my first tarp trip

Tue, Jul 19, 2011

Bivvy site at Coruisk

Following on from my excellent night in the open at Coruisk in the Cuillin, I had a bit of a problem in the morning with the Pacerpoles. I just managed to loosen the top sections but the lower sections of each pole were welded together. I had to wait until I got back and set about them with an adjustable wrench and pliers. Even then it took major force to loosen the lower sections. The wind picked up in the night and flapped the tarp a fair bit and must have pushed the sections together with some force. Would flick-lock poles be better? Dunno. Have to think of a way round this for future tarping trips. Thoroughly recommended though. It’s an Integral Designs SilTarp1 from BackpackingLight, a Duo Groundsheet (not really necessary as the bag has a waterproof base) and a Rab Storm Bivi.

The bag was superb. It’s light and tough and even with the zip done up it was easy to breathe inside and the side walls meant the down bag could loft and I was warm and cozy all night. I needed to do up the bag as the tarp provided a convenient shelter not just for me but for the midges too! When the gear arrived from Bob and Rose it came with a CD of podcasts and a DVD of knots which was really useful. I spent hours slow motioning my way through the various tarp knots but I just couldn’t get my head round the last one, where Bob ties it round a tree. No trees in the Cuillin though so not bothered about that one. It’s very satisfying putting up a shelter without the plastic bits to tension the lines, just the knots you tie yourself and they move up and down to tension things. Most wondrous!

I’ve been bivvying for years and years, from Fisherfield, to the Old Dungeon Ghyll carpark to the Matterhorn (had to get that in!) but this is the first time I’ve used a shelter. Not entirely sure yet. It flapped and made a lot of noise when the wind got up but I know from experience that the wind on my face at night will wake me up so it’s swings and roundabouts I suppose. I woke up a few times in the night to see fishing boat lights out on Loch Scavaig and a few hardy stars in the never quite dark summer sky. Unbeatable.

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