Kirk Yetholm has always been on my list of places to go. It’s at one end of the Pennine Way, so I’ve been aware of it for donkey’s years but expected that I would only ever go there if/when I got round to walking that long distance path. However, I had the opportunity to spend a few days Up North and decided Town Yetholm caravan site would be a good place to base myself.
I was the only tent camper and I was allocated a patch of grass with adjacent hard-standing for the car. Usually I don’t like this sort of site, but in October it was quiet and my caravan-dwelling neighbours all seemed to be pleasant retired folk who’d come up from Northumberland for the weekend.
This was the first outing for my Millets Eurohike Tamar tent. I love my Hilleberg Akto; I’ve learned to get on with my Terra Nova Laser Competition; but, for room and comfort when camping out of the back of a car, a cheap and cheerful mass-market two-person tent is just the ticket and at a Sale price of £18 (!!) this tent was worth a gamble.
As I had the car with me, I hadn’t really “packed” for this trip; just thrown a semi-random selection of gear in the back. I slept on my Neoair matress on top of a foam roll-mat, and used another roll-mat to carpet another strip of floor-space in the tent. This worked well as it meant I could move around without touching any cold bits of ground sheet. I slept comfortably in my 3-season synthetic bag, so was quite surprised to find the fly sheet frozen solid in the morning.
At the top of the fly sheet there are two toggles and loops for securing the open door. However, the slope of the wall meant that the defrosting tent would have dripped into the inner, so I had to come up with a better solution. At first, I just draped the stiff door over to one side to keep it out of the way while I went in and out.
A better solution to the door problem was to use my walking poles to prop the door open. At first, I used one pole……
Later I tried two poles……
I think my favourite experiment was, again, with only one pole but keeping one side of the door zipped closed ……
I spent three nights in the tent and – partly due to the location and orientation of the campsite – the temperatures stayed below freezing until after 9am each morning. When wild camping, I always try to pitch my tent with a clear Easterly view so that I get the sun as early as possible in the morning. But this wasn’t possible on this site, so I had pleasant afternoon sun and very, very cold mornings.
By night 3, common sense finally prevailed and I doubled-up my sleeping bag using a spare summer-weight bag, which I usually keep in the car, as an over-bag. I was lovely and toasty then!
I’ve never had a 2-person dome tent before. I do have an old 2-man ridge tent but dome tents give you so much more usable space and I’ll definitely be using this tent again for car camping. It weighs a tonne (2.75kg according to the Millets website) but I suppose it would just about be possible to carry it to a wild campsite if you had a strong camping partner.
The tent’s recommended retail price is £60 and there’s no way I would have bought it for that, but I’m very happy with it for the price I paid in the sale. There is a slight defect in that one of the toggle which attachs the inner tent to the outer tent is missing but I’ll get round to fixing that myself one day.
The poles are the cheap ‘n’ nasty type but – to be fair – they’re no worse than the ones in my Lidl fishing shelter or my Argos Pro-Action Tiger Paw tent – and I’ve had both of them for years with no issues. Apart from the missing toggle, I think the build quality is quite good and, handled carefully, this tent should stand up to gentle campsite camping for many years to come.
Coming soon ….. Yetholm & The Cheviots – Walking