I saved, I waited and I finally purchased it. After going through the process of choosing a one man tent back in September 2012 my Tarptent Scarp 1 arrived just before my last trip a couple of weeks ago. On that night we pitched up in the dark being battered by heavy rain as the big thaw started, meaning I didn’t manage to get any good shots of my new shelter on its first outing. I took the time to set it up in the back yard yesterday to get to grips with the setup and a few features that make this tent special. Having taken it out just the one time I’m nowhere near ready to write a review but I thought I’d share a couple of pictures and my initial thoughts.
The packed size is probably the Scarp’s biggest drawback; since the PitchLoc struts at either end can’t be removed easily they dictate the overall packed length. Dimensions are 51x10cm but it does squeeze down as you pack things around it.
Setup is a lot quicker than my Vango Banshee 300. It probably took me about 5 minutes this time, as I was adjusting the tension on each corner guy for a while to make sure the ends and pole were all parallel and taking extra care not to damage the silnylon groundsheet and fly on the stones. This isn’t the best pitch I’ve seen but I’d be happy to sleep in it.
The room inside is really impressive (ignore the wonky upright at the end, this was adjusted just after I took the photo) . On my last trip I could easily fit all of my clothes and other kit inside without feeling cramped. Head height is great, at 5’8″ I can sit up straight in the centre.
I chose to buy the optional crossing poles when ordering. They’re a bit fiddly to fit but, once they were in place and adjusted, the flysheet was a lot tighter and could probably stand up to some serious weather without touching the inner.
Both porches are generous and will accommodate quite a bit of kit. I managed to cook in one of them on my last wild camp by pulling the groundsheet back a little whilst storing wet gear in the other. In this photo the flysheet is raised a bit but can be pulled down using an adjuster. Having two doors is also nice as you can change your point of entry if the wind changes, or leave both open to dry things out when the weather is a bit more pleasant.
First impressions are very good. I’m looking forward to plenty of wild camping this year and I’ll be taking my Scarp on most trips; it should be able to stand up to even the worst weather, being flexible enough to adapt to both warm and cold conditions. The only modifications I plan on making are the addition of zip-pulls and two guy lines from the pole sleeve using some dyneema cord I bought from www.clamcleat.com, just to add a bit of convenience and another layer of stability.
Spring’s major trip will be to Arran over Easter, with a wild camp up on Caisteal Abhail. Imagine this picture with a Scarp 1 and someone moaning about their tendons in it! Can’t wait.