Trail stuff

There’s some stuff in the current Trail mag, and first mention goes to Andy Bellamy (more familiar on here as Bellie) who has a cracking piece about a backpack through The Peak. Having had a quick visit I can see why folk enthuse about it, and it’s good that intimate first-hand knowledge of the area makes it into the mag.
My Peak visit was to do the shots for the tarp grouptest that’s in there, and I wonder if folk who know the area can spot where we did the shots? The shoot was great fun, if hectic, the tarps were pitched and re-pitched constantly and when were were finished I was toast, and poor GT was an icecube.
I enjoyed doing the tarps, messing with these things over winter was tricky, but it did concentrate the mind and I got familiar with them all, so I’m looking forward to summer nights on the tops with them as I’m feeling much more confident than I was in November when they started arriving. The “winner” of the test was a surprise of sorts. I didn’t pick it as such, I made a list of features and points that I thought were important and scored them all individually, totted up the scores and there it was. I liked that way of doing it, the winner kinda picks itself if you know what I mean? It’s a good group of tarps, no weak links, all different. I’ll do some coverage on here over the summer, lots to talk about.
One important point is in the text, I say “…limited only by imagination”, and that’s a quote from R MacE’s cracking blog post on the Alkit Rig 7. It did originally read that I was quoting, but some tightening-up of the text (never be precious over your writing, editing by others, whether you like or not, mostly makes it easier for other folk to read) saw that trimmed out.

I did a piece on Schiehallion which was fun. The stories about the hill, Maskelyne’s experiment to find the mass of the planet and Hutton’s invention of contour lines are really interesting. It wasn’t some bloke up there dressed in tweed with a plumb-bob and note book, it was a big deal with platforms built on the sides of the hill and teams of workmen.
It’s nice to promote the area too, it’s got a lot to offer. It’s central positions seems to make it a second choice as folk pass on the A82 or A9 at either side on their way to the honeypots, but Perthshire rocks I can assure you.
My Kinlochleven guide is in there too, three walks and a bunch of local information. It took my bloody ages to do that one, and I’m pretty pleased with it. All the walks can be done by foot from the town and it turns out when you really look at it, Kinlochleven is well set-up for an extended stay. I think it’s a good format and we”ll see more of these guides in the mag.

4 thoughts on “Trail stuff

  1. Hi Pete,

    That was a good review of some tarps in Trail.

    What I feel is missing from such reviews is the growing use, in the UK, of tarps and shelters from the USA.

    Mountain Laurel Designs have both the Trailstar and the Duomid that are both fine examples of lightweight shelters with the oomph to cope with Scottish weather.

    I mention these primarily because I have a Trailstar and have read great blogs on the Duomid. There are other great US outfits such as Henry Shires’ Tarptent and Gossamer Gear.

    When it comes to such reviews in Trail, it would be great to highlight the gear that is available from the USA.

    Ok it has to be shipped from the USA, but, there are a good number of lightweight backpackers who are prepared to go there for some of the quality gear that is available.

  2. Hi Gordon, good points there.

    When I was looking at what models to put in for review both MLD and Gossamer Gear were on the list.
    MLD have saying for the past four years how great if would be to get extra exposure in the UK and then never send any review samples, and Gossamer Gear wanted to be in the review but couldn’t get a sample to us in time for the photo-shoot, which was four weeks away when we asked them.

    So it’s not for the want of trying that these guys don’t get featured. That’s not a criticism though, small companies like them doen’t have media departments or PR companies to deal with mags and the like, so it’s either sewing product to fulfill orders or dealing with some annoying reviewer thousands of miles away in a market that’s too small to really matter to them.

    With Intergral Designs I did get something from an “indie”, if we ignore their recent takeover by Rab, and I was pleased enough with the variety of designs as it’s the first time Trail’s ever done tarps and it was nice to have some variety in there.

    It’d be interesting to know what the readers made of it, I wanted tarps to look accessible rather than stuck in the geek-only domain that so much lightweight stuff gets stuck in!

  3. Thanks for the kind words Peter – nice one! On the day of the Royal Wedding, that’s where I’ll be… on the Watershed.

    Nice Tarp article, seriously thinking along those lines for the warmer months, although I am considering my one man tent without the inner. It pitches outer first and is very roomy without the inner. Just the job for Summer.

    Off now to suss where you shot the test.

  4. It’s a weather thing, clear and warm I’ll be sleeping under a techno shower curtain again. Winter testing is another thing altogether.

    If you know Stanage you’ll be off to a flyer…

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