Heysen Trail

The Heysen 28: Tentpocalypse

TENT CRISIS!! TENT CRISIS!! STORMPOCALYPSE!! After a lovely blue-skied morning, the weather turned sour. The change began with torrential winds while I was puttering around away from my tent, and I returned to see that it had collapsed. I assumed the problem was a front stake(s) issue, but when I got there, I found that the end of my carbon fiber pole extender (where it joins with my hiking pole) had splintered in the wind. That was something I hadn’t expected, though Keith had mentioned in his review that his first extender split full length from him jamming it onto his hiking pole. The rain hadn’t started yet, so I carried my gear to a more sheltered location while simultaneously feeling very suspicious of the tree branches above. I taped up the end of the extender and tried pitching the tent again. No way, man. The bending of the extender against the hiking pole sent chills down my spine, and I reached out of the tent and held them still as rain started pouring down. Then hail. Soon the campground was flooded and my tent was sitting in a massive puddle, which brings me to the tent-pro of today: Does not leak even while sitting in a massive puddle.

I’m pretty sure this puddle wasn’t here when I pitched my tent.

Great, but clearly the Zpacks pole extender is unusable in such conditions, which to be fair were unusually bad. Moving my tent out of the puddle, I re-pitched it without the extender. Isn’t it convenient when a storm damages your tent, then stops raining for awhile so you have an opportunity to confront the problem, then screws you over again, then stops raining again so you can try again, and so on? The sides of the bathtub floor are lower without the extender and the space is somewhat less comfortable, but unless I can replace the carbon fiber extender with something stronger, it seems like pitching sans extender will have to be the solution for strong winds.

A school group has joined me on the unpowered side of the caravan park, so now there will be witnesses if I fall from the heritage footbridge into the severely flooded stream and get swept away. Hurray! Here’s a before-and-after of the stream:


By Krista/Bane

Thru-hiker, LASHer and packrafter from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Enjoys walking slowly, seeking out ice cream whenever possible, and just generally being uninspirational.

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