Friday, June 24

DAY 1 Tues 14/6/22

With fine weather in abundance I took the familiar 3.5 hr drive across the south coast heading for Okehampton, and then onto Okehampton Camp and the range beyond for my usual hopping off point below Yes Tor on the military road.

I'd deliberately aimed to arrive late in the day, to avoid any day trippers.

Always a delight to cut out that couple of miles of steepening uphill walking. (Sigh)

A 30 min slog up the rocky track reminded me that no amount of training in the New Forest was ever going to be enough for humping a full pack ever upwards. But this is a route I've covered so many times before, often in thick cloud, so just keep tromping on towards Yes Tor, and admiring the view.

I quickly pitched the new Hilleberg Akto to the SW of the tor itself. Opting for a view, with the wind a cooling welcome, rather than any sort of hint I'd need a more sheltered spot.

A word about the tent....

My old Akto groundsheet had finally let go on a horrendous 3 nighter in 2021, and despite a major reproofing campaign, it showed a similar distain on the next short (and wet) trip.

It was clear its 15 year life was done.

(yep - read it and weep -  only 15 years of use!)

Looking for a replacement was easy. Despite the Akto being double the price, and the usual wide variety of "better/lighter" alternatives, my decision was easy.

The Akto has seen me safely through major gales, and horrendous rain\wind. If the price for that is a slightly heavier weight I'm glad to pay it for the peace of mind. 

And easier sleep.

The new version has a couple of really minor mods. The storm flap over the flysheet door zip is now of a stiff material, so no more trapping this in the zip closure. (That was not so much a problem, more a quirk to keep in mind)

The inner tent zip is a modified version that means the two zips can close higher up the fastening, whereas previously it was fixed at the bottom of the tent, allowing occasional water seepage if they weren't properly closed.

And thats the mods.

It says a lot for the Akto that the model remains in production after all these years, and that the modifications above are all that had been added in 15 years. 

If it ain't bust, don't fix it!

Brew on. I watched the sun go down and looked forward to a quiet night. 

A trio of marines, on a training walk, passed by early evening. But other than the occasional dog walker, once again I had the place to myself.

And I even managed an atmospheric picture of the sun glinting off the sea off the coast of North Devon.

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