I have a choice for the Challenge.

Well NOT yet, but I hope to maybe have a choice.

The choice since I have now no longer got the TN Competition is going to be from

Wendy (the wonderful Stephenson 2R) now that she is repaired.

Wendy at Ingelborough before her disaster

A Trailstar (this would I think be using an Oooknest as well, because it gives that extra bit of midge and nasty ticky barrier, and I am a southern softy).

Martin's Trailstar at Ingelborough
Oooknest (courtesy Oookworks site)
Hope they don't mind me using the image
I am going to take an MLD Ultralight Bivy regardless because it comes in at 213g, which is about the same as the Rab Survival Zone Ultralight, but bigger and I think more robust and waterproof. This also means that I do not have to use the Oooknest if I decide not to.
And it also will fit the Neoair inside it!

The weight side comes down in favour of using a Trailstar, even with the extras
and then there is the bad experience Wendy had with high (ish) winds at Ingelborough.

On the down side, there is potentially a bit more potential for exposure on the Trailstar.

There again, I don't need to carry tent poles since the Pacers will do nicely.

I really need to make a decision pretty soon, so that I can ensure I test whichever one properly a couple of times in the field before the great event.

My loyalty side says TAKE WENDY because she is wonderful.

My adventurous side says try A TRAILSTAR.

Oh Err Umm!!    Tis one to ponder!

Ok I did cut my hair, but the Soul is still there!


  1. Will the Pacer Pole handles support the Trailstar? I can imagine a more 'standard' straight pole like the Black Diamonds being okay but Pacer Pole handles are a bit of a funny shape.


    1. Martin Rye uses Pacer Poles with his and in the Dales his tent was bullet proof.
      I would be more hesitant with Carbon ones but mine are the good old Ally ones.

  2. Al,
    My advice is, Go with what you know works. With it being 2 weeks long you don't want to find that a particular one doesn't work after 2 days and you wished dearly you had taken the other.
    Unless you have complete confidence don't just chance it. There you go. My 2 pence worth.

  3. Sorry Andrew,There's too many Al's. From Al.

    1. That is why I need to decide now, so I can do a couple of multi day runs, hopefully in worse weather.
      James has just used his on a Wild Camp and seems more than happy with it.

      Of course this is why I am pondering so deeply.

    2. Tart!
      Wendy with her new guying system will be everything a gurl can want.
      A Trailstar and Ooknest is a pile of money you could be spending on beer.

      I'm going to get a Trailstar and Ooknest when Wanda gives up the ghost. I would feel like I would be betraying her to leave her in the lurch.

  4. Get Dave to buy the Akto and Rucksack and coat and .......
    You could buy one now.

    Anyway, if you remember I am off beer.

  5. And, I have been working my arse off since Sep, including burning some midnight oil, and I deserve a present. Of course that is just my opinion.

  6. If you have the Trailstar go with it. Space and bomber. If you need a Superlite bivy I have a spare. When its howling, and all those other tents are shaking and people are worried their little old shelter is going to blow away. You will be under a 90cm pitched Trailstar so happy knowing it will be standing in the morning. When its nice you have a 120cm palace. Midges, pah. Pitch high and forget about them.

    1. I cannot always pitch high unfortunately.
      But I know what you are saying.
      Last year, at Ault-na-Goire there were about 1,000,000 million midges per tent.
      I doubt I would have survived.
      But I am tempted as long as I can do some test runs before then.

  7. If you are considering a Trailstar (I'll be taking mine) then you need to get your skates on and order it now, if you hav'nt already, as it takes a long long time to get gear from MLD. It might be worth emailing them and explaning when you need it by. I also think Sean is pretty busy as well. You won't regret it it's a fantastic shelter.

  8. Martin and Shap have said it all.

    The Trailstar is a fantastic shelter, and, it will stand up to a real Scottish storm.

    And, ........ "Midges, pah....." Even without pitching high, a bivy bag with bug net will be fine ................

    If the midges are THAT bad - tent, or, tarp .......survival will be perilous, or, worse.

  9. I have actually sent 3 emails to Ron at MLD regarding the
    delivery of goods, over the last 2 weeks, but heard absolutely NOTHING back.
    Maybe he is on holiday, but I would have thought a response would be courteous.
    I may have to stop supporting his kit here!!!!

    Sean on the other hand is absolutely Brilliant