Monday, 27 September 2010

Apologies for the extended interval.

Hello all. I would like to apologise for the rather large gap between posts. This is due to a number of real life matters, non serious you'll be glad to know and generally a lack of time.

However normal service is soon to be resumed. I still have to get round to doing the extended Lakeland Bloggers video which will probably appear on either Phil’s ( or Steve’s ( blog, being as they’ve had to wait months for me to get my arse into gear, sorry chaps.

An application has been submitted the TGO Challenge*. This year, if I’m selected, I shall be walking with two friends, Seth and Tom. After last years trip which was held in unusually good weather I reckon my kit can be reduced somewhat (cue dramatic music and claps of thunder) and I hope to be making some new bits and bobs for May’s crossing.

Shelter - I wish I had taken a tarp. I really like the MLD DuoMid but you still have that fully enclosed feeling of a tent which I don’t like. This time I am putting together a version of the cat cut tarp which I trialed in the lakes. I would like some Tarp user’s views on this one. I’ve got some spinnaker material which I reckon will bring the weight of the tarp itself down to around the 200g mark, pegs and guys on top of that. This one will have substantially more tie out points to secure it. I am also making a full size beak for it which will cover the opening at the front. This is removable and will provide protection during changeable weather. On paper I have a design that will allow the walking pole to be situated under the main canopy and the beak to clip next to this. It’s hard to explain but hopefully a prototype will soon become reality. I would like to get the views of regular tarp users who have used spinnaker tarps, mainly how flappy/loud are they? I’m presuming a lot is down to shape? Also have any of you had catastrophic failures of spinnaker?

Bivvy – I’m also looking to make a much lighter bivi than I used last year, that was half way to becoming an inner tent.

Backpack – This is a project that I’ve already started. I want a streamlined backpack around 35l-38l in volume with mesh pockets and very lightweight. It doesn’t have to feature rich but it does have to be comfortable to carry. I’ll do a separate post about this project in the near future. I’ve got some odd material, which I’m told is used for hot air balloons! It’s not a ripstop but you can’t rip it, even if there is a nick in the edge. I can’t anyway. I’m hoping the full pack will come in around the 300g mark.

I’m also looking at starting to do some podcasts. I’m slowly coming to grips with the technical aspect of things. This is a project which I’m giving myself a budget of say £20 to start up. I’m not sure it can be done, my phone makes an adequate recording device. Indoors it’s very good, outside the wind noise can be overpowering, I’m thinking of making a furry mic cover that you see on other devices to see if that has any effect. Any suggestions welcome!

So hopefully you’ll get some regular content from now on in and pictures/videos/podcasts too – but don’t hold me to that.

* have done podcasts of last years TGO Challenge which can be found here I also understand that you can buy a CD of the previous four years podcasts with a slideshow of pictures directly from Bob, the proceeds going to the Mountain Bothies association and Mountain Rescue.


Martin Rye said...

Good luck with the application for the TGO. I am the wrong person to ask about tarps. Good luck with the idea and have fun planning your route as well.

Anonymous said...

Still ponder doing the RGO next tear. If I could put together a group I'd definitely go. No joy though on that score yet.

Podcasts can be fun. I did a set fir the 2008 TGO (search for Wandering Knight). I've done more short bids if late that I really should add to the podcast feed. A windscreen on a mix is a bug help. I keep loosing them.

Shed Dweller said...

I've been emailed by Shap, whom I met on last years TGO. He like a few other people (including me) has been having problems posting on blogger sites over the last few days so I'm putting his post below.

I've been using a spinnaker tarp for a few years, it's very light (179g) and the fabric is very strong, its seen some very strong winds. But it is very very noisy in any thing other than still air. Its also quite difficult to get a tight pitch as the fabric has very little stretch, it's not cat cut, I think this would help a bit. Make sure you take ear plugs for you and your mates other wise they will camp further away from you each night. Its fine for solitary use, once you get used to the flapping and convince your self it is incredibly strong.
Just posted my application, hopefully see you in May.


Shed Dweller said...

Shap. I can only compare my two sil-nylon tarps. One of which is flat and the other a cat cut. The flat on does flap, even if the pitch is taught. It's practically impossible to get a taught pitch in all directions with a flat tarp. I'm hoping the cat cut design should resolve a lot of the noise. I'm glad you give it the thumbs up for strength though. This is my main concern and its good to hear field reports rather than look at tear strengths from labs.

Which make of tarp is it? It sounds like a Team IO?

Shed Dweller said...

Another comment from Shap. He is real and still having trouble posting. I'm not doing this to make myself look popular. Honest.

Team io it is. I love this tarp for its pack size and weight.
Spinnaker is very strong. Racing yacht spinnakers are vast with a huge
surface area held only on three points.