Hidden Gorge with Friends!

After my last hiking adventure out to Alligator Gorge and back testing out the Sea To Summit Specialist Solo shelter and finding myself extremely disappointed with it, I went on the hunt again for another hiking tent. Searched online for a while on numerous websites before finding the Big Sky Revolution 1P tent.

Big Sky Rev 1P

Unfortunately, there were no Youtube videos on that particular one but there were a couple on the 2-person that were quite good and talked it up. I emailed the guys at Backpacking Light in Melbourne and told them about my Lansan Ultralight and Specialist Solo dilemma and then spoke to one of them on the phone. He couldn’t say enough good things about that particular tent I was enquiring about. I didn’t know how I felt about getting what seemed like a traditional “dome tent” style with two poles to put together but he explained how it can be free-standing which is really quick and easy and if I wanted all I’d have to stake out would be the vestibules.

After looking at it some more and having a real good think about it I called them back the next day to ask more questions and reiterated the fact that I was sick of buying tents and shelters and really wanted this to be “the one!”. He assured me that I’d love it and it would be the only one I’d want to use from now on so I bought it over the phone with the MasterCard on the 15th of September and had it sent express so I’d have it by Friday. Friday was the day two of my workmates & I were heading to Mambray Creek Campground.

Receiving The New Tent!

The tent was actually delivered on the Thursday morning which was awesome! I had night shift that night so I had to put it away and try to forget about it so I could get some sleep. When I woke up I took it out of the bag and checked it out, made sure it was all good and then packed it away ready to go in the pack. Yay!

After my last shopping trip I posted about, my friends were ready to take on the Hidden Gorge hike with me and camp at Hidden Camp. We headed to Mambray Creek Campground in Mt Remarkable National Park on the Friday as planned and set up our base camp. Had a fairly early night and made plans to leave Mambray at around 10 the next morning.

Getting Ready To Leave

Morning came and we were getting our packs sorted. I helped fit the others packs as best I could and we were ready to hit the trail. We started the trail clockwise which is

We started the trail clockwise which is the opposite to when I’d first done it myself so I was interested to find out what it’d be like. We had the big mountain climb up to start with along with some amazing views. Stopping a few times to admire them, have a drink and catch our breath.

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The views slowly started to change into trees as we descended into the gorge. Stopping for some lunch before we got stuck into the creek crossings.

I just made a vegemite wrap for lunch.

imageNom nom nom.P1010487

One of my friends found the hike quite hard and was hanging for camp and I knew exactly how she felt because that’s how I felt during my last hike. I too was hanging for camp but for a different reason, I couldn’t wait to set up my new tent properly and test it out!

Arriving At Camp

We arrived at Hidden Camp and started finding flat spots which was a bit of a mission for 3 tents but we did and then started setting up.

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Time To Set Up

So first I got out my tent footprint and laid that out and then got the extra piece of groundsheet and laid that across the footprint so that I’d have a floor in both vestibules. I set up the tent just like I practiced in the lounge room but possibly a bit smoother and quicker. All I did was connect each pole one at a time and put each end in each corner hole, attached the footprint to the tent corners, then just clipped the outer onto the poles, clipped the two together at the cross-section and I was done. I had already attached the mesh inner to the outer shell so that both would pitch at the same time. I rolled up the vestibules both sides so that I could get a good view of the stars.

P1010495Sleeping mat self-inflating with a bit of extra air from me and the rest of my gear thrown in there.

P1010499Time for dinner. I think it was a cheesy Mug Shot I had but my friend suggested I put the salmon sachet in with it for more nutritional value and it was so good! I’ll do that from now on. Makes a bigger meal and adds more flavour. P1010501

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I just let down this side (camp side) vestibule and zipped it so I could get changed into my thermals before bed and then opened it up again. It’s quite roomy for me in there but I think a bigger person would be touching the side walls. The length of the tent is good for me (I’m 168cm). I had my head well off the wall and still had plenty of room at my feet end. Getting changed in it is still a little squishy but that’s to be expected. Better than the Specialist Solo anyway.

The view that night was amazing. I love looking at the stars and picturing all their own little solar systems like ours.

I made a few trail notes that night as follows:

Trail Notes

We left Mambray at 9:56 and arrived here at Hidden Camp at 15:20. It was a lot easier than I remember because the water has dried up in a lot of areas which meant less stopping and thinking. We took it quite slow but I didn’t mind because I took more photos and took the time to enjoy the scenery more.

We stopped just as we came into the gorge and had some lunch. I made a vegemite wrap and tried this fruit squeeze thing which was really good. So far I’m liking the tent. At least I shouldn’t get wet tonight. I think my water consumption was ok today. I had a little drink whenever I felt like one but I’m not sure how much I’ve got left. It’ll be enough to Mambray anyway.

I might have a coffee in the morning and an oat bar. I had a cheesy Mug Shot with the sachet of salmon pieces in it. It was good. I’ll do that again. I think the innersoles I put in my boots helped for a more snug fit which meant less movement and the toe tube things were good but that heel thing, I don’t know. Maybe I need to buy a big toe one for my right foot. Anyway time to enjoy the stars 🙂

To The Gross Stuff

From my last hike I got calluses on my right heel and either side of my right big toe and a rubbing blister on my left second big toe so I bought some different band-aid things from the chemist to try. I got these gel toe tube things which you cut to size and slide down your toe to stop rubbing. I had one of these on both my second big toes which helped I think and I had a thicker gel-type band-aid pad on the side of my heel but I could still feel the callus under it so I don’t think that one did much. I’ve got to work on my foot protection.

Day 2

I woke to the sounds of a fellow camper making a cuppa and found a tiny bit of condensation on the little sidewalls, head, and end of the tent but nothing to be bothered about. I should’ve had at least one vestibule pegged out which would’ve helped with that and kept my pack and shoes etc dry as everything was damp from the evening dew.

I zipped closed the vestibule and got changed into a clean shirt (only because I was hiking with friends otherwise as you know I wouldn’t have cared), climbed out and started to make my coffee. My friend & I slowly started to pack up as my other friend had a little sleep in.

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Laying the footprint out to dry.

We got packed up and set off again on the trail back to Mambray Creek. It was an awesome hike just like the first time I did it. I’ve done it both ways now and I like them both the same. Each way had its pros & cons. Anti-clockwise means you’ve got the longer, harder part last but with a beautifully scenic and downhill entrance back into Mambray but clockwise means you get the bulk of it done first with a long steep climb to start with but lovely short, flat and scenic hike back into Mambray. You’d have to try it both ways for yourself 🙂

Thinking Back

The tent was a hit and I’m really looking forward to trying it out again ASAP. Like I said, I’ll try having one vestibule down covering my gear to see if it helps with the bit of condensation.

The link: Big Sky Revolution 1P tent (American site)

The site I used to buy it through: Backpacking Light (based in Melbourne and a pleasure doing business with!)

For my next post, I’m planning on breaking down some of the things I use such as my kitchen, bumbag goodies and what I keep in the hood of my pack handy so stay tuned and enjoy! 😀

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jean says:

    Since blogging of your first use of the Big Sky Revolution tent, I assume by now you’ve used it many more times. Can you let me know of your impression for this tent now?? Waterproof, condensation, any other issues or thoughts would be most appreciated.

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    1. Kellz says:

      Hi Jean
      I’ve since sold it but before that I used it a few times and it performed great. No condensation issues as it can be very well ventilated. I didn’t actually have any bad weather while using so I can’t vouch for the waterproofness. It was a great tent but I just wanted more internal space.

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