Nov 4, 2013 at 6:34 pm #1309489
Ive been using a TarpTent, floorless Squall, 25 oz. or so for about nine years, sold it last week. Its footprint wasnt bad, had no issues setting it up in the Sierra. Sold my ZPacks Hexamid solo tent, took up quite a bit of real estate, but not too bad, loved the 12.5 oz. complete with stakes and tent pole. It fit nice in my ZPacks Arc Blast pack, if that gives you any idea of what I want in bulk.
I bp mostly in the Sierra, solo mostly, do not use hiking poles, would like to get something good in the wind and ability to shield me from the wind if I get cold in my six foot, 160lbs, 60 year old bones. Anything with netting down low isnt too good. Would be nice to be able to use it early in the season and Fall trips in Oct or so. Pushing it Im sure. Ive been thinking that what I want is sounding like a free standing tent.
I was taking a look at the ZPacks Solo Plus which could be staked to the ground on one side maybe and still give sufficient headroom. I'm just not sure about the size footprint some tarps have like Lightheart, MLD, Bearpaw etc. A tall bathtub bottom would cut the wind, with a overhang for rain protection, but then the weight goes up then. Ive paced some shelters off and they need an area about 8-9' by about 10-12'. Ouch! Weight or space? Oh man!
DuaneNov 4, 2013 at 6:46 pm #2041298
The tough part is when we have to decide what "sufficient" headroom is, etc. We don't know much about your comfort preferences.
I would start with the ZPacks Pocket Tarp and a cuben bathtub and go up from there in terms of durability/space. That's about as light as I can think while giving you the bathtub and full features.Nov 4, 2013 at 6:49 pm #2041300
Jon LeibowitzBPL Member
I'm not sure what the zpacks plus would do for you since it's just a larger version of your old tent you just sold.
It's not freestanding, but take a look at the SMD Gatewood. I've been using it for a couple of years, it's a relatively small footprint (don't know the exact size). You don't need the netting if you don't want and the thing is bomb proof. I've been in heavy wind and all-night rain and stayed dry on countless occasions. There is a large "vestibule" for all of your gear and cutting down on the wind is a nonissue because you can stake it to the ground and then open the vent on top and still have good airflow. I honestly love the thing. Hoping for a cuben version in the future!
As Max said, check out the pocket tarp. But no option for bug protection if you ever need it…..Nov 4, 2013 at 7:35 pm #2041320
Franco DarioliBPL Member
A true free standing tent is going to be over 35 oz and or very small particularly if you don't sleep on the floor without a mat, as some manufacturers seems to suggest you do with theirs…
Since wind/weather protection is your main point (and you are 6' tall and probably don't fancy 30" high doors…) you could take a look at the Tarptent Moment with fabric inner.
It is around 35oz but you have a shelter that sets up dry in around a minute, gives you full protection all around , so no problem with wind changing direction during the night.
The only bit of extra real estate apart from the fly would be two pole guylines taking the total of stakes needed to 4.
As a bonus when it rains you can take the inner off (takes a minute) and have extra room inside to cook or get changed.
franco@tarptentNov 4, 2013 at 7:50 pm #2041322
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"Anything with netting down low isnt too good."
I've used a couple of shelters with perimeter netting, and I thought that added just a touch of ventilation with bug protection. Besides, if you don't want the ventilation on one night, just pitch it lower so that the netting is all on the ground.
Your one-pound limit is very restrictive. I use a shaped cuben fiber tarp with two Fibraplex poles. Not only is there no netting down low, there is nothing at all down low. I normally pitch it with the edges the major part of a foot above ground. With guylines and a plastic sheet for the ground, the total weight is right at 16 ounces. However, it is intended mostly for a summer shelter for the Sierra.
–B.G.–Nov 4, 2013 at 8:02 pm #2041328
A pound is doable, but maybe not under my conditions. Some of my trips do have wind, plus in the Fall, it would be nice, although I have had the Squall out and been snowed/snow pelleted on, then had that freeze. Just getting older and getting to prefer a bit more protection, although Franco or someone mentioned a short time back about it being lighter to add insulation to a bag then adding protection in a shelter, something like that. Some netting is needed for ventilation, but I've had bugs on most of my bp trips this year, even a month ago along the PCT up north here by the Middle Fork of the Feather River and Bucks Lake Wilderness.
Yep, I've considered a TT for Winter use, but I have a BD Hilight. I had a bivy for one overnighter this Spring, I did not like the slowness of getting in and out of it, maybe a bulky one and a spacious, but light cuben tarp combo and a headnet.
DuaneNov 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm #2041331
John HarperBPL Member
@johnnyh88Locale: The SouthWest
What about an Oware Alphamid? This tarp has always intrigued me: 18.5 oz in silnylon, 9 ft long, 4.5 ft wide, and 5 ft tall. It would be pretty easy to tie off to a tree with its flat face. Cuben might be an option – you'd have to ask Oware.
An Uber Bivy from Miles Gear would be about the smallest footprint you could get.Nov 4, 2013 at 8:57 pm #2041344
Oware is out of the one small tepee, then you need to add in netting somewhere, if only they and TT would go cuben.
A MLD solo cuben inner net is 6.5oz, ZPacks flat cuben 7'X9' tarp is 5.3 oz, add stakes and a couple poles, at 17 oz. depending on brand of pole.
DuaneNov 4, 2013 at 9:13 pm #2041346
+1 on the Gatewood. You get a full CYA rain gear and 360 coverage shelter in an 11oz package. Add a small bundle or 6 Ti stakes and whatever you are going to use for a pole. You could get the carbon pole for it, but I would get one SUL adjustable carbon fiber trekking pole just for cool factor. I use trekking poles anyway, so I've never had to address that issue. You wanted an excuse to use a trekking pole anyway, right?
You can stake it down tight or jack it up 6" as needed. The design lends itself to stacking rocks on top of your stakes for wind insurance. I use a wide polycryo ground cloth so I can spread things out in the big floor space. No reason you couldn't make a polycryo or space blanket bathtub for it. If get tired of the bugs, there is the inner net available.
There is 35 square feet of space under the canopy– as much as many 2 person shelters. And it has a *door* with a *zipper* that you can open and close or guy it out to catch a breeze. Pretty sexy for a rain cape, I mean tarp, I mean tent :)
You get there with a completely dry pack too– forgot that part. It kind of looks like a tossed salad coming down the trail in rain gear mode, but I like salads :) If you get stuck out on a day hike, you can get out your "rain coat" and sleep under it.Nov 5, 2013 at 5:52 am #2041375
Has this been updated or changed? I know a ULer from our group here in CA used the Gatewood on one trip maybe 5 years back or so and even for him he thought it was pretty minimal. I just hate fiddling with the gc in the event of a rain storm. You dont know if you got it right until it does come down.
DuaneNov 5, 2013 at 6:21 am #2041381
James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Well, this is a difficult set of parameters. No tents will actually fill all your needs. Here is one that comes closest to the weight, weather-proof, warmth and foot print, but you loose some head height and vestibule space. Expense??? well that is out the ceiling…
Check this: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/terra_nova_laser_ultra_1_tent_review.html
There are a few others. Again, listed in the same review. This is several years old, though.
Z-Packs makes a pretty good 3 season tent here: http://zpacks.com/shelter/hexamid_long.shtml
These take some time to set up and want a higher stick or hiking staff.
As far as a component system goes, The Yama people make a pretty good net tent that fills most requirements at about 9oz. This is mounted to the poles used for a tarp. A good tarp is about 8×11 to cover the net tent relatovly tightly. Z packs makes one at around 7.2oz. But, you need treking poles or you need to get carbon fiber poles.
A smaller tarp will work with a piece of netting over your head area. Lots of different combo's for this, but avoid gadgets. They never work as advertised, it seems.
I use a simple 9×11 tarp. Generally, nights are cool enough to keep most bugs down to tolerable levels. A 2oz piece of mesh covers that, OK. Carefull selection of ground, means I don't need to worry about heavy rains. The somewhat large tarp means cover with shifting winds. The tarp, stakes, and hiking staff weigh ~22oz for everything, easy to set up, really a large area, cook under it, etc. But, again, you are back to using at least one hiking staff.Nov 5, 2013 at 7:32 am #2041392
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
… Or a Wild Oasis. Same as the Gatewood but doesn't convert into a poncho and has perimeter netting.Nov 5, 2013 at 7:45 am #2041395
A Gatewood is a minimal tent but certainly gives more protection than a simple tarp and it uses just one pole. Pitching is easy enough and you just have one guy line and that is right at the door and the pole is inside, so a tweak can be done without leaving the shelter.
I don't get what you mean about not knowing until it comes down— you have a tight pitch or you don't. That is important with any shelter. Not knowing which direction the weather will come from is a problem with any open tarp, which is why I suggested the Gatewood.
You do have some tough parameters there. If not the Gatewood, I would look a a good Cuben mid design, but the footprint and cost will go up and you lose the rain gear weight savings.
Other than that, a good cat cut Cuben tarp is the benchmark for sub 1 pound shelters I think. You will need to add two poles, 6-8 stakes and room for all the lines. You may need to as a bivy for full weather protection.
Good questions! Happy gear stalking :)Nov 5, 2013 at 8:05 am #2041402
Thanks all and Dale. Dale, I meant by my comment related to setup, if your gc is not right, the rain will quickly let you know. Ill take a look at more SMD stuff.
DuaneNov 5, 2013 at 8:57 am #2041407
I think any shelter needs good site selection and orientation. Getting the slope and the direction of the weather right is always interesting. Double that for tarps.
A good taut pitch is the rule and taking a little care with that pays off. Silnylon will relax with rain or dew, so starting out right is important.
Getting a good purchase with stakes is important with minimalist shelters. Those of us raised with free standing dome tents were spoiled— the stakes mainly kept the tent from sailing away. Lose a main guy on a tarp and down it comes. Tunnel tents are excellent shelters in heavy weather, but they too rely on a couple strong guy lines to stay up.
Many of the UL modified dome double wall tents are marketed as free standing. After trying a few, I have come to the conclusion that this a lie. Yes, the inner tent may stand up on its own after putting together a Tinker Toy set of poles, but then you need a couple handfuls of stakes to get a completed pitch. Sinking 11-12 stakes to pitch a solo "free standing" tent is ridiculous! I have pitched 6-person car camping tents with fewer parts.
The Tarp Tent Rainbow has impressed me with needing just 6 stakes to pitch or just 2 if you use trekking poles. I think bit woul be a great choice for rocky ground. It does weigh nearly three times what my Gatewood does, and costs twice as much, but it is a full featured tent vs a SUL shelter.
I don't hike above treeline much, so hammocks have become my favorite. Sleeping on the ground is so ….. uncivilized :)Nov 5, 2013 at 9:35 am #2041417
Kevin BabioneBPL Member
Like Dale I've moved up to hammocks, but I have a Gatewood Cape (seam sealed – that was a pain) that I've used a couple of times that I'm happy to loan you to try if you'd like. You'll need a trekking pole or other support (I used a straight stick broken to the correct length once when I wanted to take my trekking pole on a side trip).
PM me if you're interested.Nov 5, 2013 at 10:29 am #2041426
Thank you for the Gatewood offer. I remember once in awhile to view my campsite after setting up to see if a hammock would work there. I remember maybe once in 10 trips. :(
My biggest concern after spending some of my dough this year has been the staked footprint of anything. I could live with netting, just want to be able to stake a shelter in a smaller area. I would love to get a TT Rainbow except for the weight. I wish Henry used cuben, never read the reason he does not use it. After using the ZPacks Hexamid solo tent, kinda hard to accept anything heavier. I forget all the companies out there, so names help me alot, I can, after much research and weighing info (Libra here, hard to make decisions) make up my mind, but then I made up my mind enough already this year to the detriment of my checkbook. I'm at lunch, so it is about over, no research this morning now.
DuaneNov 5, 2013 at 11:26 am #2041442
Kevin BabioneBPL Member
So – take me up on my offer, if only to see the footprint of the GC when it's set up in your back yard. I'm a big guy – 6 feet tall and 250+ lbs – and I was a little skeptical about having enough space under it, but I was always fine. I pitch it pretty high when I'm not expecting bad weather and low when I am. There's a big difference when you can have 6" of airflow under the entire shelter. The other thing that's nice about the GC is that the footprint doesn't change when it's elevated in the air…You just end up with more usable room inside.
I know I'm not going to be using it until the Spring at the earliest so there's no hurry returning it. I'm a big fan of SMD products (two packs, two tents, plus the GC) so all this will cost you is return postage…Outbound is on me.Nov 5, 2013 at 11:45 am #2041449
I don't speak for Henry Shires, but the Rainbow is already $245, so a Cuben version would be pushing the edges of the market. The design might not be Cuben friendly as well. The Rainbow is making full use of the tension on the fabric, so it may not be a simple switch. It would be cool, as would a Cuben Gatewood.
Let me add some heresy to consider: unless you want to play the SUL game and if the rest of your kit is very light, I wouldn't fear adding another pound for a good shelter. That would open up all kinds of alternatives and probably give you a better margin of safety— and comfort.
As to hammocks, you will be hauling more than a pound there. You need reliable forest cover. Dense clumps of small sub-alpine trees don't work very well if at all. If you are camping with a mix of above and below treeline sites, you need a setup that is even more versatile (read heavy, complex and expensive). A good hammock tarp can be used on the ground, but would require poles and space— they can be big. But there is nothing like swingin' in the trees, away from the rocks, mud, roots and bugs.Nov 5, 2013 at 11:48 am #2041451
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
"I meant by my comment related to setup, if your gc is not right, the rain will quickly let you know."
Not directed at anyone, but we need to keep in mind that skill and technique will always trump gear. Skill and technique also includes bringing the right gear for the trip.Nov 5, 2013 at 11:53 am #2041453
Eric BlumensaadtBPL Member
@danepackerLocale: Mojave Desert
I've sold my original TT Moment(SW) and getting the TT Moment DW.
Initially I'll get the ripstop inner tent for this winter and next spring I'll get the net inner tent.
So then I'll have 4 options for tents:
1. fly W/"solid" inner (& the crossing pole for winter)
2. fly W/net inner
3. fly alone
4. net inner alone
But, yeah, I'm looking at 2 lbs. for the solid inner and fly together, twice your goal.
Cuben fabric is just way too 'spensive unless I quit buying firearms and reloading equipment.Nov 5, 2013 at 12:19 pm #2041459
Franco DarioliBPL Member
It really depends of where you want to compromise.
Freestanding,size,weight,small footprint,weather protection.
At least one of the above has to go.
This is a Terra Nova Laser Ultra.
Pretty close to what you want at 1 lb 4oz packed weight.
The same tent in silnylon is 1 lb 9 oz (Laser Photon)
The point here is that keeping the same design, Cuben saves a few ounces not pounds.
Note that headroom is 34", so this would be the compromise for you here.Nov 5, 2013 at 12:28 pm #2041461
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
"Pretty close to what you want at 1 lb 4oz packed weight."
Plus, add the weight of some decent tent stakes.
–B.G.–Nov 5, 2013 at 1:16 pm #2041476
Nick, you cant always see that the ground is sloping the right direction. I take 30 minutes sometimes deciding which spot is best. I agree with you though about gear being trumped.
DuaneNov 5, 2013 at 2:53 pm #2041525
"you cant always see that the ground is sloping the right direction"
Or the evil properties of running water through that campsite :) Yeah, time to throw down the ground cloth and give it a test— if it's not pouring buckets. Many times, you don't get much choice and overused sites are hollowed, so you get a nice puddle. Lovely, camping in a muddy pond.
Just to rub it in: with the hammock, I can handle up to 45 degrees or so slope on my campsite. The limit is how far up I can reach on the lower tree to set the suspension and still keep my backside off the dirt once I'm in the hammock. And that is if there aren't two trees on the traverse of the hill. Puddles are meaningless, along with anything else short of something that might impale me in a fall.
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