F10 Nitro Lite 200 inner tent vent cover mod

DSC00398The F10 Nitro Lite 200 is a good tent but it has a few design flaws. I’ve addressed these with a number of mods, a summary of which you can find here. The last remaining feature to be modified is the mesh vent at the rear of the inner tent.

There are two reasons for wanting to have a removable cover for the vent. Firstly, there is a possibility (admittedly remote) that rain or spin drift might get blown through the vent in the flysheet and through the mesh vent on the inner. Secondly, in cold windy conditions, it would be handy to be able to cut the draught from the vent to make the inner warmer.

As it was (still) raining today, I decided to have a tent modding session and make a vent cover for the inner mesh vent. I had a spare piece of lightweight nylon fabric, which I cut to the shape of the vent, but oversized. I didn’t bother to hem it.

IMG_1141Next I added snap fasteners around the edge of the mesh vent. This was quite fiddly as I had to reach inside the inner. I used some clothes pegs to gather the material.

IMG_1144Next I added the the snap fasteners to the vent cover. I did the first two with black thread, before remembering I had some orange thread. I couldn’t be bothered to unpick my work, so I left them alone. No one is going to see the vent cover anyway. I used the orange thread for the remaining fasteners to make it look neater (!)

IMG_1145I’m quite pleased with it. I’ve not been able to pitch the tent today as the ground is wet, but I’ll try it out tomorrow if the ground has dried out.

I now feel confident that the Nitro Lite 200 is fully primed against the elements and that there are now no areas of vulnerability. All in all, quite a satisfying afternoon of work.

Dullsville

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Since The TGO Challenge in May, life has been massively frustrating. Family health problems (not me) have prevented me from doing any backpacking. Hence, things have been quiet on this blog. I had planned to go to Dartmoor this week, but it’s not happening.

I’m hoping that I will be able to combine getting out for a couple of days with taking our daughter to University. Ironically, the weather this summer has been the best for a long time. Hey, ho! At least I’ve got a lot of pictures to look at from previous trips.

Talladh-a-Bheithe Power Station – your chance to object

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There are proposals to build a wind farm on designated wild land between Loch Rannoch and Loch Ericht (see photo above). I wrote a letter objecting to the development a few weeks ago. Alan Sloman has written an excellent blog post on this abominable scheme. I urge you to read it and email or post a letter of objection as soon as possible. There’s only a week left to object.

Link to James Boulter’s objection

Link to Ian Sommerville’s objection

Chris Townsend’s blog post

Link to Keep Rannoch Wild

As Tucas Foratata down booties

bootiesLast but not least in the parcel of goodies from As Tucas was some Foratata down booties. At €60, they compare favourably with similar offerings from the likes of PHD. They weigh 61g for a medium size.

As you can see from the picture, they have good loft. For my size 42 feet, the fit is good. As ever, the workmanship is first rate. I can see that these will be a permanent fixture in my gear list for cooler months.

Disclosure: I bought these booties at full price from As Tucas with my own money.

Equinox Ultralight Bivy bag mod

I bought an Equinox Bivy Bag a long time ago and have never used it. Unfortunately it had a right hand zip whereas all my sleeping bags bar one have a left hand zip.

I asked Marco at As Tucas to retro fit a left hand zip. For €30, he obliged. This only added 9g to the bivy, bringing the weight up to 195g (without the mesh sack).

IMG_1035The bivy bag itself is very simple with a silnylon base and lightweight cordura upper with a good DWR finish, making it decently water resistant.

IMG_1037.JPG (2)The bag is pretty roomy . I’ve put some silicone stripes inside and out on the base to stop slippage.

IMG_1036.JPG (2)I think it’s useful to have zips both sides not just for flexibility, but for ventilation. There’s no bug net, but I think I’d prefer to take an inner tent to protect against insects.

I’ll give it a whirl as a bivy bag, but I think it will also be very useful as a sleeping bag cover to add some extra warmth and damp protection in cooler months.

Marco is always willing to look at modifying existing gear, so if something is not quite right, it’s well worth asking him. He is also considering whether to offer similar bivy bag at some stage.

Disclosure: I paid As Tucas for this modification. I have no formal or financial relationship with As Tucas.

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