Tarp shelters for unicycle touring

Discussion in 'rec.sport.unicycling' started by siafirede, Mar 26, 2008.

  1. siafirede

    siafirede Guest

    I am looking into getting a nice Tarp Shelter for solo self supported
    unicycle touring. I am thinking it will be nicer than a bivvy bag and
    give me more freedom to move around in and cook. Does anyone have any
    recommendations for a nice lightweight tarp shelter?

    I have my dividend money from REI and a 20% coupon, so I was thinking
    about getting this:
    http://www.rei.com/product/655941

    To tie the tarp to trees or structures I was going to use this
    guyline:
    http://www.rei.com/product/617569

    Any thoughts??

    I am thinking that carrying a tarp will be a lot nicer than carrying a
    tent for touring. The weight will only be a little over a pound and
    won't take up much space in my backpack.


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  2. kington99

    kington99 Guest

    do you need trees to tie that thing to? after my failed atempt at the
    south downs way carrying a three man tent i'm interested in finding a
    light weigth solution, but it's terribly barren and often there's
    nothign to pitch to for miles.


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  3. Bondo

    Bondo Guest

    I use tarps for backpacking/camping around Colorado exclusively.
    I have had a lot of luck with my homemade version. Very light and
    amazingly easy to set up.

    I use a 2 Mil Plastic Painter's tarp. I use duct tape to secure a
    parachute cord around the parimeter and then I use a thin Bunji type
    cord for the stake guys. Due to the elastic cords it sets up in under a
    minute and holds up to 60 MPH wind gusts (Maybe more, but that is the
    most I have experienced)

    I can cook under this tarp and the clear plastic makes sitting out
    rain-storms much more pleasurable and cheery. You can read and see to
    play cards or whatever.
    [image: http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-3/977737/FH000009.jpg]

    [image: http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-3/977737/FH000011.jpg]


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  4. joemarshall

    joemarshall Guest

    Tarps are okay as long as you're not somewhere where it will be damp.

    If it is damp, you still need a bivvy bag to keep your sleeping bag
    dry, assuming you're using a down sleeping bag, which is probably worth
    doing for the massive weight savings.

    Also, insects, depending on where you are and what season it is, you
    might want insect protection too.

    Once you've done that you're heading close to the weight of a
    lightweight tent.

    I have to say, I've got a tarp, quite a posh one, that I picked up free
    once, and I've never yet found an occasion to use it, I'll always bivvy
    if it's lightweight, or use the tent otherwise.

    If you had all the money in the world, the perfect thing for people who
    don't want to bivvy would probably be something like this
    http://tinyurl.com/3xvs2v
    or this
    http://tinyurl.com/2cozw7

    Joe


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  5. siafirede

    siafirede Guest

    I don't think moisture will be an issue. If it is really damp outside,
    my bag should be fine b/c most bags(that aren't down) come with pretty
    good liners/shells nowadays anyway. I am actually thinking of NOT
    going the down-fill route even though most people seem to recommend
    down bags. I have found that down bags don't handle moisture well at
    all...even ones that are said to have water resistant shells. The
    smell of damp down is horrible. I was using a really nice down bag a
    few times while camping inside a tent, and the moisture in the tent
    somehow got through the water resistant shell to make the bag damp and
    smelly. I have never had that problem with my synthetic bag. I don't
    mind sacrificing 10 ounces of weight and a few degrees temperature
    rating to not have to deal with that on a unicycle tour.

    I am still looking into bags, but so far I haven't found a down bag
    that feels like it has a decent enough shell. I am looking into this
    bag:
    http://www.rei.com/product/747873

    or maybe the 15 degree version.


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  6. joemarshall

    joemarshall Guest

    yeah, down and damp = bad. I've got that Macpac Epic SF bag/bivvi
    combined (you've seen it) that is proper waterproof, but it is *very*
    expensive. It's definitely waterproof - airtight even, you have to be
    careful when you pack it, if you get a bubble it won't fit into the
    stuff sack.

    Joe


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  7. ive got a tiny little 2 person tent, tiny because it folds up so small,
    a couple problems with it tho, my cat clawed the roof so it leaks, and
    its bright pink lol. a small tarp and a good sleeping bag sounds good
    enough though, better in good weather though.


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  8. Nimbusnut

    Nimbusnut Guest

    I spent a summer once in Roosevelt National Forest living off the land a
    long time ago. I used a super lightweight hammock that didn't have
    wooden supports on the ends and it could be wadded up so tight I
    carried it in my pocket. To keep the rain off me, I used a poncho for a
    rain fly that was tied between the two trees that the hammock hung
    from. It was comfortable, really portable and kept me off the ground
    which was nice cause the tent worms were really bad that summer. What
    little stuff I carried I stored on the ground under the hammock/ rain
    fly.


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  9. OneWheelLess

    OneWheelLess Guest

    :)
    siafirede wrote:
    > I am looking into getting a nice Tarp Shelter for solo self supported
    > unicycle touring. I am thinking it will be nicer than a bivvy bag and
    > give me more freedom to move around in and cook. Does anyone have any
    > recommendations for a nice lightweight tarp shelter?
    >
    > I have my dividend money from REI and a 20% coupon, so I was thinking
    > about getting this:
    > http://www.rei.com/product/655941
    >
    > To tie the tarp to trees or structures I was going to use this
    > guyline:
    > http://www.rei.com/product/617569
    >
    > Any thoughts??
    >
    > I am thinking that carrying a tarp will be a lot nicer than carrying a
    > tent for touring. The weight will only be a little over a pound and
    > won't take up much space in my backpack.




    you should be able to get a very good tarp for less than that,
    gossamergear also has an amazing tarptent that is also very light, but
    will work better in more extreme weather and has a removable floor.
    will you be using a sleeping pad? a closed cell pad only weighs a pound
    or less, and provides a good barrier to insulate you from cold/ wet/
    rocky ground.
    personally, my setup is an ultralight hammock that i find much more
    comfortable. hammock and tarp weigh 2 pounds w/ silnylon tarp. even in
    pouring rain, i have been warm and dry. another plus is that you can
    set it up anywhere you have trees- no need to find a perfectly flat
    campsite! if i am forced to the ground for lack of trees, i am already
    carrying a ultralight tarp that can be used independantly of my
    hammock. gtg for now, (back to work) but if you shoot me a message, and
    tell me what youre looking for, i can help you find great gear for less
    money to suit your needs! :)


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  10. OneWheelLess

    OneWheelLess Guest

    (My other hobby is ultralight hiking, and I've recently been helping a
    cousin put together a gear list for a SoCal to Maine bike ride he's
    doing this summer)


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  11. joemarshall

    joemarshall Guest

    One thing I have done, years ago, is make a tunnel using a roll mat and
    a tarp, basically the sleeping mat goes out, the tarp makes a triangle
    tent shape, which is taped to the sides of the sleeping mat (just a
    little bit of gaffa tape). Might be a bit warmer than your average tarp
    because you're pretty sheltered from the wind. When I did it, I think
    it was frosty, and it was okay.

    Joe


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  12. WOFT

    WOFT Guest

    I enjoy hiking with a tarp for shelter. Light and fun to configure (if
    you aren't too tired at the end of the day!). I've used it in light
    rain, and strong winds. A tent is always going to give better
    protection and comfort, but the tarp (for me) provides adequet
    protection and comfort.

    'David MacPherson's introduction to tarp shelters'
    (http://www.equipped.org/tarp-shelters.htm) is really nice (download
    the PDF file at the top of the page). I've only tried a handful of
    setups. My favourite is the "bivvy bag" on page 28. The tarp itself is
    used as a groundsheet (saves weight, sacrifices comfort).

    I can't recommend a good tarp - I havn't found any "commercial" tarps
    locally. I just bought a groundsheet that had holes for pegs. It does
    the job, but is pretty heavy for a "lightweight" shelter.


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  13. siafirede

    siafirede Guest

    WOFT wrote:
    > I enjoy hiking with a tarp for shelter. Light and fun to configure (if
    > you aren't too tired at the end of the day!). I've used it in light
    > rain, and strong winds. A tent is always going to give better
    > protection and comfort, but the tarp (for me) provides adequet
    > protection and comfort.
    >
    > 'David MacPherson's introduction to tarp shelters'
    > (http://www.equipped.org/tarp-shelters.htm) is really nice (download
    > the PDF file at the top of the page). I've only tried a handful of
    > setups. My favourite is the "bivvy bag" on page 28. The tarp itself is
    > used as a groundsheet (saves weight, sacrifices comfort).
    >
    > I can't recommend a good tarp - I havn't found any "commercial" tarps
    > locally. I just bought a groundsheet that had holes for pegs. It does
    > the job, but is pretty heavy for a "lightweight" shelter.




    I checked out the site. The "bivvy bag" set up and the C-fly designs
    seem to be the easiest. To support the midline fold do you just use
    some light weight rope/guy lines? Using one tarp for the groundsheet
    and shelter by folding it properly is definitely the best idea it
    seems.

    Looks like I just need a few stakes and rope to secure a tarp in these
    two designs:

    It looks like the roofs can just be held up by the rope.

    [image: http://www.equipped.org/graphics/tarps/image184.jpg]

    [image: http://www.equipped.org/graphics/tarps/image122.jpg]


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  14. WOFT

    WOFT Guest

    siafirede wrote:
    > I checked out the site. The "bivvy bag" set up and the C-fly designs
    > seem to be the easiest. To support the midline fold do you just use
    > some light weight rope/guy lines? Using one tarp for the groundsheet
    > and shelter by folding it properly is definitely the best idea it
    > seems.
    >
    > Looks like I just need a few stakes and rope to secure a tarp in these
    > two designs:
    >
    > It looks like the roofs can just be held up by the rope.
    >
    > [image: http://www.equipped.org/graphics/tarps/image184.jpg]
    >
    > [image: http://www.equipped.org/graphics/tarps/image122.jpg]





    For the "bivvy", I have used a short guy through the eyelet, and also a
    longer piece of climbing accessory cord (4mm, I think) running like a
    "spine" from ground to tree. The longer rope makes for a more stable
    set up if it is windy.

    I forgot to mention, thes designs require trees, or trekking poles if
    there aren't trees. This my be problematic for unicycle touring.


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  15. WOFT

    WOFT Guest

    Bondo wrote:
    > I use a 2 Mil Plastic Painter's tarp. I use duct tape to secure a
    > parachute cord around the parimeter and then I use a thin Bunji type
    > cord for the stake guys. Due to the elastic cords it sets up in under a
    > minute and holds up to 60 MPH wind gusts (Maybe more, but that is the
    > most I have experienced)




    Bondo, where do you buy a painters tarp? I've only seen precut pieces
    of black plastic, but they don't have eyelets for pegs or guylines.
    Also, is there any reason you use "parachute" cord over some other
    type?


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  16. siafirede

    siafirede Guest

    Yeah I will be using a ground pad for sure. I have a nice mummy shaped
    self inflating one now, but that probably weighs more than I would
    want, so I may just get a light cheap foam one.

    I'll shoot ya a message for sure if I have any questions.


    OneWheelLess wrote:
    > :)
    >
    > you should be able to get a very good tarp for less than that,
    > gossamergear also has an amazing tarptent that is also very light, but
    > will work better in more extreme weather and has a removable floor.
    > will you be using a sleeping pad? a closed cell pad only weighs a pound
    > or less, and provides a good barrier to insulate you from cold/ wet/
    > rocky ground.
    > personally, my setup is an ultralight hammock that i find much more
    > comfortable. hammock and tarp weigh 2 pounds w/ silnylon tarp. even in
    > pouring rain, i have been warm and dry. another plus is that you can
    > set it up anywhere you have trees- no need to find a perfectly flat
    > campsite! if i am forced to the ground for lack of trees, i am already
    > carrying a ultralight tarp that can be used independantly of my
    > hammock. gtg for now, (back to work) but if you shoot me a message, and
    > tell me what youre looking for, i can help you find great gear for less
    > money to suit your needs! :)



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  17. Bondo

    Bondo Guest

    WOFT wrote:
    > Bondo, where do you buy a painters tarp? I've only seen precut pieces of
    > black plastic, but they don't have eyelets for pegs or guylines. Also,
    > is there any reason you use "parachute" cord over some other type?




    Any thin Mil plastic would work. I get a 9 X 12' clear "drop cloth"
    available at the hardware or paint store. They come in 2, 3 or more Mil
    thicknesses.
    Parachute cord, as it's called, is cheap and light, but any cord would
    work. The magic is in the elastic cords. which work great for ANY tent
    or tarp, just stretch to fit and holds up in the wind better because
    there is some give.

    There are no grommets or eyelets, I just leave little extra loops of
    para-cord to attach the guy-lines.

    [image: http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-3/977737/FH000010.jpg]

    Maybe it's been mentioned but y'all should read *-Ray Jardin -*books
    for lightweight trekking tips!!


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  18. WOFT

    WOFT Guest

    Bondo wrote:
    >
    > [image: http://img.villagephotos.com/p/2005-3/977737/FH000010.jpg]




    [I hope I'm not threadjacking!!]

    Bondo: It looks like you've threaded the paracord through a hem on the
    edge of the tarp. Did you add that yourself, or is it part of the tarp?


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  19. kington99

    kington99 Guest

    WOFT wrote:
    > [I hope I'm not threadjacking!!]
    >
    > Bondo: It looks like you've threaded the paracord through a hem on the
    > edge of the tarp. Did you add that yourself, or is it part of the tarp?




    he mentioned before he just tapes the cord on with duct tape


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  20. WOFT

    WOFT Guest

    kington99 wrote:
    > he mentioned before he just tapes the cord on with duct tape




    Oops - I missed that. Thank you.


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