Two group shelters both fit 8 people….. which one will you always carry as a Mountain Bike Leader?
Working as a commercial mountain guide requires you to carry some essential equipment as we have a duty of care to our clients. Carrying a well equipped first aid kit as a Guide is obvious, but over recent times, opinions on the group shelter or KISO (Karrimor Instructor Survival Unit – who remembers them?) have been conflicted on whether they are needed or not.
Emergency group shelters should be carried, but who uses their emergency shelter for sheltering from the wind, having a cuppa during a ride, or even doing some trailside repairs? The word emergency sounds a bit harsh and over egged, we prefer the title of group shelter, and we use ours on a daily basis.
Over the years, group shelters have become more common place in the mountain bike leadership world, with better manufacturing techniques, well designed fabrics, and reasonable price levels have seen an increase and a change in views that a Mountain Bike Leader should be carrying a group shelter
In the Winter of 2018, WyeMTB were introduced to a Welsh company called ‘Summit Gear’, their Supalite Bothy bag, is a real game changer. Their group shelters have taken all the great elements of the original KISO shelter, but striped out all the non-essential parts, but has retained some key features, ripstop silicone fabric, double sewed material, vent and life time guarantee. The icing on the cake, the shelter weight 320gs and has an insane packdown size, which is around the size of your fist for a good size 6-8 person shelter. We have had 8 adults on ours on a regular basis!
Whatever your choice in group shelter, don’t just leave it collecting crumbs in the bottom of your rucksack, get it out and use it!