Topic

Leaving the tent door open


Forum Posting

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

Home Forums General Forums Philosophy & Technique Leaving the tent door open

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 28 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #3626238
    Karen
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    Lately it has been minus 40, so I’m hiking inside at work and at the gym, and watching some YouTube videos to remind myself that winter won’t last. I noticed that in a lot of the footage, many different campers, the tent door is often left open, while hikers watch the sunrise, sit around the fire, film this and that. Would any of you do that? Why have a tent if you’re going to let all the creepies crawl in? I was watching one short video, and the person filming was showing the camp, with a number of tents, all with open doors while the group was gathered further away. In the same 15 minute segment, she showed an enormous centipede, a good sized spider, and several snakes. Cowboy camping is one thing (I’d still be damn careful about protecting my sleeping bag!), but why leave the tent unzipped? Not to mention mosquitoes, black flies, ticks, maybe mice, depending on location.

    Anyone ever learn this lesson the hard way? That’d be a good winter story.

    #3626239
    Mike B
    BPL Member

    @highwarlok

    Locale: Colorado

    If they are using a double walled tent they could leave the outside fly door open and have the inside net door closed. I am not a fan of spiders and have more then once had one inside my inner tent and wondered how they got in when I make it a point to keep it zipped up.

    #3626242
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    If I am in an area where I am expecting no mosquitos or biting flies, I generally carry my shelter with just the groundsheet and no inner net.  When I am anticipating bugs I carry the inner net.  Unless it’s raining or quite windy I generally leave the door to my shelter open for views and to reduce the chances of condensation.  If I bring my mesh inner net, I always zip up the mesh inner, and leave the waterproof “fly” door open.  I’ve done this with the GG Spinnshelter, MLD Duomid, and Drop X-Mid.

    #3626248
    rubmybelly!
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    “I always zip up the mesh inner, and leave the waterproof “fly” door open.”

    +1 (unless weather prevents it)

    #3626265
    PaulW
    BPL Member

    @peweg8

    Locale: Western Colorado

    If there’s little bug pressure, and the weather looks good, I cowboy camp. If there’s little bug pressure, but a chance of weather, I usually leave the mesh door open. It’s amazing to me the extent to which mesh can inhibit airflow.

    #3626271
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    90% of the time I leave door open

    If it’s really windy or windy + rainy I’ll close the door

    Where I camp I usually don’t have a lot of bugs.  There’s something weird about a mid that even if there are bugs, they accumulate at the top and flit around, leave me alone.  If it’s really buggy I have head net or 3 foot circle of netting.

    #3626909
    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member

    @sbhikes

    Locale: Santa Barbara

    Well, first of all you are seeing pictures of this. The pictures are going to come out a lot better if they’re not taken through mesh. So this open door thing may just be temporary.

    I tend to not cowboy camp not because of bugs (although if there are bugs, that’s definitely a reason not to cowboy camp) but because it is warmer under a shelter and I won’t be soaked with dew.

    #3626923
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    that is a lesson I keep learning – dew when cowboy camping

    then I have to dry everything off the next day

    and I swear I won’t do that again : )

     

    #3626948
    HkNewman
    BPL Member

    @hknewman

    Locale: Western US

    I’d at least keep the mesh zipped … but I like keeping at least one outer door open (the Skyscrape Trekker is great at this).  Met a woman on the PCT whose trail name was “Spiderbite” .. with a big oozing sore back of her shoulder.

    She forgot to completely zip her Big Agnes tent and the wrong spider got in.  Not one of these minimalist “tarp to thong” things, mind you .. a framed tent.  So

    #3626949
    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member

    @rex

    Locale: California

    Tent/door/bug story:

    Around 2003 I was backpacking with a Tarptent Virga. The model I had included a floor and a netting door with a center zipper, but no zipper across the bottom – just a flap of netting. One night, a tick crawled in and bit me (wasn’t there when I went to bed). I quickly wound up in a doctor’s office with a half-grapefruit-sized swelling on my chest (probably staph), an antibiotic shot plus a prescription, and strict instructions to go to the ER if the swelling got any bigger. I recovered :-)

    My tents since then have have been 100% bug proof. No open tarp or cowboy camping in bug-infested areas for me. And yes, good bug netting is virtually windproof, which sucks for condensation control and warm weather.

    HYOH.

    — Rex

    #3626957
    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member

    @sbhikes

    Locale: Santa Barbara

    On my last trip I kept finding ticks in my bed but somehow I guess I found them all and didn’t get bit. I have a flat tarp with a homemade mosquito net that has no floor. I get in and out by lifting it over my head. I think the ticks come from me hiking through the brush and they’re just hanging out on my clothes, not from crawling in later after I’ve set up and gone inside.

    #3627001
    Mark
    BPL Member

    @gixer

    Is anything bug proof?
    Seems like wishful thinking to me

    Weather is good = doors open

    I like to wake up to the view as i open my eyes for the first time in the morning

    Inner is open or closed depending on what i’m doing and what the mossies are like

    #3627024
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I always assumed ticks land on me while hiking, crawl around on me and maybe I won’t notice them until I’m in bed.

    I don’t think they crawl into my sleeping bag while I’m sleeping.

    Not that it matters, there are other critters.

    #3627035
    Tipi Walter
    BPL Member

    @tipiwalter

    Is anything bug proof?  Sure, a zipped up tent is bug proof—if you can stand the heat inside such a tent.

    I zip up all the time in bug and snake season—mainly to keep the nasty little noseeums—midges—off my body.

    A zipped up tent will keep out snakes and big spiders and scorpions and yellow jackets—but not mice as they can chew thru the floor if desired.

    Ticks generally end up in my tent because they crawl onto my pack or into my socks while I’m hiking and in camp the pack and socks etc are all stored inside the tent.  I often see a tick or two climbing up the inner tent wall.

    One time back in ’84 I was camping on the AT above Hot Springs NC and left my tent door open all night and woke up around 3am feeling something crawling in my goatee.  I scratched and it stung my chin—a white face hornet got me good.

    Another time I was camping with the tent door open and heard a rustling of stuff in some papers and maps—thought it was a mouse.  Turned out to be a big wolf spider damnit but I got him out using a paper towel and quick mvt.  Another time with the door open I found a black trap door spider on my pillow.

    One good reason to keep your tent zipped up tight while you’re out sitting around the campfire at night—my buddy Johnny B and I were camping on Upper Creek in Pisgah NF and he left the campfire around midnight and went to his tent using his mini mag flashlight and found a coiled up copperhead sitting in his tent vestibule right next to his tent door.  Dangit.  We moved the pit viper into some doghobble and went to bed in our separate tents.

     

    #3627068
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    “Is anything bug proof?
    Seems like wishful thinking to me…”

    showering won’t make one 100% antiseptic either. Still a good idea to shower.

    all my tents have netting and it works really, really well. Compare inside of a net tent and outside in high mosquito season. And you can easily kill the few that get in when you enter the tent.

    I hate bugs so the net door stays closed.

    #3627115
    dirtbag
    BPL Member

    @dirtbaghiker

    Permitherin on all my clothing during that time of year!!
    In winter.. No bugs .. So all good.
    I hang in my hammock all seasons and i always use the bug netting.
    I have a Duplex tent that when i use it the doors will be open, but the bug netting will be zipperd shut.
    My bivies that i use also have a bug net upper section.

    #3627153
    obx hiker
    BPL Member

    @obxer

    I thought ticks, chiggers, spiders, snakes etc was the reason God created hammocks.

    #3627154
    Bill in Roswell
    BPL Member

    @roadscrape88-2

    Locale: Roswell, GA, USA

    Brad, how do you escape dealing with ticks in season?

    Cheers,
    Bill in Roswell, GA

    #3627165
    lisa r
    BPL Member

    @lisina10

    Locale: Western OR

    I’ve been disappointed in the last few years that tent designers (at least for the bigger manufacturers) have switched away from doors that have a rainbow shape (that open from the top) to D-shaped doors (that open from the side). I used to really enjoy hanging out at night in the tent with the rainbow-shaped door partially open, so the top bit was down to allow for breeze and unobstructed stargazing from the comfort of my pad/quilt, but it was still zipped up enough on the sides to mostly keep crawling bugs and rodents out. With the D-shaped doors there isn’t a good way to have it partially open like that (I also think the older door design was easier to manage one handed).

    #3627169
    Sam Farrington
    BPL Member

    @scfhome

    Locale: Chocorua NH, USA

    Bugs etc. are not predictable, and it’s hard to know in what areas they are present.  But like most, I keep the netting door or doors zipped closed, definitely when sleeping.  However, when it’s raining I put the camp chair in the tent, facing out, and open the net doors for my feet and to cook on the stove under the vestibule which is open only part way.  In CO and northern NE have never had crawling or flying bugs get in during meals in the rain – maybe they don’t like the rain?

    There have been surprises, though.  Hiking near the AT just south of the Route 2 crossing in Shelburne NH, camped in a large grassy clearing alongside the trail.  Saw a few large spiders, and brushed them out of the tent.  But as Diane pointed out, they get on your clothing, and come in with you.  Woke up the next day with several unusual bites, concentric circles like a target, and thought, these must be the “bullseye” I’d read about from ticks.  Later, a doctor advised they were spider bites, and showed me photos of the orange rashes around a deer tick bite that are often referred to as a bullseye..

    In recent years, the deer ticks have been moving northward, and now also populate areas north of the White Mountains.  So spray the boots and pant legs with permethrin before heading out.  Some others use permethrin impregnated clothing.  And of course the choice of DEET for  exposed skin.  Have had  very good luck with that; but have picked up ticks lately if forget to spray, or if walking the dogs off the town roads  into large grassy fields so they can run around a bit.

    The incidence of bites has multiplied in just the last several years, perhaps due to climate change, but only a few tabs of Doxycycline are prescribed if a doctor or nurse is seen right away within 3-4 days of the bite or bites..  It’s a PITA getting deer ticks out, not just a simple deal with a pair of tweezers like they say in the guidebooks.  Some I’ve had to gouge out, taking some of my flesh with the tick.  Which may be good, because it reminds me to get medical treatment right away.

    The good news when hiking is that the deer ticks predominate in lowlands and marshy areas, and I’ve not picked up any at higher altitudes, above around 2000 feet.  There are lots of trailheads in the Whites that are near or above 2000 feet, and if not, it’s just a matter of being careful where the trails go through lowlands, and camping higher up.  For water higher up, there are often the headwaters of streams.

    #3627172
    Mark
    BPL Member

    @gixer

    showering won’t make one 100% antiseptic either. Still a good idea to shower.

    all my tents have netting and it works really, really well. Compare inside of a net tent and outside in high mosquito season. And you can easily kill the few that get in when you enter the tent.

    I hate bugs so the net door stays closed.

    Why would anyone want to be antiseptic, i don’t understand the reference

    Bugs come in a massive array of sizes and shapes, if they want in and are determined enough they’ll get in

    I’ve watched 100’s of mossies cluster around the one tiny tear in my mesh inner

    Then there is getting in/out the inner, cooking with the inner open, setting up your bedding with the inner open, wearing the same clothes and bringing in bugs with you

    Not to mention small knicks or tears in mesh inners

    I agree that if they’re swarming there will be far fewer inside a inner, but in my experience it’s a massive stretch to say any inner in bug proof

    It’s about as accurate a statement as waterproof shoes

    #3627346
    Bill in Roswell
    BPL Member

    @roadscrape88-2

    Locale: Roswell, GA, USA

    I’m glad my summers in Maine were before the tick invasion. A fellow friend from Alabama lived in Portland 10 years later. Playing golf he got ticks! Not to mention in the southeast, mosquitoes carrying disease spread further each summer. Bug mesh all the way, at least for sleeping!

    #3627361
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    ” It’s a PITA getting deer ticks out, not just a simple deal with a pair of tweezers like they say in the guidebooks.  Some I’ve had to gouge out, taking some of my flesh with the tick.  Which may be good, because it reminds me to get medical treatment right away.”

    Yeah, same here

    They really burrow in and hold on with fish hook like parts

    If you catch them within 12 or 24 hours not so bad

    I’ve had a number of bites the last few years.  Before that just a couple over many years.  Maybe it’s a little warmer now, or maybe I’m more in their territory although I mostly go to the same places I’ve always gone.

    Spray permethrin on shoes, pants, gaiters, maybe shirt – long pants and shirt

    #3627388
    jscott
    BPL Member

    @book

    Locale: Northern California

    I don’t think anyone made claims about total bug proof netting. yes, in mosquito season a few will get in my tent when I enter or exit. They’re very easy to squash when trapped in a tent. Tears in the netting can be easily and quickly repaired; with some simple care they rarely occur on a trip. As to spiders so tiny as to crawl through bug netting, I haven’t seen any.

    I can only speak from my experience, which is that bugs and snakes and mice don’t squeeze through but netting. It’s far better in this regard than nothing at all.

    #3627409
    Karen
    BPL Member

    @granolagirlak

    My takeaway is that some of you don’t mind bugs, snakes, mice, or whatever getting in or crawling over you. Good for you! Those 8 inch long desert centipedes and tiny but nasty scorpions are enough for me to insist on the tent door staying zipped! I figured that would be a universal view, but nothing on BPL is. Choose your tent mates accordingly!

Viewing 25 posts - 1 through 25 (of 28 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!

Loading...