Size 10 3 xl. I'll be using these through the spring. I should probably tie a herl abdomen and then the hare's ear+SLF thorax. I'm lazy right now. This is a utility fly. Probably gets the job done. I'll be finding out shortly.
Robert Smith's book open as a visual reminder to tie sparse soft hackles. Sparse.
The tent: Base Camp.
I chose a new base camp tent this year as most of Michigan's campsites are drive-up affairs. Maybe I have to pack gear 100 meters. Maybe. Most of the time the tent pad is adjacent to the fire pit adjacent to the gravel pull-in for the 4Runner.
So, where I'm car camping and making a base for a couple days or a week, I'm expanding my footprint. Last fall I crawled across a campsite to use a tree as a support to stand-up in the morning. Sitting up on a cot has some merit right now.
Here's the final product:
First, the set-up.
I'm not opposed to packing a bit on multiple trips for comfort and/or isolation.
The "pile" of gear I'll use in my illustration.
Nemo Dark Timber on left, 2 Byer easy-cots, an REI collapsing table, a canvas dropcloth "tent carpet" and a folding camp chair buried in there.
The stakes are massive. I could tie-down a light aircraft on a turf strip with these and have with something similar.
That's a $16 hardware store hatchet. I leave things at the campsite sometimes so hatchets are pure functional items. I sharpen it with a file.
I carry a Randall knife. I carry a hardware-store hand-ax. Go figure.
My uncle George would be disappointed. In my defense, I haven't set an A-frame tent in twenty-five years. It does come back.
Those poles are massive DAC aluminum. The ridgeline-to-pole connectors are machined stainless. No chance of some sort of grommet failure there. No grommets to break out.
Took a minute to get right.
It brings me closer to Hemingway. I'm sure he sat up late at night on fishing trips and wrote because as he lay on his bunk he thought "what a lazy bastard I am lying here when those stories will not write themselves."
There's a lot of angst and guilt in this racket.
The A-frame ridgeline tarp overhangs the interior tent by two feet on each end.
The tent provides room for base camp and eliminates the need to upgrade to a trailer.
In storms, the tent has 4 guy-outs for the ridgeline (duh), 6 additional side guy-out points for the outer tarp. There are also 8 guy-out points for the inner tent to secure the bottom tent section.
You will have to re-tension the guy-outs in high wind throughout the night. It's the nature of such a tent design. We've all had to do it on classic canvas and yes, I'd suspect you'd have to keep a taught pitch on the Dark Timber.
A Tungsten 3p or 1p from Marmot both handle 45 - 60 mph straight-line winds. I fully guy-out my tents by habit. Has saved me. I'd use those smaller profile tents should I be expecting thunderstorms.
Will the Dark Timber take a bad storm? I'll let you know.
I have enough confidence to try.
Oh, first pitch with pictures and staging: 35 minutes. I think I could get it up and configured in under 15 minutes next time if I remember all the tensioning tricks.
In rain, the tarp-then-tent set-up would be sweet!
Nemo Dark Timber: Tent