Monday, 5 November 2012

Chilling Out at Comrie Croft

Mrs Shewie and I managed to get away for a few days last week whilst she’s off for half-term, we headed north to Comrie Croft for a bit of lavvu action. It was the first time out with the new tent, stove and cot beds so it was a good learning experience.
In hindsight I think the cot beds might have been one luxury too far, they were comfy come bed time and made great benches during the day but they were a bit of a hindrance. With the added 40cm elevation it kind of negated the lower wall section of the Bergans, it meant it brought us too close to the tent fabric and caused us to rub the sleeping bag and pillows against the soggy fabric, which brings me on to the second point.
With the extremes of temperature it was inevitable that there was going to be some condensation issues with the single skin lavvu. I forgot to check with the thermometer but I reckon it was a good 30*c in the tent and hovering around 0*c outside at night. The condensation only formed in the lower third of the tent but it was enough to be annoying with the cots. Next time I think we’ll just use the Fat Airics on the floor, that’ll give us twice as much floor space too I reckon. I found a microfibre cloth worked well to give the inside a wipe now and then.

Next up is the stove, what a beast it is too. I’d ferried up three bags of hardwood logs I sourced locally and they worked a treat for the four days we were there. I probably split them a bit too small at home before we went, no biggy but it just meant we threw two logs in at a time instead of just one, lesson learned though for next time.
Another issue with the cot beds meant we were probably too close to the stove come bed time. We were never going to burn ourselves but there was always a chance you might roll a bit too close in the sleeping bag and melt it. In fairness the semi sunken lay in the cots meant the chances of that happening were pretty slim, it was on our minds though when we switched the lights off for the night. With the mats on the floor it would be noticeably cooler, the heat didn’t really sink much lower than the height of the stove, standing up was like putting your head in the oven at home.

We had no issues with the lavvu whatsoever, it went up first time, gave a great taught pitch and laughed at the heavy downpours. On the first night I didn’t quite align the stove flue properly as it exited the cap, that meant we got a few drips coming through onto the stove during the night, the second day I wombled some wire from a broken fishing net I found in a car park next to a river, a couple of twists here and there and the flue was anchored to the centre pole and sat much better. I was the able to wrap the cap fabric round the flue much better and kept out the drips. Even though we had the stove glowing on occasions we had no problems with the lavvu fabric getting hot, the collar on the Helsport flue did a grand job.

Enough waffle, some pics ...

Lavvu, stove and beds setup, wife's legs and wellies

Like a complete div I lit the stove with some pine kindling, the result was a hole in the tent after just five minutes Note the piece of waterproof plaster :(

Friday morning, I love this shot, I think it's going on the wall

We went for a nice steady walk around the Glen Lednock Circular, stunning scenery in the autumn colours, the Melville Monument

Snowcapped Ben Chonzie

Rowan growing from a huge Oak stump

We stopped at the Shakey Bridge for a brew, I found a perfect round hole in the roots to seat the F1 in.

On through the woods

The colours were amazing, my point and shoot doesn't do it justice

Wee Cauldron

Furry trees

One incident worth mentioning, on my way out of the tent one morning I accidentally knocked my down gillet off the bed and it fell against the stove, it was only in contact for a nano second but it was enough to make a mess.

Helsport 1 - 0 Alpkit

I sent off an email to Alpkit this morning to see if they could recommend a repairer, they said just stick some sellotape over the hole, get it in a bag and send it back to us and we'll repair it F.O.C. What a result, it's packed and going tomorrow :)

Helsport 1 - 1 Alpkit

A great time was had, I got to say farewell to a good friend too which otherwise would have been unlikely, I've come home thoroughly relaxed and looking forward to the next one.

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