The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Wednesday, 3 October 2007

Wendy's First Erection

Today the Stephenson’s Warmlite 2R (Wendy Warmlite, as we have named her), which I ordered just six weeks ago and was delivered within the USA a fortnight ago, was passed into my hands (huge thanks go out to my ex-boss who apparently had a little trouble carrying the seam sealant through the airport!).

After reading the instructions, which are hard to follow and seem to contain more warnings about how not to do things and how damage may be caused than they contain positive information about how to do it, we set out into the garden for the first pitching experiment (with me being very nervous about breaking it having read all of the said warnings).

No sooner had we got it pegged down, than it started to rain, so the photos were taken before we’d adjusted the pitch (it shouldn’t be as slack as the photos show).

We did then have a bit of a play with the adjustments and managed to get a much better pitch. I’m sure that a little bit of practice will soon make perfect.

First impressions:
- The fabric is so incredibly thin. I reckon that you could easily read through the light green of the end sections.
- The size inside is huge – but then you have to remember that all of our gear will be inside with us, so I’m sure that it will seem smaller in practice.
- The colours are not at all like they looked on the website. It’s a whole lot brighter than I expected. The light green in particular looks the colour of a highlighter pen. Still, at least it will stand out if we use it on a campsite!
- I’m concerned about the water-resistance of the floor (again due to warnings contained in the instructions). It’s not unheard of us to pitch on very wet ground (Keswick C&CC site springs to mind!); I don’t want water coming up through the floor of the tent!

We will indulge in seam sealing soon, then hopefully we’ll manage to slip away for a quick night on a hill somewhere, whereupon I will report back.

Husband tries it for size:

Showing off the poor pitching nicely:

Where did that head suddenly spring from as I pressed the camera button?:


  1. Dear Wendy,

    Wanda wants to say 'hello, good evening & welcome' to you.

    Wanda's pet slackpacker was also terrified about all the warnings from Stephensons in the info, and he had very little time in which to paint the seams (it was in fact quite dark and quite cold when he finally managed it in his back garden, finishing it by headtorch - hardly ideal conditions in February!)

    His first attempts at pitching me were pretty poor too! However it did get easier and by the end of his slackpacking walk he finally managed to make me look beautiful first-time, every time!

    I never let a drop of water in on him as he slept peacefully.

    If you take a good look at how we work, the instructions are pretty redundant - it is obvious which of our seams need sealing and which assist the egress of condensation.

    My groundsheet is amazingly watertight - I kept my slackpacker nice and dry even in the sopping bogs of the Flow Country in Caithness.

    Take Wendy out for a stroll and get to know her wants, needs and desires. Teat her gently and she will reward you with a lifetime of companionship.

    Lots of love


  2. Hmm,

    It looks as if our campsites are to be cheered by a increasingly fluorescent band of tents over the next couple of years.

    I did have occasion - in Scotland - to study the aforementioned Wanda in action during gale force winds at Braemar. Didn't seem to budge an inch!

  3. Wanda,

    I thank you kindly for the reassurance. If it hadn't been for seeing you in the flesh in August and your Master's fine reports of your performance, then the instructions would have been read with a sense of foreboding that a costly mistake had been made.

    Hopefully we'll sneak the opportunity for Wendy to show us her 'wants, needs and desires' sometime in the next couple of weeks - and I'm sure that she won't let us down.


  4. Brenda says: I have a mental image of cute bunnies hopping around your garden wearing large sun glasses against the glare of Wendy. Merry Christmas.

  5. For anyone thinking that that last comment was a bit of a strange one, let me explain that Brenda is my mother, and that Wendy is her very generous (and somewhat early) Christmas present to us.

    I'll let minds continue to boggle about the bunnies in sunglasses!

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