I guess the item that most of you will want to know about is the Tramplite shelter. As I mentioned before, I had some of the worst weather I’ve camped in. The Tramplite performed superbly. It was very solid with no leaks. Cuben is a bit noisier than silnylon, but it doesn’t stretch so the pitch stayed taut throughout the ten hours of rain and wind I endured on Saturday morning.
I think the MYOG A frame is excellent. It makes the Tramplite really solid and access is so much easier than a central pole. The valances were also good. The wind was swirling and the valances prevented the rain from driving under the beak. I’m sure it would have been ok without them, but they were definitely useful.
In terms of pitching, it’s possibly the easiest shelter I’ve had. Peg the rear corners, insert the pole then pull out the front guy. Peg the front corners then the rear. Tighten the front and back, then the corners and the fly is done. It’s really easy to get a nice taut pitch. The inner is simple to attach and easy to get reasonably taut.
It takes a little bit of time to get used to the more restricted headroom compared with the Scarp or Duomid, but it’s not cramped. Lying down, there’s enough length not to have the material in your face and a decent amount of room for gear. The rear storage space was useful for my rucksack and other bits and pieces. This meant I didn’t put as much in the front porch as I might with other shelters.
The workmanship is first class. There are no wrinkles. It’s better than the cuben Duomid. There’s obviously been a lot of thought gone into the design as well. Considering it cost the same as a Hillberg Enan, I think it’s a bit of a bargain.
My rucksack was the Lightwave Ultrahike. This was the first time in three years that I’ve not used my GG Mariposa. Arguably, it was overkill for a two-day trip. However, it reminded me of what a great pack it is. The hip belt makes it incredibly comfortable to carry. It’s a great pack for higher volume and heavier loads.
I’ve bought a number of bit and pieces from Paul at Tread Lite Gear recently. The cuben LED camping lantern was brilliant for providing some light in the evening. The first aid kit pouch forced me to downsize my first aid kit and was just the right size. I also used the polypaq 45L rucksack liner. It didn’t get tested by rain, but is a great alternative to a cuben or silnylon rucksack liner. It’s much cheaper and very light. It’s quite tough as well. In future I think I’ll use these instead of an Exped liner.
In terms of clothing, I took my Arcteryx Squamish windproof and Arcteryx Delta zip fleece. The Squamish is my favourite windproof. It’s very comfortable with good breathability, yet windproof and decently shower resistant. The Delta fleece has a grid pattern, which I think works better than flat fleeces. It’s a nice fit and just the right thickness.
I also used a Berghaus VapourLight zip T base layer. I’m really impressed with its wicking and smell resistance. Of my synthetic base layers, I think the VapourLight ones are the best.
Lastly, I must mention the As Tucas Sestrals insulated trousers. These are so good to put on at the end of the day. Nice and warm when you’re lying around in camp but not too hot. They also give some flexibility for your sleep system if it gets cold. I didn’t need them inside my sleeping bag (my modded Rab Neutrino SL 200 ) as it was quite mild, but great insurance in case it’s cold.
Nothing failed, although my Salomon X Ultra Mids are going to be relegated to dog walking boots as they are getting quite battered and the foam under the forefoot is loosing its resilience. I bought another pair in a sale recently to replace them. They’re great boots.