Digging about in the blanket box this morning, just one of a number of an embarrassing number of repositories of my old walking gear, I found all manner of stuff that I had almost forgotten about. There was my old red Buffalo, (that really was a love/hate relationship) various micro fleeces that now look fine for knocking around the house in, an old much loved 2 person Trangia set (wow that was heavy!) my old Akto which I bought in 1995 and which did twelve years excellent service, and joy of joys, my old Hilleberg Nallo 2.
I bought this tent in 1998 to use on the 1999 TGO Challenge when I walked across with Phil, Tini & Lynnie. It stood up to one hell of a storm halfway across. I was amazed at it’s resilience. The only use after that was in 2003 on the PreWalkDaunder – a three day backpack designed as a “loosener” for the Challenge – with my son Oli. Now Oli is a monster of a chap; a strapping 6’ 3” of walking machine, and it was a bit of a squeeze in the old Nallo. He also snored for Britain and so we decided that the Challenge would best be achieved in separate tents.
So the old tent has only ever spent a dozen nights, or perhaps even less, camped. I was fascinated to see what condition she would now be in. I was concerned that the fabric and inner suspension elastics might have perished.
But, quite incredibly she is in absolutely perfect condition. Here she is, in all her splendour, gracing the garden:
Hilleberg cognoscenti will notice that Nellie is the original model – later editions have a reduced size rear hoop. She weighs in at quite a hefty 2350 grams, including stuff sacs and heavy duty pegs, but for a base camp winter tent she will make a splendid companion. Ventilation was never a problem as the venting is excellent, with the inlet at the raised rear and the exhaust at the front top hoop.
I shall now have to see if I can swing a few days away in Nellie.