Backpacking Purchases – Month 2 2017

With the shift in writing on one blog to starting here, I haven’t allowed myself enough time to write about the backpacking tent I ended up buying… Which I received over a week ago, now.

Here, we’ll take a look at my decision (which possibly won’t surprise many of the people who read my previous post) and what else arrived in the package.

Basically, I went for the Sil (aka. Luxe) Hex Peak V4A shelter and the optional groundsheet. This was on the basis that I’d seen people using it on YouTube; plus the fact that I thought the price was fair and I liked the range of features.

Soon enough, I’m going to film a short video of the process of putting it up [trying to avoid using the e-word, here…]. In the mean time, here’s a list with links to everything I bought:

Sil Hex Peak V4A
Hex Peak V4A Footprint
14mm Walking Pole Extender
Soft Fibre Trekking Towel (Hand Towel)
3mm Shock Cord (not pictured)

So, my new ‘teepee’-style tent is designed for a single person and to be used in three seasons at most (there is also the F6e for winter camping). You can buy the shelter and inner separately or swap the single inner for a double, using the same outer.

I looked around at the cost of groundsheets and found recommendations for the use of Tyvek products… At best, I realised I might only save £10 that way and so, paying a bit extra, I felt confident I’d have a product that would neatly fit my tent and come with all the necessary loops and attachment points. It’s not too heavy or bulky. Whether I’ll actually use it though, remains to be seen but it’s there if I should need it!

I’m very pleased to say that the 14mm walking pole extender perfectly fits my Leki Sherpa XL walking poles. Other sizes are available to suit other poles. My poles work on a ratio of ’18mm – 14mm – 12mm’.

I bought the trekking towel because I know from car-based camping experience that towels of any size are bulky to fit in to a rucksack. I have a couple of other Lifeventure products that I’m very impressed with and will no doubt add the larger towel size soon.

When I opened my package, I sadly found that the 3mm shock cord (cheapest item from my list) was missing. I searched high and low, several times, but could not find it… But the people behind Backpacking Light were more than happy to send out a replacement the very next day. As this was my first purchase with them, I was extremely happy with their overall service and look forward to shopping with them again.

They also threw in a complementary bag of Skittles, which is something I’d read about and a very welcome treat! Actually, I received two bags, as they supplied another with my missing item, along with an additional hand-written card. 😉

It’s almost time for me to purchase a rucksack, as we come to the end of March (aka. Month 3)… 65lt? Or can I get away with 50lt?… That’s still to be decided but I’ve narrowed by selection down to one of two packs… Or maybe three.

Also, I’m going to be shopping for compression sacks and drybags around the same time. I’m currently torn between the Exped Ultralite Drybags and Osprey’s Ultralite Drysacks, which don’t come in set but they claim their square-shape makes for a more efficient use of packing space.

Over the weekend, I intend to try and calculate (practically, without using a calculator) the volume and quantity of bags I might actually need and whether my current crop of kit will fit in to a 50l or 65lt rucksack.

In the mean time, if you might enjoy two-minutes of unboxing, please watch my most recent YouTube upload:

Thanks for reading.

Author: Olly Parry-Jones

I live in Weston-super-Mare, close to the Mendip Hills in Somerset and I enjoy time spent outdoors, whether that's walking, camping or backpacking. My day job involved making furniture from recycled wood (I'm a furniture maker and carpenter by trade). I have two blogs: Olly Writes (woodworking, DIY, baking) Walks With Olly (walking, camping and kit) You can also find me on YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. My second YouTube channel is titled 'Walks with Olly'.

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