Tuesday, July 28, 2015

In Summer's Grasp

It is high summer here in Michigan just as in everywhere else. We've had some recent heat but nothing like those poor bastards out west are enduring. Still. A little warm to trouble the trout right now.

It won't last long here and the warm will break shortly.

I'm getting gear out, cleaning, repairing, lubricating, and getting everything ship-shape for trout dashing up north come the early fall. I won't have everything tip-top for nightly excursion camping; but, it will be pretty good.

Below - a snap of my new tent:

I've got the fly pulled back to illustrate the nice mesh no-seeum ventilation. There is certainly room for two large Alagash cots (though one will probably be all it ever sees). The vestibules are great for protected storage and will hold all manner of things that shouldn't be stored near your sleeping quarters!

Things that forage in the dark love fly bags filled with treats like jerky pouches  and Snickers' wrappers.

It's a bad idea to store gear in the vestibule. Put it in the trunk of the car with other food.

I've a new lodge carbon steel skillet which I'll break-in this weekend on bacon, eggs, sausage, grilled ham-and-cheese. I'd love to say I've broken down and bought a nice Solo stove (leaning towards Campfire model but really only can justify a Titan model.) I haven't.

I wanted to make a cold-water dash to the Jordan River this year and chase brookies. I don't think it will happen.

I've got a trip for Salmon around Labor Day on the Pere Marquette and a trout trip the last full weekend of the season on the Manistee. I want to get to the Mason tract again this year on the South Branch of the Au Sable and a Saturday wade down the North Branch of the same.

There is a lot of trout fishing to fit into what is just over 60 days left in season proper.

Tent Review: Marmot 3P Tungsten 

I've spent 4 nights in the tent - three of which were in rain. One rain night was a serious storm.

Tent works. It works well. The ventilation is solid. The ease of set-up and take-down is good. I can do it in the dark now if needed. It is not a "dry pitch" design. If it is a downpour, you cannot get it set-up without some trickery. The tent fly cannot go up first.

You need additional pegs to stake  it out properly. I think you're going to want to stake it out properly because water will otherwise run off the fly and onto the very bottom of the seam-sealed section in the middle of the short sides. I had no trouble with this action on the first night I used the tent in "rain" but I did use all guy-out points thereafter. Pegs are easy to deal with even in the dark. Use them. [ I have about 15 in my collection so didn't buy any for this tent which only comes with 4. Tent stakes are handy beasts for all manner of things. Buy some.]

The light diffusing pockets are a nice touch. The overhead room is great. Changing clothes in the tent would be a breeze. The interior length is fine even for a cot-user like myself. The zippers are great and the huge doors (one on each of the long sides) really makes access and egress wonderful. The tent is quick to ventilate, seems to be made of stout stuff, and comes with a footpint for the price!

I always put a canvas tarp inside my tent to protect it and help with keeping it clean. I'm also not packing gear more than a couple miles.

If I were packing 15 km for an excursion, I'd probably not bring this tent. If I were living out of it for a week at the end of that hike? Yes, I'd pack this tent all the way.

The tent is a great tent for a trout camp. You can put two guys in it on cots and each has their own large vestibule and door. It'd work.

I'll use it as my single but then, I'm more a "base camp" sort of fellow.

I'll let you know how the carbon steel skillet works after I cook some eggs this weekend.

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