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]

Sunday 7 September 2008

The First Week in September?

I've just been in the nearest pub to where we're moored. I've no idea where that is, but I can say with some confidence that it was a chain sort of a pub.

What really struck us all as we went in was the Christmas lights. Not just Christmas lights up in readiness, but lights (in the shape of a train, not just a few fairy lights) all lit up and twinkling.

We checked and double checked and as far as we could make out it is 6 September. That's got to be some sort of record. I shall post the photo next week.

(and then on return to the boat I failed to heed Mick's "mind your head" warning. I now have a huge egg atop my head.)


  1. Hi there.
    I'm almost ready to buy a Warmlite 2R for Scottish winter use. I've just been informed that a mesh 'gutter' runs along the floor at the ends. This seems like a possible entry point for standing water. Did you ever have a problem with water leaking into the tent?
    Thanks, Mike.

  2. We did have one incident of water getting in through those unsealed 'gutter' seams. The trip report is here:

    In defence of Wendy on that trip, we did find that about six inches of water had collected under the rear of the tent during the night, and I think that had we been in the same place in the TN Voyager we would have had a whole lot more water inside (it certainly would have come over the ground sheet).

    We've not had the same happen again, but then we've not pitched in a big puddle since!

  3. Thanks.
    It doesn't seem to be a major problem then.
    Now, do i get a 2R or a 3R.......
    Cheers, Mike.

  4. "Now do I get a 2R or 3R?"

    There a subject on which I could write and entire essay!

    First off, if there's going to be two of you sharing the tent then I would question its suitability for Scottish (or any cold) winter use. From comparing notes with Alan Sloman, it seems that the Warmlite 2C (and therefore 2R) can cope just fine in cold UK conditions with one person breathing inside.

    But, we have found that in chilly air (i.e. frost conditions or just above), with two people inside, you've got a lot of condensation, even on the middle section, and then it becomes difficult to manoeuvre with two people inside without touching that wetness (it's always going to get wet on the single skin ends, but that's not a problem as you don't tend to touch them). That condensation occurs with two just by breathing alone. If you're stuck in poor weather and have to cook inside for 2 too, then it's going to get very wet indeed. Because of that problem (and because we always have the two of us in the tent), we've not confined Wendy to warmer weather trips.

    If there's only going to be one person using it, then the 2R is a hugely generous 1-man tent, and you'd be swimming around. The 3R would be massive and like a palace. Personally, for one person I'd go for either the 2C or the 2R.

    I was tempted by the 3C (and still have twinges of thinking that that's the one we should have bought), but on the downside, it can't be quite as stable having the bigger back hoop, plus you need to fing a bigger footprint on which to pitch it.

    Either way, I'd definitely recommend the internal stabiliser straps. If you've not seen a demonstration of them in use, then just believe me when I say that they make a massive difference in windy weather - I've yet to see them demonstrated to someone without them uttering a genuine 'oooh' in response.

    Hope some of that helps your decision and let me know what you go for.

  5. Ooops. Typos alert:

    When I said "we've not confined Wendy to warmer weather trips", what I meant to say was "we've now confined..."

    And, by 'fing' I did of course mean 'find'.

    And, I should have included a link to Alan Sloman in case he isn't as famous as I think he is:

    That'll learn me for not reading what I've written before hitting 'submit'.

  6. Hi Mike

    I agree with everything Gayle has said here.

    I would only add the fact that if you go with a 3C (for two people in winter) you can have stabiliser straps on both hoops to make the thing absolutely nuclear bomb-proof. (Mind you, in this state there is limited room for 2 people)

    I have never used a footprint under my ground sheet - never saw the point and Wanda and I have been close friends now for quite a while with no signs of any tantrums!

    Enjoy your choice! All are magnificent tents.

  7. Alan - when you started talking about footprints under your groundsheet there, I was wondering why you were mentioning it - then I realised that it was my confusing use of the word.

    When I said that the 3C would need a bigger footprint, what I meant was that in the 3C you'd need to find a bigger bit of suitable ground on which to pitch it.

    Like you, I've never felt the need to put an extra bit of material under the groundsheet.

  8. Just to let you know, i went for a 2RL. The majority of my trips will be solo. I can put up with the extra condensation with 2 people for a single night.
    I never bothered with the stabilizers. I like a bit of excitement in storms.:)

  9. Hi,
    I'm currently in the very early stages of a planned expedition to the South Pole from Hercules Inlet man-hauling a pulk (around 17 stones in weight) by Ski and foot, and am currently in the process of evaluating possible equipment for the journey, tents being one of them.

    The expedition will be a 3 man affair and so far I have whittled my shorlist down to Sierra Designs Stretch Dome 3, Mountain Hardwear Trango 3.1, Hilleberg Keron 3 GT and a Vango Vortex 300, but something keeps drawing my attention back to the Stephenson 3R/3C with all the extra bomb proof options (including the ones for 'dumb' people).

    To be honest the only reason I have probably not considered their tents more seriously is because of the 'seemingly' outlandish comments made on their website, but most users, and seemingly yourself included, rate them highly.

    I would therefore greatly appreciate any and all comments, based on your experience with the 2C, you can offer on whether you would consider a Stephenson tent for such a journey.

    Many thanks in advance