Nathalie's test report was published on the French outdoor forum www.i-trekkings.net
Wechsel Bella was rated 93/100 points.
This autumn I spent seven weeks hiking through Scotland with a big backpack and the Bella tent. I hiked the West Highland Way, slept near the summit of Ben Lomond, on the summit of Ben Nevis, hiked in the Cairngoms and also on the Affric Kintail Way, on parts of the Cape Wrath Trail, on the Outer Hebrides and on Skye. Finally, I walked the Fife Coastal Way before returning home. All in all, I had a great adventure in very bad weather. This autumn was particularly grey, foggy, rainy, windy...
Back home, I am very happy about the experiences I have gained during my hike through Scotland. I may not have seen Nessie, the Loch Ness monster, but the landscapes in this country are simply incredible when the sun is shining. Bright, cheerful skies alternate with rain showers. The contrasts are dramatic. Mountains, blonde sandy beaches, lakes, rainbows, stunning coastlines, ancient castle ruins, peat bogs, humble inhabitants and an all-round beautiful culture. The country is not particularly large, but the feeling of being so small in nature is real. Almost no one, no connection, alone in the wilderness, in the unleashed elements. That's all I like and want when I'm travelling.
I travel a lot, usually long distances on foot or by bike. I've had many different tents in the past, but I have to be honest, none of them would have been as efficient as the "Bella" in these bad weather conditions. I slept in my tent for two thirds of the nights. The fact is that you can pitch your tent almost anywhere in Scotland. It seems easy, but the ground is mostly peat bog. The water is everywhere and you have to walk for kilometres to find a dry 2 square metres for your tent.
Another challenge is the wind. There are no trees in the Highlands, so there is no protection from the wind, which can be quite strong. I knew this before I set off and that's why I turned to Wechsel, as the Bella tent seemed to be the perfect tent for these conditions.
Why I choose "Bella" for my Scotland Hike?
- The quality of the floor (40 D)
- The inner tent space
- The vestibule space
- The fact that i can put the flysheet before the inner tent (very important when it rains)
- The light weight
Despite the bad weather, I never had any water in my tent. I never had to dry it during the day (it would have been impossible to dry anything), I just had to separate the inner tent from the outer tent to put them in my bag. What a comfort to not have to worry about how to dry the tent when hiking day after day in wet weather. Also it was a real pleasure, that it's so quick to pitch.
I'll probably go again to Scotland, to walk on the Outer Hebrides, Orkney or Shetland, and visit more of this country which leaves a feeling of great adventure while being easy accessible from France.
About the author
I grew up in the French Jura, where I now work as a mountain guide. After 16 years in the industry, I changed my life and have travelled the world a lot since 2006 by bike and on foot. I have also undertaken expeditions lasting several months on cross-country skis and pulka. I have published my travels in several books, which you can find on my website: