Tent habits | High Sierra Topix  

Tent habits

If you've been searching for the best source of information and stimulating discussion related to Spring/Summer/Fall backpacking, hiking and camping in the Sierra Nevada...look no further!
User avatar

Tent habits

Postby Jimr » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:31 am

Who on this board treat their tent like rain gear? Always bring it but rarely use it. I prefer to sleep in the open most of the time. I sleep a bit better in a tent, but there is something about sleeping under the stars that outweighs the added comfort of a tent. There have been a few exceptions. Last year, I went solo to Hungry Packer Lake and base camped there. The tent was much better than dealing with the wind gusts that were blowing down canyon. Another time in Ionian Basin, we setup the tents because my idiot friend thought he could make up time nearly running across a talus field and ended up smashing his ankle when a rock moved and he ended up in a hole with the rock smashed down on his ankle. We set the tents up to make him more comfortable while icing down his ankle. He ended up being helicopter out the next day. Other than that, I can’t remember a time that I actually slept in a tent in the Sierras. A couple of years ago, I took my family to Blue Lake and they slept in the tent while I slept outside. The chipmunks had a field day using my head as a rock to bounce off. That was fun, once I figured out who was using me as a spring board. What about you? Do you use your tent always, sometimes, rarely?
What?!



User avatar
Jimr
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1122
Joined: Fri Jul 31, 2009 2:14 pm
Location: Redondo Beach
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Tent habits

Postby rayfound » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:57 am

I like tents. I like to be able to have that level of security (mental).

If I am away from camp dayhiking or fishing, etc... I like to know that my sleeping bag and pad are still dry in the tent.

When sleeping, I don't like to be in a real windy environment, so the tent really helps that.

OH yeah. Bugs too.
Last edited by rayfound on Fri Jul 16, 2010 11:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
rayfound
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 328
Joined: Thu Apr 24, 2008 4:44 pm
Experience: Level 3 Backpacker

User avatar

Re: Tent habits

Postby AlmostThere » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:28 am

I always hang my hammock, but often don't bother putting up the tarp, if I am not hanging from pines or firs in early spring (the cones and droplets of pitch aren't good for the bug netting, or my face).

When it looked like it was going to rain one afternoon a friend put his jacket and sleeping bag in my hammock to keep it dry if it did start to come down while we were hiking.
User avatar
AlmostThere
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1758
Joined: Wed Jun 24, 2009 4:38 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent habits

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jul 16, 2010 10:41 am

As long as its after bug season and I'm not about low elevation creepy crawler areas, I also prefer stars above. The first decade long ago I backpacked, I didn't use a tent so was somewhat weaned sleeping so. Really enjoy waking up with stars out and being able to see about at night. Thus often bivy at viewpoints like ledges. A reason I often just take my OR Gortex bivy along with the fact its less weight. I also have an even lighter OR mosquito bivy I prefer during bug season when I know there won't be storms and I want to reduce weight. However with squeeters all about I prefer a tent in order to not have to wrestle trying to deal with gear in a too limited space. Yesterday I just ordered an incredibly light freestanding tent at 2.3 pounds, the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL, so that will give me little reason to bivy during bug season. At some areas here in California at low elevations, especially during spring, there are alot of creepy crawling things out like mice, spiders, etc I also would opt for using my tent even if there are no squeeters or storms.
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent habits

Postby Phreak » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:25 pm

I quit using tents years ago. I cowboy camp 8-9 months out of the year and hammock during the bug season.
User avatar
Phreak
Topix Novice
 
Posts: 9
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2009 11:55 am
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent habits

Postby snowblind » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:28 pm

I never use a tent unless it is freezing (I have a good bag) or wet. I personally feel that sleeping in the elements is part of the joy of backpacking. In the last 50 days of summer high sierra camping, I have used a tent 2 nights. I generally bring a bivy although if you are with a partner, there are some 2 man tents that I believe are actually lighter than 2 bivy sacks. There is nothing like waking up with a layer of crusty ice on my mummy in the morning :)
User avatar
snowblind
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 35
Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 7:40 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent habits

Postby balzaccom » Fri Jul 16, 2010 1:59 pm

We pretty much set up the tent when we arrive at our campsite every afternoon. While I don't mind ( and even enjoy) sleeping out under the stars, my wife likes the privacy and "security" of the tent. It's compromise I am very welling to make, if it encourages her to join me on trip after trip...

And she does.
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/
User avatar
balzaccom
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1288
Joined: Wed Dec 17, 2008 9:22 pm
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent habits

Postby SSSdave » Fri Jul 16, 2010 3:42 pm

There are reasons why it can be more comfortable sleeping with a sleeping bag in a bivy sack atop a pad versus a sleeping bag just atop a pad. In my bivy, when temps are cool outside, I often totally unzip the bag and just use it as a blanket while laying atop the pad or just part of the bag. Being inside the bivy the air is not as cool as it would be exposed directly to air that can be uncomfortably contrasty, too warm in the bag and too cool outside that in part is more noticeable at high altitudes about the High Sierra on clear nights due to radiation cooling. Accordingly sometimes when bringing small backpacking tents when the group of us want to spend a clear moonless evening discussing whatever and or watching stars, we use our solo tents as a large bivy's, not staking or installing poles. Note we almost never make fires so that is the extent of our occasional night activity.
User avatar
SSSdave
Topix Fanatic
 
Posts: 1965
Joined: Thu Nov 17, 2005 11:18 pm
Location: Silicon Valley
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent habits

Postby Mike M. » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:32 pm

I only sleep in a tent if I have to. I love sleeping under the stars.

Mike
User avatar
Mike M.
Topix Expert
 
Posts: 475
Joined: Fri May 25, 2007 10:50 pm
Location: Portland, Oregon
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Tent habits

Postby copeg » Fri Jul 16, 2010 6:45 pm

I so much prefer sleeping under the stars, weather and bugs permitting of course. One of the reasons I was attracted to tarps years ago was their openness, getting as close to sleeping under the start as possible in rainy and buggy conditions (rarely bring the tarp these days though, as I just don't feel like dealing with it in windy conditions at high elevation and exposed campsites).
User avatar
copeg
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
Founding Member & Forums Administrator
 
Posts: 1968
Joined: Fri Oct 28, 2005 9:25 pm
Location: Menlo Park, CA
Experience: Level 4 Explorer

User avatar

Re: Tent habits

Postby riverwalker » Fri Jul 16, 2010 8:59 pm

I am an under the stars guy. I just wish I could see them. Without glasses on its all a blur. Many nights I fall asleep with them on and they end up crushed somewhere in my bag.
I did just buy a golite shangrila 2 for when the weather degrades and to help give piece of mind keeping the photo gear a little more dry.
User avatar
riverwalker
Topix Acquainted
 
Posts: 61
Joined: Tue May 04, 2010 10:06 pm
Location: Bakersfield, CA
Experience: N/A

User avatar

Re: Tent habits

Postby calipidder » Fri Jul 16, 2010 9:32 pm

You know, i've never really thought about it. I usually sleep in my tent, but I always really enjoy the nights I have spent outside of it. (mind is happily wandering back to the memory of watching a meteor shower at 3 am while sleeping on a boulder near Precipice Lake...) My tent is a tarptent which I strongly prefer - I hate the confined feeling of a 'real' tent. Maybe I should think more about sleeping outside - well, as long as the skeeters and wind aren't too bad. :)
User avatar
calipidder
Topix Regular
 
Posts: 204
Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2006 3:00 pm
Location: Above 10k
Experience: N/A

Next

Return to Backpacking / Hiking / Camping



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bkoenig, diazwoman61, ksprad31, MSNbot Media [Bot] and 6 guests