tent, tarp, bivy or nothing at all?

4:48 p.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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alright, so I spent nearly all my nights when I out hiking camping under the stars. that's the way I grow up, hiking in the desert. I remember some really cold nights, strong winds, and still, the idea of a tent was alien to me.

and then I got myself my first tent, and then a second one (a small 2 man 4 season tent 2.1 kg). I use them when out in the mt's and on long trips when I got no idea how the weather going to be like.

So I wonder - when do you guys use your tarps and bivys? do you take the tarp when it's warm but it can rain? then why using a bivy? (sorry - I spent only one night in a bivy and it was for me to see how it's). and why using a bivy when there are sleeping bags with windstopper and similar type of fabrics to cut down the wind and keep the insulation dry? or when there are products like traptant whom is nearly as light as a bivy?

a hint - I am thinking about buying a tarptent but I posted in backcountry as I want to hear about the "why" and not about the "what to get"

5:22 p.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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When I was just on my recent Brewpub/Brewery/Kitefest trip on the Oregon/Washington coast I had a number of "opportunities" to "sleep under the stars".  First of all I don't quite get the sleeping under the stars thing.  If I'm sleeping, I'm not looking at the stars.........If I'm looking at the stars I'm not sleeping.  When I crawl into a sleeping bag it's to sleep not star gaze.  One night on my trip I arrived in Long Beach WA for the Kite fest at 1:30 in the morning.  Under fair skies I decided that since it was so late I would just throw my Themorest on the bare ground and crawl into my bag.  At exactly six in the morning I awoke to cloud of 200+ mosquitoes taking turns dive bombing me.   While on a bicycle  trip of Europe 30 years ago I did alot of stealth camping which ment I could not set up a tent.  I was sleeping in a German grain field on night sticking part way out of my un zipped bivy as it was to hot to sleep inside a zipped bivy.  When I woke in the morning there were 3in.+ Giant Black SLUGS crawling all over my gear and 2-3 inces from my face.  I thought I was in a Bad B movie and tried to find my opt-out button.  To late.  I screamed and jumped out of my bag.  I was no longer stealth camping. Now that I live it the Great North West I am used to the these large Mollusca and can regularly take my revenge upon them.

Many critters are attracted to body heat esp at night. Snakes, scorpions, spiders, (incert your coldblooded critter of choice).  Though I'm a risk taker and love playing with all of the above when awake, I so do not want to roll over on any of these critters in my slumber.  Along with the fact that sometimes it's really warm and I'm im a bag that is not tied of at the top of to stay warm.  I really don't want a rattle snake to crawl into my sleeping bag to cozy up to me.  Not my idea of an intimate sleeping partner.

I'm just starting to investigate the use of tarps as a shelter.  I have many different tents/bivies for many different situations.  On this last trip I brought a 4 man tent, 2 man tent and a bivy.  I have not use a bivy in 20 years but like having it for emergencies.  Often when I was backpacking (I hope to really get back to it as soon as I find a good pair of boots that fit)  I would bring the lightest 2 man then I had at the time along with my bivy.  I would like to trade ot the bivy for a tarp

I find also that I like to sleep in a bit in the morning and when sleeping under the star's I wake just at the light of dawn.  I'm not one of those people who needs nor desires to be awake at the crack of dawn.  If I never ever see a sunrise ever again that will be fine with me.

So for me it's a shelter of some kind depending on the situation be it bivy, tent, and soon even tarps/tarp tents.

5:29 p.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Sleeping light on the ground I use a bivy and tarp set up. If the weather is nice, I forgo the tarp. My bivy is a very basic affair from REI. It has bug netting over the face, but nothing waterproof in that area. So if the weather may be bad I use the tarp. I do not worry about covering anything but my head area. Before sleeping this gives me a dry area to cook and lounge. I have a one person Hubba tent (hubba Hubba?), but it rarely gets used. If I need a tent (winter or with a partner) I use my old double door Coriolis from North Face. This tent is no longer made but it is a decent 3 season tent that I can stetch for mild winter use. The same tarp is my cover option when I hammock. So I have a lot of choices but as I said. mostly a bivy to keep out the bugs and a tarp/ head cover for rain.

5:37 p.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Hey Apeman, whats with those big yellow slugs on the West Coast? I ran into them on the Lost Coast of California. They were everywhere. Most mornings I found them plastered to my gear. Uggh!

6:00 p.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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The are Banana slugs.  The get even larger than the black slugs.  They are endemic to the Pacific North West.  Along with the Giant black slugs that were imported form Europe they are both the scourge of my garden.  Apparently all the slugs that live in my area attend AA meetings as beer has no effect upon them.  Besides the fact that they rape my garden there is no way to get them of off the bottom of your shoe when you step on them other than going on a hike as they emit an adhehesive substance when threatend and appearantly when stepped on as well.   It has as recently come to my attention that banana slugs are an endangered species.  "They" lie, not where I live anyway.

Here is a link that tell's a little bit  about the slimy critters:

http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-a-banana-slug.htm

6:06 p.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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Brian  ~~

Whether-or-not you intended, that was a hilarious monologue.

Sorry, Nir, I didn't mean to stray off your topic, but I had to comment.

I am a 'minimalist', and I generally go the "bivy" route.   However; bugs and critters are an issue, as well as the heat during warm / hot weather.  A tarp is only good to ward off rain, and a hassle in the windy Eastern USA, where I live.    The winds tend to be brisk.    I have used a hammock with a tarp, but did not like it.

I seldom camp-out during warm weather.   I simply do not like the bugs and being uncomfortably warm.   Most of my warm-weather hiking is fast day-hikes, where I try to cover good distance, and return to base by nightfall, or meet an arranged pick-up person further up along the trail.    I start-out at dawn.  

                                                   ~r2~

6:25 p.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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@ Robert Rowe :

No...........No......... Thanks,  but I find nothing funny about giant slugs.  They amused me when I first moved here, but as the rape of my garden continues on a nightly basis, I hate them more and more with each passing moment with a passion usually reserved only for things that suck my blood.  Wait till you step on one and end up on your butt.  Once you get the slime on you or anything you own you need to take a scrubbie to get it off and even then it's still hard to get off.

 

They say everything in life has a purpose in life, I believe their purpose is to piss me off.

8:48 p.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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We have slugs here, Brian ... but, not to any degree of annoyance.

I think I read where you can put coarse Kosher salt on them, and they die.   Anyhow, I 'feel your pain' ... or, as my Jewish friends in Queens and Brooklyn would say on your behalf, " Oy, a broch ", which is a Yiddish phrase.   You might 'google' it.   It really fits your circumstance.   Those three words cover about 500 things a Gentile would try to express.

                                                        ~r2~

9:31 p.m. on September 8, 2011 (EDT)
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When its not supposed to rain/snow I dont carry my tent, just a blue tarp and use it if the weather changes. Sometimes I just carry my tents rainfly and its selfsupporting so I can set up the fly without the tent beneath.

Often in the winter months in the Grand Canyon I dont carry a tarp, tent or anything besides my sleeping bag as in Dec/Jan it rarely snows in the canyon so my bag is all I need (and my sleeping pad)

12:30 a.m. on September 9, 2011 (EDT)
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In theory I would like to sleep 'under the stars'. I sure do enjoy using my backpacking tent without the fly as it feels very open. But for the reasons mentioned by Apeman I won't do it. I have visions of those critters attracted to body heat ending up with me in my sleeping bag. Nooooo thank you!

12:45 a.m. on September 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

We have slugs here, Brian ... but, not to any degree of annoyance.

I think I read where you can put coarse Kosher salt on them, and they die.   Anyhow, I 'feel your pain' ... or, as my Jewish friends in Queens and Brooklyn would say on your behalf, " Oy, a broch ", which is a Yiddish phrase.   You might 'google' it.   It really fits your circumstance.   Those three words cover about 500 things a Gentile would try to express.

                                                        ~r2~

 Yep already tried that, actually any salt works.  First I found that it takes a lot of salt kill one slug (I've seen 6 in. slugs a number of times, that's a lot of slug) so after a while you end up salting the entire property and then on top of that it takes them a really long time to die and they suffer greatly.  I have found it is better to dispatch them quickly.  But thanks for the sugestion.

1:41 a.m. on September 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Part two, sleeping under the stars.  When I was just on my recent Brewpub/Brewery/Kitefest trip on the Oregon/Washington coast I had a number of "opportunities" to "sleep under the stars".  It was towards the end of the Brew pub tour.  I was in Astoria OR and I hit two Micro breweries (Astoria Brewing Co/Wet Dog Cafe, Fort George Brewery & Public House)  I then went to two Pubs, one I just can't remember but ended up at Rogue's pub in Astoria.  Needless to say I stayed till it closed, which was around Midnight.  As I had a long day of sampling a number of wonderful beers sleep was on my mind.  When I left I headed down Hwy 30 for about 45 min till I foud a camp ground.  The camp ground only had 5 places to set up camp and they were all full.  I then noticed cars and many people "sleeping under the stars".  There was no way to set up anything or even use a light without disturbing others os I pulled out my Thermorest and went to sleep.  My sleeping bag, tents and bivy were buried in my duffel bag under and bunch of bunjee cords and I couldn't use my light so I just went to sleep.  Well low and behold at about 4 am a light rain started.  Dang it I groggily thought, as my side was getting wet, I thought it would be a good idea to roll over so it wouldn't get any wetter.  So I rolled over and went back to sleep, only to wake up an hour later when the others were rising and leaving as it was getting light out by then.  It was then I truly realized what I had done.  I actually slept out in the rain and was wet.  There's more to the story after that but at this point the moral of the story was, Dude (me) that's why the make tents.  Even if I would have had a tarp just laying over me I still would have woken up in the rain.  Just not my idea of a good morning if I can't have at least a little dry space.  Again not a big fan of "sleeping under the stars" due to weather and critters, both big and small.  At the minimum a bivy or tent for me and I'll investigate tarps/tent tarps as well

3:37 a.m. on September 9, 2011 (EDT)
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MH Skyledge 2.1 tent.

I like the complete closure.

When my eyes are closed I can't see the stars.

I don't wake up with a nocturnal local sniffy around me ears.

If it rains, I lay and listent to the pitter patter of rain drops not falling on my head.

Has a go super light option of ground tarp and fly only.

Just that little bit more room than a bivy to keep gear in and dry and manageable.

Weight increase is hardly anything, with undisturbed sleep the weight is weightless.

Base camp storage.

4:20 p.m. on September 9, 2011 (EDT)
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It's tough to sleep in the south in warmer weather without some type of insect protection.  Most of the time I just sleep in a cotton sheet on my mattress pad.  Without the netting, I would soon resemble King Tuts mummy or a raspberry from all the bumps which would come from the bites.

When I was stationed in Colorado, we had a guy who woke up with a 5 ft rattler on his chest in his mummy bag with him.  He had the presence of mind to lay still & get help from his tent mate.  They stuck a hose in the bag that was connected to the exhaust pipe of the jeep.  After a few minutes, the snake crawled out right past the guy's ear.  He never moved!  We called him "Iceman" from then on.  That time really gets me paranoid, and I only watched.

Hey GaryPalmer.  You have a billion hours in the desert.  Did you ever have any close encounters?

5:00 p.m. on September 9, 2011 (EDT)
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Brian, I feel you there with the slugs and you got my sympathy.

Alright, so I get it that it might rain - smart move - stay dry - I like to stay dry as well.

I don't want to question the correctness of the common knowledge about snakes etc creeping at night, as I myself still shacks my boots up-side-down every morning to be sure there are no scorpions in them. BUT - is it only my good luck, or does someone know the real numbers? or maybe it's more of a myth? I can tell for sure that mosquitoes are no myth - had few (luckily only handful) nights with zero sleep case I was too busy fighting them with a false attempt to stop them drinking my blood - like the guy next door, I too don't like phlebotomy!

give it any name you like, I use the "sleep under the stars", but there is something nice, simple, in doing it. Kind of make me feel I'm out there, part of me being outdoor. There is something nice about a tent as well - a sence of privacy, sort of a shelter as well - but I feel it can block me from everything around me.

But back to my original questien: with the gear you can get now days, why go with a bivy? or if you like a bivy, what using a tarp? would you say a tarp work better when it's warm? (air-flow etc) - but if you only use a tarp, than you are still expose to the local wild life...

5:47 p.m. on September 9, 2011 (EDT)
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I don't know anything about them ... but, I understand there now is available some kind of electric / electronic perimeter system one can lay-out around a campsite.   Keeps predators away, somehow.   Bears?

Probably not compact / small / light-enough to be practical.  But, I foresee a day when the amazing "miniaturization" of something like this will take place, and become a practicality.

The Japanese are masters at "miniaturization".  I'd look for them to be ahead of the curve on this.

                                                       ~r2~

6:03 p.m. on September 9, 2011 (EDT)
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like what they used in "congo" from 1995? http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112715/

no thanks! :)

8:55 a.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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To get back on subject, I know a lot of weight and space can be saved with the tarps ect.  However, so much is going to depend on how you will use the equipment to determine its usefulness. 

I am considering the MLD Duo-mid pyramid for its light weight and ample space, but because of the insect population where I hike,  I will need a bug bivy to keep from becoming main donor to the mosquito population.  I could get away with a simple mosquito net for awhile to save the money on the bivy.  Also, the Scoutmaster of our troop usually shares the tent with me, so he will need one also.

Nir, don't know the conditions for insects in Israel, but that may not be any problem for you.  You may not have to contend with the rain, like I do, so I always like less if I can get away with it.

11:45 a.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert

http://www.udap.com/bearshock.htm

http://counterassault.com/html/bearfence.html

The following has some graphic pictures. They also have a "net" fence which does not need to be grounded like a regular fence.

http://www.electrobearguard.com/

Apparently if you are in Alaska you need to use one of these if want to sleep where bears are common like around salmon runs.

I read a report about someone salmon fishing with a guide and they used a bear fence. Apparently sometime in the night a bear messed with the fence.

Of course if you're this guy you don't need a fence.

12:58 p.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Here's a bivy that you don't need a tarp with to keep dry. Probably wouldn't want to be in it in a long or heavy down pour but light showers wouldn't be bad. 



bivy.jpg

It's made by Chinook google "Chinook 01902OL"

Description:

Summit Bivy Bag - OliveManufacture ID: 01902OLThe Summit Bivy is an advanced bivy sack system that uses DAC Featherlite aluminum poles to create a self-supporting canopy around the facial area. This allows better breathability and movement without added exposure to the elements.A great choice for multi-day wilderness trips snow-camping and emergency situations.

Specifications:Waterproof/breathable fabric top and waterproof ripstop nylon bottom fabric (5000mm) - Factory-taped seams are completely waterproof- Facial ventilation system for better breathability - Contured hood and comfortable roomy footbox - Includes a stuff sack- Summit Bivy- Waterproof/Breathable- Size: 91" x 32" x 22"/H 17" (230 x 80 x 55 cm/H 42 cm)- Total Weight: 2 lbs (0.92 kg)

I don't own a tarp or bivy but from what I've read I would prefer it to a tarp tent.  I read a blog about somebody using a tarp tent.  They had been hiking for several days and returned to the campground they started at.  It started to rain about midnight and about 3am they got out and into their car because it was leaking.

4:00 p.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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nirotem said:

"But back to my original questien: with the gear you can get now days, why go with a bivy? or if you like a bivy, what using a tarp? would you say a tarp work better when it's warm? (air-flow etc) - but if you only use a tarp, than you are still expose to the local wild life..."

 

Here's my experiance with bivys.  They are wonderful under the right conditions.  I use them only for emergency situations or for situations when I'm going to lay down and sleep, stand up and pack.  If I'm in a situation where it takes me any time to fall asleep I find them to be far to confining.  If I know I'm going to fall asleep on my feet or just as soon as I crawl into my bag I'm good.  Again if It takes me more than 1 min. to fall asleep I feel like I'm in a coffin.  When it rains,snows or hails if it's not a hooped bivey and I mean a number of hoops down along the body rain, snow, rain or hail will build up on the bivy both when your are in it and away from it.  When you are in it this is a very weird and uncomfortable feeling.  Another nice thing about bivys is that mine (and I have two: a thirty year old Gore-tex Marmot, and a Bibler tripod [both single wall]) take seconds to just about a minute to set up, very quick and even faster to tear down.  Great for stealth camping.  I used my marmot Gore-tex "borrow" on my bike tirp in Europe for stealth camping 30 how ever many years ago it was.  Some of the other things I don't like about bivies are there is really no room in the bivy for any thing else cept your sleeping bag, pad ,pillow, and you.  Both mine are the long version so that is room for maybe your boots and a bit of clothing at the end of the bivy, but that's all.  If you have to get in and out on a regular bassis in bad weather you will bring in the bad weather with you, this could be mitigated with the proper use of a small tarp.  I've had to live in a bivy for three days in the pouring rain.  Not so much fun. 

I can very much see the advantage of using a smaller tarp with a bivy as they would very much complement each other very nicely.  Both are exceptionally lite and the tarp could be set up in many different ways in regards to the bivy.  You would also have a number of different sleeping arrangement using one or both in regards to "sleeing under the stars" or not.  When ever I've slept in a tent or bivy under a blue tarp (we do that alot in the PNW) I have noticed a huge reduction of flying insects around the tents, the lower the tarp to the ground the the less the flying insects.  This does not apply to the creepy crawly insects.

So, Pros and cons regarding bivies:

 

Pros:

small

lite

fast setup and teardown

Keeps the things outside........... weather,critters

Great for stealth camping

 

 

Cons:

small

confining, coffin like

no extra room for gear or anything else cept yourself, meaning you have to keep all your gear out side and keep it dry and safe.

rain, snow, hail can weigh it down making it necessary to get out and clear of of the bivy, a properly place tarp would mitigate this.

constant in and out will bring in the weather with you, a properly placed tarp will mitigate this

 

ocalacomputerguy said:

"I don't own a tarp or bivy but from what I've read I would prefer it to a tarp tent.  I read a blog about somebody using a tarp tent.  They had been hiking for several days and returned to the campground they started at.  It started to rain about midnight and about 3am they got out and into their car because it was leaking."

Like anything else you get what you pay for.  I've seen some really, really cheap tarp tents.  I would guess them to be just like really, really cheap tents,  not so good for extreme conditions.  I've also seen where people had really nice tents but didn't want to take the time to seam seal them saying something silly like "they should  seam sealed this at the factory for this price and I'm just not going to do it" or "Well, I didn't think it was going to rain".  Neither of these reasons work well in the rain.   There are some really nice tarp tents out there that I someday hope to own.

4:54 p.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman said:

Like anything else you get what you pay for.  I've seen some really, really cheap tarp tents.  I would guess them to be just like really, really cheap tents,  not so good for extreme conditions.  I've also seen where people had really nice tents but didn't want to take the time to seam seal them saying something silly like "they should  seam sealed this at the factory for this price and I'm just not going to do it" or "Well, I didn't think it was going to rain".  Neither of these reasons work well in the rain.   There are some really nice tarp tents out there that I someday hope to own.

This was a brand name tarp tent. A Sublite from Tarptent the Tyvek model I think.  http://www.tarptent.com/sublite.html#overview 

5:43 p.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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ocalacomputerguy said:

apeman said:

Like anything else you get what you pay for.  I've seen some really, really cheap tarp tents.  I would guess them to be just like really, really cheap tents,  not so good for extreme conditions.  I've also seen where people had really nice tents but didn't want to take the time to seam seal them saying something silly like "they should  seam sealed this at the factory for this price and I'm just not going to do it" or "Well, I didn't think it was going to rain".  Neither of these reasons work well in the rain.   There are some really nice tarp tents out there that I someday hope to own.

This was a brand name tarp tent. A Sublite from Tarptent the Tyvek model I think.  http://www.tarptent.com/sublite.html#overview 

 Yes, and sadly sometimes you don't get what you pay for.  As I usually examine what I want to buy for a long time (sometimes for years).   I take into account all the collected info regarding a particular item that I can gather.  I will go and read about this just out of curiosity.  I do wonder if it was set up right and or seam sealed and if so if it was done correctly.  We will never know.  It's sad when people don't use a thing in a correct manor and then give a quality item a bad rap.  It is also sad when a "quality item" does not live up to it's billing.  I do know that if I ever run into one I will now ask to check it out stitch by stitch.

7:53 p.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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So, Instead of taking a ride over a mountian pass cause it was sooooooo hot on my bike yesterday, I ended up going to Portland OR to trade two 5000 watt honda generators (that I got for a screeming deal due to America's great generator excesses caused by the Y2K crises, or lack thereof)  with a guy who is donating them to medical clinics in Kenya for a bunch of boat motors, chain saw, down riggers, things that go bang.  Since, I was looking for a reason to go back to Portland to visit my current favorite micro-brewery (Hair of The Dog) I had a lot of time to think.  About 4 hours due to road construction and wrecks as it so happend.  On the ride down I was thinking of this thread, and many others.  One of the only reasons not to "sleep under the stars" is creepy crawlies such as bugs/insects, small to med. rodents/mammals and last but not least poisonous reptiles.

Here is maybe another option to the question "tent, tarp, bivy or nothing at all?"

When I got home last night it was back to the Bat cave.  About 9 months ago I bought some stuff of of Ebay from an Army Surplus site.  If I ordered around thirty more dollars worth of stuff my shiping would be free thereby gettting the thirty dollars of stuff for free.  I bought four of these army tent net covers.

They measure 14 ft. long at the bottom with the the bottom opened up as you see.  the width is about 7 ft but, since its a frame with out a floor you can decrease the height while making it wider for a hugh amount of adjustment.
DSC04667.jpg

 

 

 

Another view.
DSC04668.jpg

 

There are tie downs/offs on the bottom part way up the netting and at the top.  you could add any anount of side ties-offs you wanted to this to customize it.
DSC04669.jpg

 

 

Showing the pole pocket on one end of the top  The top measures 6 ft pole pocket to pole pocket.  There is a tie right by each of the pole pockets ionb the outside of the apex.  Theeir is another tie-off in the center of the apex on the outside. 
DSC04670.jpg

 

The other pole pocket on the other end.  This ite out is a little differnt than the other end.  i do not know why.
DSC04671.jpg

 


The walls themselves each measure 66 in from the ground to the peak.  Inside in the picture is on of my garuge sale finds the other day my new used Leki Super Makalu (cortec) trekking poles.  You could also just fashion a pole out of a branch in the wild.  Remember to not use a sticky/sappy type of tree like a pine.  Instead use a Alder, Aspen,Willow, hardwood, anything not sappy.

 DSC04672.jpg

The measurments on these things are 14 ft at the bottom end to end. 6 ft at the top pole pcket to pole pocket.  The sides are 66 in form the ground to apex running along the tent wall.   It was about  4 ft from the apex straight down to the ground.  The way I had it set up it was about 7 ft wide.  As this has no floor and a triangular nose-ends this can kinda be rounded out and widened.  The wider you make it the lower the apex becomse.  It weighs in at 500 grams.  I cost $7.  When I bought mine a year ago the varied inbetween $7-$15 each depending upon the site I was looking at.  I got four.

You coluld use it like it is.  You could cut part of it away to save weight.  you could sew a Tyvek floor into it and make a door for a under the stars tent for less than $20 if you can sew,  as that amount of Tyvek is either free or cheap.  You could use this and then use a tarp over it.............you could think up a your own was to use this thing as I'm now getting tired of thinking of wasy to use this thing...............ahaaaaaaahhhhh......make it stop!!

 

Anywas this is now incorperated into my gear way of thinking and I will be using this very soon.  Let me know if you need help finding them, but agian if I remember right most or at least a lot of the Army Surplus sites on Ebay have them.  Be forwarned there is lots, and I mean lots,  of really cool, really cheap stuff on these sites.  I got lost for hours for a couple of nights.

7:55 p.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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apeman:

The blogger stated the reason it leaked was because the Tyvek got soaked. They seemed to be an experienced hiker and were actually mildly bragging on it.  They had purchased the tent to keep bugs and dew off them and to get out of summer showers. Apparently the tarptent is really very quick to setup. Several other people in the group had given up much earlier and moved to their cars.

On a different note:


bilgy.jpg

The only problem is you have to make it. Click on the picture to go to the website.  Kits range from $103 to $146 depending on fabric. 2 man $124-$186.

They weigh 1lb 9oz for the 1 man and 2lb 4oz for the 2 man with 2 oz of stakes.  No poles. Optional aluminum poles 4 and 6 oz respectively. I assume these weights are for the sil-nylon not the ultrasil.

9:35 p.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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ocalacomputerguy said:

"The blogger stated the reason it leaked was because the Tyvek got soaked. They seemed to be an experienced hiker and were actually mildly bragging on it.  They had purchased the tent to keep bugs and dew off them and to get out of summer showers. Apparently the tarptent is really very quick to setup. Several other people in the group had given up much earlier and moved to their cars."

 

Thanks.  I went and looked around at this tent both review wise and from the companies site istself.  Tarp tent is an interesting company.  All of the pages I looked at regarding any of their products only give a discriptive list and specs of an item but not what it will do or a warranty of its performance.  

Discription from Tarptent web site:

 

Sublite

  • Fast setup — Under 2 minutes from sack to pitched
  • Non-stretch, breathable, and water resistant fabric
  • Dual trekking poles support
  • Easy side entry/exit — no interfering guylines
  • Bathtub floor — can relax for increased space.
  • No-see-um mesh with separate mesh door for airflow
                    and views; bug proof when zipped up
  • Excellent internal gear storage space
  • Small packed size — 14" total length
  • Taut pitch with integrated line tighteners Reflective spectra cord guylines included

Show Dimensions | Product Sheet (pdf) SleepsWeight (oz/kg)Floor Width (in/cm)Floor Length (in/cm)Floor Area
(ft2/m2)Interior Height (in/cm)Stakes (included)Packed Size (in/cm)Price119.5/ 0.5342/ 10786/ 21820/ 1.942/ 1074 x 6in/ 15cm14 x 4 / 35 x 10$179

Q: I don't use trekking poles, do you offer substitute poles?

A: Yes, a set of poles weighs 5 ounces.

  • Fast setup — Under 2 minutes from sack to pitched
  • Non-stretch, breathable, and water resistant fabric
  • Dual trekking poles support
  • Easy side entry/exit — no interfering guylines
  • Bathtub floor — can relax for increased space.
  • No-see-um mesh with separate mesh door for airflow
                    and views; bug proof when zipped up
  • Excellent internal gear storage space
  • Small packed size — 14" total length

Rather than listing what it will do they mearly state above (I marked it in Bold), Non-stretch, breathable, and water resistant fabric.

 

This is really interesting.  They do not offer any discription what their products will and will not do.  There really is no Warranty on how it preforms and the Warranty would only be on materials and labor.  When I first joined Tailspace I wanted to make a tent or tent tarp out of Tyvek.  It took me about a week to discover that Tyvek (house wrap) on it's own is not water proof but water restiant as its designed to go under siding and not be exposed to a direct mositrue ladened assault.  It is water resistant not water proof.  A big difference.  Tarptent leaves it up to each of their customers as to what they want to use their tents and tarps for.  Notice that there is no ratings on what seasons to use these in.  Quite interesting that they require us to use our brains to figure out when and when not to use their products.

 

 

Here is their return policy:

Product Returns

You may return an unused item, purchased directly from us, within 90 days for a full refund (minus the original shipping charge). No exceptions beyond 90 days. We will not accept any tent seam-sealed with urethane. Tarptents that have been used in the field will be evaluated for resale and partial credit returned to the original purchaser.

We issue refund checks for all domestic orders. Orders from outside the United States will be refunded via credit card or Paypal.

All returns must be "ordered" by clicking the return link below and filling in your information.  We will not accept returns which have not been ordered. Choose the "mailing payment" payment method and complete the order. Then box up all materials and return via a method with tracking so that you know your package arrived safely at our office. Please include a print out of your return order receipt and a brief note describing the reason for return.

Return a Tarptent

Thanks very much.

 

Here is what I found under by starting on their Home page.  By going to 'About':  then under: 'Frequently Asked Questions'.   The first question deals with the Warranty issue.

Cut and past below form Tarptent website:

 

What is the Tarptent return and warranty policy?Tarptents are fully guaranteed against fabric and workmanship failure and you, the orginal purchaser, may return one uninjured for a full refund within 90 days of purchase if not satisfied. That means you can set one up, even try it out overnight, and then decide if it's something that will work for you. Tarptents that have been used in the field will be evaluated for resale and partial credit returned to the original purchaser. Tarptents that have been seam-sealed with urethane or anything else other than silicone, applied as directed in the Tarptent product directions, will not be accepted. Lightweight stakes are designed to be inserted and removed by hand and not warrantied against breakage due to striking with feet or rocks. We stand behind every Tarptent and will make every effort to repair or replace products that fail due to defects in workmanship or materials. Normal wear and tear repairs will be done on a "non profit" basis and we will provide a price quote before beginning the work. In many cases, we charge only for the return shipping.

 

I would not buy a tarp/tent myself from this company as there is no performance based warranty.  I would consider a used one for the right price knowing that this/these are not designed for extreme conditions and knowing that I would not have any warranty.  I myself think that it was a mistake for them to use Tyvek (one this one tent) in the manner in which they did as there is no way to make it waterproof without destroying the breathability of the fabric, and, as breathablity was designed into the core structure of the venting design it would not vent right if one sealed the Tyvek.

 

However here is the a review that might be the one that ocalacomputerguy was talking about:

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Shelters/Tents/Tarptent%20Sublite%20-%20Tyvek%20version/Owner%20Review%20by%20Lori%20Pontious/

Most all the rewiews I read stated that their tents woulkd not stand up to wet conditions.  Some said they would pass them on to people to use in dryer climates.

Surprisingly this reviewer gave it quite the workout but still has some good things to say about the tent.  Maybe worth a read.

11:13 p.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Link isn't working apeman, would you mind trying again? I'm looking into the scarp 2, but like you, would rather spend my time, not money, researching an item.

11:18 p.m. on September 10, 2011 (EDT)
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Jake W said:

Link isn't working apeman, would you mind trying again? I'm looking into the scarp 2, but like you, would rather spend my time, not money, researching an item.

Sorry Jake, redid it above and it appears to be working now. but here it is again. 

http://www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Shelters/Tents/Tarptent%20Sublite%20-%20Tyvek%20version/Owner%20Review%20by%20Lori%20Pontious/

6:20 a.m. on September 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Tyvek ... or "Typar" does not get soaked.

The blogger was drinking Kool-Aid,  that had something in it.

I've been using the stuff for all manner of applications.   I've been in the construction biz for over 30 years, although Tyvek has not been around that long.

Tip:   Those USPS "Priority" envelopes are made of Tyvek.   I use them to put hand-tools in.   Makes easy access to the common wrenches and screw-drivers, along with a few fuses ... that one normally keeps in a car trunk.  

I used to turn the envelopes / bags inside out, to make it look non-USPS; but, now they have printed the insides, as well.

In-any-event, Tyvek does not absorb water or moisture.

I keep Tyvek scraps in my car-trunk, also, for lying down on the ground, should I have to crawl under the car for some reason.

                                                      ~r2~

8:38 a.m. on September 11, 2011 (EDT)
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The bivy plus tarp set-up sound good, and I like the ability to play with the setting, but then it's not that light anymore na?

tarptent do have seasons rating - you kind find it at the bottom of this page:

http://www.tarptent.com/allproducts.html

In this case I would like to let the photos talk for themselves:

http://www.tarptent.com/gallery.html

Seems alright for me.

Funny/sadly but a lot of the reviews out there are negative - people like to complain, and don't take the time to write positive feedback. Yes, in a perfect world things will work the way they meant to, but it's not the case as we all know. (this is why I like it here on trailspace - you get the good and the bad).

Guy - there are planty of snakes and scorpion in Israel, and yep - I do make sure my boots are empty before I put them on, but I must ask myself how much of it's a myth? I am sure people did got bitten by snakes at night, but the idea that a snack will sneak inside my sleeping bag at night never cross my mind before. But then maybe the rattlesnakes you got in the US are more friendly?


9:52 a.m. on September 11, 2011 (EDT)
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Tyvek comes in different thicknesses, and aren't all equal when it comes to water performances. Tyvek that is used in some UL tents can become soaked through when exposed to extended rains. So absolutly, this can happen when its in a prolonged storm.

http://www2.dupont.com/Building_and_Construction/en_CA/weatherization_systems/HomeWrap.html

Note that they say "water resistance" not water-proof. BIG difference, especially when your the one soaked and cold in the ackcounrty.

8:45 a.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Nirotem said;

Guy - there are planty of snakes and scorpion in Israel, and yep - I do make sure my boots are empty before I put them on, but I must ask myself how much of it's a myth? I am sure people did got bitten by snakes at night, but the idea that a snack will sneak inside my sleeping bag at night never cross my mind before. But then maybe the rattlesnakes you got in the US are more friendly?

I've been camping for over forty years in a lot of different places.  In all that time, the friendly rattler in Colorado was the only snake in the bag I ever witnessed. Never had it happen to me.  Heard far more extended stories.  You know how much mileage a snake story can get. I always had more problems with mosquitoes than any thing else.  I'm like you.  I think its far more myth than something that happens with any frequency.

Hey ~r2~, I've been considering using a sheet of Tyvek for a ground cloth for awhile. What is the least expensive way to acquire some and what am I looking for (as say what type or thickness)?  I do have UL tendencies, so I may stay with a thick poly.

2:24 p.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Guyz said:

".....I've been considering using a sheet of Tyvek for a ground cloth for awhile. What is the least expensive way to acquire some and what am I looking for (as say what type or thickness)?  I do have UL tendencies, so I may stay with a thick poly.

What you are looking for is Tyvek "house wrap".  This type of Tyvek comes in just one thickness.  There are a number of other types of Tyvek's for other uses.  You need a slightly "longer X wider" piece than your tent is, so that you can customize it to your needs.  You can sew it, glue (contact cement works, silicone sealer does not) it,  or use Tyveks own tape to tape it.  Tyvek and it's tape are a DuPont product

 

The First and best way I've found to obtain some, esp small amounts, is to know some people who work at work sites building houses and or redoing the siding on houses as this type of Tyvek is used as a house wrap  (vapor barrier) under siding.  Quite often they have ends and or left overs as it comes in 150 ft rolls.  It comes in 3-12ft widths with 3-9 ft  widths being most common.  This way you get it for free.  Of cource there has to be some house building going on in your area for this to happen.

Partial roles or over buy roles can be bought on Craigslist for quite often 1/2 price.  I normally look for end of the project partial rolles.  These can be quite cheap.  Portland Craigslist seems to have the most avaliable at any given moment for some reason, at least this is my experiance.  It will be expensive to have a 9-12 ft wide roll shipped but a 3-6 ft roll wouldn't cost to much.

Finally there are people selling it by the ft. in the 9-10 foot widths on Ebay.  This will may very well be your best bet if you can't find it for free and don't need a whole bunch like I do.  Tyvek is good for all kinds of things esp. when you waterproof it.  Remember it is only water resistant rather than water proof when you get it.  Contact me for info on water proofing it.

It works very well for tent footprints or for a ground tarp for your pad if your "sleep under the stars".

 

2:46 p.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Y'all ~~

Think about this:

In lieu of sleeping "under the stars" ... what is the alternative?

Sleeping "over the stars" ?

                                                     ~r2~

3:31 p.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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How about "under the ground" if you roll over onto that rattlesnake that crawled in with you. Otherwise "under the roof" of my man-made cave.

3:48 p.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Oh yea, "in the snow bank" for those insane people who voluntarily sleep in snow caves while hiking.

Also available in Key Largo "under the ocean"

http://www.jul.com/overnight.html

4:43 p.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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lol.  Do all of you stay awake all night thinking these things up?

Thanks Apeman, I know some builders.  Message coming for waterproofing. 

4:45 p.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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Robert Rowe said:

Y'all ~~

Think about this:

In lieu of sleeping "under the stars" ... what is the alternative?

Sleeping "over the stars" ?

                                                     ~r2~

 this just made me think about the cow that jumped over the moon.

Guy - the more I think about it, the harder it gets to understand the logic of a snack coming for a night visit - yes, they like heat, but at the same time they can sense/smell live creatures like the one inside the sleeping bag, and the way I know snacks - they are always trying to get out of our way...never mind.

Still - so I start to get the idea of a trap, but any main reason to pick up a bivy beside bug protection? talking about hiking, not mountaineering. as there are sleeping bags that deal good with wind and dew... 

5:13 p.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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nirotem said:

Guy - the more I think about it, the harder it gets to understand the logic of a snack coming for a night visit - yes, they like heat, but at the same time they can sense/smell live creatures like the one inside the sleeping bag, and the way I know snacks - they are always trying to get out of our way...never mind.

I have to agree with you.  Most critters spend most of their time avoiding people. (a good survival instinct)  If one practices good clean camp skills and avoids food contact with the sleeping area, I don't think there will be much trouble with the animals.  

I have had a wayward armadillo scare me pretty good while digging for grubs next to my bag.  It was fall and cool out.  I was under a tarp in just a sleeping bag.  He woke me from a very sound sleep when I somehow hit him with my elbow while turning over.  The armadillo then ran into a tree a few feet away while attempting to run from me.  The tree confused him & turned him around.  He then ran into my chest ( I had just turned on my side to figure out what was going on).  He then crashed off through the brush trying to get away from what-ever-monster had just attacked.  By the time I found my light, he was long gone.  Took a few minutes to figure out what happened.  That was a TP moment;)

5:27 p.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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"In the tree tops"  this one doesn't really count but it's an interesting idea. http://pacifictreeclimbing.com/

11:16 p.m. on September 12, 2011 (EDT)
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I've used tarps on several trips in fall and winter in northen Minnesota and the UP of Michigan.  What I like about a tarp is they are lighweight and provide a lot of covered space.  I've managed to stay dry in the rain.  That said, to date I still don't like them.  The reason I keep using a tarp is I hope that maybe someday I get used to them and can therefore lighten my load relative to a tent.  This may be nuts, but I simply sleep better in a tent.  Something about having an enclosed space with a warmer air (due to a double walled tent) buffer around me seems to allow me to sleep better at night. Perhaps if I camped more often I would get used to a tarp, but so far I perfer a tent.

3:58 a.m. on September 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Guyz Said:

"I have had a wayward armadillo scare me pretty good while digging for grubs next to my bag.  It was fall and cool out.  I was under a tarp in just a sleeping bag.  He woke me from a very sound sleep when I somehow hit him with my elbow while turning over.  The armadillo then ran into a tree a few feet away while attempting to run from me.  The tree confused him & turned him around.  He then ran into my chest ( I had just turned on my side to figure out what was going on).  He then crashed off through the brush trying to get away from what-ever-monster had just attacked.  By the time I found my light, he was long gone.  Took a few minutes to figure out what happened.  That was a TP moment;)"

 

Dang, don't be runnin into me at night.  If you don't eat me, I might just have to eat you, really, don't make me eat you.  Can you say armadillo benedict.  hummmmmmmmmm, I can.

7:44 a.m. on September 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Brian ("apeman") is correct.   Construction sites are the best source of scraps / end-cuts of Tyvek.

Now, here's a 'tip':   coffee

Visit a job site.   With the economy in the toilet right now, there's not many of them.

Find the "super", or "project manager".   Often found in an office-trailer on the job site.

He is the one to ask.   NOT some carpenter up on the roof, or inside the framing.

Offer to buy coffee for him, or time your visit right before mid-morning (10:AM) when they usually take a coffee-break, and bring coffee with you.   Don't forget the little packets of 'Sweet'n'Low' and/or sugar, and the little tubs of half'n'half.

You may even offer to buy coffee for the crew.  NOT the sub-contractors; although, that is optional.

If you do this, you will be remembered forever, and will have the opportunity for repeat successful forays for Tyvek.

Bear-in-mind, you may have to go "Dumpster Diving".    And, one more thing -- Bring a razor-knife with you.

                                                ~r2~

8:41 a.m. on September 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Apeman said:

Dang, don't be runnin into me at night.  If you don't eat me, I might just have to eat you, really, don't make me eat you.  Can you say armadillo benedict.  hummmmmmmmmm, I can.

Brian, folks from Louisiana eat almost everything that moves.  In ditches, bayous and what scampers across the ground.  Armadillo ain't nothin' but possum on the half-shell.

Thanks ~r2~, got kin folk who do siding, and a friend who is a carpenter building residential houses.  Now that I know what I'm looking for, I've friends in low places.

9:55 a.m. on September 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Don't forget the coffee,  Guyz !

Will open doors for you.   Trust me.

p.s. -- Love the Garth Brooks line

                                                     ~r2~

10:14 p.m. on September 13, 2011 (EDT)
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Forgive me if this has been addressed above; I haven't read everything...

First you have to define two classes of bivys: fully waterproof, or alpine, bivys, and UL water-resistant bivys, many of which come with a generous mesh net hood.

I use an Oware water-resistant drawstring top bivy with my Integral Designs SilWing tarp whenever I expect bugs or a heavy stint of rain. The bivy has a full-mesh hood, using a UL 20-denier fabric on top, and silnylon on bottom. The hood area includes a tie-off to suspend it from the same trekking pole on which my tarp is pitched. Bivy weighs 6 oz, and the tarp weighs 16 oz with lines, giving me 3+ season protection for 22 ounces. The bivy doubles as a ground cloth too, allowing me to shed even more weight, though I often bring a one-ounce window-film ground sheet anyways...

For an alpine bivy, I'd look at Integral Designs' eVent offerings. I know there bivies can be found on Ebay regularly. I've heard good things about the Rab eVent bivy as well...

At any rate, I love the open feel and generous views you get when tarp camping. Using a UL bivy in conjunction with tarp allows one to keep bugs out as well, while maintaining adequate ventilation.

9:07 a.m. on September 14, 2011 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

I use an Oware water-resistant drawstring top bivy with my Integral Designs SilWing tarp whenever I expect bugs or a heavy stint of rain. 

One of the problems we face with rain & bugs is that these conditions are also connected with hot temperatures which linger until 1:00-2:00 am.  Most of the time I sleep on my bag with a cotton sheet.  It's too hot.  Would a person just have to hang mosquito netting or do some of the bivys come with enough netting for a person to get more ventilation?


10:00 a.m. on September 14, 2011 (EDT)
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This is why Autumn ( not "fall" ) is such a wonderful time to hike and camp.

Summer is not a pleasure in the Eastern U.S.A.   Waaaay too many hassles.

Bugs, humidity, too many people on vacation, tourists, traffic,  and the HEAT are ever-present.

                                                  ~r2~

11:14 a.m. on September 14, 2011 (EDT)
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@ Guyz: Some of the best UL bivies I've seen come from www.owareusa.com and www.titaniumgoat.com

Then, of course, there is the original "jack of all trades" bivy, the Six Moon Designs Meteor: www.sixmoondesigns.com

Between the three, they make many models which offer as much or as little bug netting as you like, also with many closure options. I find the Oware drawstring model I have has enough ventilation to be comfortable without a secondary netting defense. The tie-off on the hood area is super useful as it allows the netting to be suspended off my face, so much so that I can nearly sit up in it, providing many options for various relaxing/reading positions when desired.

2:59 p.m. on September 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Pillowthread: so will you ever use the non-waterproff one without a tarp? when it's warm and you want to keep the bugs away?

And everyone - going solo or with someone, will it make a diffrent regarding your choice to what to bring with you? I think the sight of 2-3 bivys must be a bit funny, to say the least.

3:22 p.m. on September 15, 2011 (EDT)
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Nope, not so funny I "always" sleep in my own tent/bivy. They say "Misery love's company".   I prefer to be happy in my tent/bivy.  ;-}>

As far as what to bring with me solo or with others, I bring what I bring.  Other's need to bring what they need.  We do look at each others lists of what we will have with us to make sure were each covered though  ;-}>

3:26 p.m. on September 15, 2011 (EDT)
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nirotem: I certainly would. 6oz to keep all bugs away is worth it, in my opinion. One can hang the tie-off for the face net to a single trekking pole. I don't own a "summer tent" or even a 3-season tent. I've got my Oware bivy, my ID SilWing, and my Hilleberg Allak. That covers all of my bases; when I camp with a companion, I just make my shelter options known, and any other available tent options usually come to light almost immediately. I sometimes bring the bivy along even if I'm in a tent, to keep condensation off of my down bag.

I used to have 3-season tent, a Moss Stargazer, which I sold and replaced with an MSR Missing Link, which I sold and replaced with the bivy/tarp. The setup I have now maybe requires a little more set-up time at the campsite, but it is much more versatile, it's lighter, and it allows a quicker, easier campsite selection at the end of the day. Plus, I'm less blocked off from nature, which is certainly part of the reason I like to go backpacking in the first place.

12:31 p.m. on September 30, 2011 (EDT)
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The OP had asked about choices between various tents, tarps, bivys and when to use them. Without seeming obtuse, it does depend on the location, conditions and length of time. All three of those are fairly easy to predict. I have used bivys for planned bivouacs when climbing. I have never had to resort to one in an emergency. Tarps are fine for bugless locales where high winds are not expected and there are things to tie to. Kitchen tarps are the norm on long trips in Canada's bush. Tents, either ultra light or heavier are my choice for long trips( more than two weeks) in difficult conditions. If you have to spend several days in a snow storm in a tent, a roomy one pays dividends. Whatever system you choose, it will take you a lifetime to figure all of the little tricks. (Tarpology 101)


IMGP1406.jpg

8:11 p.m. on September 30, 2011 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

..I sometimes bring the bivy along even if I'm in a tent, to keep condensation off of my down bag...

I had a pal who also did this for the same reasons.  I argued against it, stating it aggravated the ultimate object, that being preventing the insulation from becoming saturated with moisture.  So we did a comparison on that late season snow trip in the Sierras, sharing a tent, both of us using similar bags, but him also ensconced in his bivi in the tent.  At the end of the trip I lost an inch of loft, but he lost three.

Using a bivi to keep your bag dry in this situation is misleading.  You don't have condensation on the surface of your bag, because the bivi envelops it in a pocket of relatively warm air.  The outside surface of the bivi becomes the boundary where temperature gradients are highest, hence becomes the new surface where condensation occurs.  My point was who cares about surface moisture; the moisture retained in the down layer is what matters.  The bivi protected his bag from surface condensation, but also raised the ambient humidity environment encasing the sleeping bag, which caused it to retain more moisture within the down layer, eventually degrading the loft.  His bag looked drier, but it seemed to retain more moisture, based on loft measurements.

I know bivies protect bags from external sources of moisture, but they apparently retard expiration of moisture generated within by the bag's occupant.  The ambient outside humidity in our situation was relatively dry, and we were not contending with condensation raining off the inside tent walls, so these considerations were not factors in this instance.  I have not repeated this experiment, or performed it under other conditions, but imagine results may depend on ambient humidity.  If your conditions resemble ours, I would suggest more ventilation in the tent to lower ambient humidity, as well as reduce likelihood of tent rain.

Ed

10:47 a.m. on October 1, 2011 (EDT)
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Ed: Many things could have led to the differences in lost loft during your "experiment," no? I believe that adding a bivy can move the "condensation point" outside of one's sleeping bag, often onto the bivy itself, though yes, temperature and humidity gradients do mix things up a bit, and they do often determine where that condensation will collect/remelt.

OP: Get a bivy and try it for yourself. This will be much more satisfying for you, and when you experience the results for yourself, you can't be wrong. These bivies have good resale value; you could always just unload it here, on the classifieds, if it doesn't work out...

4:09 a.m. on October 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Really neat threads on the neverending struggle to set up as close to the bosom of Mother Nature as wayward children can get and still not get squashed.  I was too late coming down from Mt. Cammerer one day (NE SMNP), got caught in a fierce rain, and ran out of light--had a day pack with water, protein bar, and a pancho.  Ended up sleeping in rather awkward positions under the pancho, watching eyes glowing in the dark all night(probably Pogo and the boys), little critters running up to sniff me, and a HEAVY thing going by thunderously on the path shaking the ground.  Never felt closer to the bosom than that day.  Spontaneous is good, so bring enough small items so you can "rig" something that'll work; but creative is better or you'll never meet the Velveteen Rabbit!

4:44 a.m. on October 2, 2011 (EDT)
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pillowthread said:

..I believe that adding a bivy can move the "condensation point" outside of one's sleeping bag, often onto the bivy itself, though yes, temperature and humidity gradients do mix things up a bit, and they do often determine where that condensation will collect/remelt...

Totally agree the bivi becomes the surface where condensation takes place.  The point I was trying to make is where the moisture condenses has little bearing on the concentration of moisture residing within the down layer.  True, the bivi takes on the duty as the condensation host, but it also acts to create a micro climate within the bivi that has a higher humidity rating than the air in the tent. Since the sleeping bag ends up in a more humid environment, it will retain more moisture, after all, it will not shed any more moisture after humidity levels between it and its surroundings are equalized.  It is similar to the effect that happens when we wear goretex;  we are kept "dry" from the rain, but all garments inside the rain suit become leaden with perspiration.  Sure there may be other variables that affected our little experiment, but I am pretty confident the results are significantly due to the bivi, versus which side of the tent we slept on, etc.

Ed 

4:55 a.m. on October 2, 2011 (EDT)
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Bunion said:

..Ended up sleeping in rather awkward positions under the pancho, watching eyes glowing in the dark all night(probably Pogo and the boys), little critters running up to sniff me, and a HEAVY thing going by thunderously on the path shaking the ground...

Whenever I solo, it amazes how much fauna is in my midst that is either scared off by traveling in a group, or gone undetected due to group distractions.  One particular night stands out.  I was camping in the Cottonwood Lakes area.  The moon was full, and bright enough to see colors.  I was dropping in and out of a light doze over the hours, when I awoken to notice the ground all around me was moving.  There were literally hundreds of voles in the general area.  Other solo outings have similar experiences, but none as profound as this one.

Ed

October 31, 2014
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