Author Topic: Tents vs. Tarps  (Read 10260 times)

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Offline Moe M.

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Tents vs. Tarps
« on: February 12, 2012, 11:05:13 AM »

  For about twenty five years I was into historical trekking and buckskining,  during that time I used tents at rondezvous and gatherings and a canvas tarp for trekking,  now that I've turned to bushcrafting (kind of the same thing except for clothing and more modern gear)  I've been using a tarp for shelter.
  Over the last couple of years I've seen a few of my friends come down with Lyme illness from tick bites,  and i'm wondering if maybe a backpacking tent might be the smarter way to go,  while not crazy about packing the extra weight i'm also not fond of suffering the symtoms that my friends have had to endure.
  One of them has had memory loss,  temporary blindness,  loss of motor functions,  and disorientation to the point of not being able to find his way around his own home,  it's been a two year ordeal for him,  and while he is on the mend and regained most of his abilities,  the shots that he takes to kill the bugs that have infected his muscles are extremely painful as the bugs die off.
  I know that if one expects to spend time in the brush where lyme bearing ticks exist there's just so much you can do to avoid them,  but I think every little bit helps.

  Is anyone else here taken any measures to protect themselves from that threat ?


 



 



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Offline Red

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #1 on: February 12, 2012, 11:20:17 AM »
well, im a tent guy. ive tried the hammock and tarp thing a few times. the main reason i use a tent is because i cant sleep in a hammock. i just cant. the added bonus obviously is critter avoidance. the tent stays closed the entire time, only open for going in and coming out. thankfully, i have not had any problems with bugs and my tent. that really sucks for your friends, i wish them a full recovery, and i would convert to a tent if i was a tarp guy and just heard that story.

camping is fun, but its worth the extra pound to bring a tent to try and avoid that situation. just my .02
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Offline GrowlingBear

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #2 on: February 12, 2012, 11:46:31 AM »
I only use tarps when I'm camping in an area that doesn't have troublesome critters or creepy-crawlies, or when they're not active due to cold.  My desert stomping ground is loaded with scorpions, tarantulas, rattlers, and even camel spiders.  My buddies and I have all awoken to painful or itchy bites/stings all over.  This is highly unpleasant, and I like to avoid it at all cost.  Weight isn't an issue since it's car camping.  In the High Sierras, you have to contend with mosquitoes - many, many mosquitoes.  You can hear the swarm getting closer as the fire dies down.  A group of four people can go through a can of OFF in one weekend up there.  My lightweight solution for mozzies is a tarp with a lightweight mozzie net suspended underneath.  I have a cheapo Stansport or Jansport net.  It rolls up small and weighs only a few ounces.  Don't want to get any of the cooties those nasty buggers carry (Dengue fever, bird flu, etc.).
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Offline PetrifiedWood

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #3 on: February 12, 2012, 12:04:26 PM »
Tents for me. I like hammocks for lounging in the yard.

But I don't want stinging and biting bug and snakes snuggling up to me in the night, so I like to be able to zip up the tent and have a barrier. On clear nights with the rain fly off the view is just as good.

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #4 on: February 12, 2012, 12:15:39 PM »

  Thanks for the reply,  in all the years I've spent in the woods hunting, fishing,  and camping I never worried about the prospect of contracting the illness,  you just didn't hear that much about it,  but in the last few years you hear more and more horror stories about it,  I don't know if it's getting more wide spread,  or if it's just that more folks are talking about it,  but now that I've seen it close up it's pretty scary.
  I don't know about other areas of the country,  here it was confined pretty much to the Conn. area,  but now it has spread to much of the southern New England area and that's where I roam for the most part,  I have taken to wearing boots and either blousing my pant legs or using duct tape to keep my cuffs tight, and I check my clothes a couple of times a day when i'm out in the woods.
  I don't use a hammock either,  I usually build a sleeping platform about six inches off the ground and make a stretcher type bed by slipping a couple of poles through two large burlap potato sacks,  on this I put a self inflating sleeping mat and my bag or blanket,  but I'm still open to creepy crawlers except for my lean to tarp,  in summer I throw a GI bug net over the opening,  but that won't stop anything that crawls in at ground level.

 I really hate the idea of giving up my tarp,  but at this point and with a new season starting I'm on a search for a lightweight two man backpacking tent that won't break the bank,  somehow I just can't justify spending $200. ~ $400.00 bucks on a small tent,  I have been looking at a Kelty for about $80.00 dollars,  but haven't settled on one yet.
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Offline upthecreek

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #5 on: February 12, 2012, 12:17:48 PM »
I use a tent most recently. Mainly to keep my crazy dog in. I just got a hennessey so I'm gonna try the hammock in the spring. Wilderbeast says I would even be able to get in and out of it. He's a nice guy.
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #6 on: February 12, 2012, 12:53:49 PM »
Sawyer permethrin is a great product. I've been treating my clothes and outdoor gear for a couple of years with excellent results. I use the spray, other folks swear by the dip. 



I also use a bandana by ex officio insect shield treated commercially and supposedly good for the life of the garment as well as pants and shirts made by them.



I hate bugs.  These have worked well for me.


I use a tent or hennesy hammock depending on my mood.  I have an extra bottom entry if you want to try one out and see if it suits you.

I switched to the zipper modded version and the ease of entry and exit has made it much more user friendly.  Hennessy now has a zipper version so you no longer have to modify them yourself.
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #7 on: February 12, 2012, 01:01:04 PM »
I use a tent most recently. Mainly to keep my crazy dog in. I just got a hennessey so I'm gonna try the hammock in the spring. Wilderbeast says I would even be able to get in and out of it. He's a nice guy.

Where would Roxie sleep? I'd invite her into my tent but two would enter and only one will emerge and I fear that wouldn't be me.  ::)
Upon this a question arises: whether it be better to be loved than feared or feared than loved? One should wish to be both, but, because it is difficult to unite them in one person, it is much safer to be feared than loved.

Offline Moe M.

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #8 on: February 12, 2012, 01:45:27 PM »
Sawyer permethrin is a great product. I've been treating my clothes and outdoor gear for a couple of years with excellent results. I use the spray, other folks swear by the dip. 



I also use a bandana by ex officio insect shield treated commercially and supposedly good for the life of the garment as well as pants and shirts made by them.



I hate bugs.  These have worked well for me.


I use a tent or hennesy hammock depending on my mood.  I have an extra bottom entry if you want to try one out and see if it suits you.

I switched to the zipper modded version and the ease of entry and exit has made it much more user friendly.  Hennessy now has a zipper version so you no longer have to modify them yourself.

  Thanks for the info,  I'd heard that someone had come out with a tick repellent but haven't seen it anywhere,  where did you find it ?
  I'd surely like to buy some.

  Thanks also for the offer of the use of your Hennessy,  I'm not a Hammock type guy,  but I will keep it in mind.
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Offline Wilderbeast

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #9 on: February 12, 2012, 02:15:42 PM »
I bought the Sawyer at REI but Amazon carries it as well and you can sometimes get it at a good discount on ebay.
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Offline rogumpogum

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #10 on: February 12, 2012, 04:20:34 PM »
I've been wanting to try a hammock, and have one picked out, but... I dunno. I think I'd feel vulnerable in a hammock. Some bear might think I'm a taco. As for tarp camping.. I want to like it, an I'm trying, but.. Until you've seen the black flies in northern NY or the mosquito swarms coming off Montezuma Swamp here in the Finger Lakes...

I need to find a super lightweight, tiny packed, tent that's somewhat durable (HA!) and big enough for a big man (5'10 tall AND wide, lol).

Right now, I'm in what I call a "transistion" phase as I figure out exactly what I -need- to be comfy in the woods. :)
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Offline Gurthy

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2012, 04:53:26 PM »
Skeeters and ticks were really bad last year. I got a Golite Shangri La Nest that I set up inside the various tarp configurations. This gives me insect protection, good summer ventilation, and the light weight and flexibility of the tarp. Here it is in an A-frame setup:




Offline Red

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2012, 06:23:24 PM »
thats a nice little rig you have there Gurthy!
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Offline Moe M.

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #13 on: February 13, 2012, 07:42:30 AM »
Skeeters and ticks were really bad last year. I got a Golite Shangri La Nest that I set up inside the various tarp configurations. This gives me insect protection, good summer ventilation, and the light weight and flexibility of the tarp. Here it is in an A-frame setup:



  It looks like you have it pretty much covered (no pun intended),  for me,  having a floor to keep out the crawly things and a net to keep the 'skeeters at bay would be the most important considerations.

  One of the worst weekends I've ever spent in the woods was about six or seven years ago while on a three day outing in Pomfret Conn.,  it was late August,  hot and extremely humid,  the sun pretty much burned off the moisture during the day but the nights were dripping with humidity,  and the 'skeeters were so thick you could almost make a meal out of them.
  It was a group camp, about eight of us,  my camp buddy and I were sharing a two man A-frame tent, each of us had GI folding cots and light sleeping bags,  even the bug spray wouldn't keep the 'skeeters away,  so you'd crawl down in your sleeping bag until you couldn't stand the heat anymore,  then throw the bag open to get air until you got bit enough to seek the protection of the bag again.
  When I got home the first thing I did was to go out and buy an extra large GI bug net,  it's about 8'x10' and covers the front and sides of my tarp shelter when I set it up in lean-to fashion,  it's the best $20.00 bucks I ever spent.
  The type of tent that I'm looking for now will have a sewn in floor,  have the walls and roof mostly net material,  and have a good rain fly for cover against the sun and rain,  that way on dry nights I can do without the fly,  or cover it up if it looks like rain,  but still have good ventilation.
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Offline Highlife

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #14 on: February 14, 2012, 11:18:38 AM »
I'm still looking for the best answer to this.  Down here in Florida, there isn't really much of a NON-bug season, so netting is a must, year-round. I looked into the no-see-um net shelters, similar to the GI ones, so I may try that for fun.

I haven't tried hammock or tarp camping, mainly because I've got a nice tent that I don't mind sleeping in.  I would like the lighter weight of tarp/hammock camping, but the added expense of getting a 250+lbs rated hammock with netting just makes it a far off "luxury," as my tent works great for me.
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Offline rogumpogum

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #15 on: February 14, 2012, 11:52:52 AM »
Warbonnet makes a decent hammock for big men at little cost, in my opinion. But, I've been so hesitant. I'm currently 280 (was 316 three and a half months ago!) and my biggest problem with hammocks isn't bugs, nor being a bear taco... But something FAILING. A cord, a buckle, a seam... And I fall on my butt in the middle of a dead sleep and crack my head open or something.

No. No, I don't think I'll be doing that. I'll stick to the ground, thankoo!
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Offline Highlife

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #16 on: February 14, 2012, 01:45:14 PM »
Hey, congrats on the 36 pounds!

I have the same fear of hammocks... especially when I was tempted to get the Grand Trunk UL from Amazon for $11... then I read about how "average" people were tearing through them... scary.

I'll stick to my tent for now, I suppose.
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Offline rogumpogum

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #17 on: February 14, 2012, 02:06:51 PM »
Thanks, it's amazing what can happen when you stop eating bread, drinking diet soda (switching to tea), and stay away from processed foods and anything with high fructose corn syrups and the like.
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Offline MATT CHAOS

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2012, 08:04:47 AM »
I, generally, use tents.  There are a few times at Boy Scouts outings that I need to use tarps, though.  I, definitely, prefer tents because I hate waking up with orangish slugs crawling on my pillow.  I, also, hate getting bit by mosquitoes all night long in the summer.  Don't forget, that they make some really tiny bivy tents that weigh not much more than some tarps.  They are probably expensive but at least you wont get bugs inside as long as you keep the zipper shut.  Also, they make a hanging bivy tent, basically it is a hammock that is a tent.  Here are some links to some:

http://www.altrec.com/hammock-bliss/sky-tent?cm_mmc=Mercent-_-Google+PLA-_-Hammock%20Bliss-_-145852&mr:trackingCode=A76CB638-FC0B-E111-AC9E-001B2163195C&mr:referralID=NA&origin=pla&mr:adType=pla&mr:ad=9637826337&mr:keyword={keyword}&gclid=COWAw7Xioq4CFYIUKgodB3UbTw

http://www.campmor.com/mosquito-free-hammock-bliss.shtml?source=CI&ci_sku=67888&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw={keyword}

http://www.backcountry.com/hammock-bliss-sky-tent?CMP_SKU=HMK0007&MER=0406&CMP_ID=GAN_GPLA&003=8219600&010=HMK0007-ROBLUNET-ONESIZ&mr:trackingCode=4B9CA7E6-5B42-E111-9FB4-001B21A69EB8&mr:referralID=NA&origin=pla&mr:adType=pla

http://www.rogueturtle.com/articles/hammocks.php

« Last Edit: February 16, 2012, 08:08:12 AM by MATT CHAOS »
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Offline rogumpogum

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2012, 12:17:38 PM »
I didn't think about slugs.. And considering how many we have around here.. yeah. Might rethink the hammock worries, lol.
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Offline RemeaviThanatos

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #20 on: June 07, 2012, 12:25:27 PM »
Sorry but what sort of beast is a skeeter?

I'm a tent man as ticks freak me out, they seem to be at plague level these days and I may start treating clothing to be safe since finding one on me a while back. Lymmes disease does not sound pleasant.

Offline Dano

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #21 on: June 07, 2012, 01:02:58 PM »
Skeeter is another name for Mosquito.

I have one of these if you already have a hammock.  Kinda hangs low underneath, but keeps everything out and you don't have to buy another hammock.  http://www.campmor.com/hammock-bliss-no-see-um-mosquito-net-cocoon.shtml?source=CI&ci_sku=67884&ci_gpa=pla&ci_kw={keyword}



Offline RemeaviThanatos

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #22 on: June 07, 2012, 01:08:14 PM »
Cheers Dano feel kind of daft now as in hind sight it was quite evident  :-[

Offline BigHat

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #23 on: June 07, 2012, 02:57:15 PM »
tarp setup with shangri-la 1 nest (got on clearance for $40, check golite.com for deals, their clearance section is awesome.)



integral designs eVent crysallis bivy, has a rain flap and a bug net at the head area



new DIY hammock with DIY bugnet

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Offline easy_rider75

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Re: Tents vs. Tarps
« Reply #24 on: June 07, 2012, 06:46:36 PM »
I've done tarp camping a few times I like it, that being said it did  have a screened wall I just can't do  buzzing bugs flying around my head  when trying to sleep.
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