I think that pop up tents are next to useless, they see the wind and then collapse into a heap, scared.
Tarps and bothy bags are a better solution. I’ve used my bothy bag lots over the years, I have a 2 person bag. In use, I sit at one end and use my rucksack to fill out the other end, you can eliminate a lot of the flapping that way.
There’s quite a lot of info on tarps on this reflector and elsewhere, noted users include G4ISJ and wG0AT. I’ve also been known to use a tarp on occasions.
When it comes to a longer stay on a summit, a small trekking tent with alloy poles <3kg can be quite useful. My Vango Banshee is very stable.
Matt Your reply wasn’t at all patronising - the fact that I own the sewing machine in our house is a bit of a family joke - although in fairness my wife does probably use it more than me now.
However you may have given me an idea of making something small, simply and robust enough to sit in.
Thank you gentlemen for your thoughts. I’ll let you know but a couple of interesting options. Especially surprised about the durability of tarps as summit shelters but they look rather interesting as origami tents. I’ll have to play with mine on the lawn !!
Has anyone ordered from summitgear (a/k/a JDS Components) recently?
I placed an order online last week but have received no acknowledgement of my order or shipping info. I emailed the company via its Contact web page but have received no reply. I called today and heard a very generic sounding recorded message for voice mail. The charge against my credit card went through, but nothing more - seems odd.
The Trailstar here is a copy of the Trailstar from Mountain Laurel Designs:
What with intellectual property theft becoming more of an issue, I don’t really want to recommend buying the copy, but the design itself is very strong and a good choice for UK conditions. There are, however, plenty of original designs on offer (or so old that no one can lay claim to them), that also have good reviews:
Whilst construction quality overall seems OK (there are a few rough edges), some of the tie outs may benefit from modification. Just one bar tack is not really sufficient for UK 3 season use. If you own a sewing machine and the XYL is happy for you to use it, then replacing some of the tie out points is relatively simple. The advice here is of course ‘buyer beware’! But I ordered an inner tent for my Locus Gear Khufu shelter, as inner tents are not so critical as flysheets.
If you don’t want to risk AliExpress, there is always backpacking light in the UK which has a good range of well constructed tarps and shelters:
A bit more expensive, but reviews seem to be good in general, so there is peace of mind at least. The specs for the waterproof materials on AliExpress are complete BS, but it is a fact that quite a low hydrostatic head is often sufficient for camping. When it comes to hydrostatic head, it is often a case of ‘what the customer doesn’t know won’t hurt them’.
i have one of their 2 man bothy bags, haven’t used it much. You warm up great inside it. I haven’t quite got to grips with how to sit in it properly, sit comfortably in it, hold it down so it doesn’t blow away, get my kit inside and find a way of operating all at the same time. me and my son managed to fit into it once on a windy hill top. I worked USA and then couldn’t get more responses. I looked outside, my antenna had fallen down, so I may have got USA with the antenna lieing on the ground lol.
Thanks for your input ladies and gentlemen. I tried one of those tarps - found one in my camping/canoeing kit. size is around 3 or 4 sq m… For those that don’t know you do a bit of ‘origami’ and use a pole as a support. There are plenty of videos on-line I used the simplest system I found. Much easier than I thought. I used it for the 1st time on the s2s Transatlantic QSO party a few weeks ago in very, strong winds (40 -50 mph). Much to my surprise it went up easily and more suprisingly it stayed up and certainly provided adequate windproofing!! And of course its quicker than any tent I’ve used and hardly any weight or sizes to carry.
Bothy bags appear popular. For those who have one or know, how do you stop them from flapping and flailing around in the wind? Is there a trick? Or is it simply pull the things as tight as possible around your body?
I’ve used a group shelter - think big enough for ten people. Northern Cairngorms in a winter storm. Easy to keep it tight - everyone sit in a circle and spread out. But you can’t do that on your own - can you?
What Anthony said and I use headphones very often to pick out those weak signals and to block unwanted external noise…I use hook earphones…the ones that hook on to your ear. Never really been bothered with flapping noise and if it was really bad I don’t think I’d be playing radio anyway?
Enjoy your experimenting and hope to catch you s2s one day.
73 Allan GW4VPX
Heads up for chasers…hopefully activating quite a few G/DC and others over the next 7 days…will alert.