I managed a successful first pitch of the Trailstar this week in a friends garden. Not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but not bad either. I am sure that with practice I will get better. Whilst it was pitched I took the opportunity to seal the seams, mixing the Silnet with white spirit to make it easier to apply. The seams on the Trailstar are less than perfect, a couple of them being crumpled and not very flat. They are also a couple of loose threads. I am hoping that this is cosmetic and does not cause any weakness. It also made it a bit harder to seal those seams. Anyway this shelter is huge inside, considering how small a package it is inside its stuffsack. When erected I found it difficult to reach some of the higher seams to seal them, standing on tiptoe with arms outstretched. This would be impossible if you are under 6ft!
A bathtub groundsheet is on its way to me from Bearpaw Wilderness Designs. In the meantime I have got a heavier cheapie from the Poundshop. I am not sure yet whether to purchase an inner, I will see how I get on without one first.
The Trailstar’s first outing is tomorrow and it will also be Reubens first backpacking trip. This has prompted some thought about his comfort and enjoyment. It is also going to add a bit of weight to my rucksack. For sleeping I have purchased him a foam mat from the Poundshop, this will be folded over for him. For warmth he has a smart pile lined jacket which makes him walk like a robot when I put it on him. I will also be taking an old fleece sleeping bag liner just in case. Each evening this week I have been putting the foam mat on the floor with the fleece liner opened out on top. He lies on it and I zip him in with only his head popping out. Last night he slept in it for hours snoring away whilst we watched T.V. So at least he is familiar with that set up. Add to that his bowl, a flexi lead, food and extra water, my ruckasck will be pretty heavy.
The plan tomorrow evening is to park up at the summit of a road at 500m and walk a kilometre or so to pitch well out of sight. Fingers crossed it will not be too midgy at that height for a night in the Trailstar. If it is I will have a Terra Nova Voyager in the boot of the car for back up. The following day a short drive to Dufton for a two-day backpack in the North Pennines. It’s going to be a backpack with a difference!
Talking dogs and backpacking I have just come across Dixie – a dog on the Pennine Way. An enjoyable read as you don’t get many people writing about backpacking with a dog.