Big Bend Chat

Big Bend National Park Q&A => Hiking the Desert => Topic started by: Sanjuro82 on December 07, 2007, 05:23:34 PM

Title: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Sanjuro82 on December 07, 2007, 05:23:34 PM
In the past my brother and I have always used a lightweight 2 person tent on our multi day trips.  But this year we are thinking about saving the weight and ditching the tent on our trip to the Mesa de Anguila.  My main concern would be the creepy crawlies.  I'd really prefer to to not be sharing my sleeping bag with any scorpions or spiders.

The cold and wind isn't really a factor with us.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Suggestions?
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: presidio on December 07, 2007, 05:40:56 PM
I'd really prefer to to not be sharing my sleeping bag with any scorpions or spiders.
Thoughts?  Comments?  Suggestions?

I have spent many a night camped without a tent and never, ever had an occurrence of finding something in my bag either before I got in (just don't put it out before use or shake it out if you do....like checking your boots in the morning) or upon waking.

I'm sure it must occasionally happen, but the concern seems to be overblown and misplaced, perhaps approaching 'rural legend' status.

Now, just to creep everyone out, if you ever take a battery-powered UV lamp into the desert and shine it around, you will be TRULY ASTOUNDED at how many scorpions are out hunting. There ain't just a couple. When you consider this and then the fact that these kinds of critters are rarely to never found in in-use bags, that says to me that the bugs have better things to do than drag you away in the middle of the night. However, all bets are off if the ants from Them! show up.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: sleepy on December 07, 2007, 06:09:01 PM
i've done both.  i do both.  i like both.  for me, there is something about the security of a tent that makes me sleep deeply.  it's probably more a false sense, but it's there.  however, there is nothing like being "in it" by sleeping out under the stars.  it makes me feel a bit more vulnerable; but, that's the point.  what are those sounds i hear in the bush that i don't hear in the tent?  no mesh in between me and Orion.  you think that's small, but it can be big.  the one last barrier, physical and mental, between me and the environment that is gone.  when your eyes open, there are no poles, no fabric, no net, only sky, air and dirt.  still, always have a plan for rain.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: okiehiker on December 07, 2007, 06:19:25 PM
90 percent of my bibe nights have been tentless and i have never had any problem.  Go for it!
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Burn Ban on December 07, 2007, 07:29:27 PM
i am definitely a no-tent kind of guy.  never had anything happen that i didn't like.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: astrofizz on December 07, 2007, 08:01:20 PM
There are few things I enjoy more than simply opening my eyes during a dark or Moonlit night in the Big Bend to savor a star-filled desert sky. This is most easily done without a tent.  No tents!  :-)
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: randell on December 07, 2007, 10:13:17 PM
I camped with my kids a few months ago in a teepee.  There was a two inch gap between the ground and the bottom of the teepee and an opening (doorway) with no flap or anything.  It also had the skylight thing going on.  Nothing happened to us.  This wasn't in Big Bend, it was in the Big Thicket of East Texas where I believe there are more creepy crawlies than you could ever dream of seeing at Big Bend.

However, during the night I woke up and looked out the door and saw some coyotes or wild dogs roaming on the edge of camp.  It was a little concerned so I got out of my sleeping bag and marked my territory on a few nearby trees and went back to sleep. 

(http://rzerr.smugmug.com/photos/211160737-S.jpg)
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: STARLITDARKNESS3 on December 07, 2007, 10:30:07 PM
It was a little concerned so I got out of my sleeping bag and marked my territory on a few nearby trees and went back to sleep. 

(http://rzerr.smugmug.com/photos/211160737-S.jpg)


 :rolling: :rolling: :rolling: :kaos-cactus06:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Hoodoo on December 07, 2007, 11:20:40 PM
I really enjoy falling asleep on the river bank, just above a small rapid to serenade me into slumber. All the while gazing up in awe at the stars above. Words just can't describe it.

If the weather is questionable and/or a base camp is used, I set up a tent.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: mule ears on December 08, 2007, 06:54:47 AM
Other than one trip in the Grand Canyon in the 70's, I haven't carried or used a tent in the desert for over 30 years.  Even here on the East coast I haven't carried a tent for over 6 years.  Just like to save the weight and love to sleep under the stars.  I have never had anyone visit me during the night (in the desert), as least that I was aware of.  A good tarp and in the wet climes a good bivy sack is all I need, even with a down bag.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Mark D on December 08, 2007, 01:34:57 PM
I spent a lot of money a couple years ago on an MSR Hubba solo tent which weighs only 3#12oz all tricked out with fly, poles, stuff sack, stakes and ground cloth.
But I just bought a 5'x8' sil-nylon tarp from Campmor ($55). Along with 8 MSR aluminum needle stakes ($13), guylines and a 2 mil plastic ground cloth. Altogether it weighs about 15oz. and takes up almost no space in the pack. I intend to go tentless on my next trip, and take this tarp along just in case it's cloudy or I need a wind break. Of course you need trekking poles to hold it up.
After all, it is the desert and it probably won't rain and if it's windy you can snuggle up behind a bush or your backpack. Maybe you don't even need a tarp.
Like a previous writer, I also think the snake-in-the-sleeping-bag is something invented in Hollywood.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: TheWildWestGuy on December 08, 2007, 10:33:04 PM
Bring a Tent!   You can thank me after your trip.  Maybe the threat from creepy-crawly's is overblown but your goal is to sleep well not prove how fearless you are.  It will also be a good bit warmer and offer some wind/sun/rain protection.   The Mesa Anguila is pretty exposed and isolated, your not going to find some tree or bush to snuggle up under and I would take it along as "safety gear" if nothing else.
Look Mom 500 Posts... TWWG
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: badknees on December 09, 2007, 12:21:17 AM
Bring a Tent!   You can thank me after your trip.  Maybe the threat from creepy-crawly's is overblown but your goal is to sleep well not prove how fearless you are.  It will also be a good bit warmer and offer some wind/sun/rain protection.   The Mesa Anguila is pretty exposed and isolated, your not going to find some tree or bush to snuggle up under and I would take it along as "safety gear" if nothing else.
Look Mom 500 Posts... TWWG

I totally agree. One good, misty cold front with 25 mph wind out of the North at 30 F.....Get the picture? Brrrrr. :eusa_pray:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Al on December 09, 2007, 12:36:50 AM
Know the weather forecast and plan according.  If a cold front is coming through, a tent is a good thing to have.  A tarp is much more flexible and less constraining but does not substitute for a good tent if there is heavy weather unless your camp is sheltered from the wind.

Al
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Boojum1 on December 09, 2007, 12:54:42 AM
Never a tent in BiBe, but never winter either.  I got caught in an 18 degree night in GMNP and was quite happy to have my tent available.  Pack it just in case.  You don't have to take it if the forecast is decent.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: westtex on December 09, 2007, 04:30:28 PM
I have done both, but fyi, the weather is unseasonably warm and the rattle snakes are still moving as of yesterday. 
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: jeffblaylock on December 09, 2007, 05:24:51 PM
Done the tent, tarp, tarptent, and notent thing in the Bend. Never a problem with crawlies, but sometimes a problem with buzzing things. The biggest problem I've had going tentless is waking up covered in dust and sand as the wind always seems to blow when I am not in an enclosed shelter.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: sstrong42 on December 10, 2007, 06:58:13 AM
I'd be afraid to do this. =/  When I was a boy scout, the one time I slept outside of my tent I ended up sleepwalking down a pretty steep bank into the river we were camping by.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: SHANEA on December 10, 2007, 08:20:01 AM
I'd be afraid to do this. =/  When I was a boy scout, the one time I slept outside of my tent I ended up sleepwalking down a pretty steep bank into the river we were camping by.

 :eusa_angel:

When I was an adult, I got inebriated oncetwice, three times and got out of my tent and fell in a cactus.   :eusa_doh: I'll never sleep in a tent again!   :eusa_angel:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: homerboy2u on December 10, 2007, 08:43:07 AM
I'd be afraid to do this. =/  When I was a boy scout, the one time I slept outside of my tent I ended up sleepwalking down a pretty steep bank into the river we were camping by.

 :eusa_angel:

When I was an adult, I got inebriated oncetwice, three times and got out of my tent and fell in a cactus.   :eusa_doh: I'll never sleep in a tent again!   :eusa_angel:

 Oh No?....okay, we will take up on this,at a later date. One thing the Desert mountains have taught me: never say never again.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: randell on December 10, 2007, 09:59:48 AM
I'd be afraid to do this. =/  When I was a boy scout, the one time I slept outside of my tent I ended up sleepwalking down a pretty steep bank into the river we were camping by.

 :eusa_angel:

When I was an adult, I got inebriated oncetwice, three times and got out of my tent and fell in a cactus.   :eusa_doh: I'll never sleep in a tent again!   :eusa_angel:

At least you didn't puke on wife's shoes while hanging your head out of the tent in the middle of the night.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Sanjuro82 on December 10, 2007, 11:51:20 AM
Well we are going to go tentless.  We'll check the weather forecast before heading out.  As a back-up safety measure, we're taking the footprint and the rainfly to our two man tent.  That way in case we need it (rain, wind, etc...) we can pitch an emergency shelter using my trekking poles.

Thanks for the help everyone!  You're comments and suggestions are much appreciated!
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: em2 on December 10, 2007, 09:23:47 PM
Don't know what your budget is, but I've got an Outdoor Research Bivy - Can't remember the model, but it is the one that has the poles in it to keep it off of your face and even has some noseeum meshing for warm evenings.  I have slept in this several times when backpacking in BB, even in about 8" of snow up in the Chisos - warm and toasty inside.  Plus it will keep any creppy-crawlys out and weighs hardly nothing (and you can put your boots inside of it if you want).  can't remember what I paid for it, but I think it was a maybe under $150.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: SHANEA on December 13, 2007, 06:09:15 PM
At least you didn't  :vomit:  on wife's shoes while hanging your head out of the tent in the middle of the night.

Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: JodyH on January 01, 2008, 06:58:25 PM
I rarely use a tent and have never had any problems with critters.
Synthetic sleeping bag and a Goretex Bivy sack.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Desertwalker on January 08, 2008, 12:52:59 PM
Recently camped north of Slickrock Canyon. Around dusk a rattler crawled thru my camp. Almost stepped on the poor thing. Of course, it immediately alerted me to the situation and when I backed away it crawled off. After this encounter, I relieved myself of what was left in my bladder and crawled into my tent and didn't come out until sunrise.

I'm glad I had a tent! I would not have been happy to crawl into an exposed sleeping bag knowing what just crawled by.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: aggiehiker on January 09, 2008, 11:15:52 AM
I've been told by old time cowboys that if you put a hemp/straw rope around your bag, the snakes won't crawl over it. I always use a tent since as luck would have it, a snake that liked that feeling on his belly would crawl into by bag!
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: stingrey on January 09, 2008, 01:36:47 PM
The fact that snakes cross Grapevine Hills road without problems coupled with the fact that they hang out around cactus and the like makes me think that the rope theory would be classified as "BUSTED" on Myth Busters.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: RichardM on January 09, 2008, 01:48:44 PM
The fact that snakes cross Grapevine Hills road without problems coupled with the fact that they hang out around cactus and the like makes me think that the rope theory would be classified as "BUSTED" on Myth Busters.
Not quite MythBusters, but http://www.texas-venomous.com/myths.html (http://www.texas-venomous.com/myths.html), http://www.texassnakes.net/myths.html (http://www.texassnakes.net/myths.html), and a bunch of other sites (http://www.google.com/search?q=snake+cross+rope+myth&btnmeta%3Dsearch%3Dsearch=Web&hl=en&edition=usa) concur.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: JimNewOrleans on January 09, 2008, 02:04:37 PM
I thought you were supposed to keep the hemp in an outside backackpack pocket, within easy reach??   Just to be handy case a snake is sighted, of course..
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Undertaker on January 09, 2008, 03:12:02 PM
Yep law inforcement will believe that on alright. :rolling:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Hayduke on January 09, 2008, 04:43:17 PM
A rope around your campsite won't work but a steel cable hooked into a power line is a sure bet. Just be careful if you get up in the middle of the night.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: TheWildWestGuy on January 11, 2008, 09:20:42 AM
The rope around the sleeping bag was probably just what the cowboys told themselves so they could go to sleep without staying up all night worrying about rattlesnakes.   I do the same thing with my vehicle at remote trailheads - I club the steering wheel, tie the doors together with a length of rope from the inside, and then leave a large note on the dashboard saying "nothing of value left in vehicle".    Would this prevent vehicle break-in - absolutely NOT, does it make me sleep better at night miles and miles from the trailhead - you bet.   I know it's not true but it's nice to fool myself into believing I have made my vehicle safe, after all they have all night to work on it and they can see other vehicles coming towards them from 2 miles away at night.   TWWG
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: stingrey on March 27, 2008, 06:00:59 AM
To anyone who has a similar bivy, how tall are you? Is this designed to be used in conjunction with a sleeping bag? I've been curious about this same item online, but can't find a whole lot about it. Thanks!

Don't know what your budget is, but I've got an Outdoor Research Bivy - Can't remember the model, but it is the one that has the poles in it to keep it off of your face and even has some noseeum meshing for warm evenings.  I have slept in this several times when backpacking in BB, even in about 8" of snow up in the Chisos - warm and toasty inside.  Plus it will keep any creppy-crawlys out and weighs hardly nothing (and you can put your boots inside of it if you want).  can't remember what I paid for it, but I think it was a maybe under $150.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: stingrey on April 07, 2008, 07:08:22 PM
Anyone from S.A. taking a trek out to Cabella's anytime soon? I think they carry these Outdoor Research Bivys. They seem to get great reviews, but I still need more info about 'em. While I do have a brand new big daddy bottle of Patron, I'm not sure that the tequila juice will ward off all of the critters that I have seen in the bend. I CAN say that I'm less afraid of going tentless in the bend than I would be doing the same in Palmetto State Park! :)
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Al on April 07, 2008, 08:29:32 PM
You can always mail order them.  Cabelas has a no questions asked return policy.  I have mailed ordered from them for years without a single complaint.  The OR stuff is very good in my experience.

Al
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on April 07, 2008, 11:02:47 PM
Quote
One night I awoke to a coyote standing 3 feet from my head growling at me.
Man, that's a trip.  Where were you when this happened?  Did you hear it walking up to you, or did you just wake up suddenly with a coyote standing over you?   What did you do?  More details please...gotta know.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on April 08, 2008, 08:47:47 AM
Quote
I felt extremely vulnerable as I could not stand to run or even defend myself, all bound up in that bag.

Fear and helplessness together...I can't help but to feel a little bit of what you experienced.  Makes me feel a little uncomfortable sitting here at my desk.  Good story and thanks for sharing it.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 08, 2008, 01:09:04 PM
To anyone who has a similar bivy, how tall are you? Is this designed to be used in conjunction with a sleeping bag? I've been curious about this same item online, but can't find a whole lot about it. Thanks!

Don't know what your budget is, but I've got an Outdoor Research Bivy - Can't remember the model, but it is the one that has the poles in it to keep it off of your face and even has some noseeum meshing for warm evenings.  I have slept in this several times when backpacking in BB, even in about 8" of snow up in the Chisos - warm and toasty inside.  Plus it will keep any creppy-crawlys out and weighs hardly nothing (and you can put your boots inside of it if you want).  can't remember what I paid for it, but I think it was a maybe under $150.

Stingrey, I use a bivy almost always. The particular bivy I use is the Black Diamond Winter Bivy. It's a no frills ultralight bivy that is good for three season use. I have seam sealed mine for further protection form the elements, and had it modified as well with a removable no see um netting. I also had a loop added on the rain gutter flap that allows me to tie a guyline to it and secure it to a trekking pole or a tree so the bivy stays off my face. I don't do this often as I am not rally bothered by the bivy being close to my face.

Your sleeping bag does fit inside the bivy. You need to determine what type of bag you are going to use to be certain it will fit in your bivy. The Black Diamond bivy I use, for instance, is known for not being able to accomodate a high lofting winter sleeping bag, even though it is stated to be a "winter bivy".

I am 5' 7" so I have plenty of room to spare in my bivy. The two sleeping bags I use in it most often are the Big Agnes Horse Thief down bag that I have modified into a top bag, and the Lafuma 600 extreme synthetic sleeping bag.

I do not have experience in using the Outdoor Research line of bivies, but have read favorable reviews of them.
You might want to read some of the reviews on them here:
http://www.trailspace.com/gear/outdoor-research/tents/bivy/ (http://www.trailspace.com/gear/outdoor-research/tents/bivy/)

Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Undertaker on April 08, 2008, 03:22:58 PM
Wonder how many old time cowboys died on the trail because of the hemp rope idea. I thought the idea was to be one with nature. :rolling: :rolling: :rolling:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: STARLITDARKNESS3 on April 11, 2008, 04:26:39 PM
Nothing wrong with no tent during Spring Break.... 

(http://www.bigbendgallery.com/uploads/files/shelter2.JPG)

Until it started snowing.   :eusa_dance:

Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 13, 2008, 01:44:51 PM
Nice pic STARLITDARKNESS3.

Here is a pic of me in my bivy along the Dodson portion of the OLM in 2006.

(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1207676581100_1874%20adjust20594.jpg)
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: stingrey on April 13, 2008, 03:04:18 PM
I think I'm going to just have to visit REI or something. I'm pretty torn between a bivy and perhaps the Big Agnes SL2 or SL3 tent. I know each is a completely different product, but I am also trying to figure out which is the best initial investment given the fact that I'd love to convince my wife to overnight South Rim with me at some point. Thanks for the link, though, as it has definitely helped shed some light on my available options. Only problem is that now I want a bivy AND a super light, quick setup mesh tent!
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: mule ears on April 13, 2008, 03:19:24 PM
Nice pic STARLITDARKNESS3.

Here is a pic of me in my bivy along the Dodson portion of the OLM in 2006.

(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1207676581100_1874%20adjust20594.jpg)
Lighter Fluid, I know you didn't carry that camp stool in, as an ultralighter, but I am glad that someone carried in a cold beverage for you :eusa_clap:.

I have used bivy's for years, mostly in wetter climates, in the desert I usually just use a small ground cloth to keep the bag clean.  I have used an OR, I think it is called the Sleeping Bag cover (18oz. no poles) for about 8 years and it has been great.  All kinds of conditions, mostly winter, with 15 degree bags, I am 6'1", 180 lbs. and it is plenty big even with the pad inside.  I have just changed to a Mountain Laurel Designs Superlight bivy (6 oz.) and it seems perfect so far.  I use bivy's with a tarp if rain is in the forecast.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on April 13, 2008, 04:26:13 PM
I think I'm going to just have to visit REI or something. I'm pretty torn between a bivy and perhaps the Big Agnes SL2 or SL3 tent. I know each is a completely different product, but I am also trying to figure out which is the best initial investment given the fact that I'd love to convince my wife to overnight South Rim with me at some point. Thanks for the link, though, as it has definitely helped shed some light on my available options. Only problem is that now I want a bivy AND a super light, quick setup mesh tent!
Stingrey,

Have you considered combining a bug bivy and and a tarp?  I've used this combo effectively on a couple of trips. 

Here's a combo that looks like it might work and it weighs in under 2 lbs.
Sil Wing (http://www.integraldesigns.com/product_detail.cfm?id=823&CFID=218060&CFTOKEN=94860875&mainproducttypeid=1)
BugaBivy (http://www.integraldesigns.com/product_detail.cfm?id=825&CFID=218060&CFTOKEN=94860875&mainproducttypeid=1)

Maybe a combo like this isn't for you, but it seems like it would be bit more versatile than a bivy sack. 
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 13, 2008, 10:27:33 PM
I think I'm going to just have to visit REI or something. I'm pretty torn between a bivy and perhaps the Big Agnes SL2 or SL3 tent. I know each is a completely different product, but I am also trying to figure out which is the best initial investment given the fact that I'd love to convince my wife to overnight South Rim with me at some point. Thanks for the link, though, as it has definitely helped shed some light on my available options. Only problem is that now I want a bivy AND a super light, quick setup mesh tent!
Stingrey,

Have you considered combining a bug bivy and and a tarp?  I've used this combo effectively on a couple of trips. 

Here's a combo that looks like it might work and it weighs in under 2 lbs.
Sil Wing (http://www.integraldesigns.com/product_detail.cfm?id=823&CFID=218060&CFTOKEN=94860875&mainproducttypeid=1)
BugaBivy (http://www.integraldesigns.com/product_detail.cfm?id=825&CFID=218060&CFTOKEN=94860875&mainproducttypeid=1)

Maybe a combo like this isn't for you, but it seems like it would be bit more versatile than a bivy sack. 


That's a good combo Ay Chihuahua!. I have used the same combo myself a number of times.

In the pic below I have my Golite poncho tarp pitched in a storm pitch, with my black diamond winter bivy and the A16 bug bivy.
The trekking poles in use are the Swiss Gear variety they sell at Wally World. They are suprisingly durable and work very well. I have used the same pair for over two years. The guylines are Kelty Triptease. 50' ft of the Triptease weighs 1oz.

(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1203387806ponchotarppitch484944.jpg)

In the next picture you can see the Kelty triptease reflect the light of the camera flash.
The Kelty Triptease is designed to do this so when your headlamp shines on it at night , the guylines will glow and help to keep you from tripping over them.
Once again the Black Diamond winter Bivy is underneath the the Golite Poncho tarp as is the A16 bug bivy.
(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1202955512photo01262276.jpg)
Title: A quick question for Lighter Fluid
Post by: homerboy2u on April 13, 2008, 10:44:56 PM
 Given your loaded pictures,Lighter Fluid...is it possible to sleep well with out the tent?...this goes for all of you,as well.

  I use a standard Ozark Trail Tent, unless it is going to be bad weather, then i bring my Marine issue military tent...and my Coleman air mattress, a pair of earplugs and i am switched off...completely until morning comes. I sleep like a baby, heck i even dream...adn that is something, given that we are sleeping outdoors, and you feel and hear almost everything, unless the earplugs fall off and i hear the coyotes,snoring friends...myself included,twitching branches and all sorts of sounds which i know now they wont bother me but will keep me awake.

  I have never done the tarp thing,but would be curious to explore this sort of camping.

Homero
Title: Re: A quick question for Lighter Fluid
Post by: lighter fluid on April 13, 2008, 11:49:55 PM
Given your loaded pictures,Lighter Fluid...is it possible to sleep well with out the tent?...this goes for all of you,as well.

  I use a standard Ozark Trail Tent, unless it is going to be bad weather, then i bring my Marine issue military tent...and my Coleman air mattress, a pair of earplugs and i am switched off...completely until morning comes. I sleep like a baby, heck i even dream...adn that is something, given that we are sleeping outdoors, and you feel and hear almost everything, unless the earplugs fall off and i hear the coyotes,snoring friends...myself included,twitching branches and all sorts of sounds which i know now they wont bother me but will keep me awake.

  I have never done the tarp thing,but would be curious to explore this sort of camping.

Homero

Homero,
I sleep very well without a tent. As well as I do with a tent. You can go without the tent and keep the same creature comforts you mentioned above. You can still use an air mattress, still use your earplugs inside a bivy and/ or under a tarp. It may take a bit of getting used to not having the tent walls around you, but usually one can adjust quickly. My son didn't want anything to do with tarp camping initially, but now he loves it.

In the pic below you can see our poncho tarps pitched together. My son is using an outdoor Products adult pocho tarp and I am using the blue Golite poncho tarp.
(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1203385256adjust100_087116835.jpg)

The next image is the same camp with my son sleeping soundly under his tarp and under the A16 bug bivy. To keep his pack weight as light as possible, he is using a dollar store plastic painters sheet and a walmart closed cell foam pad cut to half length and Kelty triptease guylines.
(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1203385655adjust100_087451458.jpg)

Both of these pictures were taken in Dinkey Wilderness, in the Sierra Nevada in California. It is black bear country and bear cannisters are recommended. We chose to bear bag our food. We did so about 100 yards away from camp.
We keep a clean camp and we keep our kitchen and dining area a good distance away from
our sleeping area, if we feel we are in an area that justifies it. We check to be certain we haven't left out any food in camp. A tent may seem like security, but if a bear, or mountain lion for that matter, wants what is inside it, then that layer of nylon is not going to do much to deter either one.

One of the great benefits of camping without a tent is waking up in the middle of the night, opening your eyes, and seeing the star filled sky as oppossed to your tent walls. Or catching the sun rising as you first wake up.
These pics are from my bivy as I awoke in the morning along the Dodson Trail.
(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1208147499100_1865adjust87746.jpg)
(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1208147302100_1868adjust7555.jpg)

The night before, as I lay in my bivy looking up at the stars, I fell asleep watching the occasional satellite and meteor cross the sky.
 :icon_biggrin:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 14, 2008, 12:06:26 AM
Nice pic STARLITDARKNESS3.

Here is a pic of me in my bivy along the Dodson portion of the OLM in 2006.

(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1207676581100_1874%20adjust20594.jpg)
Lighter Fluid, I know you didn't carry that camp stool in, as an ultralighter, but I am glad that someone carried in a cold beverage for you :eusa_clap:.

I have used bivy's for years, mostly in wetter climates, in the desert I usually just use a small ground cloth to keep the bag clean.  I have used an OR, I think it is called the Sleeping Bag cover (18oz. no poles) for about 8 years and it has been great.  All kinds of conditions, mostly winter, with 15 degree bags, I am 6'1", 180 lbs. and it is plenty big even with the pad inside.  I have just changed to a Mountain Laurel Designs Superlight bivy (6 oz.) and it seems perfect so far.  I use bivy's with a tarp if rain is in the forecast.

 :rolling:
LOL.....Mule ears, I wish someone would have carried in a cold beverage for me. I don't think my buddies were going to volunteer though. The one that brought the chair you see in the pic also brought the The North Face Roadrunner 22 fly and groundcloth you see behind me to my left.

The rootbeer can I am holding is actually my cook pot on that trip. I used it in conjunction with my homemade altoid esbit stove you see in the pic below.
(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1205498490100_186768530.jpg)

Here is a better pic of the stove by itself.
(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1205983607100_16389570.jpg)

The altoid esbit stove was all my brother and I needed to boil water for our meals and hot drinks. This stove has a pot stand made from coat hangers and the brass inserts that go with 1/4" delrin sleeves. They can be found in the plumbing dept of hardware stores.

My brother was doing the groundcloth concept you that you referred to using.
(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1208148875100_1869adjust7282.jpg)

 :icon_cool:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: chisos_muse on April 14, 2008, 07:30:19 AM
LF, you're a backpacking GOD! :eusa_clap:

After reading this thread and seeing your photos, Musey thinks she can do the tarp/buggy net thing too. Not sure I'm up for the lil Altoid thingy though, but it does look like it'd be fun to try. Hey I just had an idea....we need to have a Bender equipment show/get together! :eusa_dance: It would be better than a trip to REI...hands on, advice from the people who really use the stuff, and beer! :icon_cool:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 14, 2008, 12:55:09 PM

After reading this thread and seeing your photos, Musey thinks she can do the tarp/buggy net thing too. Not sure I'm up for the lil Altoid thingy though, but it does look like it'd be fun to try. Hey I just had an idea....we need to have a Bender equipment show/get together! :eusa_dance: It would be better than a trip to REI...hands on, advice from the people who really use the stuff, and beer! :icon_cool:

Muse,
There are number of ways to do the "tarp/buggy net thing" so that each individual can tailor it to their own preference.
The poncho tarp is one of the more extreme ultralight tarp choices, but it saves weight by being multiuse.
You could use a larger tarp like the one in the picture below if you want a bit more space, or go with an even larger one. The pic below is from the same Dinkey wilderness trip. My brother and his boys are using a 8 x 6 Campmor coated Nylon Tarp pitched with Kelty triptease guylines. The 8 x 6 isn't really large enough for 3 adults, but with his boys it worked well enough. It has a claimed weight of 15.2 ounces. I know we weighed it on the kitchen scale and seem to recall that it was very close to that weight.
(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1203386536adjust100_089142441.jpg)

My nephews chose to wear simple walmart Ozark Trail mosquito headnets while my brother opted to use the Gossamer Gear bug canopy you see pictured below. It weighs in at 3 oz and possesses rock pockets on two of the corners to that allow you to place something haevy in them to help hold the canopy down.
(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Anonymous-1203386936adjust100_08945969.jpg)

The altoid stove is fun! It does limit your menu to meals that only require you to boil water, but you can get creative with this as well by using a cozy and effectively continuing to cook your meal without using fuel. :icon_smile:

Your "Bender equipment show" sounds like a fun idea. I would be there for it.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: homerboy2u on April 14, 2008, 09:58:26 PM
Now, when it rains. You will have dampness issues...what do yoy then?...do you hack it, wait for it to die off, or do you prepare yourself with more rain gear?...do you have any pics of this as well?.

  Inside the tent, with the Airmattress, i get all the comforts of a good sleep, plus i am isolated from the ground and any wetness i could get from it.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 14, 2008, 11:37:07 PM
Now, when it rains. You will have dampness issues...what do yoy then?...do you hack it, wait for it to die off, or do you prepare yourself with more rain gear?...do you have any pics of this as well?.

  Inside the tent, with the Airmattress, i get all the comforts of a good sleep, plus i am isolated from the ground and any wetness i could get from it.

Yeah, you always have to be aware of that possibility. Obviously you probably don't want to take a tarp out when the forecast calls for heavy rains all weekend. There options if you are out there and see the weather turning foul though. One would be the type of pitch you use. Depending on the weather, you adjust your tarps pitch to help avoid dampness or spray from the outside. You can adjust your pitch to face away from the particular direction a storm is supposed to be blowing in from and pitch it so it is less "open" than the previous pitches. I can take the same Golite Poncho tarp you saw in the pics before, and pitch it differently to supply better coverage, as in the pics below.

(http://thehikersforum.com/fckimages/image/Lighter%20Fluid-1203353029tarp%20below%20humboldt27024.jpg)


(http://thehikersforum.com/100_1267.JPG)

You mentioned being "isolated from the ground and any wetness". That is what I would be using my bivy for. Your tent floor keeps you from getting your sleeping bag or yourself damp. Thats what my bivy does for me. Or as Mule ears mentioned, using a groundcloth will do the same thing. Certain fabrics will do it better than others. I have found the particuar bivy I use to do a much better job than advertised at keeping moisture at bay. The Epic fabric repels water well and in  most conditions breaths well at the same time.
My kids and I were driving in a storm in Oklahoma and decided to pull over for the night at the  Talimenia State Park in the Kiamichi mountains of Oklahoma. The rain was coming down steady, so I pitched a two man tent for the kids and tossed my bivy down beside it with my sleeping bag inside. You can see the rain beading up on the Epic fabric of the Black Daimond bivy.
(http://thehikersforum.com/100_2945.JPG)

It rained fairly steady through the night. Not hard but steady. In the pic below you can see the wet ground around our camp.
Yet my bivy kept me warm and kept my down bag dry.  :icon_smile:
(http://thehikersforum.com/100_2952.JPG)
Just for the record though. If I know ahead of time that rain is coming, I always take the tarp along with the bivy. 

And the tarps are multiuse and allow you to get creative. This past summer my son and a friend and I were forced to stop hiking and pull off the Tabeguache/Shavano trail when a storm with heavy winds and steady cold sleet mixed with rain moved in quickly. Unfortunately we had to take the first spot that looked usable and it was a good half a mile from any water source. I pitched my sons tarp and our friends tarp at angles that formed a sort of makeshift "A" frame and then tensioned it so that water would run down the tarps and into our waiting cook pots. It worked rather well.
(http://thehikersforum.com/100_3567.JPG)
(http://thehikersforum.com/100_3568.JPG)



Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: mule ears on April 15, 2008, 06:47:05 AM
and then tensioned it so that water would run down the tarps and into our waiting cook pots. It worked rather well.

I had to do the same thing last month on the AT.  Getting very dark and the rain started we pitched the tarp on a less than desirable hillside spot and filled the cook pot with water off the tarp.  Didn't have to get out of the bag and bivy, stayed toasty and dry all night.   :eusa_dance:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 15, 2008, 07:03:31 AM
and then tensioned it so that water would run down the tarps and into our waiting cook pots. It worked rather well.

I had to do the same thing last month on the AT.  Getting very dark and the rain started we pitched the tarp on a less than desirable hillside spot and filled the cook pot with water off the tarp.  Didn't have to get out of the bag and bivy, stayed toasty and dry all night.   :eusa_dance:

 :eusa_clap: Greatness Mule ears! :high_five: I think that's one of the true joys of tarp and bivy camping! You can remain toasty and dry and secure and yet still be so much a part of the environment around you.  :icon_cool:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: homerboy2u on April 15, 2008, 09:27:19 AM
I agree with you Mule Ears & Lighter Fluid: Sometimes you want to tackle nature mano a mano, and you just don't want to carry all the bulky gear with you.

 Now, in my case if should go to Serranias del Burro, where weather patterns change by the hour, there is just NO WAY to predict sudden storms or gusty winds..whatever!, a Bivy sack will help you tough it out. I am convinced of that.

 Ok, given the previous statements , i have been reading on some of the products, to take in consideration:

 These are all Cabelas items:

  Outdoor Research Aurora Bivy  (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0045636517732a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&QueryText=bivy+sack&N=4887&Ntk=Products&Ntx=mode+matchall&Nty=1&Ntt=bivy+sack&noImage=0)

 Cabelas XPG Bivy Sack  (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0019786515869a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&QueryText=bivy+sack&N=4887&Ntk=Products&Ntx=mode+matchall&Nty=1&Ntt=bivy+sack&noImage=0)

 Cabelas Hunter Bivoac Sack  (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?id=0032960516916a&type=product&cmCat=SEARCH&returnPage=search-results1.jsp&QueryText=bivy+sack&N=4887&Ntk=Products&Ntx=mode+matchall&Nty=1&Ntt=bivy+sack&noImage=0)

Cabelas Tarps:

 Cabelas XPG Ultra Light Wing Tarp  (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?type=product&cmCat=Related_IPL_517732&id=0045518517605a)

 Kelty Noah's Tarp  (http://www.cabelas.com/cabelas/en/templates/links/link.jsp?type=product&cmCat=Related_IPL_517605&id=0038273517301a)

 Now Bargainoutfitters.c om has their own version of a Bivy Sack:

 Guide Gear Bivy Tent  (http://www.bargainoutfitters.com/cb/cb.asp?a=262359)

 And a  video  (http://www.bargainoutfitters.com/net/Video/ViewVideo.aspx?vtp=249) to tag along.

 What are your thoughts fellas?
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: bdann on April 15, 2008, 10:44:09 AM
Homero, I have this little guy: http://www.eurekatent.com/p-22-solitaire.aspx#
It was cheap, it's light, easy setup, good ventilation, easy to pack, etc...  It is more or less a screen shelter/bivy with a built in rainfly. 

Here it is setup, with the fly rolled up.  It's nice sleeping this way because you can still see the stars, but you still get that (false) sense of security of being "inside" a tent.  It's also easy to get in and out of because it has a zipper that runs the full length across the top, so you just unzip and stand up. 
(http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j131/bdann/bibeMarch07/P1000409.jpg)
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 15, 2008, 11:03:59 AM

 Now Bargainoutfitters.c om has their own version of a Bivy Sack:

 Guide Gear Bivy Tent  (http://www.bargainoutfitters.com/cb/cb.asp?a=262359)

 And a  video  (http://www.bargainoutfitters.com/net/Video/ViewVideo.aspx?vtp=249) to tag along.

 What are your thoughts fellas?

Homero,
My brother and my kids and I have used the Bargain outfitters bivy sack you mentioned above on a number of trips.
Here is a pic of it in Colorado in the Grizzly Gulch Basin below Handies Peak.
(http://thehikersforum.com/100_3136.JPG)

I have a review of it located here:
http://www.thehikersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=254#254 (http://www.thehikersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=254#254)
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 15, 2008, 11:10:42 AM
Homero, I have this little guy: http://www.eurekatent.com/p-22-solitaire.aspx#
It was cheap, it's light, easy setup, good ventilation, easy to pack, etc...  It is more or less a screen shelter/bivy with a built in rainfly. 

Here it is setup, with the fly rolled up.  It's nice sleeping this way because you can still see the stars, but you still get that (false) sense of security of being "inside" a tent.  It's also easy to get in and out of because it has a zipper that runs the full length across the top, so you just unzip and stand up. 
(http://i79.photobucket.com/albums/j131/bdann/bibeMarch07/P1000409.jpg)


bdann,
I've heard good things about the Solitaire. I have a buddy that has one and likes it a lot.
I did hear complaints in the past that they had issues with poles breaking but that may well be user error.
Do you have any complaints?
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: bdann on April 15, 2008, 11:20:13 AM
bdann,
I've heard good things about the Solitaire. I have a buddy that has one and likes it a lot.
I did hear complaints in the past that they had issues with poles breaking but that may well be user error.
Do you have any complaints?

No complaints thus far, I've had it for just over 1 year.  The poles are very skinny, I could see them being a weak point.
Title: After reeading the reviews from the Links
Post by: homerboy2u on April 18, 2008, 11:06:35 PM
Ok.Ligther Fluid;

 I just read your review on  Guide Gear's Bivy Tent  (http://www.bargainoutfitters.com/cb/cb.asp?a=262359) and I totally agree with you. For the money you pay, you get what you asked for.

  What is  your final word on this product ?

  Now, Bdann's  Eureka's Solitaire Bivy  (http://www.eurekatent.com/p-22-solitaire.aspx#) Looks pretty sturdy and water resistant.

(http://www.eurekatent.com/images/product/large/22_2_.jpg)
http://www.eurekatent.com/popup.aspx?src=images/product/large/22_2_.jpg

....Dang, I just can't get that pinche image to show up, darn!!...how do you guys do it? :icon_lol:
ModNote:  Gotta use the right URLs...

(http://www.eurekatent.com/images/product/large/22_1_.jpg)
http://www.eurekatent.com/popup.aspx?src=images/product/large/22_1_.jpg

 What would your final opinion be, comparing Guide Gear's vs. Eureka?..probably a no brainer, but i would love to hear your opinions, none the less.
Title: Re: After reeading the reviews from the Links
Post by: lighter fluid on April 19, 2008, 06:51:42 AM
Ok.Ligther Fluid;

 I just read your review on  Guide Gear's Bivy Tent  (http://www.bargainoutfitters.com/cb/cb.asp?a=262359) and I totally agree with you. For the money you pay, you get what you asked for.

  What is  your final word on this product ?

  Now, Bdann's  Eureka's Solitaire Bivy  (http://www.eurekatent.com/p-22-solitaire.aspx#) Looks pretty sturdy and water resistant.

http://www.eurekatent.com/popup.aspx?src=images/product/large/22_2_.jpg

....Dang, I just can't get that pinche image to show up, darn!!...how do you guys do it? :icon_lol:

http://www.eurekatent.com/popup.aspx?src=images/product/large/22_1_.jpg

 What would your final opinion be, comparing Guide Gear's vs. Eureka?..probably a no brainer, but i would love to hear your opinions, none the less.
Homero,
I think the guide gear bivy is servicable and a good deal for the entry level bivy tent, but the fact that the stakes are not very good, there are 12 of them, and IMHO they should be replaced, would make me hesitate to recommend it for an environment such as BIBE.
Trying to get 12 stakes, even higher end ones such as The North Face "V" stakes, in the ground in a lot of environments can be tough, trying to get them in the hard, baked desert ground of BIBE could turn out to be horribly frustrating. Especially after a long day on the trail. Combine that with fact that the guide gear bivy can be difficult to pitch fully taut anyway, and it just doesn't seem like the best option. I have personally stopped taking stakes on most trips as there are usually more than enough rocks and/or trees around to use in their place. A Taut line hitch or a Prussik knot around a rock usually will do the trick for me.

bdann has used the Eureka Solitaire in BIBE and has no complaints in a year of use, so I think that alone should give the nod to the Solitaire over the guide gear bivy.

Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 24, 2008, 02:26:08 PM
Hey Homero,
Did you ever make a bivy decision and/or purchase?
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: SHANEA on April 24, 2008, 04:23:47 PM
The South Rim on a Whim "Drop Everything" trip - I slept in the open on the ground with my sleeping pad and sleeping bag.  I have no problem sleeping on the ground without the shelter of a tent.  I like to be as close to nature as possible -  :icon_wink:  - although, when we did have a brief rain "settle the dust" for a few drops, I did hitch a spot in one of the tents that my com padres brought.   It was pretty cool the next night, but my warm sleeping bag did just fine and I have a stocking cap that I wear on my head. 
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: homerboy2u on April 24, 2008, 05:57:50 PM
Muy inteligente...speci ally since i know you told me you would never sleep on a tent again...or on the floor. :eusa_clap:...glad you came around.

Lighter Fluid.....YES, after reviewing in detail your comments, i decided to jump on the Eureka Solitaire model. I don't want to purchase it online, i want to go and see it: maybe in Laredo or San Antonio...Austin,a long shot.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 24, 2008, 07:03:30 PM
The South Rim on a Whim "Drop Everything" trip - I slept in the open on the ground with my sleeping pad and sleeping bag.  I have no problem sleeping on the ground without the shelter of a tent.  I like to be as close to nature as possible -  :icon_wink:  - although, when we did have a brief rain "settle the dust" for a few drops, I did hitch a spot in one of the tents that my com padres brought.   It was pretty cool the next night, but my warm sleeping bag did just fine and I have a stocking cap that I wear on my head. 

Sweet!  :eusa_clap:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 24, 2008, 07:06:06 PM
Muy inteligente...speci ally since i know you told me you would never sleep on a tent again...or on the floor. :eusa_clap:...glad you came around.

Lighter Fluid.....YES, after reviewing in detail your comments, i decided to jump on the Eureka Solitaire model. I don't want to purchase it online, i want to go and see it: maybe in Laredo or San Antonio...Austin,a long shot.

Good plan, Homero, and it's always nice to get to spend a day looking at gear.  :icon_biggrin:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 24, 2008, 07:40:10 PM
The South Rim on a Whim "Drop Everything" trip - I slept in the open on the ground with my sleeping pad and sleeping bag.  I have no problem sleeping on the ground without the shelter of a tent.  I like to be as close to nature as possible -  :icon_wink:  - although, when we did have a brief rain "settle the dust" for a few drops, I did hitch a spot in one of the tents that my com padres brought.   It was pretty cool the next night, but my warm sleeping bag did just fine and I have a stocking cap that I wear on my head. 

SHANEA,
Sounds like a great trip and a great time close to nature.
What type of sleeping bag and pad were you using?
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: SHANEA on April 24, 2008, 09:50:16 PM
Most comfortable sleeping bag I have ever slept in.  I've got the 50 degree bag and the 30 degree bag and want a 0 degree bag next.

MontBell (http://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=28&p_id=1121728)

REI Light (http://www.rei.com/product/722792?vcat=REI_SSHP_CAMPING_TOC)

and even though you didn't ask, my backpack is ultra comfortable.  The custom heat molded belt works like a champ.

Osprey Aether 70 Pack (http://www.rei.com/product/733136)

Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 24, 2008, 10:11:29 PM
Most comfortable sleeping bag I have ever slept in.  I've got the 50 degree bag and the 30 degree bag and want a 0 degree bag next.

MontBell (http://www.montbell.us/products/disp.php?cat_id=28&p_id=1121728)

REI Light (http://www.rei.com/product/722792?vcat=REI_SSHP_CAMPING_TOC)

and even though you didn't ask, my backpack is ultra comfortable.  The custom heat molded belt works like a champ.

Osprey Aether 70 Pack (http://www.rei.com/product/733136)

Great sleeping bag. I have heard a number of people rave about the Montbell's Super Stretch System.

Nice pack as well.  :icon_cool: Good to know the custom heat molded belt works well.
I hear Osprey's are very comfortable and that they provide a good ventilation chimney against the back.
Title: Some pictures of Shane's camping gear
Post by: homerboy2u on April 24, 2008, 10:14:24 PM
REI Light

(http://www.geartrade.com/userimages/2/6/26715555645d39cb8d5bf2.jpg)

MontBell's

(http://www.montbell.us/products/prod_img/large/k_1121728.jpg)


Osprey Aether 70 Pack


(http://www.bigbendgallery.com/uploads/files/OSprey 70.jpg)


 Note to Moderator: I just found out how to use the URL's.... :icon_wink:

Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: dkerr24 on April 25, 2008, 12:46:06 PM
That's an awesome looking pack... I just wish we had a REI store nearby for the custom hip belt.  Nearest to me is 300 miles away in Dallas.

I'm currently using a REI Camp Dome 2 tent, which weighs in around 5 lbs.  The Solotaire would shave off 2 lbs of pack weight.  Gotta admit, I'm a bit spoiled with the room inside the REI, and don't mind the extra 2lbs... although I might change my mind after hiking around GUMO for 6 days coming up in May.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: SHANEA on April 25, 2008, 12:59:06 PM
That's an awesome looking pack... I just wish we had a REI store nearby for the custom hip belt.  Nearest to me is 300 miles away in Dallas.

I spent about three hours at REI the day I was picking out a pack - found a really helpful sales person at the LBJ Dallas REI that walked me through it.  He started me out on a low price model and we kept going up until I found one I really liked - having it fully loaded, walking around the store, etc.  It was a very expensive trip to REI that day, but if it's on my back I want it light and reliable.  Ounces have this funny habit of turning into pounds.

The sleeping bag, whew, no brainer.  I like to toss and turn and sleep on my tummy, this bag allows me to do that and is very light weight.

For my tent, after research, I think this will be my next purchase.

Big Agnes 2 (http://www.bigagnes.com/str_tents.php?bid=16)

Big Agnes Copper 2 (http://www.rei.com/product/764119)
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: RichardM on April 25, 2008, 01:56:26 PM
For my tent, after research, I think this will be my next purchase.

Big Agnes 2 (http://www.bigagnes.com/str_tents.php?bid=16)

Big Agnes Copper 2 (http://www.rei.com/product/764119)
Looks like a cool tent, but definitely not for us cheapskates!  And what could be so special about the footprint, sold separately for only $55?  Is it made in China, too?

At least some retailers, like mpgear.com (http://store.mpgear.com/index.asp?PageAction=VIEWPROD&ProdID=2067), will throw in the footprint for free.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: dkerr24 on April 25, 2008, 02:45:24 PM
Instead of paying for the 'custom fit' footprint, I've always just bought a slightly larger plain ground cloth, then cut it to size to fit the tent's footprint.

Yeah, Big Agnes gear is expensive.  $99 seemed like a lot to me for the REI Camp Dome 2   :icon_eek:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: SHANEA on April 25, 2008, 02:54:19 PM
Looks like a cool tent, but definitely not for us cheapskates!  And what could be so special about the footprint, sold separately for only $55?  Is it made in China, too?

Footprint - very light weight.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 25, 2008, 03:03:28 PM
That's an awesome looking pack... I just wish we had a REI store nearby for the custom hip belt.  Nearest to me is 300 miles away in Dallas.

I spent about three hours at REI the day I was picking out a pack - found a really helpful sales person at the LBJ Dallas REI that walked me through it.  He started me out on a low price model and we kept going up until I found one I really liked - having it fully loaded, walking around the store, etc.  It was a very expensive trip to REI that day, but if it's on my back I want it light and reliable.  Ounces have this funny habit of turning into pounds.

The sleeping bag, whew, no brainer.  I like to toss and turn and sleep on my tummy, this bag allows me to do that and is very light weight.

For my tent, after research, I think this will be my next purchase.

Big Agnes 2 (http://www.bigagnes.com/str_tents.php?bid=16)

Big Agnes Copper 2 (http://www.rei.com/product/764119)

Nice choices, SHANEA. Ya gotta love Big Agnes gear. It's well made.
I have a Big Agnes HorseThief sleeping bag that I modified into a top bag. I love it!
$399 is out of my budget as well though.

Hey Richard,
They have a a deal on the Sierra Designs Sirius tent at the following link.
http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b (http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b)

If you shed the stuff sacks and the stakes you could conceivably bring it down to 4lbs.
Split between 2 hikers thats 2lbs a piece for a good amount of room and some great stargazing.
All for $99!  :eusa_dance:
(http://www.outdooroutlet.com/pimages/70_1_2_sd[1].jpg)
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: RichardM on April 25, 2008, 03:35:08 PM
Hey Richard,
They have a a deal on the Sierra Designs Sirius tent at the following link.
http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817 (http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817)

If you shed the stuff sacks and the stakes you could conceivably bring it down to 4lbs.
Split between 2 hikers thats 2lbs a piece for a good amount of room and some great stargazing.
All for $99!  :eusa_dance:
Hmmm, we might have to rename this thread to "Sleeping with a tent" at this rate.

Found it for $86.95 with free shipping (2007 model):  http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/SDSTSR.html (http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/SDSTSR.html)
Here's the 2007 Sirius 3 for $97.95, shipped:
http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/SDSTSR3.html (http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/SDSTSR3.html)

The Eureka Solitaire for $69.90, shipped: http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/ERKTS.html (http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/ERKTS.html)

And for the kiddies:  http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/GGAKC.html (http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/GGAKC.html)
or maybe http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/GGABB.html (http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/GGABB.html)

And for the pets:  http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/GGAMED.html (http://www.sunnysports.com/Prod/GGAMED.html)

Can you tell I really like looking at tents, even if I hardly ever get to use them?
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: bdann on April 25, 2008, 03:47:34 PM
Hey Richard,
They have a a deal on the Sierra Designs Sirius tent at the following link.
http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b (http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b)

If you shed the stuff sacks and the stakes you could conceivably bring it down to 4lbs.
Split between 2 hikers thats 2lbs a piece for a good amount of room and some great stargazing.
All for $99!  :eusa_dance:
(http://www.outdooroutlet.com/pimages/70_1_2_sd[1].jpg)

Sounds like a pretty good deal, I'd be tempted...except that I already own FIVE freakin tents already.  No really, I do need another tent.  :willynilly: 

RE: Big Agnes gear - I have the Big Agnes "REM Sleep" insulated air matress, which I've raved about several times on this board, and it is top notch fantastic.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Peach on April 25, 2008, 04:28:40 PM
Hey Richard,
They have a a deal on the Sierra Designs Sirius tent at the following link.
http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b (http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b)

If you shed the stuff sacks and the stakes you could conceivably bring it down to 4lbs.
Split between 2 hikers thats 2lbs a piece for a good amount of room and some great stargazing.
All for $99!  :eusa_dance:
(http://www.outdooroutlet.com/pimages/70_1_2_sd[1].jpg)

Sounds like a pretty good deal, I'd be tempted...except that I already own FIVE freakin tents already.  No really, I do need another tent.  :willynilly: 

RE: Big Agnes gear - I have the Big Agnes "REM Sleep" insulated air matress, which I've raved about several times on this board, and it is top notch fantastic.

Gotcha beat....I have 7 tents so far :rolling:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 25, 2008, 04:34:07 PM
Hey Richard,
They have a a deal on the Sierra Designs Sirius tent at the following link.
http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b (http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b)

If you shed the stuff sacks and the stakes you could conceivably bring it down to 4lbs.
Split between 2 hikers thats 2lbs a piece for a good amount of room and some great stargazing.
All for $99!  :eusa_dance:
(http://www.outdooroutlet.com/pimages/70_1_2_sd[1].jpg)

Sounds like a pretty good deal, I'd be tempted...except that I already own FIVE freakin tents already.  No really, I do need another tent.  :willynilly: 

RE: Big Agnes gear - I have the Big Agnes "REM Sleep" insulated air matress, which I've raved about several times on this board, and it is top notch fantastic.

Gotcha beat....I have 7 tents so far :rolling:
7 ???
Richard, pass the :faint: again please.
Peach.....bestill my heart. If you own a bivy I might get one knee right here and now.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Peach on April 25, 2008, 04:44:36 PM
Hey Richard,
They have a a deal on the Sierra Designs Sirius tent at the following link.
http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b (http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b)

If you shed the stuff sacks and the stakes you could conceivably bring it down to 4lbs.
Split between 2 hikers thats 2lbs a piece for a good amount of room and some great stargazing.
All for $99!  :eusa_dance:
(http://www.outdooroutlet.com/pimages/70_1_2_sd[1].jpg)

Sounds like a pretty good deal, I'd be tempted...except that I already own FIVE freakin tents already.  No really, I do need another tent.  :willynilly: 

RE: Big Agnes gear - I have the Big Agnes "REM Sleep" insulated air matress, which I've raved about several times on this board, and it is top notch fantastic.

Gotcha beat....I have 7 tents so far :rolling:
7 ???
Richard, pass the :faint: again please.
Peach.....bestill my heart. If you own a bivy I might get one knee right here and now.

I do have a bivy... :rolling:  My shed is a mini REI  :rolling:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Sanjuro82 on April 25, 2008, 04:46:54 PM
Easy peach!  You are getting us guys all worked up!   :eusa_clap:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Peach on April 25, 2008, 04:51:16 PM
Easy peach!  You are getting us guys all worked up!   :eusa_clap:
 

Y'all are killing me!  seriously though, these tips are great...I haven't been camping or hiking for all that long....this stuff is still new to me
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 25, 2008, 05:13:26 PM
Hey Richard,
They have a a deal on the Sierra Designs Sirius tent at the following link.
http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b (http://www.outdooroutlet.com/shopping.php?pg=product-detail&id=5817&PHPSESSID=5c47c3a653be88daa12d1050889ba01b)

If you shed the stuff sacks and the stakes you could conceivably bring it down to 4lbs.
Split between 2 hikers thats 2lbs a piece for a good amount of room and some great stargazing.
All for $99!  :eusa_dance:
(http://www.outdooroutlet.com/pimages/70_1_2_sd[1].jpg)

Sounds like a pretty good deal, I'd be tempted...except that I already own FIVE freakin tents already.  No really, I do need another tent.  :willynilly: 

RE: Big Agnes gear - I have the Big Agnes "REM Sleep" insulated air matress, which I've raved about several times on this board, and it is top notch fantastic.

Gotcha beat....I have 7 tents so far :rolling:
7 ???
Richard, pass the :faint: again please.
Peach.....bestill my heart. If you own a bivy I might get one knee right here and now.

I do have a bivy... :rolling:  My shed is a mini REI  :rolling:
:willynilly:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: lighter fluid on April 25, 2008, 05:22:39 PM
Easy peach!  You are getting us guys all worked up!   :eusa_clap:
 

Y'all are killing me!  seriously though, these tips are great...I haven't been camping or hiking for all that long....this stuff is still new to me
Sounds as if you have amassed a good amount of gear though, Peach.
And that's half the fun.  :icon_smile:
Title: 7 Tents !!!!
Post by: homerboy2u on April 25, 2008, 06:27:43 PM
  Peach : So what do you do with 7 tents on a weekend?...go to fairs, set them up, take out that gipsy dress from your always packed backpack you carry in your car's trunk and start a hand reading service ?.....Geeeshh!!!!.....the faint avatar , please !!.

 My wife is always laughing at me because i have 3 tents...and now i want the Solitaire Bivy as well. Wait unitl i show her this thread , when i get home........hahahah ahaha. :icon_lol:

 I just wish, those head turning moms at school could read this thread here right now.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: Bluetex on April 25, 2008, 07:28:19 PM
I am a fan of both. The night sky in the Bend is simply awe inspiring... there is no better way to fall asleep. But there is always the chance of waking up with a little visitor in your bag :icon_eek:

You could buy some repellant and spray around your sleeping bag before you go to sleep? That might work?
Title: Re: 7 Tents !!!!
Post by: Peach on April 25, 2008, 11:06:11 PM
  Peach : So what do you do with 7 tents on a weekend?...go to fairs, set them up, take out that gipsy dress from your always packed backpack you carry in your car's trunk and start a hand reading service ?.....Geeeshh!!!!.....the faint avatar , please !!.

 My wife is always laughing at me because i have 3 tents...and now i want the Solitaire Bivy as well. Wait unitl i show her this thread , when i get home........hahahah ahaha. :icon_lol:

 I just wish, those head turning moms at school could read this thread here right now.

I find a cool looking tent...I add to the collection!  And if I keep hanging out here I will own my own little REI :rolling:
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: RichardM on April 25, 2008, 11:25:05 PM
After reading Jeff's Lessons Learned (http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/index.php/topic,5768.msg56616.html#msg56616), I came across the Gatewood Cape (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/shop/shopexd.asp?id=45) and Serenity NetTent (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com/shop/shopexd.asp?id=55) by Six Moon Designs (http://www.sixmoondesigns.com).  Looks like a pretty good combo of versatile and lightweight.
Title: Re: Sleeping without a tent?
Post by: stingrey on May 11, 2008, 06:11:42 AM
After having tested out my new Big Agnes SL3 in my Emory Peak trek over last weekend, I'd have to say that my tent was VERY enjoyable. The thing is vented perfectly, kept me bone dry despite the rain in the mountains, and all in all it seems unflappable when staked down properly. Here are some pics of the tent in action, one is without the fly just for reference since I slept with the fly both nights, and the other is obviously with the fly.

(http://lh5.ggpht.com/stngrr/SCbPzONiUuI/AAAAAAAAAnk/azZZqUHvvtM/IMG_6742.JPG?imgmax=640)

In addition to being able to sleep with or without a fly, this freestanding tent was a JOY to set up. Pop in the four corners of the main pole set, pop in the other two on the middle's support system, you have a tent. Clip in the six sides of the fly using a belt or waist strap type clip system, and you have a fly. Find a rock to beat in the ultralight stakes, you're staked down. If the weather is calm, you're set in about two minutes or so. ONLY drawback of this system I can see would be if the wind is carrying a huge amount of super fine dust. In this case, that said dust might make its way into the SL3 possibly more easily than with another tent.

(http://lh6.ggpht.com/stngrr/SCbP1eNiUvI/AAAAAAAAAns/iX0JT00-TtI/DSC04574.JPG?imgmax=512)

It didn't really, really pour on me the second night up in Boot Canyon (BC4), but it did rain a bit, and there was some wind. MOSTLY there was a spectacular light show and an UNBELIEVABLE thunderous chorus that echoed in the canyon to a degree that is difficult to describe. The sound was AWESOME. The reverberation of thunder up in that area was beautiful. Anyhow, back to the tent... It rained, and yet I stayed bone dry, even with the slightly windy conditions. This is also the night where I staked this bad boy down properly. The wind didn't seem to even be there, though I could hear it all around me.

The tent, poles, footprint and even the ultralight stakes all seem very durable, and I'm very happy to have selected this as my second tent as an addition to my $20 Academy special (which has yet to be used). Though I may want to still pick up a bivy at some point, this tent is light enough that I might not ever truly consider that option given the fact that I can have more room in this lightweight beast. I highly recommend Big Agnes... Not only because of their product functionality for what it is, but also because their customer service is unparalleled. Read the reviews, and then read the stories from actual owners. These guys stand behind their gear, and that is always a major plus!

Oh, I almost forgot to mention... I also really like how this tent seems to blend right into the surroundings. Not that I would've been sad to have this gear in another color, but it was really cool to have a somewhat muted color in the picture when I was hiding out and looking for my next photo subject. If you want to see how much of a breeze this is to set up, check out this (but see DISCLAIMER below) big agnes SL2 youtube video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XuXE_QMp3L8&feature=related). May not be for the larger SL3 that I've got, but it will give you a great idea of just how simple their gear is to set up.

As a DISCLAIMER (if you watch the youtube video) do NOT try to step on your stakes to press them into the ground like this guy did!!! At least not in Big Bend. I almost had a stake through my foot experience up on the mountain! Thankfully I was cautious about the "saw this on youtube" actions I was taking, and I narrowly avoided having an impaled foot! :)

Title: Bgi Agnes SL3
Post by: homerboy2u on May 11, 2008, 08:22:11 AM
No wonder the Big Agnes SL3 , is featured as Backpacker's 2007 Editor's Choice (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v-QR7tBN2WM) on YouTube.