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17

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 ...


16

I would say... never. What is a tarp but something that keeps precipitation off of you. In humid summer months, sure, condensation can cause precipitation under the tarp, but in winter, this is not so much a concern, and you can pitch it lower to the ground. You might get frost inside - but just shake it off when you pack up. Tents provide a few degrees ...


14

It's not animals you really need to worry about, it's bugs. I pack a tent to keep out of the bugs more than I do to keep the critters out. The only time I can ever remember having issues with animals was in the Ptolemy Plateau, for some reason there were a lot of gophers, and they were all over our campsite at night, scratching at the walls of out tent and ...


14

If the wind is blowing from all directions, then you need to get as low as possible to the ground. Do your best to find a spot that is somewhat sheltered from the wind. The lee of a crest usually works, but if you have wind blowing from all directions then try to find a recess in the ground - a low spot where the ground that slopes up in all directions away ...


9

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 ...


9

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)


8

Your most practical solution would seem to be a wing shelter. For the most part, you simply need your tarp, a tree, sticks and rope. The pdf I attached recommends making it 5 feet tall, but you could easily make it 2 or 3 feet tall to accommodate the length you need the shelter to be.


7

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 ...


7

I see 0 benefit to a tarp over a tent with regards to travel in bear country. this would allow the bear to see you (and leaving accordingly) Bears are going to smell you and your camp long before they see you. If your tarp/tent setup is any good at all, it'll be covering you from most directions anyhow. I can't imagine an open tarp having any ...


6

Hammock Can you lie flat in it? How large/heavy is it? Footbox? Color (stealth camping?) Suspension How easy is it to adjust? Can you adjust your hammock to different sags? Do you always want to have the same amount of sag? What is the furthest distance between trees that your suspension can accommodate? This will depend on How much stretch ...


5

One of the fun things about tarping is that every tarp setup is different. For that reason it's hard to make generalizations. Also, it may make a difference what environment you're in. In some places, you're virtually guaranteed a rainstorm every evening. In others (the Sierra in summer), you basically don't expect rain, and the tarp is a piece of emergency ...


5

First, you have to figure out the dimensions you're looking for. Too big is uselessly bulky to carry, but too small can prevent it from being useful. This will depend on the size of your tent/hammock or whatever else you're trying to protect. Apart from that, things you can look for are: Waterproof-ness: This should be indicated on the label, but looking ...


5

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 ...


5

I would say it's not a question of too cold, tents don't add that much warmth. Tarps and a shovel can make some very nice shelters in the snow. The real limitation is blowing snow/rain and the wind speed you expect to stand. If the wind is shifting at all, or is much above 20 mph, a tarp is going to be fairly miserable. ( I'm not including floorless tents ...


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 ...


4

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 ...


4

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): ...


4

OK, I finally tried the setup inspired by this site, which can be fully closed by pegging the sides closer to the middle, and pegging it directly on the ground on the opposite side of the entrance. It would be quite a tight night and you would need to leave your rucksack out, if it's big. But I was able to put the sleeping bag out of the bag from the ...


4

I usually use trekking poles when walking and have been for over 20 years as it helps prevent knee injury so I would use them with a tarp. Since you want to use a dedicated pole for a tarp which is lightweight, you could have a look at this one http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/shelter-accessories/WA114.html from a UK website dedicated to lightweight gear. ...


3

In my experience, even heavy plastics tear easily with wind. This from trying to use such plastics to cover cargo that I'm hauling with a truck. I think this would be the only thing that would deter me from using such a thing as a tarp.


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. ...


3

Most tarps have a coating applied to them. DWR should be avoided, it's only water resistant and will eventually drip. Silicone impregnated (aka silnylon or sil-nylon) is lighter than polyurethane-coated, and is supposed to be equally waterproof, but some people say silnylon can mist during heavy rains but it's more likely from condensation than ...


2

The big difference in price / quality is the weight. A builders tarp that would normally be transported on a truck does not need to be as light as one that you would carry on your back. There are also some that have design details, like being able to combine 2 to make a tent.


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 ...


2

The risk of a serious problem is quite small. Animals instinctively stay away from humans, and that instinct is even stronger in backcountry areas where they haven't become accustomed to human presence. The gear that you don't sleep with is in more danger than anything else — rodents will chew pack straps and trekking pole handles for the salt. They're very ...


2

Many ultra light tents which use trekking poles as part of the framing offer the alternative of using carbon fiber poles (1-2oz), carbon fiber and fiberglass (1.8oz), or aluminium (4oz). I used one carbon fiber pole over a long period of time for the awning of my LightHeart Solo tent (they only sell aluminium now). In one of my first outing with the carbon ...


2

We also got both (in various sizes for each), I think it make no sense to get into manichean fight tarpVStent as i've often seen in many places on the net... it just depends on the personnal/punctual aim of the trip, trying to keep a certain gear consistency if i go in woods/hills with 6years old son: 100% tarp (3*3m, diamond pitch for nice weather or 1/2 ...


1

This is my favorite clear plastic tent. I saw one of these at a distance, but could not get close to it to see the details of its construction: http://www.toxel.com/tech/2010/11/20/transparent-camping-tent/ I am planning to try to make one of these for myself using heavy crystal clear pvc film and sewing it with an industrial sewing machine. To keep it ...



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