Sunday, June 24, 2012

Preparing for a kayak trip: Shelter, part one

We've become fans of wing-shaped tarps for kayak and camping trips. They offer protection if you have to set up a tent in the rain, a covered but ventilated place for cooking, and an option outside the tent if you're stuck on land waiting for a storm to pass. Awing tarp requires fewer poles than a square tarp, sheds water efficiently and holds up well in the wind.

We've been impressed by the MSR Zing when we've seen it used with large groups, but at nearly seven pounds and 28 by 6 inches (packed), and a price tag of $400, that's more than we need for a four-person trip.

So we were pleased to meet its kid sister, the Twing. Smaller (8 by 6 inches) and lighter (2 1/4 pounds),  it can be pitched with support from spare paddles and provide the kind of protection we need.

Hannah under the Twing.
Back in its bag, the Twing is small and light.
And as with all equipment for a trip, it's a good idea to practice using it before it's actually needed. We found the Twing quick and easy to set up, take down and repack. Adding additional guylines made it exceptionally sturdy.

This one's a keeper. We're looking forward to using it in August--or better yet, finding we don't need it because the weather is glorious the entire time we're gone. (Ha!)

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