An alternative winter wild camp weekend

by backpackingbongos

Over the last couple of months I have made a few purchases to enable me to wild camp comfortably in the depths of winter.  My Scarp1 is now fully seam sealed and hopefully waterproof.  My Exped downmat should hopefully ensure that I have a toasty and comfortable nights sleep, if I get cold I can put on the PHD Yukon pullover.  Food and hot drinks can be made easily courtesy of the Primus spider stove.  I’m all set and ready to go and encounter whatever the winter mountains may throw at me.

So a trip to the Lakes after work tomorrow, except I am going to leave all that behind and have the luxury of the Bongo instead.  I like to think of it as my ‘bothy’ on wheels.  I will find some quiet out of the way spots to bed down for the night with the luxury of books, magazines and good food to while away the long nights.  It even looks like there is the possibility of crampons being needed, it would be nice to see some snow.

I like that transition you get from finishing a busy day at work and then pulling up somewhere in the mountains at midnight…………..

12 Comments to “An alternative winter wild camp weekend”

  1. Sounds great; definitely pack those crampons though! Looking forward to the write-up.

  2. Wanted to get away to Lakes myself this weekend, so busy at work this week, no chance to organise for the weekend. Perhaps next week. Have a good trip. My Express Spider is an ace stove

  3. Good to see others are busy preparing and buying new things ready for the winter season. It’s my favourite time of year for backpacking despite the adversity and the long nights!

    No new gear here recently which is great as it means I’m ready to go for the winter and haven’t got to spend too much money!

  4. The Bongo isn’t quite the same though, is it?. A morning view from the tent door on a high level winter landscape, that’s the thing!.
    Have a good trip.

  5. It occurs to me that if you want to give the bongo a bothy-like ambience there are several things you could do.

    Install a wood-burning stove

    Place candles in about 30 empty whisky/wine/buckie bottles

    Let loose a small herd of house mice

    Start your own visitors’ book and remember to write plenty of entries about the likelihood of the mythical Scandawegian female volleyball team turning up…

  6. My first chance to get away will be the first week in January – looks like a 3-4 day circuit of Black Sail and Great Gable is on the cards (shelved the Nantlle Ridge as we’ll be taking an extra day off). Have a new mat to test too, which does not come out in the UK until January but I should have it in my hands next week. Looking forward to using the PHD Yukon as well – PHD have put a rush on it for me so I can have it before we head out of the UK for Christmas…

  7. My Scarp leaked from the crossing pole loop the other week, despite it being seam sealed by Henry (barely I must add) and extra sealant being applied across the pole hood and loop (by myself) for (so called) additional piece of mind! It collapsed in the snow as well, but this could have been prevented with the use of the crossing poles. I still like the Scarp, but I’ve replaced it with Hilleberg Unna for winter use. I just hope I can stop the Scarp leaking so it can be used as my main shelter for outside of winter. I’ve re-plastered the loop with extra sealant, left it to cure, and will pitch it in the garden before trying it again.

  8. Pete I would love a wood burning stove in the Bongo, would be superb that would. After a couple of nights in it this weekend it did begin to smell like a bothy, full of damp socks! Ah the mythical female volleyball team, seems that everyone except me has met them. You forgot the most important thing which would make it most like a bothy, go round the back for a jobbie….

    Dave, go I did!

    I hope that you manage to get out soon, look forward to using the Spider stove on the hill as soon as possible.

    Marcus I look forward to your winter adventure write ups soon.

    Geoff you are right, it is not the same waking up in the morning in a van, on the flip side I was damn comfy during the very long night. Piles of food and reading materials plus two big fluffy pillows to rest my weary head!

    Maz your new plans look good, make sure that you visit the Nantlle ridge soon though as it is a corker. Hope that you get the Yukon jacket in time, where are you heading for Christmas?

    Hi Glynn, sounds like you are not having a very good time with the Scarp1, where did you camp with a heavy snow fall? Hope that third time sealing the crossing pole loop sorts it out once and for all. Fingers crossed that mine is finally waterproof. Did your leak much, was the rain heavy etc?

  9. I was just off Harter Fell, but left it late pitching, so ended up with a pretty exposed pitch. I wasn’t that concerned though untill the the winds picked up and it started lashing it down at around 10pm.

    By midnight, I was convinced the tent was gonna blow away, it was that bad, and to top it off, it was leaking pretty badly from the attachment loop. I always usually carry a lightweight bivi for emergencies, but on this occasion, I’d bloody forgot (sod’s law), so had to cover my sleeping bag with my clothes and pack towel.

    In the early hours of the morning, the rain had turned to hail, sleet, then snow. Unfortunately, I only realised it was snowing when I woke to find the scarp collapsed on my legs. I’d managed to doze off with the use of ear plugs and the fact that I was completely knackered.

    I cursed not bringing them (IMO) faffy crossing poles with me when I had to go outside in a complete blizzard to sort things out. Luckily, there was no damage, but I spent the rest of the morning, till first light, having to push snow off the scarp to prevent it collapsing again. The snow was very wet and heavy. Plus, the strong wind had made things worse than it would have been.

    Whilst these really were freak conditions, in that it was unexpected, I was a bit disappointed with the Scarp, more by the fact that it pissed in, despite the amount of sealant that’s been applied, rather than it collapsing, as I’m sure the crossing poles would have prevented that The sad thing is though, I bought the Scarp to replace a Lightwave T0 Trek, which had been my previous winter shelter. Although it’s small (the scarp is a palace in comparison), I’m positive it would have fared much better. Plus, the overall quality is far superior to the Scarp IMO, and it worked out far cheaper, as I managed to pick it up in a clearance sale.

    Anyway, I hope you’ve managed to stop your Scarp from leaking, as I’m hoping I have! As I’ve already said, as long as its no longer leaking, I will use the Scarp as my main shelter, outside of winter, rather than the Laser Comp I purchased.

    • That sounds like a pretty full on night. Have you let Henry know your experiences with it leaking? Is there a possibility of a fault, i.e some sort of gap near the crossing loop that lets in water? It would be interesting to see how it would have fared in the snow with the crossing poles. I wonder if the pole protector from the laser comp could be modified to use on a leaky scarp (without the crossing poles anyway).

  10. If it leaks again after I’ve applied this additional sealant, I’ll try and contact Henry to see what type of response I get this time. As I’ve noted on here before, I had a Tarp Tent Moment which leaked from the attachment loop, and the customer service response I received when I purchased the Scarp was very poor IMO. Whilst, I’m very unlikely to purchase anything from them again, obviously it’ll be worth contacting them to try and resolve this problem, if it continues that is. During my last attempt at seam sealing the pole hood and attachment loop, both inside and out, I failed to spot an obvious fault, but there may well be.

    The pole hood cover may be a viable solution, but it’s one of the main things that put me off purchasing a Comp for so long!

    In relation to the crossing poles, from 2 different pictures I’ve seen knocking about the net, in which the Scarp was virtually buried by snow and hadn’t collapsed, I’m sure they would have prevented it from collapsing on my last trip.

    I’ve got a week off work next week in which I’m planning to get out and about with the Unna, and hopefully test the Scarp out in the garden, as the garden’s as far as it’ll go until I’m sure it no longer leaks!

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