Monday, 23 October 2006


Well - I have gone & done it! After months of deliberations it came down to a choice of three: I could stay with Hilleberg and get another Akto, or I could go with the new kid on the block - the Laser Competition or get really radical and find something not usually found over here.

The Laser Competition has found quite a few advocates in the last year and there were quite a few new ones on the Great Outdoors Challenge this year - It weighs less than a kilo and folds away to almost nothing and is said to be a tough little number and it's said can take just about everything that life can throw at it (not a little unlike my wife really...ooh - I didn't mention a real beauty either!) However, it just seems a little cramped in there; There doesn't seem to be a lot of room to luxuriate, when it is hammering down outside. Not much room to cook either - and being a bit of a foody, that is a bit of a turn off.

The Akto, on the other hand, is a known quantity to me - absolutely bomb proof. Loads of room to cook, and room to spread out all my stuff in all the right places - habits are hard to kick after eleven years of living with her. (Maud Blomkvist made my present model - it says so at the door.) This could be my perfect home for four months next year. But all the time, the weight thing kept niggling at me. I have read so much about getting it down by a few grams here, a few grams there, that I felt a dangerous desire to strike out with something new!

The World Wide Web. That should find it - and I think it has.

A year or so ago I found a cracking little company in the US who seem to make just what I need - the Stephenson Warmilte 2C.

Its actually a 2 man tent that tips the scales at an incredible 2 lbs 10 ozs. That's just 1.30kg (including the five tent pegs and stuff sacs) to us modern men. It measures 2750mm end to end - so plenty long enough and about 1500 wide at your shoulders tapering down to 1200 wide at your calves (you will see what I mean when you check out their website) Its about 1000mm high at the front tapering down to about 600mm at your feet. Positively palatial! It is an unusual design in that it does not have a traditional inner tent - its a cross between a tarp tent and a 'normal' tent. It is claimed to have incredible wind resistance (suposedly resisting 95mph gusts- without the internal wind stabilizers and perhaps up to 160mph with them attached.) The poles seem to be leading edge stuff - pre-bent 7178T6.

I have never seen one of these before - so it's a leap of faith! The money order is being sent off tomorrow and in a couple of months time I should be the proud (and just slightly nervous) owner of a custom built Warmlite 2C in light blue ultra high tenacity 30denier ripstop nylon with a very durable silicone waterproof finish. You can see all about Stephensons at


  1. Hi John - Thanks for dropping in.

    Just a little nervous here about the decision - but I was right when I bought my ULA P2 five years ago off the net - and that was a bit of a gamble too. - (It's now done 4 Great Outdoors Challenges plus a load of other stuff and is being retired as probably not being able to do all 1600 miles next year!)

    It's a bit of a risk - but so is the walk itself! I will let you all know what it's like - how it pitches when it gets here - it should be here in time for Christmas!

  2. Alan,

    You should be fine in that - you will be avoiding the midgie season?

    What you need is something to keep out the wind and the rain and this should be fine.

    The main difference will be that this will be colder than a conventional, two skin tent - but that shouldn't give you any real problems.

    I'm still wondering whether to use just a tarp on the TGO!

  3. go for it Andy - it'll give BobC somebody to talk to at 2am on a windswept hillside when their both blown away

  4. Ooh, exciting! :) I love interesting new tents!

    I can't wait to hear how you get on with it. It'll probably be brilliant, but if it isn't then you'll know fairly quickly and can get someone to send a replacement, so I reckon trying it out is a brilliant idea :)

  5. Crikey!

    I have just been mailed from Boise, Idaho. A wondeful couple - Lou & Phyll LaBorwitt - both keen TGO Challengers - ten timers in fact - have just bought a Stephensons Warmlight 2R (a slightly longer version of the tent I have ordered).

    They have bought it 'off the shelf' and so will have it in their hands shortly. I have asked Phyllis to erect it as soon as she gets it and post a message on here to tell us all about it!

    Ooooh! Precious things! Lovely!

  6. I"ll try this again. Maybe I've figured out how to do this .
    Our warmlite tent arrived. easy to set up in the living room. lightweight,strong, hotair balloon material. have to provide your own ground cover and sealing of seams. the 2R was enormous-too big for us. We sent it back,ordered a 2C, have them seal it,no special door or window. you will get yours before we get ours.
    Phyl and Lou

  7. Hello you wonderful people!

    Thank you for the info - as soon as I get mine (should be here in time for Christmas) I will let you know all about it.

    Lovely to see you two on here!
    Lots of love


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