 2.08
FIRST AID 660.00 0.66 1.45
WASHING KIT 330.00 0.33 0.73
Miscellaneous + Elec 1,975.00 1.98 4.35
OPTIONAL 0.00 0.00 0.00
0.00 0.00
TOTAL 13,638.0 13.64 30.00

SO, how to lose another 4lb in pack weight?

That is carried pack weight.

Admittedly, this will fluctuate depending upon food eaten, water carried, and clothing worn or removed.

But it is may, and in recent years we have had all seasons.

SOME things cannot be omitted OK.

Jelly Babies, Whisky & Sloe Gin (MUST STAY)

And the Mini Speaker  (Bothy Parties!!)

Maybe the spare Music Phone and different cooking stuff will save weight.
That is about 250g (½ lb)

Yes, I could take a much lighter camera, BUT photographs are an integral part of my walking, and the camera will be on the belt loop not in the pack.

See how hard this is.

I would go with 28lb (but the BIG camera must stay) at a pinch.

SO, that means I need to lose a minimum of 2lb safely!!!

 

LUXE HexPeak Pitch 3 SORTED-It works HAPPY (Well almost……..)

Friday 14th March – SUCCESS

Apart from MANUFACTURING QUALITY!!!!

So having pondered on this, I decided after measuring poles and sinkage and stuff, that the REAL height of the pole above ground level was actually just on 130 cms




AHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhh!

AND ………………………………………………………..

BOB was correct in the height issue.

I probably am also getting better at pitching it.

I would have got a pole extender from BOB, and possibly still will when he gets them sorted for the Flip Click Poles.

But being bloody impatient, and NOT happy with the idea of Gaffer Tape or Ski Straps, I bust out and bought from Absolute Rock a pair of CHEAP, but quite OK Trekking poles that extend to 150cm (145 above Ground).

These are NOT the lightest, and they are ONLY 2 parts.
They are also looking at them NOT the most robust.

BUT.. They weigh NO no than my old Pacer Poles, and come as a pair with the benefit that

  1. I don’t have to carry 3 poles (1 for the tent)
  2. I can double pole and I think that will easily make them rigid enough.

So I set about putting it up as I would.

Pitching out the 1st 4 main points (door closed).

Then lightly the back point.

Opened it up and set up the POLE (at 136cm above ground level height), so extended to 141cm

Did door up and staked out the rest.

Opened door.
Adjusted pole to be upright.

Put the inner in as per instructions.

Putting in Front first, then back 2 outers and finally the centre back.

I am still going to change the inner guys to 2mm shock Chord, because I think it will make it better, but I did not bother for this pitch.

DID use 2 of the very small purple stakes that came with the HEX to pin the front of the inner to the ground.
Not needed, but makes it MUCH easier to get the tension and the height correct.

Attached the inner to the TOP hook and adjusted height (again on 3mm Guy).

VOILA!.

This is MUCH, MUCH better.

In fact, RESULT!

Far more room inside.
Inner away from the outer, and also INSIDE the outer when up.

Happy!!!

I am now thinking that I will probably take the Hex to Aviemore and also on the Daunder.

I will probably still take WENDY WARMLITE on the Challenge though

We shall see after the next 2 pitches.

I will do another trial pitch in garden before I go, to make sure I am happy.

Below are some NEW pictures of the successful pitch

Need to work on fine tuning the outer to remove some of the pull lines.
But it is NOT cut on a catenary curve like the TS, so this may be impossible

Rear anchor, slightly lower.
I am still going to use a Blizzard Stake at the back.

Looking in through door.
With correct height, the TUB now works

Also, there is NOW clearance at all the inner anchor points, but no real slack to hang in

Ample Clearance now on ALL the inner points

Inside now there is more room.
I will I think also get better adjustment when I change the guys to shock cord.

I am 5′ 10½” and there is ample room now I have it right.
I do however think that anyone over 6′ would struggle

Sunny view from the door.
There is a huge amount of space in the porch area.
I will probably take my TS ½ Groundsheet to use in this

My only major change was the heftier 3mm guy ropes and the use of PROPER pegs.

The Shock Cord change to the inner is NOT necessary, but I do think it improves it.

In high wind I think you would still get slip through the guy rope adjusters, and I may change these for better ones.
But I will see what happens in the Cairngorms at the start of next MONTH

SO BOB sorted.
You were totally correct with Pitch Height.

HOWEVER

NOT all is rosy in the Garden!!!!

I was looking at changing the 1mm slidy slippy cord to 2mm shock cord on the inner

Whilst doing this I looked at both the outer and the inner in detail.

Now I have already said that this is a good value bit if kit,
BIT it ain’t to the quality of MLD and Oookworks stuff.

I do NOT know where LUXE get this manufactured.
BUT I can say that they REALLY need to look at quality control.

AND since I need this for a an expedition in the next 10 days, I have fixed the issue with some hand sewing.
But I REALLY Really Really Really should NOT have to do this.

The quality of my MLD TS and OOOKSTAR was second to NONE!!

BUT the following pictures show some of the (IMO) shoddy manufacturing standards that I have seen on my HexPeak.

LUXE really need to get on top of this.

This is potentially a great shelter, let down by the people manufacturing it.

I say manufacturing….!!!!!!

AND..
Looking at people I know on TWITTER.
I am NOT the only person to question THIS ……………..

SO LUXE!

You need to get this sorted out ASAP!!!!!!

I have contacted you about this

Of course Had I not paid £159.00 to buy this, I might not be blogging about it.
I may have been feeding back to LUXE issue they could have then fixed and thus created the GREAT SHELTER that this OUGHT to be!!!!

Some flaws in the HexPeak Manufacturing Process!!!

And I have found others as well…..

Tear in floor of inner.
as well as signs of worn material.
AND
I Have NOT even used this in the hills!!!
Another view of poor quality control on the inner

SO large a hole, this pencil gives perspective
The poor stitching on the top loop.
I believe that according to LUXE, you should be able to hang the shelter from this
Bloody sure I wouldn’t.

I have emailed LUXE about these issues!!

Review North Ridge Waterproof Mitts C/O Go Outdoors (First Look)

This is a LONG overdue FIRST look.

I owe a huge apology to Go Outdoors for not doing anything sooner.

Unfortunately 2 things have conspired to get in the way of this.

  1. We haven’t had a winter down here, it just has NOT been cold
  2. I couldn’t get away as I would have liked due to a catalogue of  misfortune.
    Below are just the main 2
    1. I fell off my bike and buggered my knee
      This ended up with continued bursitis
      (being drained shortly)
      AND
      tearing the meniscus on left knee AGAIN 😦
      which is being repaired on 3rd June.
    2. Getting a grade 2 calf strain, which is a bit of a recurrent injury, and probably caused by running/walking with a bad action due to buggered knee.

So anyway, a long time ago, I was approached by the very nice people at
Go Outdoors to review these Waterproof Mitts.

Go Outdoors North Ridge Waterproof Mitts

Normal price £70, BUT currently £49.99 with card

The site spec says

A waterproof mitten with Primaloft insulation for extremely cold conditions.

The North Ridge Waterproof Winter Mitts are ideal for anyone who really feels the cold during the wet winter months. 

Designed for maximum warmth they have PrimaLoft® synthetic insulation and a waterproof, breathable lining for maximum comfort. A super soft wicking lining and individual finger pockets help to keep finger tips snug as well as improving dexterity. 

The outer is made from tough Cordura® fabric with a full Pittards® leather palm for durable grip. A one-handed drawcord at the wrist makes it easy to adjust or vent the mitts as you need without taking them off.

Out of the packet, they look reasonably robust.

Mitts with wrist ties and also pole hoops on view

They are not spectacular, but a good blend of nylon outer and a leather palm that feels slightly plastic to touch.

I need to see how the grip on that is in the wet.
And also how waterproof they really are.
We shall find out shorty.

Certainly on, they feel snug and warm.

They are NOT plain mitts as it says, but have inner fingers.
I usually like my gloves to be gloves, and my mitts to be mitts, so we shall see how these go.
The inner gloves are built in, and cannot be removed, so you cannot turn them inside out to dry as far as I can see.
But I guess IF they are fully waterproof, then that will NOT be a problem.
They also have a variety of ties and clips to stop water going up the inside, and also to help when using with Ski Poles or walking Poles

Below are some pictures of the mitts.

I have not tested them yet properly in the field, but I have given them a good inspection and a good tug about.

The stitching seems good, and there are no apparent loose threads.

If we ever get a cold snap down here before April, I will take them out on the bike to see how they do.

A couple of years ago I would have dragged them off to rugby grounds all over the country.
But now that No 1 son is away playing I do not get to see as many matches.
And anyway, he is off to NZ next year to play.

And that is a LOOONNGG commute.

Back to the Mitts………………………..

First impressions are ok.

They fit well, and are comfortable.

I normally buy an (L) in gloves although to be honest, my hands are not that big.

They do 2 sizes

S-M  and L-XL

These are the L-XL.

I reckon that IF you had quite large hands then these would come up a bit tight.

They seem to be quite warm, but they do have fingers and at times my fingers have poor circulation, so we shall see how they do on a wild camp on a cold Scottish Mountain shortly.

I know this was a BIT short.

BUT…..I am off to Aviemore and then the Monadhliath in April (right at the start), with Messrs Sloman and Evans

So I will give these a proper hammering then.

I am also going to take them to the Lakes in the 2nd week April and on the TGOC.

If they survive that, then I will post a proper longer term review.

LUXE HEXPEAK Pitch 2 – The Inner & The Outer (Oh Dear)

Before I go on, this is MY experience with the HexPeak.

It is NOT a comment or criticism of Bob or Backpackinglight in any way.
I have always and always will have excellent service from them.

(Please see my additional thoughts at the end [Added 12th March])

AND…………………….

***
ALSO..  SEE Later Blog Post for solutions to all these early problems I encountered
***

Now, some will say this is a WHINGE.

But MORE over it is a comment on one of four things

  1. I cannot pitch a tent for toffee.
  2. Whoever designed the inner has minimal engineering skills
  3. The manufacturers NEVER looked at the plans
  4. I am just unlucky and have a Friday night inner

Actually it could be any, but if it is 2, then you have to ask if whoever designed it…

  1. Had they actually seen the tent
  2. Was the inner ever put up in the tent
  3. Have Luxe ever tested the inner in the REAL world.

So, anyway let us read on.

I put 3mm guy line onto the tent and this has easily cured ALL the tension and slipping issues.

In fact it went up extremely easily, and with a BIG groundsheet and a bivvy this would be excellent on it’s own.

Excellent stuff.
Impressed.

I did use MY pegs though and that helped in the still damp ground

SO, time to put in the inner.

OH DEAR!

I would be VERY interested to hear from anyone else that has one of these, how they are getting on with the inner.
I am especially interested to see how BOB gets on.
And I am going to email him about it, to see if it is points 1 or 4 above.

So I started to put the inner in.
NOW, I may be wrong, and maybe with a lot of practise, I will get it right, but a few things sprung to my mind with MY Inner at least.

  1. Why did they NOT use shock cord to give more flexibility.
  2. It is very hard to get the inner to be tensioned correctly,
    and at a good height
  3. It does not seem (despite following the instructions perfectly), actually fit properly inside the outer
  4. It is a real faff to get it pegged out
  5. The tub floor does NOT seem to be cut properly to make a TUB, especially at the back
  6. It is almost impossible to keep parts of it away from the outer and have some tension in it.
  7. I cannot get the back two seams to have enough tension and it is too slack and flaps about

Now, to me owning a Warmlite and a Trailstar with an Oookworks inner, the quality difference is astonishingly obvious

OK, the Oookworks inner costs more that a HexPeak in total.

BUT, if you sell an inner, make it fit.

I have had in the past.

Saunders
Vango
Laser Comp
Macpac
MLD TS
Stephensons Warmlite 2R

to name but the most recent ones.

So I am NOT a novice at this tent stuff

But look at the pictures below, and you will see what I am on about.

I am thinking that I will change all the inner guys to 2mm shock cord.
This gives MUCH better flexibility of adding tension BUT not too much.

A am also thinking of adding some mods to give tome tie out hoops for the inner to the outer half way up.
This is like on the TS.

OK… maybe that will sort out my issues.

BUT… Should I have to MOD a NEW TENT?

The side tensions reasonably well.
BUT, I cannot get it to line up properly
with the outer tie point

I found that the ONLY way to get
the inner to position even remotely well,
was to use the small pegs to peg out the base.
Luxe do not say this is necessary

Modified rear tie with some 2mm shock cord

My whinge at the back is that the way that the inner is machined,
It is NOT a proper TUB.
It just has TUB corners,
so the tension on the bottom runs underneath
not along the edge.

Here you can see the problem with the tension in the tub floor.
This is most acute along the back edge to the mid points.

I cannot also seem to get the height of the inner as high as I want.
I will need to muck about with the tensioner

Problems with tension at the front

This is where I really am struggling on TWO counts.
I cannot get any real tension on the inner at the back.
AND
It is on both sides far to close to the outer,
so water is going to get in. 
OK at the very back and the FRONT

But NOT at the two back side points.
Here, both sides touched the edge
and had NO tension at all.
It needs something half way up
on all three back edges
to pull the inner towards the outer

So, inside I was really really struggling for space, due to the floppy material

There’s that tensioning issue again 😦

Struggling for real space in the inner.
And I am ONLY 5′ 10½” tall

It is the back securing points that are the issue.

Maybe I just need to pitch the WHOLE thing 2 or 3 cm higher.

BUT….

How do you do that when your poles are at MAX at 135cm.
And, you cannot get a pole extender for the outer Flick-Click type poles

A bit of a dilemma

CONCLUSION

  1. I need to practice some more with this.
    I am going to try and do some more local wild camps with it at some point over the summer.
    Or maybe do some MODS and then try again when the weather is good
  2. I definitely need feedback from others.
  3. I need feedback from BOB, once he gets a video up.
    I really need to see how to do this properly.
    It may well be me, but then again, I may just have a ROGUE Inner.
  4. Was it a GOOD buy……..?????
    Love the outer, but the inner hmmmmmmmm
    So, the jury is out at the moment…
    I need more time to work it all out.
  5. Will I take this to the Cairngorms in April
    NO…Too dangerous at the moment, I need to get it MUCH better.
  6. Is it going on the TGOC
    Categorically NOOOooooo!

    I cannot afford to take this for 14 days when pitching it is such a nightmare.
    Maybe with a bit more practice I will consider it.

    BUT for NOW, it is back to Wendy Warmlite.

ADDITIONAL THOUGHT…………………….

Looking at this more deeply, I think that since the ground was damp, then what really didn’t help was….

The poles Max height was 135cm, but take the tip sinking into the ground, the effective pitch height was only about 130cm

This is below the suggested 135 and well below BOB’s suggested 138.

That would dramatically effect the height of the outer, the slope on the sides and also thus the height of the inner.

I need either a pole extender, or some longer poles.

Maybe some Black Diamond 2 piece 150 max cm poles will do it.
OR, one of Bob’s extenders (once he gets them).

I am currently thinking poles since my Leki’s are carbon,
and I reckon this is better with Aluminium Poles

And back to the original ……………….

But, this question is still relevant.
Please, anyone out there with one of these, or experience of putting them up, please let me know how you are getting on.

I really want to like this tent.

It looks good up.
But that INNER… is doing my head in!

Watch this space!!!!!

LUXE HEXPEAK First Pitch

First Garden Pitch at Last (7th March 2014)

This is a very short first impressions write up
A more detailed write up after Cairngorms trip is on its way

***
ALSO..  SEE Later Blog Post for solutions to all these early problems I encountered
***

Weather has been crap and garden a quagmire until now.
First NON pissing down day and not blowing a gale.

So having seam sealed the Hexpeak last week.
More on that later, but the supplied tube is NOT enough even mixing 3:1 with white spirit.

I seam sealed inside seams with a 2:1 mix using some existing silicon seal.
I also did the zip inside and the door zip outside.
Plus any exterior seams that had stitching visible.

There are a LOT of them.
Far more than on the Trailstar.

Looking at the seams while I seam sealed it, they were fine, but there were some loose threads.
This was not loose seams, just dangly thread.
It is a great value tent, but the finish quality is NOT up to my TS or the Warmlite.
But then it does cost a less and that includes the inner, so that is an observation, NOT a complaint.

Although, a bit more care Luxe!

I have done nothing on the inner though.

So how was it… ?

Outer only with tie (which WILL get lost)
The whole lot comes in one bag.
Personally I would keep the tent and pegs in one bag, and the inner in a different bag.
I will carry the inner in t e inside of the rucksack and the outer in the deep outside side pocket.
Take care putting it away.
You need to fold the guys in or they wiggle about and get knotted up

The Pegs are TOOOOOOO Small

 In my opinion, the 8 pegs that come with it and measure approx 5½” are too short.
And also you need to carry more. They may well be ok for the mid points but for the Main 6 points I would use Clamcleats Tornado Pegs and probably a large MSR Blizzard Stake for one point as I use on the TS.

Even on moderately dry ground with quite a breeze, the supplied pegs just came out of the ground with hardly any tension

Which brings me to the supplied guys.

They are too thin.

Under tension, they just pull through the runners and do NOT stay in place.

I am going to replace them all with thicker guy ropes

Also my advice is to use a different colour on the back two guys so you can easily identify them when trying to put the tent up in a wind, because it blows about like the TS.

So, in a wind and with TWO interested Labradors, I staked the tent out as in the instructions.

You will need to stake out 4 points as far as I can see excluding the door.
Then get the pole to it’s 135 cm height.

Put that into the centre point, and then DO THE DOOR UP to secure the door entrance down, or it is never going to be right.

Now you can go round and tension up the exterior guys, once you have changed all to a thicker chord, so that they actually stay in place.

It is a slight faff to get the tension right, and I did not really bother on this first attempt getting all anally retentive about it, because I had not got the new guy ropes in.

This is also why I did NOT anchor it down lower.

Personally I think you WILL need the pole at 135cm, although I will review that opinion with time.

I also think that this is at the EXTREME of poles and would prefer to use a POLE extender.
Sadly BOB at Back Packing Light does not have one for the outer clip poles YET (fingers X)

The guys are quite long because I could NOT get them to stay in place.
If I could I would have got the outer lower down.
BUT I COULDN’T

With better guys, the overall tension would be better too.

Inside there is heaps of room.
Next time once I have done the guys, I will put the inner in and see how it really looks.

Watch this space

It is NOT pitched a a funny angle.
I just had the camera held at an angle OK

Having said that, this was my FIRST attempt and it went up easily.

I definitely need to practise a couple more times before I take it out in the real world though.

CONCLUSION

First impressions are quite good.
It is definitely good value for money.

How will it fair in a howling gale in Scotland I will let you know.

Was it a good purchase.

Appears to be a good little tent, but now it needs to earn it’s worth in a proper test.

If it is OK in Scotland in April, and in the Lakes in April, then it will go on the Challenge. If not I will take Wendy Warmlite 

Now, I just need a name for her that begins with H

Cannot be Harriet though because that is my daughters name

Watch this space!

A Rather FENTASTIC Bimble with Carl and his two children round Fen Drayton Lakes

Sun 16th Feb 2014 – Fen Drayton Lakes

See what I did there with that title?

Grace Slick – White rabbit 
(But Orange Jelly Babies do the same)

T’was rather disappointing to not make the trip to Windemere
(we will have to do the Howgills as well, another time),
with Carl and Lynsey last week.

 Having said that, the weather was SHIT.

And my Calf Muscle was nowhere near ready due to my own repeated stupidity the previous week.

So since the water levels were up, and I had tweeted Carl for a short walk round the converted gravel pits (now Fen Drayton Lakes), we agreed to meet up at 10.30 (ish) and go for a short walk.

I managed to persuade my daughter Harriet to come as well.
It was a close call.
She had only got up just after nine, and getting ready for H (I love her really) does take place on a Galactic Timescale.

But at 10.15 only 10 minutes late, we set off on the short drive to meet Carl.
Luckily when we got there 5 minutes late, Carl was not there either.

But he turned up a couple of minutes later and we headed up to the small car Park along the track

It was under water!
So we turned around and parked up along the old track a few hundred metres (yards in old money)  and went for a short walk.
We had a look in the car park.
Just long enough for small children and one big one to wade in the flooded water. Carl’s two children Hope and Ashley were getting used to my two dogs
 (Jasper 13 years & Hamish 21 months).

Well, Kind of.

 Jasper has a fine smile that is mainly huge teeth.

He was a lot younger in this photo.
BUT……
That is a smile honest.
Not ideally seen as a smile by the average small child I grant you.

“ALL THE BETTER TO ….. You with My Dear”

Hamish is young, exuberant and fundamentally MANIC.

We strolled a rather short distance up an extremely muddy track.

The dogs marauded.

I have pilfered a couple of Carl’s Tweeted pictures here. Hope that is OK Carl

Carl’s 2 little ones Hope & Ashley.
Great Kids.
(OK, he did take them home after)
Me (NOT IN PARAMO)
And Harriet behind stuck in the mud.

Carl’s children and Harriet’s feet got stuck in the mud.

Wellies were likely to get lost.

And after about 300 metres of MUD, we encountered 3 foot deep water all the way across.

Jasper (Right) and Hamish
That water is the path.
And the water was nearly 3 ft deep

About face and back we went.

Maybe that wider gravel track to the right near the cars may be a better idea????

We had a rather fine short walk along the track, observing a lot of water and bird life on both sides, and eventually after avoiding far too many people who thought it was much easier to drive bloody everywhere in a car (lazy bastards), we came to the guided bus crossover track.

We stopped here, and I dug out and fed Carl’s children Jelly Babies.

More than one.

The special orange ones for optimum food colouring manic overload.

 They worked.

Especially on chatterbox Hope.

All the way back Puddle jumping 🙂

Great kids Buddy

Here are some of the photos of the views

Somewhere up in the magnificent blue sky are 4 Buzzards.
There were actually 5 but one was on scout duty

After the Jelly Baby fix, we headed back.
I had a brief chat with a chap on the other side of the track about the flooding and the Fens, and then allowing just enough time for
the Orange Food Colouring to take effect, we splashed our way back through puddles to the car.

With some more rather fine scenery

Hamish having a MAD moment at the lake.
Just ONE of many

And then we were back at the car. Time to go home
It was a rather excellent short walk.

Carl’s two had taken to the dogs.
Even the smiling one.

I was scheduled for a 28 mile off road bike round to Wicken Again in the afternoon.
Well, someone had to do it, and the weather was just too good to ignore.
Especially in light of the forecast for the rest of the week.

So, Thanks Carl, and I believe Hope and Ashley came down from
the Orange Sugar High some time later in afternoon.

 OOPS!