Running with wolves, sleeping with bears

I have now entered wolf territory… and the bears are here too but thankfully are sleeping (or so I was informed by the locals yesterday). So it is safe to say that winter is definitely on its way.

This week I said farewell to my Terranova laser photon tent, the lightest twin skin tent in the world. Designed for mountain, marathon and adventure races, it’s only ever meant to be used for 1-2 nights at a time and twice a year, three times at most.  The fact that it stood up to a couple of months back to back use just shows how well this thing is built, and it weighs much less than my water bottle!

Still with the drop in the temperature coming now, condensation is a major issue with all tents in the cold, and the smaller the tent the worse you’ll notice it.

Terranova have very kindly swapped my Laser tent for their Voyager super lite model. This tent is free standing, meaning you can easily pitch it on top of snow, as it doesn’t require pegs being pushed into the frozen ground to give the tent its shape, it’s also much sturdier in heavier winds, rain and snow. There’s also a lot more space – I can now comfortably change my clothing without worrying about touching the sides and springing a leak, and with the cold coming now it’s nice to be able to dress/undress out of the elements.

The laser tent is an amazing piece of design but it’s not for winter. The Voyager, however, copes very well in these conditions – much less condensation and it’s kept further away from you when it does form, meaning you’re less likely to get moisture into your clothing/sleeping bag which makes your kit much heavier to carry and drastically diminishes its insulating properties.

In the last few days I’ve also started wearing warmer clothes. I’ve gone from wearing my shorts and a t-shirt, and occasionally a wind breaker top, to wearing running leggings, two tops, gloves and a thicker shell and then always having my Extremities thermal hat on standby to warm my stinging ears up when I stop running. This was mainly due to a very strong and bitter northerly wind on top of the drop in temperature, but it’s a sign of things to come in Finland so good practice!

It’ll also soon be time to change my regular running shoes the FLite 195 from Inov8 for the Inov8 Oroc shoe which is fully waterproof, much more insulated, and importantly has metal spikes in the sole for gripping snow and ice.

Once you get over the shock of the cold coming so fast and use the correct clothing then it really is beautiful here at the moment, bright blue skies and lakes and then the trees are golden yellow or fiery red in their autumn coats.

 

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