Tag Archives: Tramplite shelter

Test packing for Scotland

Next Sunday evening I will be heading to Scotland to walk from Fort William to Aviemore. As you are probably aware, I couldn’t do the Challenge this year, so this is some compensation. Along the way I will be walking for three days with some of the guys from the Lakes Daunder.

I will be walking for seven days without re-supply, so I’m going to be carrying about 5kg of food. This is the first time I’ve had to carry more than five days of food. In the past I’ve not always taken a particularly organised approach to trail food, but this has forced me to be a little more disciplined.

As much as the weight, the big issue is the volume. It’s surprising how bulky food is. In the light of this, I decided to do a test pack to see whether it would all fit in (there’s still a couple of things I need to buy).

Totting up the weights on a spreadsheet I decided to be rather more aggressive on weight saving, especially on clothes where I reduced carried clothes by just over 1kg to 1.7kg. I did a test pack of my Tramplite pack. While everything fitted in, it was a bit of a squeeze.

I dug out my Lightwave Ultrahike 60 pack and tried that. The slightly higher volume meant that it coped better with the volume. My spreadsheet says a total load (no water but everything else) is 14.2kg, while my luggage scale says 14.8kg. Food, fuel and other consumables comes to just over 6kg.

The Ultrahike is about 400g heavier than the Tramplite pack, so I negated some of the weight savings from clothes. However, the Ultrahike is a more comfortable pack with heavier loads thanks to the unique hipbelt, so I think it’s likely that I will go with the Ultrahike.

Originally, I was going to take my Scarp, but the weight of the food has pushed me to go for my lightest shelter, the Tramplite, which is about half the weight of the Scarp. I liked using my Paramo 3rd Element jacket so much on the Daunder, that I’m going to take it to Scotland. Normally, I take a lightweight hard shell jacket too, but I’m going to chance it and only take the 3rd Element.

I’ll do separate posts on route, gear and food before I go.

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Tramplite Shelter – first look

On Thursday, a parcel arrived in the post. It was my eagerly anticipated Tramplite shelter from Colin Ibbotson. Tramplite shelter sounds too ordinary, so I’ve christened it the “IbboMid”. The IbboMid is a lightweight cuben fiber double skin tent that Colin has been refining over the past year or so after his treks in New Zealand and Scandinavia.

A handful of backpackers asked Colin if he would make some shelters and fortunately for us, he agreed. This is not a commercial venture for Colin as his main focus is doing long distance walks. This year he is doing the Continental Divide Trail in the US. He’s making these tents in the fallow period over the winter.

The first lucky recipient was Andy Howell. My IbboMid is the sixth and has a couple of improvements from the first iteration. Colin reckoned it would weigh about 670g. However, when I put it on the scales it was an amazing 652g!

IMG_1135(2)It came in a neatly rolled in a cuben fiber stuff sack.

IMG_1136(2)With great excitement, I took it into the back garden to pitch it.

IMG_1137(2)It’s very easy to pitch, easier than my Duomid. I set the trekking pole to 125cm, pegged the rear two corners, inserted the trekking pole and loosely pegged the front guy. Then I pegged the front two cormners. Lastly, I pulled out the rear pegging point, pulling it tight, then tensioned the front guy. All it took then was a bit of further tensioning all round and I acheived a pretty good pitch first time.

IMG_1138(2)I used a piece of Tyvek from my Scarp as a groundsheet protector to stop the groundsheet getting muddy. The fit was pretty good. Attaching the inner was very simple. The four corners have shock cords which attach to the corner pegs. Next, there are shock cords part way up the inner on the four corners that attach to the fly. There are a further two on the rear wall. Then the apex has an adjustable shock cord with a toggle that mates with a loop at the apex of the fly.

IMG_1142(2)It was incredibly simple to get a good pitch. The inner looked pretty good too. The inner is quite spacious, measuring 255cm x 75cm. By comparison, it’s marginally narrower than the Scarp, but longer. The inner also has a horizontal zip at the rear to access a decent amount of space in the V of the rear wall of the fly. It’s certainly big enough for either a rucksack or boots and cooking gear or wet clothing.

IMG_1140(2)This picture gives an idea of the rear storage area. It also shows how taut the pitch is.

IMG_1139(2)It’s quite an aerodynamic shape and should shed wind well. With the front and rear tensioned, it feels very solid with next to no pole movement.

IMG_1143(2)The quality of the workmanship is very high. As you might imagine, I’ve added some tweaks. I’ve sewn a grosgrain loop at the apex of the inner so I can hang a torch or lantern. I’ve added some zip pulls on the zippers. I’ve also added so mini cord grips on the inner door tie backs. I find cord grips and loops easier to use than simple ties. These tweaks have added a massive 3g to the weight.

Of course, it’s impossible to make a proper judgement after one pitch in the back garden, but the IbboMid looks very promising. If it lives up to my first impressions, I can see that it will become my first choice tent. It looks to have the stormworthiness of the Scarp, but is the lightest shelter that I own. That seems like a winning combination.

Disclosure: The IbboMid was purchased with my own money and I have no relationship, financial or otherwise with Colin Ibbotson.