By Jörgen Johansson
|A cold and windy night on Iceland, with plenty of rain as well. Pegs had to be anchored with rocks, but after that the outer and innertent worked very well.|
I had not been to Iceland before, but read up a bit and concluded that an inner-tent for Iceland should not be made from mesh. If you encounter high winds in the lava sand areas this grit will penetrate mesh and make your life and gear a mess. Or so the experts said, and it seemed reasonable. Particularly since I know first hand that wind-whipped snow in the Scandinavian winter mountains will easily penetrate a vent that is only covered with mosquito netting, thus covering everything inside the tent with a powdering of fine icy crystals, ready to melt into you sleeping bag and whatnot.
In my younger days I used to be cheap-skate, but fortunately times have changed even if I have not and now people consider my behaviour being very environmentally concious. To further encourage this I decided to use an old, discarded silnylon shelter that I had made, as a floor for my two-person innertent.
I then checked out one of my favorite sites for buying really lightweight fabrics, www.thru-hiker.com and almost pressed the button and bought the required amount of the extremely lightweight Momentum 50, when I saw the price tag. That's when I concluded that it would be more environmentally friendly and in line with my modern image to buy something maybe not quite as light, that did not have to be flown across the Atlantic.
|Camp in an 'oasis' in lava land.|
Some browsing for light ripstop (quite a bit, it is not easy to find on European fabric sites, which is why I usually go toThru-hiker) landed me on a new website, Fabrics-n-Stuff. It turned out they had some nice yellow ripstop weighing 40-45 g/sqm (not the lightest), but the price tag of £ 0.99 made it very easy to purchase this to lower my carbon dioxide footprint.
The construction I did choose was to make a 1,6 m wide rectangle with one end triangular. The pole in the middle then gave a 0,8 m wide sleeping space for the two tenants. The sleepers will lie parallell to the opening, as opposed to with their feet towards the opening, as they do in the Oookworks inner-tent. I prefer my design for cooking and storage space, but it does of course mean that the inhabitants on occassion have to crawl across each other. Which can be either a benefit or a disadvantage, depending on the sex of the crawler and your mutual preferences.
|As usual I started on the kitchen table with a long ruler, a tape measure and a marker, outlining the pieces of fabric that I would sew together.|
|It took me many years to get used to the fact that when 'sewing' anything you spend precious little time actually sewing. There is an awful lot of planning, measuring and cutting before you actually haul out the old machine.|
|Sewing the zippers for the opening in place is not that complicated if you don't care too much about appearances. I focus on function, after all I am usually the only one seeing my creations in the wilds anyway.|
|Of course, cutting the silnylon floor is also done with the soldering iron. And the heat keeps the fabric from unravelling. Otherwise you might cut it with scissors and then run the edge close to a lit candle to achieve the same results.|
|Fastening the floor to the walls was a bit tricky and did not always come out perfectly, particularly since I tried to achieve some sort of bath-tub floor. Function...|
|Trailstar and inner-tent united for the first time in my garden.|
|Space for some gear and cooking.|
One night there was a hard wind (I am guessing around 15 meters/s) and plenty of rain. The Trailstar stood up without problems and the inner tent was comfortably wind-proof. The innertent weighs 620 grams and the Trailstar 570 grams and the pegs 100 grams, giving a total of 1290 grams för a spacious two person tent that gives every impression of handling really poor weather pretty well.I will test this further this fall on a solo trip.