As with all my trips, this is a short feedback post on some of the gear I used. I’m going to do a separate post on my Gossamer Gear Mariposa rucksack as I’ve used it for over a year now and it deserves a longer review.
MLD Cuben Duomid OookWorks nest:
This was the first time that my cuben Duomid has been subject to heavy rain since I sealed all the stitching around the vent. I’m pleased to say that there were no leaks. However, I have spotted one design flaw. In theory, the vent can be closed by removing the plastic stiffener and sealed with velcro. Unfortunately the velcro on the underside of the hood and the main body of the tent don’t fully match. So, I closed it with a peg. I’m going to do a little mod to cure this inadequacy.
Pegging the vent
On the Thursday night we had quite strong winds and heavy rain. The extra pegging points on the rear of the tent really came into their own, controlling the movement of the rear panel. They also help to keep the rear wall well away from the inner. The second door tie out was also useful on the last night as it meant I could secure the right hand door panel as shelter against the wind.
Rear pegging points
The OookWorks nest worked well. My two observations are that the thin Chikara groundsheet can attract condensation inside underneath a sleeping mat and the a mesh hybrid is noticeably cooler that a solid one. These are both functions of the material and design chosen, rather than a criticism of any workmanship, which is first class.
Overall, I think the cuben Duomid is superior to the silnylon version. I like the fact that it retains a taut pitch even in rain. It does “rattle” a bit occasionally in wind, but that’s a minor irritation. I still feel it’s a tent for more sheltered spots rather than a full blown mountain tent. Having said that, I don’t think it would get blown away.
Nemo Zor Short and silk cover:
Last time I was out in Wales, I was seduced by my old Thermarest Neoair short. This time, I wanted to give the Zor a good test. I was a little bit apprehensive about reverting to a self inflating mattress after the comfort of an air bed. However, it was very comfortable. It is obviously harder, but in some ways it is better as it’s more supportive. It’s also more comfortable to sit on when you’re in the tent. I used a MYOG silk cover, which is a cut down sleeping bag liner. This was excellent, providing a more comfortable surface to sleep on and adding some insulation. It also stops the mat and sleeping bag from sliding around.I’m very happy with the combo and will use again.
Nemo Zor inside MYOG silk sleeping mat cover
Rohan Pacific Shirt: I wore this most of the trip and really liked it. It feels like silk but dries very quickly. For hot sweaty weather, it’s very good. It is remarkably odour resistant. That’s not to say that it doesn’t smell at all, but it’s far superior to ant other shirt I’ve worn (Paramo, Mountain Hardwear, Craghoppers). I really should have rinsed it a couple of times, as it dries so quickly, but I was lazy. It also looks rather nice.
Rohan Ultra Longjohns: I like wearing something on my legs for sleeping. These are very light (77g) and thin. They feel like silk and were ideal. They add a modicum of warmth but aren’t sweaty. I like them a lot and they are ideal for summer. In camp I used them under some Montane Featherlite Trousers.
Marmot Driclime Vest: I’m starting to appreciate gilets. They provide a bit of extra warmth and protection from the wind for your torso. This gilet is quite thin and light (187g) and was ideal for summer walking when the wind made it slightly chilly with only a shirt. The Driclime material dissipates sweat very quickly.
Bla Band Creamy Pasta with Chicken
On the first night I had Bla Band Creamy Pasta with Chicken. While not quite as good as the Skinnarmo’s Pasta Carbonara meal, it was very tasty. I liked it.
The next two nights I had meals by Trek’n’Eat, a brand I’ve not used before. I had their Beef Casserole with Noodles and Creamy Chicken Pasta with Spinach. Both were very palatable and quite similar in quality to the Bla Band meals I’ve had. The main difference is that they are slightly larger. Be warned though that you should add slightly less water than advertised!
On the last night, I had one of my remaining Fuizion Food meals. These remain the gold standard, but sadly are no longer available.
I am coming to the conclusion that pasta (or noodles) is the best option for freeze dry meals. Rice is OK but can be crunchy. Potato based meals tend to end up being a rather unappetising gloop.
Any questions on gear, please leave a comment 🙂