View Full Version : ultralight tents vs. tarp & bivy

01-16-2006, 17:32
I've always hiked with a small, one-man ultralight tent, but like many people I'm considering switching to a silnylon tarp/bivy combo since this seems to work so well for many hikers.

One thing I still like about the light tent is that it's simple...no creative lashing and no worries about netting and breathing in bugs all night.

Any AT thru-hike alumni care to weigh in on tent vs. tarp? Thanks!

01-16-2006, 17:38
I think that you just identified the trade-off, wyclif. Are you looking for ease of setup and use or really trying to minimize your weight? With a sufficiently large silnyl tarp (so you can avoid a bivy bag), and a "bug hut" or something comparable, you can get your shelter weight down below a pound, a savings of at least half a pound over a 1-man UL tent. Given enough practice (as in a thru-hike), you'll eventually get the setup times to be comparable I'd guess.

01-16-2006, 17:42
A good balance between the two is to go with somewhat of a hybrid. I saw Generals (Black Snake Designs) at the Ruck this weekend, and it is truly a nice blend of tarp and tent. Sort of like the Betalite from Black Diamond, but lighter. His is called the double wide, you might ask him about it. He haunts these pages frequently.

01-16-2006, 17:55
the double wide is 17oz in the stuff sack, sil/nylon, and sets up on two adjustable hiking poles. it provides 50sq feet of floor area (no floor material) and complete coverage. plenty of head room to sit up. no creative lashing (due to the shaped design) and 16 guyouts.

thanks, for that plug restless

01-16-2006, 18:28
i am thru hiking 3/4/06from georgia with my mid cause its what i like .its a four man tent for just me. no floor,no pole or stakes when i dont want.i can pitch it with string and rocks and sticks.and when your inside with a stick as a center pole it looks and feels sooooooooo good.if i find a good stick with branches i can make hangers and hammok shelves.at less than 20 oz for the tarp alone with string to pitch,,no ultralight can touch me.its my bomb shelter and has kept me snuggly 15 years.as i said its a mega light.my old megamid is in perfect condition if anyone wants to use it i would take 100 bucks for it.