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11

I think you pretty much covered it. Advantages of a tent: Keeps more rain/snow out (particularly if you have little skill in tent/tarp setup) Keeps out insects. For me, this is the big one - in spring time when the mosquitoes are fierce, being confined to your sleeping bag with a net over your face is not nearly as pleasant as lounging in your enclosed ...


8

A poor tarp pitch can lead itself to condensation. Did you use a plastic ground sheet? Water running under the tarp when it's raining can cause a lot of humidity inside the tarp. Were you pitched on long grass? Plant life can increase condensation under a tarp. This can also be alleviated by a plastic ground sheet. How close to the ground was your tarp ...


6

Why I use a tent in three easy-to-understand bullets Mosquitoes Ticks Mosquitoes Yes, I could carry netting, but at that point the tarp + netting would be both more hassle and more weight than my tent. (Which is where Ryley is 100% wrong about a tent not protecting me from nature. I've never had mosquitoes in my tent)


4

Spectra/Dyneema (UHMWPE) fibers are the strongest fibers available for weaving fabrics, but the puncture resistance of a woven fabric depends heavily on the weave. The major puncture risks for rafts or inflatable sleeping pads are needle-like (thorns, pine needles, wood splinters, etc.). Sharp-edged rocks could not easily puncture a raft or sleeping pad ...


3

I don't get condensation under my tarp, not in general, even after several hours in a heavy downpour. I don't pitch it over vegetation, in general. I did have condensation one time when I had it pitched close to the ground, just enough for me to lie under, and it rained heavy all night, perhaps 1-1/2 inches or more. If the rain's coming straight down, I ...


3

I sometimes bring a tarp and sometimes a tent. Most of my backpacking is in the summer in the Sierra Nevada, which means most of the time there's no threat of rain and I don't take my tarp or tent out of the backpack. When there are bugs, I typically sleep with a mosquito head net over my face. If it's windy, I kind of like a tent, because it keeps the wind ...


3

This happened to me too - once we took a plastic tarp with us instead of a tent. Terrible storm catched us. But we sweated under the plastic tarp so horrible that we preferred to stay out on the rain and kept only our bags under it. Condensation occurs when humidity meets cold - where humidity is so high (or the temperature is so low) that it cannot remain ...


3

The key differentiator between tarps and more modern tent material is the breathability and wicking you get from modern materials. Modern tents are very effective at passing moisture outside, but even then, you still see the recommendation that you don't let anything touch the inside of the tent during the night as moisture will take the easiest route. ...


2

Let's look at the physics behind where all the condensation came from. At night the air gets colder, but the ground has a lot of "thermal mass", so stays much closer to the average day/night temperature. This means at night the moisture from the ground will be entering the air at the ground, but that air will cool as it rises. That increases the water ...


1

Short answer: I use both. But then, I don't have particularly light weight gear. For weekend hikes (my home is in Germany with hills and abundant forest) usually the tarp or nothing at all (or maybe a cave). Moskitos drive me into the tent. In fact, I once returned to get the tent because moskitos were so bad. Short tours (weekend, prolonged weekend): ...


1

As others have already noted, keeping out mosquitos can be a big deal in some locations at some times of the year. However, when I go camping around Arizona in the summer that's not the reason that I use a small tent instead of a tarp. The biggest reason in this case is larger critters that can hurt you, like rattlesnakes, scorpions, and the like. Some of ...



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