Inner options for Cape Wrath Trail in May

Discussion in 'Shelters & Accessories' started by Gobila, Feb 14, 2020.

  1. Gobila

    Gobila Trekker

    I'm planning the Cape Wrath Trail in May. I'm pretty much in the final stages of planning and gear is pretty much settled on.

    The one thing I keep umming and ahing about is inner options for my Trailstar.

    Options are:

    Bear paw mesh inner.

    Bathtub floor.

    Put in an order for the Valley and Peak bivvy with the double J zip.

    I'm not expecting midges to be enough of a problem to warrant using the bear paw inner (if I'm wrong in this expectation, could somebody correct me?). I don't really like using it any way as, at 6'5", my head tends to touch the netting and my forehead gets bitten through the mesh.

    Bathtub and bivy would be my normal combo this time of year so I'm inclined to go with this. A lot of the time I could probably do without the bivy bag but it's nice to have just to cut some of the drafts on windy camps. I have one of the snugpak basic bivys which is light enough for my needs at 300g and is long enough for me to find comfortable. It doesn't have midge netting but I've used it successfully with a headnet in the past. Most other bivys I've tried, even extra long versions have been borderline too short.

    I do like the look of the valley and peak bivvy though and I could see it becoming my preferred option outside of summer if I did go that route. Their website says it's good for people up to 6'6": does anyone own one who might be able to offer some insight as to whether they think this would be accurate or if it would be worth getting them to add some extra length?

    Any other options I might not have considered which spring to mind?

    Ta in advance
  2. Dave V

    Dave V Moderator Staff Member

    The Valley and Peak Bivy, double J looks superb. If your comfortable using a bivy, I'd drop them a line and see if they can make it a little longer for you just to have that little extra space.

    Inner wise, I have a Oooknest for my TS and at 6ft I fit ok but any taller and I think I would struggle. I modified a 3F inner last year for a friend to use in their TS. Unmodified they fit and work ok but it can be a bit of a faff getting the inner height / tautness right.
  3. Gobila

    Gobila Trekker

    I did have a 3F inner for a while but couldn't get on with it so gave it away. I struggled to get it pitched taught and would often wake up with a face full of wet material, especially when pitched low to the ground. Out of interest, what did you do to modify it?

    I think, to be honest, that I'm probably too tall for most inners in a trailstar and a bivvy, which would allow me to sleep front to back rather than across the back, is the way to go. I suppose that really what I'm undecided on is whether to make do with what I've got, which is not the lightest and doesn't have bug protection but I know is long enough or fork out for a new bit if kit? (I think I can feel myself making my decision as I type and Valley and Peak will probably have an order incoming in the near future).
    Dave V likes this.
  4. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Beginning or end of May?
    Wear your beanie?
  5. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    May is generally my month for the Northwest Highlands & Islands, and even though it's less of an issue than June, I wouldn't let my shelter be without:
    - full midge protection;
    - generous bathtub;
    but that's only because I have a serious aversion to getting bitten and/or wet.
    It sounds like your height is the main thing putting you off a 'standard' mesh inner. Trailstars (I've not used one) are reputed to have lots of internal space for one person - is there really no inner available which will suit your length? MLD's purpose-built inner isn't cheap but if you fancy splashing out it could work for you with a longest side of 7'10":

    https://mountainlaureldesigns.com/product/trailstar-innernet/
    PhilHo and Gobila like this.
  6. Gobila

    Gobila Trekker

    Beginning of may.

    Brainwave on the beanie idea, not sure why I didn't think of that...
  7. Gobila

    Gobila Trekker

    Trailstar does have loads of room, partly why I use it, but on top of an inflatable mat I get pretty close to the outer material, let alone an inner, when sleeping across the back where most of the inners I've seen fit. I did try the 3F inner pitched to one side but struggled to do it in such a way that didn't mean that one of the back corners stuck out under the fly. According to bearpawwd's website, their trailstar inner is actually slightly bigger than the MLD one so not sure that would solve the problem either.

    Your advice about necessity of midge protection and generous bathtub is very gratefully received: not a fan of either myself.
  8. Shewie

    Shewie Administrator Staff Member

    I took my Trailstar on the CWT at the end of August into September a few years back, I was glad to have the inner as the midges were still pretty thick at a few of the camps.
    I took the MLD dcf Trailstar inner which offers a good bolt hole when the flying teeth get bad. I like a bivvy and use my Superlight on nearly every outing, but on a longer trip it’s nice to have that extra space I think, weight difference between the two is only a few grams.
    PhilHo and Gobila like this.
  9. DuneElliot

    DuneElliot Section Hiker

    Dang, and here I was looking for someone to do the CWT with
  10. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    I used a TS on my trip to the Cape in July a few years was very grateful for deciding to take the Bearpaw inner as the midge & clegs were horrendous. Generally in early May the beasties aren't so prolific but they still could be about, though pitch selection would minimise the problem. I'd be thinking of a bivi (MLD Superlight or similar) as a minimum; not so luxurious as a nest & you may spend time walking in circles while having dinner but better than nothing if you encounter an attack.
    PhilHo and Gobila like this.
  11. Teepee

    Teepee Thru Hiker

    I did the CWT with a micro tarp, bivvy Autan and a head net at the same time as Rich. May isn't usually as bad for midges, I'd just take a bathtub groundsheet and head net.
    Gobila likes this.
  12. Robert P

    Robert P Trail Blazer

    Protection from the midges would be my number one priority, even in May. If they are around in any numbers personally I'd by far prefer to be inside an inner than a bivvy. I have an all-too clear recollection of an evening in Knoydart in late May, and that was in a full tent when even opening the inner for a few seconds to grab something from the porch turned out to be a huge mistake.
    Gobila and cathyjc like this.
  13. dovidola

    dovidola Thru Hiker

    Know the feeling well. Aged 18, a mate and I went backpacking for a week to Harris - in August. I was 'in charge' and knew nothing of midges - he knew even less. Just as well we hadn't gone to Lapland (the original plan). Anyway, waking up on the first morning I opened the tent door and remarked to my mate that it was snowing. That was one microsecond before we discovered what it actually was. You can imagine the rest.
    Gobila and Robert P like this.
  14. Charlie83

    Charlie83 Ultralighter

    Did the CWt last April and then went back to CW itself for 6 days end of May/start of June, a few sporadic midgies but they weren't even a nuisance and I f@@$n hate the wee b@#$%^ds.

    Did another couple of days on part of the CWT mid August, my word that was torture. Spent the night watching midgie tv and squishing them against the inner (don't leave a door open).

    I start worrying about them mid/late june through to September, before and after that they're usually pretty bearable. Pray for snow and late frosts :D
    Gobila and cathyjc like this.
  15. murpharoo

    murpharoo Section Hiker

    Early May - fine for midges
    Late May - midges might be about

    That's my experience of the West Coast.

    If it's early May I'd leave the inner at home. If there's a few midges pitch where there is a bit of a breeze :thumbsup:
    Gobila likes this.
  16. alex_roddie

    alex_roddie Summit Camper

    I wouldn't risk a bathtub groundsheet in May these days. Midges aside, the risk of ticks is too high, in my opinion – I want full enclosure and protection from ticks from April onwards (March in some years). I've camped on too many diabolical tick nests to be comfortable with a bathtub groundsheet in Scotland these days, except in settled winter weather!
  17. murpharoo

    murpharoo Section Hiker

    My experience differs to Alex's. A few ticks certainly creeping up the bathtub edges but never enough to bother me... and I do dislike ticks !

    This is what makes the internet great. Lots of different opinions :o o:
    If in doubt take the inner or stick with the trek-lite ethos and go light (and hopefully don't rue the decision in the middle of the night in a diabolical tick nest midge infested horror show!)
  18. Gobila

    Gobila Trekker

    Thanks for the advice all. I've decided to have a go with the oookworks bivy from @Dave V . I think the advice re ticks is probably pertinent as I seem to be an absolute magnet for the little s***s. There have been a couple of times when I've been out with others who haven't had any problem but I've found a couple on me in the evenings.
    alex_roddie likes this.
  19. alex_roddie

    alex_roddie Summit Camper

    I think it can be hit and miss, but last February's tick incident (200+ invading my camp in the middle of the night) scarred me for life!
  20. Charlie83

    Charlie83 Ultralighter

    Aye, forgot about them, I got absolutely hammered by ticks last April, others I bumped into on trail had had it even worse.
  21. Gobila

    Gobila Trekker

    God, that sounds like the stuff of nightmares.
  22. Rog Tallbloke

    Rog Tallbloke Thru Hiker

    Worth a couple of degrees on any quilt rating too.
    Dave V and Gobila like this.
  23. Oot'n'Boots

    Oot'n'Boots Backpacker

    How do you find the Bear paw inner ? I've just ordered the Pyranet 1 for my TS
  24. Whiteburn

    Whiteburn Thru Hiker

    The TS version I bought had custom 12" high draft walls around the perimeter so was heavier than the normal spec but probably a better allrounder; can't remember the weight but it was probably around 500g. Build quality wasn't bad but could be better; but price point is good especially if it sneaks through without customs charges.
    Personally I felt the TS inner too big & probably would have been a lot happier with the smaller & lighter Standard Pyranet 1 with 12" draft walls adding (at least on the back & end walls).
    Oot'n'Boots likes this.
  25. RobH

    RobH Summit Camper

    Nooooo I am planning a trip next Feb specifically to avoid the little sods. Had to go every year to Scotland for mountain training, no tents, eaten alive.... Hate them, Norway worst.

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