Tuesday, 18 August 2015

East to west across Kinder with Ena Sharples

We've just bought a new tent; a Hilleberg Enan, ostensibly so Chrissie's load will be lightened on her forthcoming trip to Arctic Sweden, with James but also cos it looks like a good bet for cycle touring too. It weighs in at 1.1kg, around 600g less than our beautiful Terra Nova Ultralite Voyager, but smaller, of course, being a strictly one person shelter rather than two, like the Voyager.

Chrissie had a quick night out last week (see here) so I thought it only fair to give it a go before she jets off to Sweden.

Dropped off on the Snake Road, near Hagg Farm, I took the bridleway and footpath up to Kinder's edge path near Crookstone Knoll. It's been relatively dry hereabouts so I opted to carry water in, making for a fairly heavy load. I didn't rush.

Crookstone Knoll being the easternmost point on the Kinder plateau I fancied walking to the westernmost bit, by Mill Hill rocks, above Ashop Head.

I found a pleasant flat spot around Seal Stones to set up camp. The Enan goes up quickly and easily and within half an hour I had my room-for-the-night organised and coffee on the go.

Sadly, the name "Enan" just keeps making me think of Ena Sharples. The tent does have a somewhat rotund shape and the end bits ARE made from hairnet fabric. Those of you who remember the character created by the late Violet Carson might follow the thread. I just couldn't get the image out of my head. Never mind ... go easy on me ... it's my age.

There's a quite remarkable amount of room for such a light tent. Rucsac and boots fit in one half of the porch leaving cooking space by the door, should weather conditions dictate it.

There's room in the arc of the inner for bits'n'bobs, along with useful pockets ...

... and space at the head (or foot) for other stuff, the inner being 9 or 10 inches longer than a full length Neoair.

Following a pleasing night's sleep I awoke early, feeling the need for coffee.

Wandering around after breakfast revealed clouds floating down the Snake Pass.

A stiff breeze had built up overnight, resulting in the much-reported flapping from the flysheet but, had I not heard theses tales, I probably wouldn't have noticed. Leaving the flysheet door opened slightly from the top, there was no condensation at all despite some comments we'd seen about this being a problem.

I did notice in my morning perambulations that the windward side of the tent was flattening somewhat but I'd not re-tightened the guys before turning in and they did seem a little slack.  No rain though, so can't yet comment on its ability to shed water.

Chatting with Chrissie later, we reckon some noise and a tendency to flatten slightly in wind is the price you pay for lightness, achieved by the single pole format.

I packed my sac inside the tent and was surprised to see that a gloomy clag had descended when I re-emerged. Hence, the only other photo I took was at Boxing Glove stones to show just how misty it was.

I was back home in Hayfield by mid morning and the greeting I got from the dogs reminded me this was the first time I'd camped in the hills without a canine companion. For me, I reckon the Enan'll come out for cycle camping more than backpacking. I like being with my dog and the very idea of a 30kg lab sharing a one person tent doesn't really hold up.

I've a feeling the tent will get a proper test in Sarek National Park, Sweden next week (see here for James' pre-trip outline). I hope it serves well, especially since James is using one too. I'm on potty puppy duties at home, but I hope both James and Chrissie have a brilliant time on their Arctic adventure. I'm only ever-so-slightly envious (he lied).