Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

New Tarptent Scarp 1

You most likely already saw the photos of the new Tarptent Scarp 1 on Martin Rye's blog. I contacted Henry Shires to get a few more information, as I am very excited about the improved tent.

First off, a bit of information for existing Scarp 1 owners: Henry plans to contact all Scarp 1 owners once the production for the new fly is up and running and offer them the new fly. As he doesn't yet know what the sewing price will be he can't say anything yet how much it will be, though he mentioned to sell them at "non profit". I already have very high regards for Henry Shires and his company, but this is certainly a completely new way to reward your existing customer base. Its fantastic news for people like Martin and me, who already have the inner and poles and do not need a 2nd complete tent.

Henry couldn't give too much information yet on the weight of the new tent, though he reckons weight will go up about 50 g, but its just a guess at the moment as its pre-production. Some places lost a bit of weight, others gained a bit. All within limits.

The inner gained two small pockets. Looks like they're down by the door zip at the end, which is out of the way but easy to reach also from the outside. Will hold glasses and small stuff, and helps you to keep your tent tidy.

Inner pockets.

I was curious on how one regulates the fly, and here you see it. Photos show the vestibule area.

Fly fully down, so the cord fully pulled down.

Fly up, cord tension released and fly edge tensioned up to interior clip.

The fly now tensions to the grommeted arch strap with a cord and a quick release tension adjuster.

With these new added features I believe Henry Shires created a winning tent, that even should do well in the mass market. Rewarding your existing customer base with a possibility to get the new fly for low cost is the best customer service one can get, something I am very positive about. The new design should do extremely well in winter, and its good that for the one week winter tour in next January/ February I will have this tent with me!

The new Tarptent Scarp 1 will be available in November, and you can order it from the Tarptent website.

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And the Winner Is...

Time's up and the moment of announcing the three lucky winners of the MSR Packsoap Raffle is here. I used a D30 (that's thirty sided die for those not versed in the language of nerd games =) to determine the winners.

Perkunas from Finland
James from the UK
Chris from Japan
are the lucky ones!

Congratulations to the three of you, and a big thank you to all the other ones who tried their luck! I'll contact the winners via email in the next few days to ask for your address and get them into the post asap, so that you can get clean on the trail!

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Climate Change & Backpacking

Today is Blog Action Day, which is an annual event to create discussion on a certain topic. This years topic is Climate Change, so I decided to have a look how this affects backpackers and vice versa. I'm going to keep it short and simple, as the aim of the post is to create discussion, so I am looking forward to many comments.

Lets first look how backpackers affect the environment, both negatively and positively. On the negative side we have gear; raw materials need to be extracted/ harvested, then the good is produced, and ultimately we buy it, use it and at some point dispose of it. Lots of transportation between these. UL gear is supposed to be less durable (I call BS on that, as we take more care of our gear and surely get the same mileage out of it). Good sides: Light gear uses less material. Much of UL gear is made of recycled and recyclable materials. We use less gear (we don't carry three pants and four shirts with us).

Once we have our gear, the next impact we have on the environment is transportation. Those of us who can walk out of the door and are in the forest or hills don't have that problem, but most of us need to use one mode of transportation to get to our destination where we want to hike. That can be either in our own car, or by public transportation. The latter is obviously the better option, but might involve longer trips towards the destination.

Finally, we have consumables. Esbit, alcohol, gas and food are here, and I think we can leave food actually off as we usually also eat at home. Esbit, gas and alcohol are all not the best ways to heat a meal/ water, wood is the best option but its not very widespread. Gas is arguably the worst, as you have those canisters which can't be refilled. Esbit comes in a wrapper, and alcohol in a bottle, if I would need to pick the lesser of two evils I would go for alcohol, but no scientific proof. I usually use wood, but dabble with alcohols and esbit every now and then.

So how does climate change affect us backpackers? Our hobby makes us (hopefully) very aware of the global warming problem. We are out in nature, and can see the adverse effects global warming has on the environment. Be it warm winters which are without snow or summers which are super hot, we are out there. And it is in our interest to take care of the environment, as we prefer to hike in pristine wilderness areas, where wildlife is abundant, instead of commercial forests where the only sound is that of the chainsaw.

I see two ways how we backpackers can have a positive effect on global warming. First, we support with out hard earned money those companies which create excellent, environmentally friendly gear (made of recycled/ recyclable material, organic materials, etc.) and who support the environment in one way or another (1% For The Planet, for example). Secondly, we use public transportation to our destinations, or if we go by car we share the ride with others. Finally, we can take friends, children and family out into nature and make them see that our environment is worth protecting. I'm looking forward to read your comments and hope we can have a good discussion about this topic!

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