At the Spring OMM Lite, Lucy kindly purchased a Nordisk Telemark 2 (not at full price I must hasten to add) for me to use on future OMM events. The Telemark 2 came in very handy during the 2015 OMM at Tweedsmuir, and consequently I’d like to share my thoughts and experiences with the Telemark 2 in the hopes that it they be of some help.
So why choose the Telemark 2 instead of a more established alternative? One reason for me, if I’m being entirely honest, was that the tent was available at the time I’d chosen to go and compete in the OMM for a fantastic price, but this was by no means the only reason. I’d notice the Telemark2 whilst working for planetFear at the 2014 OMM (Cheviot Hills), and even then its small pack-size and low weight had really impressed me (about the same width but 1.5 times the length of a Nalgene bottle, and approximately 950g).
When I enquired about the Telemark at the Spring OMM Lite, you could see Stu’s face light up; I think the OMM lads had been waiting to showcase their newest import, and here was the perfect chance.
The first impressions were excellent, and I mean really excellent. The little details have obviously been thought out by someone who uses tents. A magnetic storm-flap retainer is used instead of the usual Velcro, preventing the build-up of unwanted bits and pieces such as the perennial surprise moss. The inner is spacious for a sub-kg tent, and the pack size borders on the ludicrous, especially if you have the time to really cinch down the tent in its stuff-pouch*. If you are on a solo trip, or you’re the only one staying in this rather expensive “one man palace”, there is a toggle attaching the inner to the tensioning strap under the hoop, which provides the ability to expand and contract the volume of the inner, and thus contract or expand the room in your porch – very handy, and very, very clever!
Watching the tent go up for the first time gives a good sense of how little faff is involved. One hoop offset towards one end of the tent is formed with a single lightweight DAC aluminium pole, then two pegs are used to position and anchor the hoop. From here, four smaller pegs are used to pitch out the corners at the correct distance from the hoop, and voila! The guylines on the corners of the tent have metal hoops which the pegs are put through to pitch, and allows the tent to be tensioned with ease, and also allows the tent to “auto adjust” to some extent in high winds.
It has to be added here that pole-sleeve on the tent I have is, in all honesty, a little tight, but to my mind this is the only gripe I have found with the Telemark 2 so far. It’s not an issue which has been mentioned anywhere else I have seen (either the TGO review, or on the UKC forums which are usually a fairly harsh judgement ground), and so I can only conclude that it’s a one-off problem, and it really isn’t a big problem.
I guess the next task is to look at the real nitty-gritty of how it worked when used in anger. The Telemark got its first real use on a walk along the most northern section of the Pennine Way from Byrness to Kirk Yetholm. Camping in mid October on an exposed summit at 500m provided an excellent test of the Telemark’s abilities, and it did not disappoint. Wind speed was probably at around the 10mph mark, with stronger gusts here and there, and once the tent was pitched there was never any worry of it being flattened or blown away. In the morning, the tent was still perfectly stable after a pleasant uninterrupted night’s sleep, but there was a bit of condensation evident. Personally I think this is to be expected with tents, and especially small tents, but it may be a point of consideration before purchase; my feeling is that to achieve greater venting the tent would have to be heavier, or less stable, or less waterproof, so to my mind the Telemark performs its role fantastically well.
The Telemark’s second outing was during the 2015 OMM at Hearthstanes in the Scottish Borders. Again, I can only describe my experience of using the Telemark in this capacity (arguably, exactly what it was designed for) as exemplary; pack size and weight are minimal, and pitching once the overnight campsite has been reached only took about 5 minutes – and we were dicking around at the same time! It wasn’t a dry or still night, but both Fred (my OMM partner) and myself remained dry and without tent, or one another, in our faces throughout the entire experience. In the morning, it was slightly cramped when getting everything sorted, but much less than I would have expected from a tent of this spec. The really important thing I must mention is that we took the tent down, and compressed it back down to small pack size, in about 2 minutes thanks to the stuff-pouch sewn into the inner – vital for those rapid morning starts!
To summarize; the Telemark 2 is an exceptional sub-kg tent, suitable for lightweight backpacking and mountain marathon style events. Its clever construction provides extremely rapid pitching whilst keeping the tent nice and stable (although I must admit I haven’t been able to subject it to truly foul conditions yet), and the inner is spacious enough for two average size males to sleep comfortably (close friends recommended!). All in all a cracking piece of kit which has only gone up in my estimation after use.
Most importantly, would I buy it again? I think that as I plan to do much more adventure racing there would be little hesitation, even at full price! I may even go as far as to suggest that it would take a lot of convincing for me to part with it in exchange for a Hilleberg – something I never thought I’d hear myself say!
*For any folk reading who already have the Telemark2 and haven’t realised, there is a pouch sewn into the inner next to the door which you can stuff the tent into. This is incredibly easy to do, and avoids the problem of trying to get your tent into the provided stuff-bag which does seem a little small, especially if the tent is wet.
Post by Johan