It seems a long time since I’d slept in a tent on the ground… I think the last time was the Les Series en Helvetie Land Rover event in July.
With Autumn well and truly here, it was time for a last weekend away before it’s either too cold or… really too cold for camping on the ground. Things are somewhat different with the Defender and the roof tent as I have somewhere warm to sit in the evenings before going to sleep.
With sunny warm weather forecasted for the weekend, I decided to take LGL on this trip rather than the Defender. There’s always an element of trepidation heading off on a long trip in a Series vehicle especially when there’s motorways involved but I wanted to try out my “tarp” and do some decent mountain bike riding.
Roof rack was fitted, LGL loaded up and with ear plugs screwed in, we headed South East on surprisingly quiet motorways to the excellent camping site at Morteratsch, Pontresina…. aside from the speedo cable braking, the journey was largely uneventful.
A 5 min drive up the valley from Pontresina, is the camp site…
I’d been messing around with the idea of fitting some sort of tarp to the side of LGL for shelter. I’d originally thought of a tarp with stitched in piping and fixing an awning rail along the roof edge. However, this wouldnt work as the roof rack couldn’t be fitted. Fitting the awning rail below the roof gutter, would mean the drivers door couldn’t be opened.
Without the roof rack installed, a quick proof of concept a few weeks ago proved the top of the tarp could be effectively fixed to the roof using suction hooks.
However, with the roof rack in place, I needed another solution… which came to me one morning on the train to work!
It was a hastily made solution and will need some refinement but it’s what I had to hand. A 2m piece of sawn batten with corresponding studs for the eyes in the tarp would do the job. A couple of bicycle toe straps on the cross members of the roof rack to secure it and we’re in business so to speak…
I’d bought some 1.9m long extendable poles from Transa a few weeks before and used my hiking poles for the lower part of the set up. I also made some guy lines from a kit of parts…
Some time later….
That was Friday… Saturday and Sunday were spent mountain biking on the amazing local trails.
Saturday evening was spent much the same as Friday…
All too soon it was Monday morning. Time to pack everything away and head home. It was noticeably cooler and required the heating to be turned on!