Friday, 5 February 2010

Hogback lands part 2

When I got back, Solomon was pointing excitedly at a brown box. The Hog had landed. As soon as I got it open, he was pulling me to the door and pointing outside. Solomon (18 months) has learnt what a tent looks like in it's package and what to do with it when it's posted to you. You set it up straight away and so as not to disapoint him, I obliged. It was almost exactly the reverse of the mental process of setting up the Scarp-'This is big, hang on, this is really big, wait, I'm going to run out of grass soon, I'm going to have to move it, this is vast!'

I think I took this photo from the wrong angle, because it looks like I've shot it from lower down to make it look bigger but it's actually bigger than it looks on the picture. Even the pictures on the tarptent site don't convey how much space there is in there, I'm going to have to do a video. For me, Steph and Solomon I think there is too much space, but Steph was really pleased- there's about a foot of space above our heads in there, the curve of the pole is shallow enough so that the headroom is not really compromised at either end, and the boxy outer edges mean that all the space really is useable. The porches are fairly non-existant, but there's room for us and gear inside plus room for another kid too. For four adults it's definitely do-able although it will obviously get tighter in there.

I will say it's not particularly aesthetically pleasing-I think it's something to do with the steepness of the slope front to back combined with the boxy edges rather than the more streamlined look of a lower single pole tent or the domeyness of a geodesic. There is an awful lot of unsupported material there, but I'm not planning to take my family out if the weather looks awful. The gap round the bottom is also larger than the Scarp and combined with the full mesh inner, it may get a bit draughty in there- but that's what sleeping bags and insulated clothing were made for. It's when you consider the weight that it suddenly becomes a no-brainer- on my scales it's 1837 grams. 1837 grams is just insane for a tent this size-I'd be willing to carry that as a solo tent, and indeed, it's not hard to find solo tents at that weight. Nothing else at this size even comes close to that weight except the Mountain Laurel Supermid.


baz carter said...

That is one over weight Scarp :) The cooking space aint great but the internal space is to die for. And at less than two kgs!!! My Norf Face 'family tent' breaks the scales at eight kgs :( I use theh Hex 3 these days thou.

minimalgear said...

I should be able to draw back the groundsheet to create a little more space for cooking- to be honest I haven't really figured out what to do with all the space yet! I considered a pyramid type tent- the supermid would have been even lighter-but as Steph is someone who is not yet convinced of the merits of wild camping, it was important to accomodate her preferences. The useable floor space of a pyramid was also a factor. Plus Tarptent was one cottage manufacturer I needed for my collection:)

baz carter said...

I cant see why you cant use a tent peg to deepen the porch space as you can with the Scarp. And you have two ways in/out so that's nt an inconvenience.

I'm lucky both my ex wife and current partner are keen campers so I've not had to do any convincing, and we started taking Ben camping when he was a few months old. I had to upgrade the shelter from my diddy Robert Saunders to something bomb proof for car camping hence the Norf Face purchase. A consideration as it were. I wish I could have got a Hogback that way I could still use one as a backpacking tent.

I'm looking forward to seeing how you get on with this.

minimalgear said...

Steph's not opposed to camping- she's well up for it but does have a few likes and dislikes- tiny backpacking tents being one of them! A humongous backpacking tent sorts the problem!

baz carter said...

LOL - she has a point :)

Tor Magnus said...

I was wondering if you've got any plans to post an update on this? I've started thinking about what new tent to get for my family. Like you my wife wants more space now that we have a little one to contend with.

Also curious if you've tried it in the winter at all or if you'd now recommend another tent.


minimalgear said...

No real updates- My brother in law has used it once and it survived thrashing rain. As a family tent for backpacking It would still be my first choice. For winter? My real problem would be the wind- there's a lot of material to catch any strong wind. I'd also maybe think that it would be harder to get warm in there because of all the space, although that may be a perception. I'm not sure about winter camping with a little one for myself any how but ymmv.

Tor Magnus said...

I've been considering the scarp 2 lately as well. Headroom is still excellent, and though floor space is not ballroom sized, as long as my daughter is midget shaped I figure the space might do.

I also think that the S2 with the crossing poles should be pretty bomb proof. My only worry (as I haven't seen it myself) is if the outer skin doesn't go all the way down? All the pictures show the outer skin only going to a few centimetres above the ground.

In terms of winter, I don't think tents ever become warm. There is just no insulation to trap the hear and the fabrics are so thin. I think the most one can hope for is to completely cut the wind and keep the rain/snow out.

Have you taken Solomon out any more? We're planning to take our daughter on a section hike so we need all the wisdom we can collect! :)

minimalgear said...

Haven't taken Solomon again-time and work have been against us. I think tents that have a solid as opposed to mesh inner can be as much as 1-2degrees warmer than the outside I think (centigrade). Henry Shires offers an option where the fly goes down to the ground for the uk market. I Know it's there for the 1 and 2 but not the hog- he does a solid inner as well-it'd be worth emailing him. I got sent a scarp1 by accident- that would fit me and a child, but I'm small- 5'7 and very skinny.