Archive for June 19th, 2011

June 19, 2011

Mountain Laurel Designs Trailstar ordered

by backpackingbongos

I totally blame Martin Rye for subliminally causing me to enter my credit card details onto the internet.

A have done a couple of backpacking trips with him this year where he has used a Trailstar.  I have toyed for a while with the idea of a tarp type shelter, but to be honest have not really considered them suitable for the type of backpacking that I do.  The main issue being stability in wind when pitched high up in the mountains with very little shelter.  Back in January we spent ’24 stormy hours in the Howgills’, the weather was horrendous with severe gales and hours of constant driving rain.  The conditions were probably the worst that I have ever camped in.  I spent the night in my Scarp1 complete with its crossing poles, whilst Martin was in the Trailstar.  Amazingly they were equals during that storm, both barely budging in the strong gusts.  A seed was sown that night in my head.

Forward wind to last weekend.  A pitch high on the side of Wildboar Fell in perfect conditions.  Again I found myself eyeing up the Trailstar, being able to lay in bed and watch the world go by was very appealing.  The space inside is pretty impressive for something that weighs so little.  I also now backpack with two poles, I may as well put them to good use during the night…………..

I am keen to take the dog backpacking before winter approaches once again.  I have come to realise that realistically he is not going to fit into my one man Scarp1.  To be honest even if he did I am not sure that I would want to share a small space with a wet and dirty dog, plus his claws are like iron and would probably puncture the ground sheet.  The trailstar would be perfect, I could have my ground sheet and he can have his (although I suspect I would wake up with him doing his best to sneak into bed with me!).

I have found a company that makes Bathtub ground sheets that look like they would be perfect for this shelter.  Bearpaw Wilderness Designs also make bug netting that will fit the Trailstar as well.

Anyway all of that is a long way away as I wait up to 10 weeks for it to be built and shipped from the US.

Trailstar pitched just below the summit of Wildboar Fell.