View Full Version : A Tarp Question

09-21-2007, 17:17
My Mom, daughter, and I went out for the weekend. We took a tarp and a ground sheet. After dark and dinner we played cards for a while. As we were bedding down. We saw a massive amount of bugs on the tarp where our head lamps had been shining. Then we found a Millipede, 5" long, coming into the tarp. That was the breaking point for my mother and daughter.

Now I realize that bugs are a part of tarp camping. I also realize that some people are more concerned about bugs than others. So what do I do to better deal with the situation? Should we have killed the lights? What could we have done to better avoid the insect onslaught?

The Weasel
09-21-2007, 17:19
Use the lights away from the tarp.


09-21-2007, 17:31
Just did an off trail hike in the smokies over laborday and did not make it back to a trail before dark, we camped in a small dip on the steep mountain side in the middle of nothing. Some of the most strange bugs dive bombed us. I used a red filter on my head lamp and had less problems.

09-21-2007, 19:36
Later in the year, bugs are less of a problem and in the winter and early spring, they aren't a problem at all. This is when I do most of my tarp camping. When it's going to be buggy and I want to tarp camp, I bring my homemade bug bivy, which is basically just a piece of netting sewn on top of a human-sized piece of silnylon, with a zipper down the middle. I tie the netting to a webbing loop on the underside of my tarp to get the netting off my face, but that's not necessary. If you make one yourself, this (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/ultralight/myo_Meteor.asp) is a pretty good starting point.

As far as bug bivies go, there are several ultralight semi-commercially produced bug bivies available. See: Simblissity (http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/simblissity_inner_peace_noseeum_bug_tent.html), Mountain Laurel Designs (http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=55&osCsid=d5fd82dc0cc1a4eee1fb27c8eeba5dd2) and Oware (http://www.owareusa.com) (click on "bivies" on the Oware site)--these are all solo bivies, however. Sea to Summit (http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/accessdetail.cfm/S2S605)has an interesting product that's sized for two people, with a somewhat reasonable weight. You could also just sew some bug netting around the perimeter of your tarp so it would just drape down to the ground and prevent flying things from entering your sleeping space (like they do with tarptents). This wouldn't prevent those millipedes and crawling things, though, but most of the time they leave me alone. I have, however, been bitten by a nasty MFing earwig while getting into my sleeping bag one time, but that was in a tent.

09-21-2007, 19:54
Try a Tarptent.. by Henry Shires or Six moons...

09-21-2007, 20:02
Using a red or blue filter on your light should cut down on the number of bugs a good bit. Other than that, a bug net is probably your best option. Good luck!

09-23-2007, 18:59
I just bought a Contrail from someone here on the forums. I haven't gotten a chance to try it out yet. Just thought I would dive head first before I did the Tarp/tent thing. I like the bug netting idea.

On the lights, I think your right. That seems to have been the attracting factor. Small bugs lead to big bugs and there you go! So we will be trying both new tarp ideas and the tarp/tent soon!

Thanks guys!