Shelter from the storm for outdoor photographers by Steve Walton

There are numerous shelter options in varied shapes, sizes and configurations from mountain tents, tarps, ultralight tents, tarptents, pyramids and bivibags etc.  I use, or have used, most types and I make my decision depending on season and where I am taking it.  For winter conditions when I will be spending many hours inside the tent, prefer a larger tent that will enable me to spread out and move around.  It can get a little tedious in a very confined bivibag when you’re hunkered down from 4pm until 7am because the weather is too cold or wet to remain outside.  The penalty is the additional weight of a two-skin, two berth tent and my Terra Nova Solar 2 is a heavy tent for one person at over 2.2kg.  The upside is that it is easy to erect single-handedly and is stable in a blow.  I use this mainly for winter camping because it is roomy for one and I can move around and read comfortably during those long nights.  In the image below, it is pitched on Fur Tor on Dartmoor in January.  The weather conditions might appear deceptive, it was too cold to sit around outside when I took the photograph and I recorded -14C under the fly later.  The inner plus fly design adds a little insulation and is much less drafty that my single skin MLD Trailstar tarptent and mesh inner MSR Microzoid.  It’s not a bad choice for winter camping where a heavy load is carried over the not too demanding terrain of Dartmoor, but I would definitely choose something lighter for the steeper, higher hills of the Lake District, Wales and Scotland.  It’s been a reliable tent and I would recommend it for two if the single doorway isn’t a problem.  For one person, it is palatial.

Steve Walton UK Landscape Photographer

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