I recieved another package in the mail this week: Half a set of tent stakes, plus a Petzl E-lite, which not only fills a significant gap in my hiking gear, has also come in very handy around the house this week!
The stakes are the Terra Nova Superlite Titanium V’s. I’m very impressed with them – in terms of look and feel anyway as I’m yet to try them out in the ground with a tent attached! These combine with my 8 Ruta Locura carbon stakes to give the 14 stakes needed for the tent. I was going to get 7 of each type but coincidentally the V’s came in a 6 pack and the carbon stakes came in a 4 pack! They add ~100g to the tent weight (6 x 10g + 8 * 6.25g) but I think it is definitely worth it. Here is the full set, with the ZPacks stake bag (2.5g!!). I’ll probably take the original “stakes” as well just as an extra option (at 1g each, why not?!)
This completes the set of gear to go with my tent, although I have a bit more tinkering to do before I’m completely happy with my setup. I need to cut my groundsheet to size and will endeavour to make a bit of a bathtub floor for my vestibule area too (so I can leave my pack outside the tent and have some chance of it staying dry in wet weather). I also want to rig up some rope to allow me to pitch the fly first, then put the inner up afterwards. I’ll explain in more detail (with pictures) when I get around to doing it. By the way, I’ve just put a couple of new pictures of my tent on the Tent page. (look, I’ve got this linking thing sorted!)
And now for the “proper test hike”. More than a just a long walk, as it will involve camping, and it should be a proper test of my setup. I have almost all of my gear now, with just a couple of minor things to arrive, buy or decide upon and really should give it a go before taking it all the way across the world.
The plan for this test hike is to walk 101km along the Bibbulmun track over 4 days, getting dropped off at Sullivan Rock and walking back to the northern end of the track in Kalamunda, where I can catch a bus back to my house. The walk will be staged as follows:
Day 1: Sullivan Rock to Canning Campsite. 22.8km. There are two substantial hills, with mainly bare granite which can be quite slippery and difficult in the wet.
Day 2: Canning Campsite to Beraking Campsite. 31.1km. There is one substantial hill (also possibly granite) and several patches that can be very boggy (great practice for NW Scotland!)
Day 3: Beraking Campsite to Ball Creek Campsite. 26.4km. Undulating terrain with a couple of major rivers (with proper crossings) that add some substantial up/down walking.
Day 4: Ball Creek Campsite to Kalamunda. 19.8km. Undulations, plus a nasty finish to Kalamunda which sits at the top of the hill!
My friend Steve (from the previous ill-fated multi-day test hike) has agreed to come along. I really thought I’d scare him off with the 31km day, but he says he’s more scared of the day after the 31km day! (ie when the knees don’t bend and the back doesn’t straighten)
I look forward to giving you a glowing trip report of how well it all went when I return (it’s a bit late now if everything fails or I simply don’t enjoy it!!)
Also, a special “hi” to my grandparents who are following my blog and are now official sponsors of my trip!
And to my friend T, who gave me Bibbulmun track maps as a present a few years ago – it’s taken me a while but they’re coming in very handy!