Monday, 8 March 2010

Torekov gear testing

Like Hendrik, I had the chance to get away for a quick over night trip. The focus of the trip was very much on testing some gear for up coming longer trips. I chose the location of my last visit the Bjärehalvön Penisula to explore and with temps around negative 10 at night it would be a good test of the clothing and sleeping gear. However, I was more interested in using the MLD Trailstar for its first trip along with the Aarn Marathon Magic 33.

After alighting from the bus I headed through the quiet streets of Torekov, these streets would normally be very busy in summer but at 10 am on a cold friday morning it was quiet. I sat for a while looking out to sea and watching a large Coast Guard vessel pass between the mainland and Hallands Väderö (in Swedish). It was then south along the coast with a calm sea to right, the sun in my face and the ground covered in snow or frozen water. The ice patches were thick and slippery and care was required with every step, however, I was soon warming up in the sunshine regretting not having packed either sun glasses or a peak caped.

A short stop allowed me to take a look at the view and made me realise how beautiful the coast was in the winter sunshine.

The remainder of the day passed uneventfully with my mind on the evening campsite and beginning to wonder how far below the surface would the ground be frozen, would I be able to get a peg in the ground, why did I not pack some Ti nails, would the water pump be working .... As I walked it was also obvious that very few people were out, even the dog walkers were noticeable for the absence.

I arrived at camp and quickly grabbed a 9” Easton alloy stake and started walking around pushing it into the ground, some spots were rock hard and others were less so, finding a spot on the east side of the trees to get the early morning sun and I set up the trail star, it was an easy task and though it required some adjustment I was pleased with the speed of the set up and reflected upon how in wet weather it would be easy to get some shelter quickly.

Having set up camp layed out my bivy and mattress, I spent some time just looking out to sea and enjoying the last of the afternoon sunshine.

A wander around the area soon found enough firewood for the stove and as the sun began to set I started a fire in the caldera inferno to cook dinner.

By the time dinner was finished, the sun was setting behind Kullaberg Naturreservet and the air was cooling. I wandered around for a while enjoying the peace, only punctuated by the bird song from Inre Gryteskär. I headed to bed and was soon asleep, as the night wore on even with a 1/4" Gossamer Gear Thinlight under my neo air there was some sense of coolness but I was never cold and slept till about 7:30 before the sun begun to brighten an already bright Trailstar, I love the yellow colour.

After breakfast in bed I set about packing up and after a further hours walk I was at the bus stop and 4 hours later at home.

It had been a very pleasant and relaxing walk and whilst it was old ground the scenery and the relaxing environment ensured a pleasant trip and one that I will happily do again.

As has been stated by other authors, the MLD Trailstar is a great shelter, it is spacious, easy to erect, packs small, and has ample space to move around inside as well as offering a variety of pitches. For this trip I used a ID eVent Overbag wth the Therma rest neoair inside and the Gossamer Gear Thinlight (1/4" inch mat) underneath on a thin silnylon ground sheet. In warmer weather I probably use a BPL Vapor bivy or Six Moon Designs Meteor bivy for insect protection as well as a draft stopper.

I used a BPL 550 pot partnered with a Ti Tri Caldera Compact Inferno built for the MLD 850.

The pack as mentioned previously was the Aarn Marathon Magic 33 litre pack, I will provide a more detailed report of this pack in a later blog, however, I was very happy with it and enjoyed the experience of carrying the pack.