Yetholm & The Cheviots – Camping (Eurohike tent review)

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.

Icy grass, a few caravans and the old Kirk.

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.

What to do with the icy door?

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……

My first, simple solution for keeping the door out of the way and providing some shelter to the doorway.

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 ……

This is probably the option I would use if there was any wind or rain as it should provide a directional windbreak for cooking.

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

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10 Responses to Yetholm & The Cheviots – Camping (Eurohike tent review)

  1. Alan R says:

    Well you cant beat £18 for a tent can you. Like you say, ideal car tent with a bit more room for 1.
    Not ridiculous weight wise shared between two people on a V. tight budget.
    Kirk Yetholm. Brings back my memories of that long, dull, grey, wet, heavy walk i loved so much, many years ago.

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  2. Judith says:

    I hear some terrible tales of the misery of the Pennine Way, Alan. Does anyone truly enjoy doing it? I’m saving it for a non-TGO Challenge year. Fingers crossed it won’t be 2013!

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  3. Phil Cook says:

    Oh the fun of frozen camping. My old Trisar (two man semi-geodesic) weighs about the same and I’ve lugged that into some remote spots to use as a base.

    As for TPW I reckon some of the problems with it are that it gets rather remote and not very interesting as you get further North. Perhaps it would be best to do it North to South that way the long legs between civilisation will come at the beginning when you are fresher.

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  4. AlanR says:

    Hi Judith/Phil
    I have to say that i much preferred the Northern section. I enjoyed the undulating hills, just like the Moffat hills Judith, and the scenery is splendid.

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  5. Hi
    Interesting post. Are you Judith as in ‘the ethics of starting from Ardrishaig’?

    Like

  6. I assume you have worked it out!

    Like

  7. Pingback: Scrabbly scree and soggy Synges | Around the hills

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