A spot of winter wild camping

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wild camping

The weather forecast was promising a bit of frost and I fancied a bit of camping. Digging around in Peli’s dad’s camping gear we found his “new” tent, that he got about 20+ years ago.

I set off just before sunset – that is the problem with winter camping, sunset is mid afternoon. I had to find a away to kill the evening with some entertainment, so Tilley came with me.

About 30 minutes hike from our front door, I found a nice spot hidden away from the bridleway. I had barely pitched the Phoenix Phunnel tent, before it was dark and Tilley was inside making her bed. Tilley loves camping – as soon she figures out that the down mat and sleeping bag are for her, she is settled. So much for my entertainment :)

Well, I managed to create my entertainment when the zipper on the sleeping bag got stuck. I gave the fabric a gentle tug, just as I have done so many times before, and promptly ripped a 3″ hole. Doh! So, for the next 20-30 minutes, every time we moved about we had a down snow storm in the tent. It was not made easier by Tilley, who kept dumping herself on the bag to make her bed, not understanding that I was moving her away to fix the hole. I managed to tie a bit of rope around it to stop the constant flow of down.

The Phoenix Phunnel tent is a single skinned Gore-Tex tent. Even after many years in the bag, it was breathing brilliantly. There was no condensation on the inside at any time during the night. We might have to give it a spot of Nikwax before its next outing. It is a two-man tent, well I would say a one-man-and-his-dog tent. One person can easily move about in there, two I think not, unless you don’t mind getting an elbow or knee in your eye or soft spots. One thing I noticed right way using this tent was the zip – nice, solid and smooth running. No fear whatsoever of it getting stuck.

In the morning I heard the grouse chatting away, but Tilley paid no attention. When it was time to pack up, she wouldn’t move away. I tried 3-4 times before she got the idea, that she had to stay off the mat and sleeping bag.

We then walked back down to home the long way. It was fun to see other folk setting off to work while walking home knowing that we had just slept under the stars (or rather clouds).

Many thanks Tony, for the loan of great little tent.

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