So, I'm going to ask a very unmanly question about tarping. I am highly interested in the idea of tarping for all of its benefits, but I am also concerned with the stories. Therefore, I'll ask all of you tarp pitchers about your experience with the openness of sleeping under a tarp and all of the different insects, the bloodsuckers, the eight leggers, the even more legged, reptiles, and even the furry ones. Have you had problems with finding a few uninvited guests in your bag? I'd assume this is only a mild problem, and there only being a few that could truly cause you harm makes the problem seem even less likely. I still have concern though. Essentially, I am considering carrying a tarp on the PCT since I continuously hear that you hardly ever really need a full shelter if any at all, but the idea of rattlesnakes and scorpions is a bit intimidating. Should I consider making a bathtub style floor or a bug shelter of sorts?
Second, what about the floor, pad and sleeping bag? I'd assume if you are doing this carry some form of ground cloth to keep your stuff clean and to protect your pad if you use a inflated one. What is your set up? Also, I would suspect that carrying a down bag could turn into a bit of a mess on any thruhike especially under a much more revealing form of shelter. So would a synthetic bag be best under a tarp?