Friday, March 7, 2014

Tents - Two

I have two tents I use for backpacking trips. One, a tiny Eureka Zephyr, has been with me for nearly 15 years. Aside from a few dozen locations in the Cascade Mountians of Washington State, it has been pitched on St Kilda; seven sites on Lewis (Crola, Ben Isobhal, Aird Bheg, Aird Mhor, Ardroil, Upper Fidigidh, and Loch an Ath Ruadh); two sites on South Uist (Glen Corodale and Creag Spuir); Sgail-Saile on the east side of North Uist; and near Dun Ban on the west side of Barra.

Aside from being tiny, the Zephyr has one major flaw; its rain fly acts as a sail, and if the wind hits it side-on it tends to lean over. On one occasion, gale force winds hit in the middle of the night. I'd done a poor job of staking it down and the tent blew over. Then the tent, with me in it, rolled about 15 feet. I had to sit out the rest of the stormy night rolled up in the tent; for if I'd gotten out it would have blown away. That said, it's still a great tent - light and easy to set up - and I now pay extra attention when I stake it down. Here are some photos of the Zephyr in action.

The Zephyr in the moorland above Ardroil (Lewis) - Loch Stacsabhat in the distance
The Zephyr at Crola (Lewis)
The Zephyr at Corodale (S. Uist)
The Zephyr at Corodale
Behind it is the site of the cottage where Prince Charlie stayed for three weeks
The Zephyr atop Ben Isobhal - Kinlochresort below, the hills of Harris in the distance
The Zephyr at St Kilda
The Zephyr at Ardveg (2001)

The Zephyr at Ardveg again (2016)

The Zephyr (and a friend) at Aird Mhor (Lewis) - the scant remains of the 12-chambered beehive are in the beach rocks to the right)  )
The Zephyr at Aird Mhor (just visible at the lower left) - the hill of Taran Mor in the distance
The Zephyr at Sgal-Saile (N. Uist)
The Zephyr near Upper Fidigidh (Lewis)
The Zephyr on the west coast of Barra 
The Zephyr at Creag Spuir (S. Uist) - Maol na h-Ordaig in the distance

The Zephyr at Loch an Ath Ruadh

The Zephyr on the western shore of Blake Island State Park

The Zephyr on the eastern shore of Blake Island State Park
My second tent is an REI Quarter Dome. It is more spacious than the Zepher, but has only seen two Scottish islands: Inchtavannach of Loch Lomond, and Jura. I bought it because, as I got older, I decided the extra weight was worth the added comfort. I now take the Quarter Dome on all my US backpacking trips, but I only took it to Scotland twice, as the smaller Zephyr is easier when I'm flying and luggage space is at a premium. Here are some photos of the Quarter Dome in action.

The Quarter Dome at Jura's Na Rubhachan Dona (the evil headland) - overlooking Corryvreakan
The Quarter Dome at Jura's-Bagh Gleann nam Muc (Scarba in distance)
The Quarter Dome on the north shore of Inchtavannach (Loch Lomond)

The Quarter Dome pitched atop Tom na Clag (the hill of the bell) - Inchtavannach

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