My First Camping Trip Of The Year

By Chris Tiso on 09 Apr 14 at 17:05

first-day-camping-campingThis weekend saw my first camping trip of the year and a return to one of my favourite spots in Glen Etive; actually that last bit isn’t quite true, as when we arrived the biting easterly wind suggested that continuing further up the Glen to a more sheltered location would make for a quieter night. As it turned out it was a wild night regardless, but by continuing for another mile or so we were afforded the opportunity to observe six fine looking stags grazing close to the road seemingly unbothered by our presence. There was only a few other hardy March campers in evidence but plenty of paddlers enjoying both the river and the heating in their cars afterwards I’d imagine!

After several years enjoyment using my trusty Hilliberg Nallo 2 this was to be the first outing for my new Nallo 2 GT. Anyone that knows and likes the Nallo 2 will love the GT, it’s basically the same tent but with a large enclosed porch and side entrance. This provides useful space protected from the elements for cooking and storage of boots, rucsacs, etc. It is also my intention that this is where the dogs will sleep during summer camping expeditions.

Like its smaller cousin you get what you pay for – it is a lightweight and compact tent which is as easy to put up as it is to take down. I love these tents for their simple design and fantastic build quality but most of all I love the fact that it goes up ‘as one’. This means you avoid fighting with a flysheet in the wind, of which there is often plenty on a March weekend in Scotland! Crucially, this also means the inner doesn’t get wet before you get it fully pitched. As always I pegged the windward end first making the tent much easier to get up shorthanded.

Nallo 2 GT 2 Man TentIt turned out to be a wild night as the wind strengthened rather than abated and was soon accompanied by rain squalls which continued throughout the night and early hours of Sunday morning. This was a strong first test of my new purchase and it performed as expected. A close inspection in daylight revealed guys still as taught as when pitched 18 hours earlier despite a battering from the unrelenting elements. The bigger porch proved invaluable and a huge improvement as it allowed us to cook in comfort and still have ample space for kit and easy access in and out for water, etc.  My only suggested improvement would be additional internal storage pockets but that is a personal thing from someone both renowned and regularly teased by companions for a slightly obsessive approach to camp craft!

As always my MSR pocket rocket behaved impeccably and the Beyond the Beaten Track food proved popular although it does benefit from added seasoning. Between Therm-a-Rest mats and Rab down bags it was a cosy night for the humans but less so for the six month old Pointer who ended up between us! I have obviously become too used to camping with Labradors who are almost impervious to the cold!

As always it was a struggle to find the enthusiasm to pack up and leave – the wind and poor visibility had ruled out a day on the tops but we were blessed with the brief presence of a Golden Eagle soaring over the cliffs above us as we finished our coffee…a real treat and a reminder of how lucky we are to enjoy access to such magnificent wild land and glimpses of the creatures who inhabit it.

As we made our way slowly back to the main road and home I reflected on how quiet the Glen felt and that in only a few weeks it would likely be busy with families enjoying BBQ’s and bracing swims in the many pools dotted along the River Etive. Go now and you will very probably have the place to yourself.
Chris Tiso.

  • Stuart McDonald

    We had been longing for a Nallo GT tent for some time due to the cost, finally bought one in your sale last year, went for the 3GT rather than the 2 even though is used for only two of us, the difference is weight is very minimal (0.3kg), not much when split between two, but the tent is palatial. I agree the porch is the best feature lots of spec for everything including cooking in foul weather.

  • Oliver Scott

    Hi my name is Oliver (10 years old), and two days ago I went on my first tenting camp ever with the Lauderdale Scouts. I saw my first toad, I went abseiling, canoeing, climbing, and we jumped in a frozen lake. We tented for two nights in a forest, we had a camp fire and sung songs, and we ate lots of cooked marshmallows. I loved tenting, but froze the first night as we left the door open, but was warm he second night because I wore some warm clothes. It rained but it made it more fun. It was an experience I will never forget.

  • Ann Wishart

    We set off at the beginning of April for our 1st camping trip of the season, Glen Nevis with a view to climbing Ben Nevis if the weather held up.

    It rained as we arrived, it rained for the 4 day we were there and even when we thought it had stopped raining it rained some more!! However I have to say our Robens Twilight Dreamer tent held up well, at some points we were in torrential and persistent rain – no issue with water getting into the tent, we were quite sheltered from the wind but even if we had the full force I have no doubt the tent would have stood the test.

    Looking forward this weekend to hopefully a less wet experience!!