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8/6/2018 2:43 PM
 

Hey guys I'm looking at a good backpacking tent set up. I know alot of you out there like the free standing floorless. So I'm trying to get somewhere in that realm with a few caviates. I ran across this tent and tought it may be a good choice. It has a foot print that could be used, it could be set up as floorless with the tent all the way to the ground (lowing the pole a bit) and also has an iterior with no-see-um netting for these buggy days in NC.

Now I realize that it is not free standing which I'm kinda on the fence. For example, I set up camp and decide I want to go for a side hike and now I'm one trekking pole short. Sure I can find a branch or drop the tent but still a hassel.

I feel like I would get a good well rounded light weight tent out of this @ 3 1/2 lbs. total not including my poles.

But having said that I'm new to teepee tents and floorless. So I was hoping you more experinced guy would look it over and give me thoughts that I may be missing or just would not thing of. There are alot of other things I've though of that may be deal breakers but I kind of want to see if others pick up on them or if I'm just over thinking it.

Here is the link:

https://www.amazon.com/Naturehike-Backpacking-Lightweight-Waterproof-Mountaineering/dp/B077XS56B7

 
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8/6/2018 4:44 PM
 
A chinese knock off of unknown quality. As to the overall design, pyramids are pretty good. They're the quickest and easiest of the non-freestanding shelters to pitch. A rectangle of some kind is the only shape that really makes sense in a size smaller than a 6 man.... and now a quick web search shows me that the only choices left are the megalight (the original pyramid) that still suffers from not going all the way to the ground, and the hyperlite which costs $700. GoLite really did leave a big void in the marketplace...

Here's an ultralight shelter from a very good brand that costs and weighs less than that pyramid:
https://www.rei.com/rei-garage/product/129381/msr-flylite-2-person-trekking-pole-shelter

And there's lots to be said for starting out with a good dome. I'd recommend REI brand. The "passage" series costs less and weighs more, whereas the "dome" series costs more and weighs less. For a 1-2 person tent, you can get weights in the same range as the pyramid you found in the dome series for $200-$300.

As far as North Carolina bugs, I just don't know. The buggy places I've used floorless shelters are the Cascades and Alaska. Mosquitos and such, but not a lot of ground crawlers. My most recent trip in Colorado I somehow ended up on a hillside that had more than the usual complement of ants one of the nights. There was no way for me to relax until the ants did. Thankfully they go to bed at dark.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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8/6/2018 4:51 PM
 
Incidentally, the reason free-standing is such a big deal isn't sacrificing your trekking poles for the night, it is because staking is crucial to the integrity of the shelter. If you can't get good taut stake placement, you've got nothing. Not a big deal most times, but when it *is* a big deal, it's a very big deal. With free-standing, the shelter has good integrity before you even stake it down and stakes just add to that.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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8/6/2018 5:11 PM
 

If reliance on a trekking pole is a concern, you can get extremely lightweight sectional carbon poles for pretty cheap these days from companies like Gossamer Gear, Mountain Laurel, etc. Just carry a dedicated pole for very little weight penalty, and you still have your hiking pole when you need it.

I often use a Nemo Apollo and the first thing I did when I bought it was shelve the heavy aluminum pole it comes with and bought a carbon pole for about $40 that weighs almost nothing. This setup, with 7 ti stakes, only weighs 1.7 lbs. and has served me well on multiple trips over the last couple years. It's billed as a "3-person" shelter but realistically it's a 2-person shelter + some gear at best. If I'm using this shelter but worried about bugs, I just bring a mosquito headnet, since that's about the only thing exposed once I'm in my sleeping bag. 

You might also want to check out 6 Moon Designs. I have their "Deschutes Plus" tarp/tent and I really like it as an extremely lightweight solo shelter. It has bug netting sewn around the perimeter that drapes to the ground and then some. 

The Apollo in action on a trip in central UT a few years ago: 

 
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8/7/2018 6:23 AM
 
Evenhill:
Right, see exactly why I asked the question. I do not like not having the capability of not pitching if need be. To add to that I'm also not super h**l bent on having a super light weight solo set up. I mean I'm not trying to hump around a 10lbs tent either but I already have a good black diamond 3 man and I can get it to a bit over 6 but again I'm trying to bring that down a bit. Which I know everyone on here understands and I'm just stating the obvious. I think I will try to stick with a freestanding for the reasons you stated above. Makes total sense and down the road hopfully there will be another company to offer the "go-lite" style floor less again. I have been trying to keep an eye on FleaBay and the like also.Thinking maybe something might pop up.

Smithhammer:
I like that set up and like the weight savings on it, but due to my inexperience and lack of funding I think I'm going to try to stick with a freestanding seeing and Evan pointed out that pitching in some locations is a bit more of an issue. A freestanding will remove that and be a bit more versatility. Having said that I do like that set up and will keep in in mind for down the road.

As always I appreciate all the insight. The information and wealth of knowledge you guys offer is truly priceless. Thanks guys
 
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8/7/2018 8:36 AM
 
I've had to get very creative when running a flat tarp in Big Bend.

I've tied off to trees and rocks. I've used large rocks on top of large rocks on top of tent stakes and I've broken more than one Easton nail style tent stake out there. I found I could drive titanium nail stakes in with a rock to make a pilot hole for my lighter skewer stakes. This was about the only way to do it in some areas.

Having a free standing tent or a water proof bivy would have been preferable and, since then, I've purchased both for different trips.
 
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8/7/2018 11:06 AM
 
veriest:
I can see that being an issue. I would like to eventually have a nice set up like that and will one day. I think that for now though I will definitely heed ya'lls advice and go with the freestanding.
Some things are definitely learned from experiencing yourself for sure but I'm sure my wife would beg to differ on the issue of just throwing away 150 buck. HA!

 
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8/8/2018 10:34 PM
 

I'm back at my computer and scrounged up this picture from that trip. This pitch handled a pretty nasty storm up in the basin. The weather went from 85F and sunny to 17F and sleeting in a few hours. The winds hit from about the same angle as the picture was taken from. I did lower the foot side almost to the ground after the picture was taken (that's the side where you can see my sleeping bag and bivy sack in the picture).

[url=https://flic.kr/p/MLi6us]
[/url][url=https://flic.kr/p/MLi6us]2018-08-07_09-54-25[/url] by [url=https://www.flickr.com/photos/47269634@N00/]veriest1[/url], on Flickr

 
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8/9/2018 6:01 AM
 
veriest1 wrote:

I'm back at my computer and scrounged up this picture from that trip. This pitch handled a pretty nasty storm up in the basin. The weather went from 85F and sunny to 17F and sleeting in a few hours. The winds hit from about the same angle as the picture was taken from. I did lower the foot side almost to the ground after the picture was taken (that's the side where you can see my sleeping bag and bivy sack in the picture).

-That is super impressive. Im assuming the back end of the tarp is suspended my the other pole?

How long, in your opinion, would it take a less experinced person to set that up through trial and error? Was it something you just eventually picked up or being around like minded backpakers? How much extra cordage do you carry for more unconventional pitches? I dont think I would mind a set up like that in the drier climates, looks sweet.

Thanks for taking the time to post those.

 
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8/9/2018 8:42 AM
 
Before floor less shelters became available I pretty much lived under a tarp including one full season in the FS. Setting up a tarp is not quick and easy and depends even more on the right trees, ground, etc.. then a tipi style floor less does. My tarp setup included 5, one foot long pole sections, ~18 feet of cordage on each corner and at the peak and at each end of the center, and appropriate stakes. There is an art to setting up a weather proof tarp shelter, and honestly most that I see pictures of are not weather proof as they are just the standard A frame pitch, which really only works if wind is not a factor. Most storms that I have had to ride out have included wind. Veriest1's picture is a great example of a pitch that works well for weather, but note how low it is at the back. There is not much room for movement in tarp setup if you are weathering a storm since it has to be low down. As soon as I discovered the floor less shelters I never really looked back. They are typically lighter, faster and easier to setup, more weather tight, and give you more living room. To my way of thinking a tarp is to a tipi style shelter, as a tipi style shelter is to a free standing shelter. A tarp is sexy and minimalist, and has a old school vibe that jives for a lot, but there are better options functionally. I like tipis, but am very careful where I plan on using them now after one trip, where I spent over an hour moving it minutely until I could get enough stakes to bite for it to pitch. The soil was just to shallow over rock. The result was that I also ended up in the middle of a bowl without any shade for the majority of the day and it was a caldron for most of the day.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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8/9/2018 9:16 AM
 

Scotthill:
Wow, 18 feet of guyline @ 9 locations + stakes. That seems like quite a bit, which I understand because of the odd setup requirements.
What are the (5) 1 foot poles for?(Probably a stupid question) I'm assuming you use Ti stakes and light weight guylines? I use them for my Hammock set up but that is just because I was testing some things out not because I run a lot. I'm aware that is nothing like using a tarp/tent set up.
I really would like to run into a GoLite like y'all run just so hard to come by. But for now i think I'm just going to stick with the traditional double walled freestanding. After all the info from you guys seems that is the best option for versatile/cost wise speaking for my AO anyways. For now!

 

 
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8/9/2018 9:28 AM
 
That was at 7 locations not nine as the side centers I typically didn't have line on. You never know how far away the trees are going to be or how big they are going to be. Couple in a big tree that is six or seven feet away and you can eat up cordage pretty fast. I usually had some cord left over, but after not having enough more then once I added more. I pretty much always pitched with four corners and the center line guyed out. If possible I also ran the center guyed to promote better drainage. Whenever possible I used trees instead of stakes since they hold better. For cordage it was just standard p-cord and stakes were mostly groundhogs, but some of the plastic style. This was back in the 90s and a lot of the stuff folks take for granted now just didn't exist. The poles were to tension a point for better drainage. They were robbed from an old tent and could be put together so I had a lot of versatility in height. I could use them all at one end and low pitch the other, use them to A-frame it, put one corner higher, etc... With the right trees they weren't as critical, but I typically still used them. Basically, I would tension it the way I wanted it, and then shove in poles to provide extra tautness for good drainage.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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8/9/2018 9:52 AM
 
I have a GoLite poncho tarp that I use and love.
I'm looking to get an Equinox next. Tarps are just so versatile, lightweight, easy to set up and provide the fresh air we're all looking to get when we take to the woods.

That being said, conditions and weather permitting.

Kasey Marsters
Fox-Trick Adventures
 
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8/9/2018 10:04 AM
 
I guess that is kind of the thing with tarps. If weather is nice, pitch almost doesn't matter because all they really are then is a sun shade. It is when weather starts kicking up that pitch becomes more of an issue. I always pitched a tarp assuming that weather was coming, and the corner I expected to get the most wind from was always pitched lower. Nothing like having to fight your pitch in the middle of the night when the wind is whipping and the precip is coming down.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
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8/9/2018 12:20 PM
 
Bobcass13@yahoo.com wrote:
veriest1 wrote:

-That is super impressive. Im assuming the back end of the tarp is suspended my the other pole?

How long, in your opinion, would it take a less experinced person to set that up through trial and error? Was it something you just eventually picked up or being around like minded backpakers? How much extra cordage do you carry for more unconventional pitches? I dont think I would mind a set up like that in the drier climates, looks sweet.

Thanks for taking the time to post those.

There was a pole in the middle of the front opening and then the back was held up by the pole you see in the picture. Basically the back is staked down and then a cord is ran from the middle tie out to the top of the trekking pole and down to pull the tarp up and tension the tarp (on a poncho the middle tie out is normally the hood). There's not a pole under the tarp. One can just extend the pole to adjust the tension. I carried about 50 feet of braided mason's line on top of the pieces I had precut for the tarp (that's the yellow corgage in the picture).

As was noted, there's not much room when a 5x8 tarp  or poncho is pitched this low but at least with the half pyramid pitch it's comfortable to sit up cross legged in. It's my preferred pitch and I combined it with a water resistant bivy. I upgraded to a lightweight Event bivy for this setup last year to give myself more room for error with minimal weight gain. Plus if a storm turns around on me I won't have to repitch the tarp in the middle of the night because of the water proof bag. At this point the poncho or tarp is just a place to sit up, hang out, and keep water from getting in my bivy sack if I have the top open.

I learned this pitch from folks over on Backpacking Light about 10 or 11 years ago. It's slow to setup and, like all tarp setups, definitely needs to be practiced a lot ahead of time. I'm sure there are videos on Youtube explaining the pitch.

My other favorite setup, especially since the demise of Golite and their wonderful mids, is the MLD Trail Star. It's basically a four season tarp from what I've read but I've never used mine beyond three seasons (for four seasons and snow one side is folded in to make it a true pyramid shelter). I love it because it's so easy to pitch compared to a flat tarp and it's easier to add tension in the middle of the night with the single center pole. I need to buy a bug net for it because it's what I'll use when I start taking my kids camping this year.

 
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8/10/2018 5:11 AM
 
scothill wrote:
I guess that is kind of the thing with tarps. If weather is nice, pitch almost doesn't matter because all they really are then is a sun shade. It is when weather starts kicking up that pitch becomes more of an issue. I always pitched a tarp assuming that weather was coming, and the corner I expected to get the most wind from was always pitched lower. Nothing like having to fight your pitch in the middle of the night when the wind is whipping and the precip is coming down.

 

Right on. Weather permitting required elaboration. Tropical storms and heavy snow deserve greater respect.

Wild weather makes for an exciting night under a tarp at least. Haha. Better a rough night in the woods than a clear day in the office. Rip off 'a bad day fishing is better than a good day at work' or whatever. Unless you're strung in a hammock and a bull moose decides to walk through and clip you from your perch while you're sleeping. 

-Kasey

 
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