Jan 24, 2013 at 2:55 pm #1298379
what are the thoughts on shelter options (tarp vs tent) for the JMT in mid July? from what i gather precipitation doesnt seem to be that bad, but bugs can be problematic. and of those who used a tarp for shelter, what kind of bug protection did you use….bug bivy/netting under or attached to tarp? deet? nothing???Jan 24, 2013 at 3:17 pm #1946892
I got on well with a ZPacks Hexamid = 6ozs, and the Hexanet inner = 7ozs. If there's no rain you can just pitch the net with your pole to keep the bugs and dirt out.Jan 24, 2013 at 8:04 pm #1946999
My opinion is that the bug refuge aspect is more important than the rain shelter, as the bugs are there every day while the rain is only sometimes, and the rain is often just afternoon and stops in the evening. I don't start to lose my mind if I get a little wet somehwere – but those skeeters….Jan 25, 2013 at 12:17 am #1947069
I did the JMT in August 2012. We had a lot of rain storms, but really no bugs to speak of, whihc may have been different if we had less storms. I used my ZPacks Hexamid tarp, but also had a Borah Gear bug bivy that I could zip up as needed for warmth or bug protection. I personally have found that I like the versatility of a tarp and bivy over a tent.Jan 28, 2013 at 7:34 am #1947956
@jenmitolLocale: In my dreams....
I'm still struggling with this one. I have a hexamid solo-plus and have been trying the plain ti shepherd hooks. They've pulled out on me at the front (seems like the greatest pull point) on several occasions. So I've put back some of the msr groundhogs (3) to anchor the corners and kept the shepherd ones for the rest.
My question is about the JMT…I have very little experience with a tarp above the tree line…
Any advice on a stake set up for the JMT? Lots of rocky terrain to pitch on I'm guessing….would a nice mix of shepherd hooks and groundhogs do the trick? Do I need to get those big aluminum nails??Jan 28, 2013 at 8:56 am #1947987
Most of my camps were +/- 10000ft, and so more rocky than in the woods. My pegs often needed hammering in with a rock, and I found my Ti angle pegs prone to damage, so have now included four 6" x 4mm Ti nails. My potty trowel is an MSR Blizzard snow stake which also makes a bomb proof front guy stake, especially in soft ground.
To use a thin shepherd hook stake in rocky ground, you could try hammering in a nail first, then carefully pulling it out, and sliding in the shepherd hook in the same hole, but I prefer the security of angle pegs if loose ground is likely to be encountered any night ( and you'll encounter all types of ground in 200 mls).Jan 28, 2013 at 10:02 am #1948010Feb 1, 2013 at 8:47 am #1949655
I hiked the JMT over two weeks in August 2008. I had mosquito trouble in one spot- around Rush Creek at dusk. Once I thought it might rain at night. I used a bivy and it really only served to keep my bag clean and on the pad.
A month earlier on a family backpack from Red's Meadow to Shadow Lake, you couldn't breathe without inhaling mosquitos. Dozens would get in the tent whenever the kids entered or left.
The next year a friend hiking with his kids had several inches of freezing rain and hail near Donahue Pass.
Many years ago I did a 10 day August trip on/around the southern JMT and it rained every day for at least a couple hours and we had thunderstorms with strong winds, sleet, hail, and a little snow a few different nights.
So the answer is, it depends. If your dates are fixed and you plan to continue on no matter what the weather, I suggest preparing for the worst. If your dates are flexible and you're willing to bail if it gets miserable, then bugs are probably a bigger issue than sustained rain at night.
In any case, be prepared to survive a summer storm of freezing rain, sleet, or a foot of snow. This means technique as much as gear.Feb 1, 2013 at 12:46 pm #1949719
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I steer away from pyramid type shelters B/C they don't have TRUE floor space since the walls slope in so much at the floor.
I'd go for a Tarptent Notch. You can pitch it as a unit, just the fly or just the inner floored netting. It's fast to set up and very light. Plus its shape is very good in high winds.
For 2 people there is the Tarptent Stratospire 2 with an amazing space-to-weight ratio.
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