With a successful hut trip under our belts, I’ve started doing some planning for Summer trips with the Moosling. Starting off with a lot of research, and considering how other people manage things (especially people like Ground Truth Trekking), we came to the conclusion that if we want to get out on overnight hiking trips with an extra person to carry, we really want to be travelling as lightly as possible.
First up was a tent. The Big Agnes Seedhouse 2 we used on our bike trip only just had enough room for the two of us, so we’ve decided to move onto something bigger. And lighter. But to avoid this also being more expensive, we’ve gone more simplistic, and have ordered a Tarptent Rainshadow 2. A single wall tent with some good reviews, recommended by others hiking with offspring. It weighs in at 1.2kg (42oz) without poles, and can be set up using trekking poles if you are using them.
Without having used it yet, the main disadvantages I can think of at the moment are the fact that it’s not free standing, and the fly doesn’t offer full coverage to ground in case of rain. We’ll see how we go with any potential condensation issues too.
Now the tent is ordered and on it’s way, I’m trying to work out what to do for sleeping arrangements. We’ve got two thermarests, and won’t get anything extra for the Moosling just yet. But the two separate sleeping bags don’t work too well when sleeping as a family – plus we only have snow bags over here, which are enormous, heavy, and much warmer than they need to be.
So I’m thinking 2-person down quilt – light, warm, and just what we need for Summer camping in the mountains. And because the ones for sale are quite expensive, or not quite what I’m looking for, I’ve been busy studying home-made quilts. Thru Hiker stocks everything you need to make your own quilt, and the plan would be to end up with something like this (from tarbubble).
Everyone seems to want to sew in footboxes into their quilts though, and I hate the idea. I’m not sure if I need to be convinced that a footbox is reasonable, or I just need to make my own quilt the way I want it. And I’m still wondering if I should make two individual quilts that can join together instead – but if we were camping individually, we’d be using sleeping bags!
Right now, my theoretical quilt will be about 2m x 2m (79″ x 79″), with a little tapering at the end, some draft-excluding wings around the edges to allow tucking under thermarests if need be, and maybe a little velcro/clips on the wings around the foot end, so it can be closed in if need be. And it’ll be a lovely bright orange colour.
We’d bring along a light polar fleece blanket to be our under-layer, then with the down quilt weighing in at under 1kg, it should be a nice light-weight (but warm!) sleep system for hiking with.
Some awesome quilt making tutorials here:
Two person down quilt by Wystiria
Brian and Lis two person down quilt
Single down quilt