I texted Pete last night to see if he fancied helping me pitch the Trailstar this morning. He's working in Leckhampton so we met up at Naunton Park at 8 and set to work. Now bearing in mind that neither of us had ever set a tarp up before, we were pretty pleased at the results. There is a lot of guyline in the pics, there will be some trimming taking place in time. The centre pole was set to 120 cm, and again, when there's more time, I'll play around with the different height options.
Anyway, first up, using one of the "seam" guypoints for the entrance:
I think if the weather was set fair, and the conditions calm, this would be my preferred pitching option. I really like the open aspect. With a degree of care I think that it wouldn't be too much of a problem to cook under the extended porch either.
Next, using one of the mid-panel guying points for the entrance:
Definitely more sheltered and cosy feeling. If the weather was claggy, a lower pitched height with this entrance would be the way forward.
There's a lot of space inside!
After playing around for a while, we managed to get the pitch a bit tauter:
It was pretty blustery but once everything was tightened down, there was very little movement going on.
Overall thoughts? So far, pretty positive. I like the colour (Olive Brown), the weight, the pack size (in to a generous lightweight drawcorded bag). The construction is excellent as far as I can see. In time, with practice, I can envisage very quick pitching times. The internal space is huge for the weight, and the flexibility of pitching options is also very cool. The simplicity of the whole thing is very appealing; no zips, velcro, pole sleeves, catches or clips to break or snag.
Concerns? Will it be too big to pitch in some spots? How will I cope with switching from a coccooning tent (Lightwave T1 Trek) to the rawer experience of tarp living? Watch this space for the answers to these questions and more!
At the minute though "Two thumbs up!" Now all I've got to do is seal it and use it...