Info on gear, conditioning, and preparation for hiking/climbing.
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Hungry Jack
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Re: tents

Postby Hungry Jack » Mon Dec 31, 2012 12:09 pm

I wanted a bigger tent to replace my 2000 TNF Roadrunner 2, which was great but cramped for 2. The 2010 RR was too heavy, so I first tried an REI T3. I loved the space/weight ratio of the T3 but it was too short (I am 6'3"), so I returned it and bought a BA Copper Spur 3, which is 6" longer. Pretty hard to go wrong with BA.
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Re: tents

Postby climbingaggie03 » Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:23 pm

RoanMtnMan wrote:I like your style. I am also a proponents of the tarp and the hammock in CO for about 5 months a year. However even the thinnest walls sure are nice in blowing snow. It's a lighter setup but not more flexible. Hammocks and tarps often confound me above tree line. If you are at 12k, with 3 inches of snow on the ground, in a 40mph wind, and need to camp, the tarp system is going to be daunting. Overall though, a good tarp setup saves a lot of weight and money without sacrificing comfort in the CO summer environment.

Your comment "It does take more thought in set up than a tent does" is an important one. Just back in September I climbed under my tarp during a hunting trip for some sleep, only to awaken at 1am in a pool of freezing rain and snow draining under me. I should have dug a moat. The issue was bad tarp placement, the result was a desperate night of attempted sleep. My partners in the tent ended up well rested.

I will agree that there are situations that a tent is better, but I find more and more that I prefer a tarp. If I were camping above tree line with 3 inches of snow on the ground, I'd pitch my tarp with trekking poles to support the guy lines, rocks as anchors (as needed) with the sides facing the wind and touching the ground. Or more likely, retreat to tree line.

site selection with a tarp is very important, you have to look at the terrain and see if water is going to drain towards you, you especially want to avoid camping in depressed ground.

I think you can see in one of the pictures I posted that there was alot of snow on that trip. In fact the only night of the 16 that we didn't spend on snow was the last night which is when I took the other picture. It was in Oregon and we had all kinds of damp and windy weather but I stayed much drier and warmer than my group members who were camping in BD megamids.

When I say they're more flexible than a tent, I think this is true because Tarps are great in summer, they're nice and light and provide plenty of shelter. In the dead of winter They're great too because you can make hybrid snow/tarp shelters. Dig a pit, build some walls, pitch your tarp over it and you have a great reasonably quick shelter. It's hard to find a tent that is able to work like that in so many different weather conditions and terrain situations.

I might be inclined to take a tent in late fall and early winter when it's cold but not enough snow for snow shelters yet. I also take a tent when mosquitoes are an issue (like Alaska and the northern midwest in the summer) But I think that most people would find a tarp to be more than sufficient for their needs.

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