Friday, 11 November 2011

Winter proofing my wild camping gear part 1

This winter I’m hoping to spend a few nights wild camping weather permitting. I’m now reasonably happy with my summer wild camping gear, but probably need to upgrade a few items for winter.

My Shelter
Staring with my tent, I still don’t feel 100% confident in the Laser Comp’s bad weather performance, but perhaps I’m expecting too much from a 3 season tent.
Having beefed up the guys and pegs it certainly performs better in the wind, but I’m not sure the Terra Nova pegs I’m using at the moment will hold in soft ground if a when the wind picks up. So the first item on my shopping list is some lightweight vee pegs. I’ve not seen any good lightweight vee pegs foe ages, so any recommendations would be welcome.  
The last few times I’ve used the Laser Comp I’ve had difficulty getting the inner tent taut. Separate pegs would do the trick but I’m not prepared to carry the extra weight so I think I’ll try shortening the inner tent elastics.
I also need to make a repair to the strap which takes the pressure of the flysheet zip, one of the prongs has broken off the plastic connecting clip making it even more difficult to use than normal.
Finally, I must make a new tent footprint before my next trip,  my home made experimental green bin liner footprint (weight 66g) needs replacing, its lasted 20 nights not bad for a free bin liner and 5 feet of parcel tape., defiantly my best buy so far.


  1. Hi Geoff

    I have used clamcleat pegs for the last five years. Not a single dent in any of them yet. Click HERE to find them.

    One of the nice things about them is that mud doesn't seem to stick to them as they are very smooth and don't get scratched like aluminium does (scratches help mud stick)

    Bomb proof and storm resistant.

  2. Thank's Alan, I'll take a look at those.
    I hope you've fully recovered from you hospital visit, and the results are as you would hope.

  3. I assume that strain-relief strap is a custom mod done by yourself: mine doesn'y have one but a newer model has come out since then (I think).

    I'm surprised you are bothering with a footprint: I could understand it with a Laser Ultra which is like tissue paper!.

  4. Geoff C, The strap is actual part of the original tent, a good idea but unfortunately this is another area where Terra Nova gone just a bit too lightweight, so the clip has failed.
    I think the Laser Comp is a good tent but there are some areas where a few extra grams could turn it into a great tent!

    I’ve always used a piece of 500g plastic under the groundsheet when camping, as well as protecting it from sharp stones, thorns, heather stalks, it also keeps off any mud and sheep muck which means less work cleaning up at the end of a trip.

    Because 500g plastic is obviously far too heavy for a wild camping footprint, I did consider doing without. Unfortunately, I’ve found it impossible to fold up the Laser Comp up whilst keeping the dirty sides of the ground sheet together. So I’ve given up trying!

    My usual method of packing it away is to take out the end supports, screw it up and shove it in the stuff sack. If the bottom of the ground sheet was dirty, it would make a mess of the tent, so I decided to manufacture my own footprint.

    The lightweight purist in me says it’s an unnecessary item, but from a practical point of view I feel its 66g worth carrying.

  5. Hi Geoff, thanks for your comment on my blog. I've been very happy with the Alpkit vees - they are pretty light but robust and have served me well over a variety of terrain. Definitely worth picking up a set I would say.

  6. Thank's Alan I hadn't noticed.
    I've now sorted it out, I didn't know you could switch off comments for individual posts.
    Oh drat... I've just delete your previous comment by mistake!
    Grrrr! I think I'll back to bed.