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  1. #21

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    This is very late to be sussing out shelter options!

    Personally, when I were a ground sleeper (hammock now) I really liked the bivy/tarp combo because it gave me the options to do cowboy or bivy (bugs!) or tarp only (hot, not too buggy) or tarp+bivy when things were really really messy, wet and cold.

    My setup was (and I still have it for trips where GtG is mandatory) a Zpacks hex solo tarp and a clone of a Zpacks splash bivy. I find the center zip arrangement to be excellent.

    Hexamid solo plus Bivy_SMALL_01.jpg
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Not necessarily Evan thru hiked the AT with just a tarp and sandals and made it look easy. I don't think I've ever seen him in a shelter.
    There is always that one person who somehow gets away with things like that. Not many can pull that off.
    Follow slogoen on Instagram.

  3. #23

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    Evan's case does seem to be the exception, but there are plenty of us using various combinations that have worked well in 'normal' weather (i.e. typical thru hiking conditions, not winter in the whites, etc). For me, the tarp and bivy combo has worked very well for many years now and doesn't push me into shelters at all. As cmoulder said, it provides tremendous adaptability for weather.

    All of that said, the OP is making this decision very late in the game and a more traditional approach like a lightweight tent is probably the wisest choice.

  4. #24

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    OP has 1 post. Hasn't responded to any suggestions. Do they carry tarps, tents, (and leukotape) at Neels Gap Mt Cross?

  5. #25
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big_Old_Dog View Post
    OP has 1 post. Hasn't responded to any suggestions. Do they carry tarps, tents, (and leukotape) at Neels Gap Mt Cross?
    From 1/19 21 at that, kinda erks me when folks do that!

  6. #26
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    Sorry I meant 3/20 21

  7. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Sorry I meant 3/20 21
    Did you mean 3/09/21?

  8. #28
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    Sorry for the long delay in responding, and yes, I do only have one post, but I’ve got to start somewhere. My main reason for considering a tarp/bivy combo is to address the issue of bugs (bivy) and rain (tarp). Condensation is a frequently mentioned issue with the bivy I bought (OR Helium), and the tarp will allow me to sleep with just the bug netting over my head and still stay out of the rain wile allowing airflow into the bivy. I have decided to opt for this over a traditional tent, mainly for the weight savings. What I’ve been reading and seeing online is a ton of people on the trail, and I figure that if I can minimize my footprint, campsite selection may be a bit easier. I’m keeping in mind that if this doesn’t work for me, I can get outfitted at Mountain Crossings as has been mentioned above.

    As far as my 25 lb. base weight, I’ll be pulling everything out today and going over what I truly need to bring vs. what I want to bring. I’m sure I can knock a couple pounds off by doing that. I think my main weight issue is overpacking clothing. I just need to accept that I’ll stink most of the time, and that clean clothing won’t do anything to change that!

    Again, thanks for the input and I’m sorry for not responding sooner. I was simply taking it all in.

  9. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seapig View Post
    Sorry for the long delay in responding, and yes, I do only have one post, but I’ve got to start somewhere. My main reason for considering a tarp/bivy combo is to address the issue of bugs (bivy) and rain (tarp). Condensation is a frequently mentioned issue with the bivy I bought (OR Helium), and the tarp will allow me to sleep with just the bug netting over my head and still stay out of the rain wile allowing airflow into the bivy. I have decided to opt for this over a traditional tent, mainly for the weight savings. What I’ve been reading and seeing online is a ton of people on the trail, and I figure that if I can minimize my footprint, campsite selection may be a bit easier. I’m keeping in mind that if this doesn’t work for me, I can get outfitted at Mountain Crossings as has been mentioned above.

    As far as my 25 lb. base weight, I’ll be pulling everything out today and going over what I truly need to bring vs. what I want to bring. I’m sure I can knock a couple pounds off by doing that. I think my main weight issue is overpacking clothing. I just need to accept that I’ll stink most of the time, and that clean clothing won’t do anything to change that!

    Again, thanks for the input and I’m sorry for not responding sooner. I was simply taking it all in.
    A 25lb base is HUGE. I don't know if you're sure how this is defined, but base weight is all the gear in your pack minus consumables... food, water and fuel. By this (correct) definition, a base of 12-15 lb is easily achievable. You might see a total pack weight of 22-25 lbs right after resupply if you're carrying a lot of food and water, but that really should be the max, and ideally 20lbs is a good max. Right after resupply, if FOOD is not the #1 heaviest item (by a lot!) in your pack list you're doing something wrong.

    HERE (<-- link!) is some good reading if you want to catch up on things in a hurry!
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by CalebJ View Post
    Did you mean 3/09/21?
    Yes I did sorry. I don't have edit anymore for some reason and that's a problem with my ADHD sometimes. It seems some people have it still, (members)?

    And the older I get the less filter I have which is not a good combo. Afterall I don't want to be canceled .

    Anyway good luck with everything Seapig....

  11. #31
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    Additionally, instead of just jumping in and starting to ask questions, I guess I should provide a bit of an introduction:

    I was a Police officer for the city of Seattle (hence Sea- pig) for 26.5 until Friday, February 26, 2021. I thought my wife and I would cruise into my retirement until she told me she wanted a divorce. In trying to hit some sort of a reset button in my life, I decided to do something to take me out of my comfort zone. While I’m not new to hiking/backpacking, recent years have been nothing more than long day hikes of 15+ miles through the Cascades. I spent my years around college hiking and backpacking the White Mountains of NH as well.

    In my job, I knew I’d never be loved by all, but these days it seems those in my profession are universally hated. This is especially true in the politically charged PNW. In doing the AT, I hope to see that there is good in the world, and that not everybody is a hater. I’ve encountered a lot of f-ed up stuff in my years, and want to find a healthy outlet to work through it.

    I’m not sure where my life will take me after this, but this journey is something I need to do to work out all of the crap I’ve dealt with for most of my adult life.

    Again, I sincerely thank everyone who responded here with input.

  12. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    Yes I did sorry. I don't have edit anymore for some reason and that's a problem with my ADHD sometimes. It seems some people have it still, (members)?
    Being a supporter does give edit access. I think it starts at $10 a year.

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seapig View Post
    Additionally, instead of just jumping in and starting to ask questions, I guess I should provide a bit of an introduction:

    I was a Police officer for the city of Seattle (hence Sea- pig) for 26.5 until Friday, February 26, 2021. I thought my wife and I would cruise into my retirement until she told me she wanted a divorce. In trying to hit some sort of a reset button in my life, I decided to do something to take me out of my comfort zone. While I’m not new to hiking/backpacking, recent years have been nothing more than long day hikes of 15+ miles through the Cascades. I spent my years around college hiking and backpacking the White Mountains of NH as well.

    In my job, I knew I’d never be loved by all, but these days it seems those in my profession are universally hated. This is especially true in the politically charged PNW. In doing the AT, I hope to see that there is good in the world, and that not everybody is a hater. I’ve encountered a lot of f-ed up stuff in my years, and want to find a healthy outlet to work through it.

    I’m not sure where my life will take me after this, but this journey is something I need to do to work out all of the crap I’ve dealt with for most of my adult life.

    Again, I sincerely thank everyone who responded here with input.
    I'm truly sorry to hear of the way life and career have treated you lately. Hopefully getting out on the trail does lead to healing.

  14. #34
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    Thanks for the intro Seapig. try to heed cmoulder's words below and get to that 15 lb baseweight if you could.

    It might be all about the clothing.

    FWIW, I basically carry only one extra pair of socks and underwear, the rest of my clothing kit is, for a relatively warm weather hike like the AT:

    short sleeve "base layer" shirt, some OR brand something, weighs 4.5 ounces.

    a long sleeve, button-down Kuhl brand hiking shirt, nice and airy, light, etc. Even looks a bit spiffy when clean (not often!)

    zip-off REI brand Sahara pants. I know lots of AT thru's swear by only shorts, but I like my zip-on legs and all the pockets.

    a micro-fleece 2nd layer, cheap columbia brand, 7 ounces. I could do w/o this on a trail like the AT though.

    a Montbell UL down sweater, 7.5 ounces, nice to slip on in early mornings and late evenings.

    Frogg-togg UL rain suit, $20, 11 total ounces for pants and jacket. Most people hate the pants, they are super baggy and the crotch rips instantly, but that's OK they still work (with ventilation!) for warmth.

    That's it. Besides the minimum I'd be wearing (shorts and base layer t-shirt) the total other clothing weight might be 2 pounds, max.

    Just some thoughts on reducing your clothing weight.

  15. #35

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    Just my two cents. I see your reasoning behind the tarp/bivy combo but I think the best option for you is a one/two person (depends how big you are) light weight tent. Tarp requires advance backpacking skills that come with experience.

  16. #36

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    Quote Originally Posted by JNI64 View Post
    From 1/19 21 at that, kinda erks me when folks do that!
    The OP asked for suggestions, which were provided. I see no need for the OP to respond to the suggestions.

  17. #37

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    Quote Originally Posted by stephanD View Post
    Just my two cents. I see your reasoning behind the tarp/bivy combo but I think the best option for you is a one/two person (depends how big you are) light weight tent. Tarp requires advance backpacking skills that come with experience.
    I tend to agree. Maybe something like a Protrail would work if you're using trekking poles anyway, but otherwise stay mainstream. The Dagger you've got now isn't really a bad choice - there's plenty of weight you could save elsewhere to offset it.

  18. #38

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seapig View Post
    Additionally, instead of just jumping in and starting to ask questions, I guess I should provide a bit of an introduction:

    I was a Police officer for the city of Seattle (hence Sea- pig) for 26.5 until Friday, February 26, 2021. I thought my wife and I would cruise into my retirement until she told me she wanted a divorce. In trying to hit some sort of a reset button in my life, I decided to do something to take me out of my comfort zone. While I’m not new to hiking/backpacking, recent years have been nothing more than long day hikes of 15+ miles through the Cascades. I spent my years around college hiking and backpacking the White Mountains of NH as well.

    In my job, I knew I’d never be loved by all, but these days it seems those in my profession are universally hated. This is especially true in the politically charged PNW. In doing the AT, I hope to see that there is good in the world, and that not everybody is a hater. I’ve encountered a lot of f-ed up stuff in my years, and want to find a healthy outlet to work through it.

    I’m not sure where my life will take me after this, but this journey is something I need to do to work out all of the crap I’ve dealt with for most of my adult life.

    Again, I sincerely thank everyone who responded here with input.
    I commend you for putting yourself out there. This site has a lot of good information but is also quick to hang you for any perceived weak idea. Your experience on the trail will be more enjoyable.

  19. #39
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gpburdelljr View Post
    The OP asked for suggestions, which were provided. I see no need for the OP to respond to the suggestions.
    You're right a thread starter doesn't have to join in the conversation they started but I find it kinda rude when they don't.

  20. #40
    Registered User JNI64's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Seapig View Post
    Additionally, instead of just jumping in and starting to ask questions, I guess I should provide a bit of an introduction:

    I was a Police officer for the city of Seattle (hence Sea- pig) for 26.5 until Friday, February 26, 2021. I thought my wife and I would cruise into my retirement until she told me she wanted a divorce. In trying to hit some sort of a reset button in my life, I decided to do something to take me out of my comfort zone. While I’m not new to hiking/backpacking, recent years have been nothing more than long day hikes of 15+ miles through the Cascades. I spent my years around college hiking and backpacking the White Mountains of NH as well.

    In my job, I knew I’d never be loved by all, but these days it seems those in my profession are universally hated. This is especially true in the politically charged PNW. In doing the AT, I hope to see that there is good in the world, and that not everybody is a hater. I’ve encountered a lot of f-ed up stuff in my years, and want to find a healthy outlet to work through it.

    I’m not sure where my life will take me after this, but this journey is something I need to do to work out all of the crap I’ve dealt with for most of my adult life.

    Again, I sincerely thank everyone who responded here with input.
    Thanks for your service and all you've protected and served .
    I thank law enforcement all the time for what they do.

    I have found myself in the same position and I to thought I had a plan to retirement but yep ,I wanted a divorce after catching her with the neighbor .

    I truly relate and hope you find peace somehow, someway.
    Not everyone is a hater we love law enforcement Pryor or existing.

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