My tent history

Having dealt with sleeping bags, let’s talk tents. Now, I’m going to disappoint you a bit here as I’ve only got five tents. This remarkable restraint is not through lack of trying and I’ve had quite a few different tents in my time. In the next few posts, I’ll look at the tents I’ve owned in the past.

My first tent was a Vango Force Ten Mk2, which was a fantastic tent but very heavy. It was cotton which was good for breathability, but was even heavier when it was wet. The groundsheet was a medium gauge PVC. Being a sloping A frame meant it was very study and it would stand up to anything. I kept it for about four years, mainly schlepping round the Lakes on low level walks. To prove its longevity, one of my friends still uses one!

Between school and university, I decided to do a five week trek around the Lakes and then across to Cross Fell and down the Dales to Long Preston, following a winding and slightly aimless route. For this, I decided on a lighter tent. It was a Blacks tent, but I can’t remember the name. It was a nylon ridge tent and weighed about 3kg. It was nowhere near as stable as the Force Ten and it had one major drawback: the groundsheet wasn’t waterproof! Fortunately it was a very dry summer and my friend had a polythene survival bag that I put under the groundsheet. Before my next trip, I sold it on.

Tomorrow: Saunders Backpacker S, Phoenix Phreeranger


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