A quick post on my latest shelter….the Mountain Laurel Designs Trailstar.
I have been watching this shelter for the past couple of years but for one reason or another not getting it. I have followed other bloggers experiences with it and it always appears to be very well received. You tube is also a wonderful invention for getting a better feel for shelters rather than static pictures (performance in wind for one!). There are too many people to thank all of them for all their reports, reviews and videos on the trailstar. However, Martin Rye, Steven Horner, Colin Ibbotson. Andy Howell and Dave Lintern must be mentioned especially.
So why now? Well the kids are getting older and my daughter especially has been hankering for some wildcamping. I want to be able to still go fast and light and wanted a versatile shelter that could be used for one, 2 or 3 of us. I could get a lightweight 3 man tent but this would be quite expensive and only used when the kids accompanied me. The beauty of the Trailstar is that it is really light and also adaptable for different needs. We are aiming to do a wildcamp sometime this week if the weather allows! If it goes down well I might invest in an Oookworks inner for me and the kids outside of summer.
I havent of course mentioned Chris Townsend and his excellent review of the Trailstar in TGO magazine this month. I read this review after my order was placed but was the kind of write up that just reinforced my decision. Chris was also highly generous in his praise of Oookworks inners made by Sean Clayton. I also cant emphasize enough how good the products that Sean makes really are. They are clever and innovative and Sean can seemingly create an inner for anyone!
Back to the Trailstar and I have managed to cut and tie on the guylines as per Steven Horners/Colin Ibbotsons recommendations (60cm for the smaller guys, 240cm for the main door guy). I really like the MLD guyline tensioners I have to say. Very clever and very secure. I guess my only question would be has anyone ever manager to break one of these? The inner plastic “cross-bar” will be the weakest point due to the stresses placed on it. Still I have not heard of anyone yet so thats a good sign. I had to sear seal the guyline ends after cutting as they do splay quite readily although a knot would also do this job.
I havent seam sealed the trailstar yet. I am waiting for a dry day outside (not today!) to attempt this. I am going with the 1/2 dilution of the seam sealer with white spirit as recommended by many and going to try to paint it on with a cutting-in brush. I’ll let you know how I get on! I also went for the olive brown version (silnylon) as getting a yellow one would appear to be as good as advertising my blood to insects for miles around! I thought the grey was ok but the greeny brown appealed more to me for some reason and I guess its slightly less obtrusive in the hills.
I’ll post back when I have managed to complete the preparation and also after 1st use 🙂