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Tent habits

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Re: Tent habits

Postby homeranch » Sat Jul 17, 2010 7:42 am

Here is what I hate, being in a tent and hearing the crunch of footsteps outside, bear? lion? Charlie Manson? Lizard? squirrel?

In bear country particularly I like to be able to sit up and see who my new friend is.

I feel very insecure inside a tent.



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Re: Tent habits

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:14 am

I do about half and half, bivy and tent. I use a bivy pre-mosquito season, use the tent most of July, back in bivy for August-mid-Sept, tent after mid-Sept (I have been snowed on!). As tents have become lighter, I have used my bivy a bit less. Many of my trips with a bivy are 10-16 days long. One trip it seriously rained and I spent a day drinking tea on the porch of a backcountry ranger station! I like seeing stars, but I do the bivy primarily for weight savings and the fact that you can sleep almost anywhere you can find a small flat space and there is no set-up hastles. And if you do not like your initial spot, you just pick up and move. I use a basic bivy that weighs a bit over a pound. Personally, I do not like tarps - perhaps because I am so mechanically inept that I never can get them set up (plus I am mostly above timber).
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Re: Tent habits

Postby Cloudy » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:47 am

I love sleeping under the stars also but I get eaten alive by bugs - I am the one in a group that mosquitoes always go after... I usually end up sleeping in the Tarptent . I have had a couple of interesting sleeping-in-the-open experiences that have kind of scarred me - one night I had something the probable size of a raccoon jump on my stomach as I was laying in my bag (heart attack material) and another in which I had my hiking boots dragged away during the night by something. This normally wouldn't have been TOO bad except that I am near-sighted and keep my glasses for safety in one of my boots. Finding them was uh, fun :-)
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Re: Tent habits

Postby dave54 » Sat Jul 17, 2010 5:57 pm

I have grown wimpy in my old age.

I used to sleep 'cowboy style' sans tent. Now I prefer a tent.
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Re: Tent habits

Postby ERIC » Sat Jul 17, 2010 6:34 pm

balzaccom wrote: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.


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Re: Tent habits

Postby freestone » Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:39 am

I always take the tent to the trail-head. Depending on the weather and my mood, the tent stays or goes. The last couple of trips the tent has gone, even though the weather has been ideal. Its nice to get out of the elements after being in the elements all day, especially the wind.
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Re: Tent habits

Postby riverwalker » Sun Jul 18, 2010 9:18 am

This normally wouldn't have been TOO bad except that I am near-sighted and keep my glasses for safety in one of my boots. Finding them was uh, fun :-)


Nice Cloudy. I can relate.
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Re: Tent habits

Postby giantbrookie » Sun Jul 18, 2010 5:52 pm

I nearly always sleep in a tent, more often to keep the bugs off of me (they will always find me, except in the fall) than for anything else. Sometimes the tent helps with wind protection, too, and of course it is a rain shelter. Over the years there have been trips I've slept under the stars, and the majority of such trips were in the fall.
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Re: Tent habits

Postby Cross Country » Sun Jul 18, 2010 6:24 pm

I'm in basic agreement to the majority opinions above. I took a tent many times and most of those times slept in it. Most of the time, however I took a tube tent and used it as a ground cloth and maybe 10 - 20% of the time slept in it because of the weather. I preferred sleeping outside and my wife strongly preferred outside. During Mosq season I nearly always took a tent. Also, as mentioned above when awakened in the night It was comforting being able to see nearby. Each night I would wake up many times. The older I was the more often I'd wake up. By the way, for the purpose of hiking one never wants to take sleeping pills.
In general the higher the elevation the worse people sleep. I remember the first time I ran across this info was in Skier magazine. The name of the article was "Play high, sleep low". After reading this, it then all made sense for backpacking and skiing alike. I wasn't about to avoid sleeping high while backpacking because I loved the x - country adventure of the Southern Sierra. I did, however change my sleeping habits while skiing Mammoth. I began sleeping in Bishop. It was quite the improvement. Sorry if I bothered anyone with the digressions, but some things are just important.
The picture at the bottom was my favorite tent. The name says why. The stargazer. It was, to the best of my knowledge the first mostly mesh tent.
PS: Mike's roasting marshmallows.
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Tents n tube.jpg
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Tent n fire.jpg
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Re: Tent habits

Postby mokelumnekid » Mon Jul 19, 2010 8:04 am

I live in the Pacific Northwest and do camping/mountaineering in many parts of the world. I carry and use a tent, since I pretty much don't mind the weight and view basic shelter as a part of my responsibility in the back country (however there are few places in the Sierra- if pressed- where you couldn't walk out in a long day, or at least get to an elevation where one could build a fire or get help). Since I often visit the Sierra in late August, it seems like there is always a monsoon at some point that dumps significant rain. Plus it is nice to have some bug barrier, or a place to keep things out of the wind, when trying to sleep.

Sometimes we do an "under the stars" thing, but unless I sleep with my glasses on I don't see a lot of stars anyway.
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Re: Tent habits

Postby DoyleWDonehoo » Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:25 pm

(This is sorta test if I can post a picture.) I have been rained, snowed, hailed, winded, and insected on, so I always carry a shelter. It used to be a Wonderlust shelter until it got too many holes to repair, so now I use a shelter my backpack-pard gave me (who has collected enough gear to open his own store). In both cases my shelter is only one pound, and my pack about 35 pounds including my chair. We used to use Moss tarp-wing, but I think he got tired of my snoring (I am sure he is imagining things) or something, so we have our own shelters each. I like having everything enclosed and bug proof (skeeters not the only things that like to visit). After bug season, if it is a warm moonless night at high altitude, and there is a nice granite parking lot nearby, it can be nice to sleep out. Ok, if this picture shows up, it is of my no impact off-trail camp from last weeks trip to the Granite Dome area outta Kennedy meadows. It was very hot and the skeeters got worse every day. The shelter came in very handy.
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GD Camp.jpg
My camp for two days near Granite Dome.
Doyle W. Donehoo
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Re: Tent habits

Postby Bill Markwood » Tue Jul 20, 2010 4:51 pm

Doyle: I'm curious as to what type shelter you're using that only weighs 1lb. It sounds like that it would be a good choice for a solo trip or one with the boys when I'm not sharing a tent with my wife.

Thanks, Bill
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