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  1. #1
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    Default bug bivy really necessary?

    i am planning an e2e on the long trail at the very end of june. i've never been to VT, but i've heard plenty of bug stories. i'm planning on staying in shelters whenever possible, so my question is to thoses of you how have complete the LT or have been on the AT during this time: is a bug bivy a necessary piece of equipment? i'll also be able to use it with my tarp, so that is an added bonus i guess.

    thanks for the help!

  2. #2
    There are 10 types of people: those who understand binary and those who don't.
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    Several years ago I hiked a section that included the LT/AT combination in June. The bugs were maddening. Now I know why I saw nearly no one for days at a time in the whole 240-some miles (Williamstown MA to Crawford Notch).

    I used the shelters and tarped where there were no shelters, and rather than a bug bivy, I just used the thing that goes over my face/hat and tucks into your shirt. It helped, but so did DEET. I forget how much it was, but about $10 from Campmor.

    Not sure I'd change that setup.

  3. #3
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    are the bugs bad all day or just at night?

  4. #4

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    I did the LT some time ago but I still remember there was one 10 mile stretch where the mosquitoes were so bad there was basically a black cloud I could see swarming around my head. Deet would last about 2 hours before they started thinking it was sauce to go with their next meal. I'd have to stop, drop my pack, and lather up again; killing countless mosquitoes in the process. I also met a red-headed hiker with a rain suit on taking an extended break at one of the shelters. Apparently red heads are more sensitive to the little buggers and he was physically sick from the bites. He showed me one of his legs and it was covered with welts.

    These were much worse than the mosquitoes in NJ which seems to have it's fair share around the many swamps along the A.T.. I was using a tent and I can't imagine sleeping in an open shelter without some sort of barrier between them and me. Anything you can do will be well worth it.

  5. #5

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    Between black flies and mosquitoes, you really should consider some sort of bug protection as they can really ruin a hike. Black flies are usually thick during the day and mosquitoes come out in the evening. As things dry up over the summer, the black flies go away,to be replaced with their bigger cousins, deer flys, while the mosquitoes will come and go later in the season as things dry up or get wet. In the southern section there are a couple of long runs through wet areas where the bugs can get maddening in June. through mid July. Head nets work, but in warm weather where you dont neccessarily want to sleep wrapped up in a sleeping bag, a bug net or baffler is the way to go. If you sleep in shelters, bug bafflers also tend to keep the mice from crawling over you as much.

  6. #6
    Donating Member/AT Class of 2003 - The WET year
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlore View Post
    i am planning an e2e on the long trail at the very end of june. i've never been to VT, but i've heard plenty of bug stories. i'm planning on staying in shelters whenever possible, so my question is to thoses of you how have complete the LT or have been on the AT during this time: is a bug bivy a necessary piece of equipment? i'll also be able to use it with my tarp, so that is an added bonus i guess.

    thanks for the help!
    ======================

    You can certainly live without it but at minimum I would carry a noseeum head net. I had a lightweight (OR Bug Bivy) with me in 2003 and liked it at night because I didn't have to even think about the bugs, flying or otherwise.

    'Slogger
    The more I learn ...the more I realize I don't know.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    ...Black flies are usually thick during the day and mosquitoes come out in the evening. ...
    Isn't it great how they cooperate like that. Sometimes you do get both. I've been in NH when the black flies are so bad the mosquitos have trouble fighting their way through them.

    Best is a real tent, but heavy. 2nd best is a tarp tent. You could get by with just a light mosquito netting. I've often done with nothing except DEET, but some sort of bug shelter is nicer. REI sells something called Jungle Juice PLUS that has DEET plus R326. R326 is supposed to work better than DEET for black flies. Ultrathon is a time release version of DEET that the US military uses now.
    Spray your clothes (not your skin) with Permethrin spray.

    In a few days I'll be able to do a test of the JJPlus vs ultrathon in woods here. I've heard they're out in force in NE Mass and SE NH now. The last couple of summers mosquitos have been terrible here in the woods in N. Central Mass.

    DO NOT FORGET YOUR BUG REPELLENT!!!

  8. #8
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    Someone on here recommended a bug bivy type thing that popped open. I am trying to remember the name of it. and yes I would recommend bug protection in VT, NH, ME etc. especially during June

  9. #9
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    Bugs will be an issue on the Long Trail until the middle of July, I would strongly advise you to avoid shelters unless you have a bug bivy, I made the trip twice, both trips in early July, and slept in my tent almost every night.

    Starting the end of June YOU WILL still be in Blackfly Season, do not underestimate that, it's no joke.

    Mountain Laurel Designs makes a 8oz bug bivy, with a bathtub floor, for $115 and you can use it under a tarp as well, kinda narrow but probably the best out there. Called the Serenity Shelter, I used to have one, good gear.

  10. #10

    Default Bug Bivy

    I did an e2e last year and you do need bug protection if you sleep in the shelters or cabins up north. The walls have holes in them. I used a Gossamer Gear Bug Canopy that just covered by head and arms. I'd hang it from the upper bunk or a ceiling joist if I stayed in a shelter or from a hiking pole if I was under a tarp. Worked great.

  11. #11
    Registered User Wise Old Owl's Avatar
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    I vote yes -
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  12. #12

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    ^I'm with the wise old one.

    I'm typically not bothered by bugs (suppose that's from being born in bush AK), but the wife is and we always carry a tent or bug hut. I secretly appreciate the ability to get away when they're thick....but of course continue to make her feel guilty for the extra weight.

    Mozzies and black flies don't bother me as much as the deer flies....they love the back of my dome.

  13. #13

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    im a bevy of information about what really bugs me necessarily. its that i have a woman of such stature as bearpaw and other poor saps dont.
    matthewski

  14. #14
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    northcountrywoods; what will the bugs be like in your part of VT i'm planning my nobo leaving july 13

  15. #15

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    i hiked the lt in 07 and just used deet liberally during the day. there were a few places i recall such as the lye brook wilderness section that i wished for swim goggles just to keep the little ****ers outta my eyes. other than that i had no problems. it was pretty cold at night and pretty much seemed like it rained the whole time during the days! above kilington i mostly stayed in shelters since i was the only one there most days. the few times i tented i had to spend time cleaning the slugs off- eww!!

    going again this summer...see you maybe. have a great hike!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlore View Post
    i am planning an e2e on the long trail at the very end of june. i've never been to VT, but i've heard plenty of bug stories. i'm planning on staying in shelters whenever possible, so my question is to thoses of you how have complete the LT or have been on the AT during this time: is a bug bivy a necessary piece of equipment? i'll also be able to use it with my tarp, so that is an added bonus i guess.

    thanks for the help!
    Lots of folks use this:
    http://store.mpgear.com/a16bugbivy.aspx with a tarp. I use an ENO bug net around my hammock.
    I section hiked the LT, mostly in the fall, when bugs weren't too bad. The couple of times I hiked in warmer weather the mosqitoes and blackflies were competing for my blood. Bear in mind that a headnet of any type won't keep ticks from crawling onto you while you sleep. I would use a full bug bivy like the one that Integral Designs sells (the solo one) if I slept on the ground. Mountain Laurel Designs has perhaps the lightest one, and relatively inexpensive bug protection can be had from Golite.
    As I live, declares the Lord God, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that the wicked turn back from his way and live. Ezekiel 33:11

  17. #17
    Just Hikin' Along
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    jlore... leaving in mid July you should be in good shape for almost all bugs. I left at the end of July in '07 and ended up sending my bug netting home at my first re-supply point. In mid June last year I was eaten alive on a section hike and particularly remember it while on top of Glastenbury where the blackflies, mossies, and no-see-ums were competing for my blood and body fluids. I live 20 minutes from the southern end (Williamstown/Bennington) and the mossies are already out. It varies just a little from year to year, but overall you should miss most of them. I'm heading north again at the very end of June so should see quite a bit of action. Have a great hike.


  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlore View Post
    northcountrywoods; what will the bugs be like in your part of VT i'm planning my nobo leaving july 13
    Wish I could predict. Spring was very dry but has gotten wet the last week or so. Best bet is to watch the weather the few weeks before you arrive. If you see a lot of wet, prepare for the onslaught. If it's been dry, it will be the deer flies.

    Not sure how fast you are, but going by the average hiker speed that would put you in my neck of the woods closer to August. Which is a good time. Things are drying out and most nights aren't dropping into the 30s.

  19. #19
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    Ive done a few weekends up on the LT in the late spring / early summer, always with a tent. Ive had good success with Deet on my exposed skin, Sawyer Permethrin on my clothes (including hat, socks, and bandana). My hiking partner thoguht the permethrin was overkill, he regretted that decision within hours.
    Adventure is the invitation to the common person, to become uncommon. ~ wm
    Bivouac is a French word for "mistake". ~ Ed Viesturs

  20. #20
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    change of plans; i'm leaving williamstown on the 20th of july; i bought some 3m ultrathon bug spray. will that be enough?

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