Saturday, December 18, 2010

Raffle: solo tarp

I have a very nice solo tarp from lying around not getting the attention and adventures it deserves, so I'm giving it to one of you readers.

The tarp isn't brand new, but it's not far from it having only been pitched in fair weather a couple of times to practice, never in anger. It's a high quality silnylon tarp with several pitch options. More information can be found on the product page at

To participate you only have to give a short presentation of yourself - I'm curious about who my readers are. Please leave a link to your blog or your twitter feed if you have one.

I will use on the 1st of january 2011 to find out who gets the item.

Thank you for following my blog - I really appreciate it. Have a great weekend and take care.


  1. Hi
    I am a Landscape Photographer living in Hampshire in the UK. I don't get out backpacking very often, but love reading about everyones adventures. You can read more about me on my website and blog, or twitter @s_tranter_photo

    This is a good idea to get to know some of your followers a little better. Also, I would like to give tarping a go ;-)


  2. Hej Thomas!
    I'm Scottish but I've been living in Stockholm, Sweden for about 18 months. A friend just introduced me to the Nordic Lightpacking community a few weeks ago via the Facebook page.

    I've been buying lightweight kit for a few years, which is predominantly self-taught, but also through reading TGO magazine, and the gear reviews of Chris Townsend, who living at the foot of the Cairngorms knows the particular demands I am used to. Some of my first transitions were an MSR Titan Kettle and Pocket Rocket, Cumulus Quantum 200 down bag, torso length TAR and trail runners (my first being a pair of TNF Hedgehogs). I've also made some mistakes. My first lightweight backpack was a Berghaus Freeflow 35 (1400g), smaller (thus I'm forced to take less) and considerably lighter than the Berghaus Vulcan (3100g) it replaced, but this is of course relative, and certainly not lightweight by most standards.

    Nordic Lightpacking has introduced me to a wealth of information on cottage manufacturers like Gossamer Gear, and eroded some of the misconceptions that I had about a ultralight gear being unsuited to the Northern European climate. (Chris Townsend himself tends to use a Hilleberg Akto in the Cairngorms even if he uses a tarp in North America). Since most of my experience of fjällvandring has been there, where one often encounters a great deal of rain and wind (horizontal rain anyone?), I've never actually gambled with using a tarp, and thus my bomb-proof tent (TNF Roadrunner 22, 3100g) has perhaps bagged 20% of my pack weight. After reading Vandra Fjäderlätt by Jörgen Johansson (in Swedish I'm pleased to say), I can both see the enormous potential to cut weight, and why my drilling of toothbrush handles has been somewhat pointless.

    Of course the added benefit is that a tarp affords a greater closeness to one's surroundings, which is meant to be the point when one goes outdoors. I'm planning on ultralighting the length of the Kungsleden in Summer and if my experiences with a tarp are good, I may even utilise one on this trip. Now, how about a frameless backpack???

  3. My name is Rio and I was born,live,work,walk and talk in Hamburg-Germany.
    My passion is the outdoors and in every free minute I am out there.
    I love my family,my dog, the life, my ul-gear and music.

    Greetings, Rio

  4. Thomas, this is a really nice idea. I don't need the tarp thanks, others will benefit more than I but I like your blog and hope it goes from strength to strength. I'm a UK-based hillwalker, although 2011 will see me take on some mountaineering at one end of the scale and UL tarp and bivy camping in Sweden and Norway at the other end. Best wishes for the future.

  5. Hi Thomas,

    Eric here, a software engineer from Holland. Where I live is a pretty built up and crowded area with no hills or anything remotely wild to be seen anywhere. So I often itch to get away as far as possible.

    Because of the distance to good outdooring areas I usually go for the longer trips and dont really do weekends except for the Belgian Ardennes. I guess for that reason I have never tried a tarp yet.

    I just started blogging to see if that is my thing. Find my attempts at

    Regards, Eric

  6. Hi, I'm from Northern Ireland, I started out back around 1988 but drifted away from hillwalking, camping etc from around mid 1990's. Started getting back into it again in 2008 only to find that everything had changed and lots of the brands that were familiar back when I started had gone. I'm continually trying to refine my kit but still use gear from back when I started. My favourite season is winter if there's snow.

    I've never tried a proper Tarp although did experimented once with an army poncho and sleeping bag which worked well.

    I started my blog back in 2008 primarily as a personal diary. I like photography but some days it just doesn't come together :-)

    Best Regards, Richard

  7. No need to add me to the raffle, but I'm a male, mid-30s, living in the Northwestern portion of the U.S. I work full-time in the backpacking retail industry and am an avid bicyclist, splitboarder, backpacker, and sustainability enthusiast.

  8. Hi Thomas,

    I'm 28 years old living in Richmond, Virginia. The AT is only 2 hours away and I've hiked a few sections near me, and am planning on section hiking the entire Virgina portion of the AT.

    In the last couple years I have started to go lightweight, including a hone made G4 pack (your project was a big inspiration!). But my tent is still quite heavy, and I'm planning on either buy or making a tarp to lighten my shelter weight, but money is tight. A free tarp would be awesome!

    I love your blog! Keep up the good work!


  9. You don't have to add me to the raffle, but I thought I would speak-up as a reader. I am 39 years old, currently living in Maine (but not for much longer), and love to get out to hike, backpack, snowshoe, etc. with my family.

  10. Hello, I'm a 64-year old hiker/backpacker in the Pacific Northwest (Oregon). Most all of my trips are in and around the Cascade Mountains (particularly the Three Sisters area), but in winter, I find myself on a lot of coastal trails. I've become more and more interested in and dedicated to reducing weight (why not!?), but I have to say that I'm not real sure about a tarp in mosquito season around here.

  11. My name is Steffen. I'm 30 year old, a father, very interested in making stuff and getting about in life with a minimal but somehow comfy set of means. UL backpacking, and your blog, is one source of inspiration for this. To be more concrete one thing i like to do is to combine fx. overnight MTB trips with fishing. Preferable in Sweden; I live in Copenhagen.

  12. Hi Thomas,
    You already know me from Twitter and us reading each others blogs! (This is a great way to get a view of others I exchange comment with and to find new people I wouldn't have otherwise.) Nevertheless I wanted to say hello as part of your fan base and to enter the raffle. Yes, I have a Team I/O 8x5 spinnaker tarp but would love to have a go with this one.
    I am 40 next year and will be when I start the PCT in April 2012 (gulp). My backpacking has had a chequered history, being active in my early 20s and then building on day walks in the last 18 months again into weekend and multiday outings mostly on my own. At the start of this year I had my old style heavyweight kit. Through a mix of selling it on ebay and some very generous friends, I have been able to get my pack weight down and am exploring being more open to nature via tarps especially.
    My dilemma at the moment is *why* I walk; rather than mile crunching I like to savour the experience, which is also why I think we appreciate each others writing so much!.
    My blog is

  13. I am a Finnish guy,more concentrated on traditional "ultraheavy " gear as most would see my stuff but im always interested to get some lighter on my hands. I am not so worried on the weight itself as i am about gears compact carry-size though.In my blog theres occasionally some lighter (in my opinion ) items,like this bushcooker with its small pot that i wrote about few days ago. Among my hiking buddies its considered as light gear you know :)

    Shelter like that would be just plain aweosome addition to my summer 2011 trip to participate in "Fjällräven Classic" event,to which i am hunting for proper gear that just has to be bit lighter than my usual heavyduty stuff,hah.

    Anyways,good luck to anyone on this prize.

  14. Hi - I'm Wakis85 (Billy). I live on Long Island NY and I am a 39 year old father of a 10 year old Boy. He is just finishing up Cub Scouits here in the states and is just getting ready to go into Boy Scouts. I have been out of Scouting for over 20 years now and can't wait to get involved again. Sharing these experiences with my son will be priceless. we have done a few overenights together but no backpacking or camping yet. I hope he is as excited as I am. i love your blog and the links that you have are just as good. Thanks for all your hard work.

  15. Hello, I'm Jeff from the Cleveland, Ohio area. I am a weekend warrior the frequents the Alleghenies in Pennsylvania. I have been slowly making the transition to ultralight backpacking. Many of my trips include my 4 teenage kids and now their friends want to join, an extra shelter would come in handy. It is a joy to share wilderness experiences with the younger generation and to teach them how to respect it.

  16. Hello, I'm Sam and I live in the southeast United States. During the week I'm a mid-30's aged typical IT worker. But on the weekends in fall through spring I'm an avid backpacker, and in summer a devoted kayaker. I manage 2-3 weekend trips each month, and one or two week long trips each year.

    I am a lightweight packing devotee, no matter the mode of travel. And I actively encourage others to do the same. Yours is one of several lightweight/outdoors blogs that I follow, and I appreciate your thoughts and updates.

  17. Hey Thomas,
    I just moved out to Norway to spend the winter and bounced a question off of you and Joe from Joe said that I should check out the blog. Looks great! I'll definitely be following! My fiance (a norwegian) and I spend our lives working when we have to to keep traveling, backpacking and exploring. This year we'll be up in sjusjøen ski touring! Going to be wonderful! Thanks again for your contributions and have a wonderful winter!


  18. Thomas,
    I just moved out to Norway with my fiance (a norwegian) for the winter and you and I met on Joe from BPL recommended that I check out your blog. Definitely a fan! We'll be following to get some nordic-focused reading through the winter. I hope you have a wonderful holiday and thanks again for all the help!


  19. Hello.
    Longtime reader, first time writer.
    I'm Daniel, living in Ostrobothnia, Finland, mid 20's. I´ve been out pretty much all my life, starting at the family summer cottage, continuing with the scouts and still going strong. During the last year I've started researching about and lightening my kit, thus reading a lot of blogs and forums.. However, as we often make camp with the scouts, I often need a bit more gear and at the same time, weight doesn't matter That much. Still, when I'm out on my own it does matter. Lately I've used a industrial tarpuline as my single shelter, works well, but I guess a custom made one would have it's benefits. :)

    Thank's for an interesting blog!

  20. Thomas,
    I don't need the tarp as I have already to many! Coming to your blog regulary through Hendriks Week in Review.
    I am Sabi, living in Austria, self employed as a vet, with more and more time to hike and packraft all over of the world ;)

    To Helen - I am going towards 50 - will see you in April 2012 on the PCT!

  21. Hi,
    I'm a 26 year old swedish fella who just recently discovered hiking, I actually did my first "real" hike this year - solo in the northern parts of Sweden.

    I might not be the typical hiker as I've never been in much contact with activities like this before, unless you actually count doing military service. Well alright, if I hadn't done that I probably hadn't dared going on a solohike like I did :-)

    I'm a student since some time and my interest for the outdoors are growing more and more every year. I don't have any friends sharing this interest except two people I met on the recently mentioned trip, so I have to struggle alot with finding information and not having anyone else to rely on. I like it though, it's a part of my adventure.

    I'm a bit exhausted right now and I hope you're able to cope with my lousy grammar. Thanks for an interesting blog.

  22. Hi, Thomas.

    My wife and I are constantly learning new ultralight techniques and would love a chance to try out some new gear.

    We do our hiking on the west coast of British Columbia, Canada. What a blessing it is to live here!

    Thanks for your blog. I read it through your RSS feed.

    (galoot at gmail dot com)

  23. Since I religiously read your blog I should probably say so. :-) Hello!! You know me! Your friend, Kari! 33 yr old psychologist and lover of the woods (but lousy backpacker).
    I can't believe you put Santa and the reindeer in your photo.... Hah!! :-D

  24. Hi Thomas,
    I really enjoy your blog. I love the pics, and your take on how to better enjoy being a soloist. I am a sales mgr. for a bread company by trade, but a backpacker by soul. I live and work in Fayetteville, Arkansas, USA. Currently, I am section hiking the Ozark Highlands Trail and doing trip reports on my blog to give the locals an idea of what is available within 100 miles of our community.
    I am interested in the tarp for educational purposes, because I am unable to decide on what will be the best shelter setup for me as I endeavor to become lighter. Just so you know, if I "win" the raffle, I will either use it or pass it on to someone who will.
    Thanks a bunch for keeping a great blog going. It makes me dream of seeing some of the terrain that you've tackled. Merry Christmas!

    my blog can be found at:

  25. Hello Thomas,

    This is a phenomenal way to become closer with your readers!

    I'm 47 years old and have decided that the only way to understand myself and the land around me better is to travel lightly. My goal is to walk the U.S. with my girlfriend from Idaho to the East Coast, purchase a gently used 30' sailboat, cross the Atlantic, and continue walking once hitting, er, landing on the next continent.

    I was a nordic camper and avid backpacker when much younger however as age progresses heavier gear doesn't allow me to travel as easily. Living in Idaho grants me access to some amazing wilderness areas.

    I've spent much of my life enjoying the clinical work I do, have a lovely home, and a wonderful family. Now my sights are set on living this next phase with as small a footprint as possible.

    Thank you for all you've shared with your many readers and Merry Christmas to you and yours!

  26. Hi Thomas

    My name is Ken and I live in the UK. I've been diligently searching for and reading lightweight backpacking and MYOG blogs as I'm building up to enter the TGO Challenge in 2012. I'm hoping to (1) complete it by travelling light, which will be a new experience, and (2) avoid excessive costs by utilising the MYOG principle.
    My blog is, please feel free to drop by anytime!
    All the best

  27. Hello,
    I'm a recovering heavy weight backpacker from southern Finland. For sometime now I have been working to get my back weight to UL. What really inspired me to do this was a sort of a revelation one time when I was getting ready to for an overnight trip and I weighted my pack and it was over 20kg. I started thinking that do I really need all this? Well the answer is as we all know that nope, I really don't need all that stuff to have a great trip. I have to thank you and all the other great bloggers, especially Hendrink from for great information on UL backpacking.


    aki.tammisto (at)

    ps. I could really use a nice light weight tarp :)

  28. Howdy. My name is Angelo and I hail from Northwest Connecticut, USA. I am the man behind The Creak of Boots blog ( I love my ultralight gear but there will always be a place in my heart for the heavier traditional gear from yesteryear. I am also a soccer enthusiast, musician, baker and an avid cyclist. I am married to an awesome lady and we produced a handsome 16 month old son. I fund my hobbies by testing computer software. Thanks for throwing this contest.


  29. Hi Thomas,

    I'm following your blog for a while. And I'm really enjoying it. Especially your DIY stuff, it looks really good.

    I also have my own blog and there I write about the things I do. But living in the Netherlands is quite hard for somebody who loves the outdoor. But The Netherlands has some beautifully places as well.

    Happy New Year and all the best for 2011