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Thread: tarps suck!!!!

  1. #41

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jester2000 View Post
    I know a number of people who have had holes chewed through their tents by mice.

    I've done both, and I prefer a tent. But w/no bugs or bad weather, I prefer to cowboy.
    on first read, i thought you said you knew a number of people who have chewed holes through their tents, and i thought to myself, that is just dumb ****, that is what that is.

  2. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by kanga View Post
    on first read, i thought you said you knew a number of people who have chewed holes through their tents, and i thought to myself, that is just dumb ****, that is what that is.
    Hahaha! Well, I do know an awful lot of dumbasses. Comes from being in Billville. But if you're really hungry, I suppose there are worse things to eat . . .
    Drab as a Fool, as aloof as a Bard!

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  3. #43
    Registered User Egads's Avatar
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    You are not the only one squemish of bugs & snakes. I know of others.

    Personally, I prefer tarps to reduce pack size & weight.
    The trail was here before we arrived, and it will still be here when we are gone...enjoy it now, and preserve it for others that come after us

  4. #44

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    I "cowboy camp" making a bedroll with my OR Bug Bivy.

    I love my OR Bug Bivy because it zips up and no bugs, mosquitoes, gnats, black flys or snakes are getting in there.

    I also love a tarp because I can see my surroundings: I especially like the Black Diamond Beta Mid and rigging a catenary-cut tarp in the modified pyramid "pitch" set up like this and I also like the MLD Monk Tarp.

    If I changed anything, I might get an even more lightweight Momentum 90 DWR bivy with the sewn-in no-see-um at the face and a "diamond pitch" catenary-cut diagonal-seam spinntex or cuben tarp. But that is as far as I would go lightweight.

  5. #45
    Trail miscreant Bearpaw's Avatar
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    I enjoy a tarp over my hammock if rain looks likely. Otherwise, I enjoy watching the stars from my hammock.
    If people spent less time being offended and more time actually living, we'd all be a whole lot happier!

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    If god had wanted us to hammock he would have given us all two trees.

  7. #47

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    I once saw a skunk crawl under someone's tarp and crawl into their pack...presumably looking for food...I was glad I had a tent that night...the skunk remained in camp for a couple of hours...it seemed to know that nobody was going to mess with it and did its own thing.

    I do cowboy camp sometimes if it doesn't look like its going to rain.

  8. #48
    Section Hiking Knucklehead Hooch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bearpaw View Post
    I enjoy a tarp over my hammock if rain looks likely. Otherwise, I enjoy watching the stars from my hammock.
    Ditto, agreed, etc.
    "If you play a Nicleback song backwards, you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward, you'll hear Nickleback." - Dave Grohl

  9. #49

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    I like my tarp with a hammock. Never worry about how wet the floor gets.
    http://www.whiteblaze.net/forum/vbg/...imageuser=2502
    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

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by stumpknocker View Post
    Whoa...dude, you win. You're the smartest person I've ever run across. You know something and don't even have to think about it. I'm impressed now!! Thanks for reminding me that a person can pick up a tick in lots of places....I would have never thought about that.

    I will say it again as part of this thread because it IS something to think about when tarping; I know two experienced backpackers that say they caught Lyme from tarping. Now it is possible that they picked up the deer tick someplace else, but both went to tents because they both think the Lyme was due to tarping.

    Lyme is the most dangerous thing I've come across on the Trail.

    Not to get in the middle here, but I think a person is just as likely to pick up a deer tick (ixodes scapularis) off of a shelter floor/bunk than in his/her own personal shelter. White-footed mice are carriers, and those are the critters you find in all the AT shelters.
    Be careful. Use permethrin on clothing and maybe the outside of a sleeping bag, your hat, etc. Still isn't guaranteed to stop them, but it helps.
    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

  11. #51
    Registered User 300winmag's Avatar
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    My "tarping" days are long past. Used 'em summer and winter for several yearsand didn't really like them all that much.

    I agree, give me my TarpTent Moment at 28 oz. W/ 2 stakes & stuff bag over a tarp, groundcloth, mosquito bar and several stakes and miles of guy lines.

    I'll have my TarpTent Moment set up, mattress inflated and sleeping bag fluffed up while others still trying to figure out where to rig their tarp.

  12. #52
    Registered User 300winmag's Avatar
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    Default And what's more...

    I'd be willing to bet that far more "tarpers" are also alky stove users that we tenters are.

    What's the connection? Well tarps and alky stoves are, to me, more cult items for ULers than truly practical items.
    Yeah, both are a bit cheaper than the mainstream lightweight alternatives of singlewall tents and light canister stoves or even ESBIT stoves.

    But the "fiddle factor with tarps and alky stoves is too high and the performance factor too low.

    Tarps, as I mentioned in the above post, require ground cloths and mosquito bars so weight/bulk savings over UL single wall tents is lost. And it is well known that alky stoves aren't truly weight saving over a canister stove if cooking 2 meals a day on trips over 3 days long. The fuel is just too heavy.

    OK ULer tarpers & alky stovers, have at me.

    Eric

  13. #53

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tinker View Post
    Be careful. Use permethrin on clothing and maybe the outside of a sleeping bag, your hat, etc. Still isn't guaranteed to stop them, but it helps.
    Very wise words...thanks!!

    One of those friends I was talking about was a very strong hiker just a few years ago, but can't even make it to a store now because of how bad the Lyme infected him...and he's been battling it well over two years now. Very sad to see what happened to him.
    Stumpknocker
    Appalachian Trail is 28.5% complete.

  14. #54
    Super Moderator Marta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bulldog49 View Post
    I have never, ever had this happen, or even know of anyone who has that happen.
    It happened at Carter Gap Shelter a couple of months ago to a girl I was hiking with. We weren't all that close to the shelter, either. Danged mouse chewed right into her tent.

    Tarps are not for me, not in the east, anyway. For one thing, a single-wall tent with silnylon floor is as light or lighter than a tarp and groundcloth, so the weight savings isn't a reason to tarp it. Bugs can be a problem. I like the way a Tarptent keeps my stuff contained--in the morning my headlamp, for example, is not going to get left behind, unnoticed in a pile of leaves.

    During my brief bit of hiking in California, though, I did occasionally wish for a tarp setup, which would have made it much easier to cowboy camp.
    If not NOW, then WHEN?

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  15. #55
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    Being from New Hampshire, we tried several combinations of tarps that for us just didn't work out due to the bug factors. However, now that we're in Montana, tarps are much more enjoyable with the low humidity, few bugs. We don't like bivies so we pitch a pyramid and admittedly its nice to stare out at the Big Sky when all the stars are out.

    However, we can also do that in a tarptent just the same. So fur us, tarptents have the best of both worlds.

  16. #56

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    Quote Originally Posted by 300winmag View Post
    I'd be willing to bet that far more "tarpers" are also alky stove users that we tenters are.

    What's the connection? Well tarps and alky stoves are, to me, more cult items for ULers than truly practical items.
    Yeah, both are a bit cheaper than the mainstream lightweight alternatives of singlewall tents and light canister stoves or even ESBIT stoves.

    But the "fiddle factor with tarps and alky stoves is too high and the performance factor too low.

    Tarps, as I mentioned in the above post, require ground cloths and mosquito bars so weight/bulk savings over UL single wall tents is lost. And it is well known that alky stoves aren't truly weight saving over a canister stove if cooking 2 meals a day on trips over 3 days long. The fuel is just too heavy.
    I use a tarp and alcohol stove because to me they are both more functional.

    The weight savings of tarp, bug net, guylines and stakes over a tarptent is negligible unless you are using a poncho-tarp as your rain gear and shelter (not something that really appeals to me). But both the tarp and bug bivy can be used for multiple purposes. You can set up your tarp for a bit of shade or a dry place to eat lunch on a rainy day (or on the AT I guess people just stop at shelters which negates this advantage), or you can use your bug bivy in a shelter or to cowboy camp even if the bugs are bad but the weather is good.

    I do prefer a fully enclosed tent if the bugs are really bad, it's just nice to have a refuge from them.


    And as for alcohol stoves... It's obviously a personal thing, but I find them to be more functional than canister stoves, too. I find canisters to be a huge pain. I hate lugging those heavy things around, and I hate not knowing how much fuel I'm using or have left. The fuel for an alcohol stove is heavier, but at least you know how much you have left and can carry only what you need. When a canister starts getting low, you've gotta carry 2 of them which pretty much negates their advantage (or you just ditch the one that's running out and waste fuel). I have 5 canisters sitting on my shelf that have some unknown amount of fuel left, that I never bring on trips because I always want to start with a full one. I guess they are cheap enough that you could just toss them and not worry about it so much, though. Ease of finding fuel for an alcohol stove is a big plus, too. Since all I do is boil water, they work better for me.

    I use a tarp and alky stove because I just like them better, not because they save weight. And I don't mind fiddling

  17. #57

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    Quote Originally Posted by 300winmag View Post
    I'd be willing to bet that far more "tarpers" are also alky stove users that we tenters are.

    What's the connection? Well tarps and alky stoves are, to me, more cult items for ULers than truly practical items.
    Yeah, both are a bit cheaper than the mainstream lightweight alternatives of singlewall tents and light canister stoves or even ESBIT stoves.

    But the "fiddle factor with tarps and alky stoves is too high and the performance factor too low.

    Tarps, as I mentioned in the above post, require ground cloths and mosquito bars so weight/bulk savings over UL single wall tents is lost. And it is well known that alky stoves aren't truly weight saving over a canister stove if cooking 2 meals a day on trips over 3 days long. The fuel is just too heavy.

    OK ULer tarpers & alky stovers, have at me.

    Eric
    oh, eric, if you could only see the truth. i cook two meals a day but they're homecooked and dehydrated. my camp can be set up and me heating water in 5 minutes from stopping. then, after the notime it takes for my water to boil on my alky stove, i've prepped my fixings for my meal. then the meal sits in a coozie for 10 minutes while i've fed the dogs and changed my clothes. there's nothing left for me to do but sit back and watch everybody else still setting up there stuff, let alone getting out their food bags. and i'm eating squash casserole or lasagna or cajun crab cakes or some other good home eatin'. i use about 4 oz of alcohol a day and that includes brewing coffee too.

  18. #58

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    Quote Originally Posted by jombo22 View Post
    The weight savings of tarp, bug net, guylines and stakes over a tarptent is negligible unless you are using a poncho-tarp as your rain gear and shelter (not something that really appeals to me).

    my tarp tent with stakes, weighs a pound less than if i took my tarp, stakes, bug net, etc. i would not say a pound is negligible weight.

  19. #59
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    "And I don't mind fiddling "
    I don't see that much fiddling with either tarps or alcohol stoves, though this depends on experience level, specific conditions, and specific equipment. A person who has little experience with either of these things is going to fiddle, but they might also have trouble putting up their tent ...

    There's quite a range in what can fall into the category of "tarp" or "alcohol stove". Is my Gatewood Cape a "tarp" ? It's a sort of poncho that pitches like a tent; apart from siting it well and orienting it w.r.t. wind/weather, it goes up (easily, quickly) pretty much the same way all the time --- like a tent. There are also other sorts of shaped tarps.

    My Caldera Cone alcohol stove assembles quickly, starts reliably --- fiddle factor is low. And (for an alcohol stove) it's quite efficient. On a weight-adjusted basis, it seems to me that the performance is quite high. And of course, it avoids the downsides of other types of stoves: the "do I bring one cannister or two" granularity issue. The "is a wood burning stove legal in this forest" issue plus the "can I find sufficiently dry wood scraps" issue. And it does better than all but the wood burning stoves with the "how can I get resupplied with fuel" issue.

    To be clear, I certainly don't think that tarps or alcohol stoves are the right approach for every person in every situation, but the "cult items, not practical" comment is at odds with the large number of people that find both tarps and alcohol stoves to be the right choice for them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BrianLe View Post
    . . . but the "cult items, not practical" comment is at odds with the large number of people that find both tarps and alcohol stoves to be the right choice for them.
    Unless we're all cultists of one kind or another.

    Personally I'm a member of the shorts wearing Walking Stick tribe, more specifically a Trangia clansman. Recently been eyeballing a really cute 8' x 10' so I may divorce my SMD Lunar and join the Tarp family. You know, silnylon Tarp's.
    Last edited by Two Speed; 01-13-2010 at 12:50. Reason: needed it
    Me no care, me here free beer. Tap keg, please?

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