Bike + Tarp (w/ no poles)

Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!

Home Forums Off Piste Bikepacking & Bicycle Touring Bike + Tarp (w/ no poles)

  • This topic is empty.
Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • Author
  • #1280683
    Andrew Badenoch


    There's a ~50 page post over at with general info about bikepaking gear. Since I was only looking for tarp info among the zillion other posts, and somebody also asked about rigging hexamid tarps with bikes over here, I've compiled just the relevant images below.

    Anybody have other tips or tricks for bikepacking shelters without a tent?


    65/365 - A Little Nightcap @ SX 664662

    My tarp setup

    66/365 - Dartmoor Espresso


    Integral Siltarp

    May 4th - Bivi Planning


    Edit: I linked these to the flickr pages, but apparently the forum filters out links on images.

    Inaki Diaz de Etura
    BPL Member


    Locale: Iberia highlands

    Most simple, less aggressive (and cleanest) to the tarp is to use the bike as an exterior, offset generic vertical support if the tarp pitch allows. It works just like using a regular pole. No contact between bike and tarp, no need to take the bike apart. I use the saddle to thread the guy line around as it's usually the highest point in the bike and it's usually easy to raise it to an acceptable height. The bike stands on its own (no kick-stand necessary) or, rather, the guy line tension keeps it standing:Bike as tarp vertical support 1Bike as tarp vertical support 2

    In this most typical A-frame, two vertical supports are needed, a bike and a tree in the pic but two bikes work the same. In only one bike (and nothing else) is available, one end of the ridge line could be staked directly to the ground (this particular tarp is big enough for that not to mean a space problem).

    Charlie Murphy
    BPL Member


    Locale: MAryland

    Andrew: thanks, I was the guy looking for a solution. The first picture shows some promise. The Hexamid mesh screen presents the problem. Your picture would work if the hexamid beak extended out far enough. I haven't bought it yet, still need the cash. But for the weight it is a sweet deal.

    Inaki: interesting idea and should work. Your picture does show a kickstand on the bike though. Plus it has to be hard to set it up solo, No??

    Inaki Diaz de Etura
    BPL Member


    Locale: Iberia highlands

    Charlie: the kickstand was deployed in that setup but it's really not necessary. The tension in the line keeps the bike standing just like with a hiking pole (that wouldn't stand up on its own either). The kickstand may help with setting up if you're on your own but it is actually very easy either way (with or without someone else's help, with or without the kickstand). Again, it's like using a hiking pole: set the bike in place, thread the line around the seat and tension the line; you can then free your hand hold and walk away from the bike, it will keep standing up. Just keep tension while staking down the line.

    Franco Darioli


    Locale: Gauche, CU.

    looking at these pics I remembered that I caused some merriment when I posted pics of the TT Contrail , like this one.

    Contrail and bike
    Somehow the idea does not seem all that silly now.

    Wade Patterson


    Locale: New Mexico

    Here are a few of my setup from last summer in the Zuni Mountains and another of the Chain of Craters Back Country Byway, both in western New Mexico. Same size tarp, two different configurations. In the first one, I used the bike as a second anchor point opposite a tree. I also rotated the wheel up and then secured the brake with a velcro strap to hold it there. Otherwise, you can get a lot of movement (especially in wind) and the line is not as taught. I also had to put rocks on the seat to keep the bike from lifting up.

    In the second one, I ended up removing the front wheel and using the bike bars (with the bike upright, sitting on the fork) at the entrance to the bivvy-like setup to open it up a little (only after I took this shot)I love camping with a tarp. Been wanting to experiment with a few more configurations, though. This thread has some great ideas!tarp tent with bike 1Tarp tent with bike 2tarp tent bivvy setup

    Tim Anderson


    I've had to use a pair of wheels as the rear hoop on a Tarptent Rainshadow 3-person tent when I left the pole behind. It worked out nicely, but not sure how it would stand up to winds.
    After toying with the idea of saving the weight of a pole and using the bike as a pole, I decided that to save 2-3 oz it wasn't worth the inconvenience.
    And if you make your own gear, you can use the poles as stiffeners/stabilizers, so there is a net weight gain!
    [email protected],

    Pete Staehling
    BPL Member


    I have occasionally used my bike as part of a tarp pitch. There are lots of ways to do this and they do work, but I seldom do that anymore because:
    1. It is nice to be able to ride the bike when camp is pitched.
    2. A pole weighs only 2 ounces or so.
    3. If I leave the pole home to shed 2 ounces, I can usually improvise something using a fence, tree, picnic table, guard rail, utility pole, stick, cliff, boulder, or some other available means of support.
    4. Depending on the location and the season I might only pitch the tarp relatively infrequently preferring to cowboy camp when possible. If an unexpected rain blows in when cowboy camping I just pull the tarp over the bag without bothering to pitch anything.

Viewing 8 posts - 1 through 8 (of 8 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.
Forum Posting

A Membership is required to post in the forums. Login or become a member to post in the member forums!