Scarp scare

This afternoon I pitched my Scarp in the back garden. The main task was to apply some permethrin to the mesh to deter any midges. I also applied permethrin to the door zip as protection against ticks. I’ve been told by a fisherman in Scotland that midges avoid lavender. So I’ve also sprayed the mesh with lavender linen scent. I don’t know whether it will work, but it smells nice! While I was about it, I put some permethrin on the bottoms of my trousers.


In the course of this frenzy of activity, to my horror, I discovered that one of the grosgrain loops for the side guys was becoming detached. The stitching that secured it to the pole hoop had run. I’m glad I spotted this before going to Scotland.


So it was out with the needle and thread. I decided to use some strong nylon thread rather than polyester. It was relatively easy to reattach the loop. To be on the safe side I stitched back and forth three times. For good measure, I added some seam sealant to ensure any loose stitches don’t run.


I thought it wise to add some stitches to the guying loop on the other side. I dearly love the Scarp, but some of the stitching is not of the highest quality. If you own a Scarp, it’s worth having a good check every so often to make sure everything is in order.

12 thoughts on “Scarp scare”

  1. Not the first Scarp user this side of the pond to have stiching problems. I’ve moved mine on and got a Vaude power Ferret. Still have the old Hilleberg Akto as well.

    1. I know James (Backpackingbongos) had some problems as well. It’s a shame that quality control is poor as it’s a brilliant tent.

  2. Blimey that is not very good workmanship. It really is a shame that Tarptent do not have better quality control. The design of the Scarp1 is fantastic but amateur in the way it is sewn.

    I think that your post emphasises the reason why I have decided not to take it to Sarek. Being rubbish with a needle and thread I would not want it disintegrating days from anywhere! I will have to get my Akto out of the cupboard where it has sat for 4 years, hope it is still in one piece!

    1. It’s disappointing, particularly on a point which under stress. I don’t know why it wasn’t reinforced. I’ve sewn the other guying point just to be on the safe side.

  3. That’s bad luck, Robin. My Scarp has been very reliable so far (fingers crossed) including coping really well over some wild nights this winter and spring, but I think that a slightly low-key approach to QC is the corollary of the low price/low weight advantages of the Scarp. It’s more than £200 cheaper than an Akto – so maybe something has to give (literally!) to keep the price down.

    With bicycles there’s a saying: “cheap, light, strong: pick two.” Something similar probably applies to tents.

      1. Yeah. Now that you’ve kindly identified the weakness, I think I’ll put in a few precautionary stitches before my next trip. I’ll look over the tent again to see if there are any other potential stress points that might benefit from the same treatment.

      2. Worth checking around the pole sleeve are as that seems to be a weakness. I’ve done some other stitching there a while ago.

  4. Had a similar problem with a tie out loop coming untacked on my Tarptent Notch recently. Discovered two things; (1) a triple stich setting on my Mums sewing machine, (2) even a bloke could use it (under strict supervision) . Sorted.

  5. That’s a good job. I only saw 2 ticks when in Scotland earlier in the week, both at the end of Day 2, which was quite surprising given the number of deer I encountered.

    As for midges, I didn’t see any – though I’m unsure whether that was due to the elevations I was walking.

    Can’t wait for your field reports – the TGO sounds like the ultimate British hiking challenge 🙂

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