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Tarp desert setup?

Hello everyone! 

I'm currently in the mid-planning stages of an expedition going out this summer to a semi-arid region in the Horn of Africa and have been trying to research shelter options.

Few factors:

- Temp will reach around 45 celsius during the day time

- But it will be towards the middle of the rainy season, too

- Malarial risk

- Fairly windy

- Upon reaching our base location, we'll be pitched for about 2-3 weeks

- The one female expedition member will need to be covered/protected for religious reasons


To me this seems like a rather tricky setup, then!


I wanted to ask what you guys might recommend as a good shelter system to best handle the above factors?


Researching last night, I got the impression that perhaps a Kelty Noah 16 combined with individual Integral Design Bugabivy bags underneath might do the job? On the other hand, might we not better go for individual Noah 9s or 12s each around a fire (sensible distance  .. !) with the female expedition member in something like an Outdoor Research Light Haven with BugaBivy bags underneath?


Interested to hear all opinions, including ones that scrap all my suggestions above!!


EDIT: Also, any sleeping back recommendations would be top, thanks!





Hello Herrje, welcome to Trailspace! Having never been to Africa I can't really comment on the conditions you will encounter, but living in semi-arid western Colorado I can tell you what works for me and my family.

We use an ID 10x12 Siltarp3 and an ID BugTent under it. The tarp can be pitched as an A frame with the sides all the way to the ground for really bad weather and for privacy. Treking poles are used to support the tarp but you could easily use something else or a line strung between two trees. Each end can be covered by a 5x8 Siltarp or SilPoncho to create a vestibule and for even more privacy. There is also room for gear storage between the tarp and BugTent.

At 5x8 feet the BugTent has plenty of room for two adults and has a bathtub floor to keep water out. In a pinch you can squeeze three 20 inch pads in it side by side. We have a really bad mosquito and fly season in the summer and it is nice to have the room to move around to get dressed and is a welcome refuge from the swarms of bugs. A setup like this would provide more comfort and privacy for your female member.

We also use ID's Bugamid for preparing and eating meals away from the horde of bloodsuckers. It is floorless so it doesn't hurt anything if you spill some food or drink and at 10x10 and 8 foot tall there is plenty of room for several people.

Good luck on your expedition, it sounds like it should be a lot of fun.

November 30, 2020
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