Ultralight tent

High on my list of lightweight travel equipment has been a tent, all with the dream of long distance travel at some point in the future, though thinking, planning and even dreaming is strangely subdued by the fundamental uncertainty that the Covid situation has brought, not just to me, my neighbourhood, all of London, all of the UK, but to all of Europe and the world! The impetus, momentum and motivation that I experience and conjured up has rather fallen away over the last few weeks. The unlocking of lockdown and the sight of small crowds of young men outside newly reopening pubs serving ‘takeaway’ drinks feels odd. On the one hand that is what we all want so much, along with a reopening of cultural life, but with no obvious cure for the disease caused by the virus and with a government clearly winging it, these sights feel extremely uneasy. The other day I made an appointment for my motorbike to be serviced – in about 5 weeks time – but I will be the only one in the showroom they told me, though I will still be allowed to wait and drink their coffee. It will be very easy to forget about social distancing and the need to avoid touching anything – like the shiny new motorcycles and other merch.

But back to tents. Months of online research pointed to the Terra Nova Starlight 2 person tent as a good candidate for lightweight travels. There are lighter tents but some reviewers complained about lots of condensation and delicate fabrics. This tent seems good in wet weather – the flysheet reaches all the way to the ground. It is smaller than the tent I currently have – and bought nearly ten years ago, with less storage room for items like huge motocross boots and jackets that don’t fold because of their armour. However, the loss of weight has to come at some cost. Here it is in all its 1.6kg (I weighed it) glory. My Vango tent weighs 3.1kgs.

the contents of the sack

And here it is compared to the tent I’ve been using on my travels to date.

The Vango doesn’t have the poles inside – I couldn’t find them for the photo

It will be the saving in size that will be most useful. I hope buying it will contribute to propelling me forward in plans to keep travelling.

I reluctantly cancelled by Brittany Ferries ticket to Spain and back, scheduled for late July. I have £178 credit which I am happy with as it will encourage me to book for next year. To replace the trip I’ve booked 5 nights away at a couple of campsites in England, in the Yorkshire dales and somewhere close by – on the Cool Camping site which I rate. Apparently campsites will be open by July, though I wonder if they will be crowded with people like me who have cancelled travel abroad or will there be social distancing? Its a bit muted but 5 nights away from the house and London should be really welcome.

I plan to spend the rest of my leave from work writing, working on the short stories that I am stuck with at the moment.

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