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Friday, 27 June 2014

Camping out in my Micro-Swift One-Man Tent!

By Jack Hawkins

Late June, and I decided to try out camping for the first time this year, and while we have several tents here at home, I was looking for one in particular. My father had an ultra-light Walrus Micro Swift one-man tent somewhere - the model was from 1999!

We managed to dig it out, and since the day's weather had improved, I set about setting it up.
The set-up was simple enough, and took about ten minutes - but I'm sure you could put it up in five if you had enough practice. This is the end product:
Walrus MicroSwift One Man Tent
This one-man measures 96" (224cm) long x 35.5" (90cm) wide, and has a peak height of 28" (71cm). It covers a square footage of just 20 square feet, and a generous amount of floor space inside. There's room for panniers at the foot of the tent, although how many is unclear.

Due to it's small size, it packs down pretty well - here's a picture of it in it's sack.
walrus tent
Here's the view from the inside!
Inside the 1 Man
It's quite spacious, and the mesh that keeps the bugs out worked a treat. Not a single mosquito disturbed my night's sleep - and that's a rarity indeed. But now for the verdict...

How did I sleep?

Roughly, I suppose would be the word for it. Despite having my Woods sleeping pad underneath me, I woke up with a stiff, painful back. Mind you, the cars going past at 2, 3, and 4AM with massive engines didn't help.

All in all, it's a great little shelter, and would be perfect for bicycle touring. But, I'm still not sold on the whole 'tent' idea. Stiffness and soreness, night-after-night isn’t my idea of fun, and would no doubt be hellish on long tours.

Perhaps I'll go with a hammock instead. Canada has plenty of trees to string one up in, and you wouldn't get the sore, stiff back in the morning from sleeping on hard ground… Now, do I go with a Hennessey, or ENO?

There are benefits to both… ENO’s, from what I gather (my friend has an ENO hammock, and he loves it!), are cheaper than Hennessey’s, but Hennessey’s are made to go the distance and last a very long time, whereas ENO’s - are made for more leisurely use.

Decisions, decisions!

About the Author

Jack Hawkins is a freelance travel writer and touring cyclist. Originally from the UK, he swapped one seaside town for another in 2006, and has been living in Canada for eight years. Jack has always had a fondness for writing and after graduating from Bonar Law Memorial High School in Rexton, Jack decided to pursue a freelance writing career, and implemented his love of cycling into his work shortly after a chance-meeting in 2013 with a fellow Englishman who had cycled across Canada.

Jack currently writes for this webzine, but is also a monthly contributor Mike's Bike Shop's E-Magazine, "The Rider's Edge". He recently worked on and published a series of thirty-one articles for revered bicycle touring guru, Darren Alff, for his website: http://gobicycletouring.com/. Jack also writes articles, journals, gear reviews, and interview pieces for his own website - http://jackonabike.ca/.

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