Saturday, 10 February 2018

A night out

I'm putting on my first ever Backpackers Club weekend later this month. On the Saturday, I have a full day's walk in mind to take us from the Friday night's pitch to somewhere else on Saturday night. I haven't walked the whole route for several years so I decided to do it now to refresh my memory and to make sure there are no problems, obstacles, etc. The weather was clear but with rain forecast at night. There were patches of really bad gloopy mud and trekking poles really came in useful. I'd planned to wild camp in a wood I know. It was OK but sloping slightly which meant that I slipped from time to time during the night. There was rain and much wind but I was well protected from these. In the evening there were some rowdy pheasants and some time in the night I was woken by a very loud muntjac barking close by.

SilTarp 1
I'd been practising knot tying during the week (I tend to forget them easily) so I took a small tarp with separate guylines. The tarp is an Integral Designs SilTarp 1 (now marketed by Rab under their name). It is definitely a solo tarp and, whilst it was OK for my one night out, using a bivy bag as well (an Alpkit Hunka), I wouldn't have liked it in a less sheltered spot and I prefer more coverage for general use. If I'd been out in the open with wind and rain, I'd have wanted to pitch it close to the ground and it would have been a very tight squeeze. So, for the Great English Walk coming up next month, this will not be my choice of shelter. Instead, I shall take my Golite Cave 1, larger and giving greater coverage and weather protection and a bivy bag won't be necessary. There is, in fact, a net weight saving. The Golite Cave weighs 454g whereas the SilTarp and bivy bag together weigh 700g.