Winter camping has been a rather hit and miss affair. Taking the usual summer tents means taking a lot of care in choosing the right weather conditions and pitching in sheltered areas if needed. A lot of umming and aaahing, basically agog at having to spend £600 or more on a decent tent that had enough room for 2 or 3 with plenty of space to spare and could withstand all but the very worst of the Snowdonian winter. Now i’ll certainly digress on the story, but it is relevant as those of you who haven’t already gorn orf to peruse the pics already will soon find out. A few weeks ago, descending Yr Wyddfa, I sprained my ankle. Spraining sounds far too wimpy for the pain it incurred, just as you can only sympathise so much when someone complains of having a cold. “Only a cold?” Anyway, i digress from my digression. During the period of convalescence, an expensive time was had on Ebay, mainly on books, but I also found an absolute bargain. The Mountain Hardware Trango 4 at £350 with postage, it has a list price of £700.

The Trango 3.1 had been the favoured tent as it was so much more spacious than the Terra Nova offerings which are lighter but much smaller, but who can argue with a bit more floor space. At 269x252cm sleeping area, you get more than enough. Either tent would be bloody heavy, so the difference was neither here or there when you’re looking at a six kilo tent. So long story short – got a bargain winter tent and need to test it out. Not only that, but realised that the light pitch groundsheet that sells for an extra £50 came with it.

The decision was to take it as high into the Carneddau as possible on a Friday night, and we pitched on Drum at 770m in a biting wind. Finding the final bit of putting the porch up a struggle, it wasn’t much of a surprise of getting into the tent and realising that the rooflight did not line up with the zip. In other words, it was back to front. Poorly pitched side on to the wind, with the fly incorrectly placed, it still proved a valuable shelter in wind that was strong enough to make pitching difficult and would have made a sleepless night in lesser tents.

Plenty of room inside – i wont tell you why its pixellated

Marvellous location for a wild camp. Its unfortunate that I didn’t have the gear to take night shots as you could see the Irish Sea encircled by light across to what was the Lancashire and Cumbrian coasts. It was far too cold to sit out and enjoy it though.

Still breezy in the morning, you can see the tent door flapping.

The ridge down from Drum. I’m yet to descend via those tempting little peaks and as my ankle worsened overnight, it wasn’t going to be today either.

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