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  1. #1
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    Default Tarp vs Tent

    While still waiting on the perfect one man shelter, and winter comming now, I'm fiddling around with a few shelter options in the garden, trying to make up my mind about weight, wind, rain, snow, temperatures, comfort, money, etc.etc.etc.. As a none-walkingpole person, I'm asking about what's the weight of a good pair of those sticks to use with a so called walking pole supported shelter ? If 15 oz ? and maybe 25 oz for the shelter, plus another 10 oz stakes and bags and stuff, it's 50 oz, or almost the weight of the Akto, that even adds a 10 to 15 F boost, that again can save some oz on the sleepingbag. I would better be inside a tent in summer than a tarp in winter For a niceweather summer weekend thought I see a tarpthing to be usefull, just for the fun of it, but in some serious weather, I simply expect the tarp and sticks and stuff to blow away, or in best case, just to let me freeze all night long, or what ? Why didn't God gift me with the spirit of seeing the "tarp and stick" light Maybe it's a permanent handicap, that I just have to accept

    MaxEagleEyes

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    I like the picture. I have a gortex bivy bag and I've thought about hooping it up.
    It's 30" wide, so it could make a 23" wind semi circle. I usually use big spruce trees for shelter, but I still might try hooping it up somehow.

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    Tarps are great if bugs and wind are not too fierce. Try a cheap blue poly tarp. If you like it, get a nice silnylon tarp. If not, its cheap and useful for lots of things. In wooded areas you shouldn't need a pole to pitch it, and a poles is only a few ounces. I like a plain flat tarp. They are most versitile. Snow's tricky but very doable, at least below tree line.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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    The single wall tarptents are a good option. Most come with a front pole option for a couple of ounces. No need to carry a pole just for the tent. Here's a photo of a Henry Shires Virga, no floor, 18 ounces, in a good snow camp at 0* F.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

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    Hello Max,

    I see your math but a couple of things:

    The Akto is not very good at any sort of heavy snow load. The ends will collapse. It is also really small and is notorious for condensation. You will hear that it is easy to just wipe it off the interior but this is an issue with the way the tent is configured. You cannot get to the inside of the outer tent without unhooking the inner. Not fun or practical in poor conditions. I have weighed my Akto after two nights in the rain with high levels of condensation. It was over 4 pounds! Personally I like more modular systems that are designed to do more than just one thing - i.e. trekking poles for trekking and for the struture of my shelter.

    Now to the tarp part. Expedition no, but I think that in most conditions below treeline a tarp works really well. Have a look at the Granite Gear Northern Light with the Dodger set up (www.granitegear.com) and the Golite Hex 1, 2 and 3 (now called the Shangri-la 1, 2, and 3). All of these models can use trekking poles, wood poles, or between trees. They can be set up with a lot of room and very stable. The can also be pitched to the ground. Yes they will have condensation, but it is easily shaken off (or scraped off if it is ice). Note that all of these products are essentially modified A-frame designs which are ideal for snow and rain.

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    Well, 4 Lbs of Akto doesn't sound so nice

    I might want to try out the following combination if I win the lottery. It would make for a 3 season shelter at 2 pounds.

    How does that look ? (The Golit thing even comes in green)

    http://www.golite.com/Product/prodde...x?p=SH6119&s=1
    http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com...products_id=87
    http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/...arp_poles.html
    http://sixmoondesigns.com/shop/shopd...arch=yes&bc=no

    MaxEagleEyes

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    If 4 pounds, this one looks like a fair priced allround tent. Might even hold out some kind of winter conditions:
    http://ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/s...f656f238097a26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madmax View Post
    Well, 4 Lbs of Akto doesn't sound so nice

    I might want to try out the following combination if I win the lottery. It would make for a 3 season shelter at 2 pounds.

    MaxEagleEyes

    BD mega light...

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madmax View Post
    As a none-walkingpole person, I'm asking about what's the weight of a good pair of those sticks to use with a so called walking pole supported shelter ? If 15 oz ? and maybe 25 oz for the shelter, plus another 10 oz stakes and bags and stuff, it's 50 oz, or almost the weight of the Akto, that even adds a 10 to 15 F boost, that again can save some oz on the sleepingbag.

    MaxEagleEyes
    By non-walking pole person I assume U mean U don't use trekking poles or a hiking staff. I normally don't use trekking poles either. I rarely use a hiking staff. But, I often carry a tarp as shelter. I use the graphite tarp poles(42" front and 28" rear, total wt. 2.6 oz.) that Mountain Laurel Designs stocks. They have served me well, although, I did trim(cut with fine bladed hacksaw) the front pole down to 36" because the 42" length seemed a bit flimsy to me. I like to set my tarp up with the front(high, leeward, entrance) end guylined to a tree, boulder, or such and the modified 36" pole on the short(foot, windward) end. This gives me a lot of headroom. I'm 6'4". Unless severe weather is expected I set up like this as often as possible. With my oversized Spinnaker tarp(also made by MLD), tarp poles, Titanium wire hook stakes, guylines, and stuff sack I'm at 13 oz. If I expect heavy prolonged rain and cool/cold temps I bring along my 7 oz. bivy with nanoseeum mesh window. If I expect warm wet buggy conditions I can drop the bivy and carry a 3 oz. homemade nanoseeum net that covers my upper body(allows me to sleep with sleeping bag unzipped) and attaches to the inside of the tarp and a 1 1/2 oz. polycro ground sheet(Gossamer Gear carries them). In this way I have many options and can save a few ozs. based on what conditions I'm most likely to expect.

    If U do incorporate trekking poles into your hiking there R several good lite wt.20-30 ozs.) tarptent/tent styles that use them very effectively in the hiking conditions that U mentioned. I'll let U do the research, but U can start by checking out Henryshires, Six Moon Designs, and Gossamer Gear.

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    Thanks for the attention here

    Dogwood: 13 oz sounds very, very tempting !! I do know of TT, SMD and GG, but it's got to be something closeable for winter, I'm not 20 anymore I love my Gatewood, but look for a slightly bigger, more stable and well vented winter-convertable option.

    And yes FamilyGuy, maybe the Utopia 2 is an option, or the SHANGRI-LA 3 (the old Hex 2) or why not one from these manufactures linked here ?

    Just heard of a swedish woman planning to stay all winter in Svalbard in a Venor Lavvu

    http://www.venor.no/
    http://www.moskoselkatan.se/
    http://www.frisport.no/lavvu.asp
    http://www.jutul.no/
    http://www.fritex.com/
    http://www.bisontelt.no/
    http://www.helsport.no/NO/default.as...68&G=801&P=795
    http://www.polarbjorn.no/lavvoer.htm

  11. #11

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    For winter trips I have been very fond of shaped tarps. As others have noted, there are a number of nice designed from Oware, GoLite, MLD, etc. I have pointers to a number of them on my recommended tarps page. If I was buying something today for solo use, my first choice would be the MLD Duo Mid. Maybe combine it with the SMD Serenity NetTent or the more basic but cheaper A16 bug bivy.

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Madmax View Post
    While still waiting on the perfect one man shelter, and winter comming now, I'm fiddling around with a few shelter options in the garden, trying to make up my mind about weight, wind, rain, snow, temperatures, comfort, money, etc.etc.etc.. As a none-walkingpole person, I'm asking about what's the weight of a good pair of those sticks to use with a so called walking pole supported shelter ? If 15 oz ? and maybe 25 oz for the shelter, plus another 10 oz stakes and bags and stuff, it's 50 oz, or almost the weight of the Akto, that even adds a 10 to 15 F boost, that again can save some oz on the sleepingbag. I would better be inside a tent in summer than a tarp in winter For a niceweather summer weekend thought I see a tarpthing to be usefull, just for the fun of it, but in some serious weather, I simply expect the tarp and sticks and stuff to blow away, or in best case, just to let me freeze all night long, or what ? Why didn't God gift me with the spirit of seeing the "tarp and stick" light Maybe it's a permanent handicap, that I just have to accept

    MaxEagleEyes
    The fotog you included in your post should answer yours or anyone else's question regarding using a tarp in the winter. In the winter storm your fotog depicts, there's not a whole heck of a lot a couple of hiking poles used as supports could do, and with a tarp you'll certainly be covered in windblown snow by morning. Freezing? Maybe not, buried as you'll be by your bag and a foot of snow.

    I think winter backpackers should take a long look at your picture. It's the reality of winter camping and high elevation shelter. Tarps have no place in these conditions. The perfect one-man sheltering system? It's the one that works in all conditions and can take you wherever you want to go at whatever place you decide. No choice of shelter should limit this.

  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    In the winter storm your fotog depicts, there's not a whole heck of a lot a couple of hiking poles used as supports could do, and with a tarp you'll certainly be covered in windblown snow by morning. Freezing? Maybe not, buried as you'll be by your bag and a foot of snow.
    This is certainly true if using an open tarp, but a tipi, hex, or pyramid shaped tarp could be just fine. There are numerous people who have weather the worst possible storms in pyramid tarps using skis or poles to keep the center up. These tarps are even nicer when you have a good 100 inches of base, so you can dig out under the tarp provides extra living shape, bench to sit on, and some insulation that's to the snow walls.

    --Mark

  14. #14

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    Oops... I meant to add that I have been on several trips when the majority of the "4-season" tents failed but the tarps did just find. I will admit that there was a foray outside in the middle of the night with a shovel because so much snow had accumulated that we wanted to be sure we weren't completely buried... but the folks in the mountaineering tent also did some shoveling.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    In the winter storm your fotog depicts, there's not a whole heck of a lot a couple of hiking poles used as supports could do, and with a tarp you'll certainly be covered in windblown snow by morning. Freezing? Maybe not, buried as you'll be by your bag and a foot of snow.

    My only response is that a winter tarp camper shouldn't set up on an open ridgeline in a storm. Setting up in the woods, on the lee side of the mountain, provides much better storm protection.

    If you are mountaineering, and your only campsite choice is an open ridge in a storm, then yes, a tarp probably won't do.
    Ken B
    'Big Cranky'
    Our Long Trail journal

  16. #16

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    WAIT a minute! I see U R in Europe. Do U plan on hiking in Europe with the shelter(s) U R asking about? If so, exactly when and where do U plan on hiking? R U looking for one do-it-all type tent in all seasons? Does it have to be an UL shelter all the time?

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    As I all ready own the SMD Serenity, the MLD DuoMid thing could be an option for extended 3 season, but in serious winter it probably only serve as a "survival kit" When winter really hauls like a train outside, there is nothing like the Norwegian Helsport Svalbard tent as the attached photo in thread start above As a one man coffin maybe the Soulo will do What I dream of is a summer/winter convertable dome, with possibilty of both normal vertikal pole support and summer netting for light conditions, and attachment for not only a single hoop, but a set of dome poles underneath for snow/wind. There should also be an option for inserting a winter innertent, with directly access to a vestibule and build in up/down vents. By hooping the Gatewood, I got crazy idears, the game is running What about a 3/4 sized Unna with Akto vestibule ? By making such interesting designs, it's a shame that the BigSky man is said not to deliver as he talks. Anyway, here's just a few of my Gatewood.

    MaxEagleEyes

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    Actually the Tipi pyramid has been around a lot longer than that, thanks to our aboriginal ancestors in North America.....

    Manufacturers of big, burly, heavy 4 season tents will tell you that you need it or you will die in the backcountry. Why? Because they manufacture big, burly, heavy 4 season tents.

    I am amazed that ultra long distance hikers like Justin Licthner, Andrew Skurka, and Francis Tapon will hike through horrid winter conditions and make it out just fine. Doing so takes more skill and planning, but isn't this what 'it' is all about?

    By the way, Mark Verber's web page is a revalation to most as it breaks down the facts. Nice job Mark - highly recommended.

  19. #19
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    Default Duo-Mid on order, Shangri-La in hand

    for those curious about turn around times (I know in the paddling community when a sea kayak is ordered many are curious how long it takes to recieve), I just ordered a MLD Duo-Mid (cuben)....we'll see how long it takes.
    Start out slow, then slow down.

  20. #20
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    also you dont need hiking poles for a tarp. If you can find two trees you can tie a line between them and drape the tarp over it.

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