Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 23
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,175
    Thanks
    56
    Thanked 315 Times in 240 Posts
    Congratulations
    3
    Congratulated 3 Times in 1 Post

    Bivy, UL tent, Tarp, or Bivy + Tent?

    MoHunter posed the question on another thread, and I thought it deserved its own discussion:

    How do you decide between a bivy sack and an ultralight tent? I know BB uses a tarprent and seems pleased. I guess I thought I would get something like a tarp or light tent in place of a bivy. Why both?

    My thoughts are they all have their uses. I like the Tarptent as a do-all solo shelter. It is superlight, has more room than a bivy, and full bug protection.

    I also like a full tent when going with a partner. Complete protection, and the weight isn't bad when split between two or more.

    A bivy is nice, cause there is no pitching it. Just roll it out and get in.

    A bivy + tarp or floorless tent, is kind of a hybrid. Good protection and lots of room for gear, etc.

    This year I am going to try the floorless shelter and bivy on some of my hunts, but I am not giving up my TT.

    What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,175
    Thanks
    56
    Thanked 315 Times in 240 Posts
    Congratulations
    3
    Congratulated 3 Times in 1 Post
    I don't like the idea of just a tarp, as I want something between my pad/bag and dirty, wet ground.

  3. #3
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Billings, MT
    Posts
    343
    Thanks
    4
    Thanked 11 Times in 10 Posts
    Congratulations
    0
    Congratulated 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I would go with both just because it adds a bit more warmth and protection if its later in the season.

    I like to tie a line between 2 trees, drape the tarp (just a regular el cheapo tarp) over the line, and then stake the 4 corners down. Set my bivvy/pad/bag (cabelas XPG bivvy) underneath the tarp configuration and thats it. This allows me to be able to store my gear and be able to sit up in the morning to get dressed and cook breakfast. If the wind is blowing good and cant find cover I set up my tarp a little differently with one end closed. You already have a tarp tent which is better and lighter just thought id throw that out there for some of the other guys that are on a budget. I'm writing an article/paper for my writing class that ive titled "back country on a college budget" that ill post when im done.

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    San Jose, California
    Posts
    856
    Thanks
    150
    Thanked 148 Times in 112 Posts
    Congratulations
    10
    Congratulated 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Like Bitterroot Bulls, mentions I think they all have their uses, advantages and disadvantages. It's hard to find something that fills all the wishes on the list but some solutions come closer than others. The ideal shelter for me is something that is 4 season, super lightweight, roomy, bug proof and durable. I guess one could add cost to the ideal but if it meets all on the check list, I'm willing to pay a bit more for it.

    For me it also depends on time of year, if you are backpacking and if so, how far in you go, base camp shelter or spike camp shelter. One can notch off one or more off the list is that case. Example: If you summer hunt or are hunting in a season or area not having much snow, do you really need a 4 season shelter? Maybe a 3 season or lower would be ok?

    If you have every been stuck in a bivy in the rain/snow for days, you get to a point where you want something you can sit up in and have easy access to gear, boots, clothes, ect.... If that will something your ok with perhaps your ok with the bivy choice. If not, and you want a bit more room, the bivy is not a good choice perhaps.

    A nice roomy tent is nice to have. When you look at 4 season, roomy, windy weather bomb proof durable expedition tents they tend add more weight to carry. It all adds up to choice and application need, but are you ok with some extra tent pack weight to carry?

    I used to go the floor-less tent/tarp, ground cloth or even tent-less route. As I've gotten older, having irritating bugs crawling on me is best kept to a minimum while resting on the ground. Depending on the time of season, the choice for me is driven more so by the bugs that are out and crawling about. On some snow winter trips, I've gone without a tent, bivy, tarp shelter, and I've made a snow cave for fun, or used a cave as a shelter. Not as many bugs out in the cold winter.

    Lots of options. In the end, it all comes down to what you need/want or what you are ok putting up with. They all have their uses, advantages and disadvantages. Some solutions do come closer than others.

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Posts
    52
    Thanks
    0
    Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
    Congratulations
    0
    Congratulated 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Still need to test it out this summer out but did a DIY bivy and tarp similar to kifaru. Total weight is right at a pound

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Fort Collins, CO
    Posts
    155
    Thanks
    2
    Thanked 4 Times in 4 Posts
    Congratulations
    0
    Congratulated 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I really like my Big Agnes UL1. It is as small as a bivy when packed and weighs ~1.9 lb. (So light I dont even care about the numbers). Im not sure how it would stand up to a bunch of snow, but im not to worried about pushing it those conditions. Im sure it would be fine even in the worst; at least for a day or two. It sure is nice to be enclosed after spending a bunch of time in bivy sacks.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Location
    North Dakota
    Posts
    561
    Thanks
    5
    Thanked 58 Times in 42 Posts
    Congratulations
    0
    Congratulated 0 Times in 0 Posts
    I have thought about this too and while I don't have any experience with any of this stuff, I think that when I buy something, it will be something from big agnes like 8750 said. Seems hard to beat a one or two man tent when it weighs less than 3 pounds. Sounds like the 1 man tents are tiny and a 2 man is about right for one person. When compared to a tarp/bivy sack, a small 2 man tent can't be more than a pound heavier which I think would be well worth it to be completely out of the rain.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,175
    Thanks
    56
    Thanked 315 Times in 240 Posts
    Congratulations
    3
    Congratulated 3 Times in 1 Post
    Quote Originally Posted by NDHunter View Post
    I have thought about this too and while I don't have any experience with any of this stuff, I think that when I buy something, it will be something from big agnes like 8750 said. Seems hard to beat a one or two man tent when it weighs less than 3 pounds. Sounds like the 1 man tents are tiny and a 2 man is about right for one person. When compared to a tarp/bivy sack, a small 2 man tent can't be more than a pound heavier which I think would be well worth it to be completely out of the rain.
    Well, that is the thing, NDHunter. I think BA and others make great ultralight traditional double-wall tents. They offer full protection, and weights have really been minimized.

    I got in a Fly Creek UL1, and it has only slightly more room than an expedition style bivy. My TT Contrail had more room, was lighter, and less expensive.

    The Fly Creek UL2 is a nice solo shelter, but again comparable TT designs are even lighter.

    Both Tarptents and the BA UL stuff also have silnylon bathtub style floors, which can wear easy, unless you use a ground sheet, which adds a little weight and bulk.

    THe other thing about floored shelters is you generally have to take your boots off outside, or in tiny vestibules.

    Floorless shelters like Kifaru, Golite SL, Mountain Hardwear Hoopla, Nemo Pentalite, etc. don't have these problems, but they have their own like sheeting rain, and bugs.

    I think most people need to get out and try different methods until they find one that suits them best.

    Luckily the second-hand market is a great place to buy and sell gear, without losing too much dough in the process.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    San Jose, California
    Posts
    856
    Thanks
    150
    Thanked 148 Times in 112 Posts
    Congratulations
    10
    Congratulated 0 Times in 0 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Bitterroot Bulls View Post
    THe other thing about floored shelters is you generally have to take your boots off outside, or in tiny vestibules.
    Bitterroot Bulls you make some good points on floor shelters and also taking your boots off outside. It is also reminds me of one of the main reasons I don't care for the bivy and being limited on what one can bring into the shelter with them. There is just some gear I feel a bit more comfortable having on hand in the shelter with me.

    The attached picture reminds me of a time years ago I was ten miles into the back country of Yosemite, high mountain, trout fishing. I rolled out my sleeping bag on my pad at the end of the day, no shelter, putting my boots by my head and went to sleep. When I woke up in the morning and reached for my boots, they were missing. After some searching, I found them chewed up 30 or so yards from where I slept and coyote tracks all over. In the night that little bugger and some of it's friends had come up right next to my head grabbed my boots and chewed them up. Lucky I had packed some lightweight camp shoes or I'd have had some pretty sore feet hiking back to the trailhead in socks. Now, these days, even when I take a bivy, I'll bag my boots and keep them in with me in the shelter as these days I don't pack extra footwear.

    Just goes to show perhaps one reason why, "Cowboys Sleep with Their Boots On".


  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    2,175
    Thanks
    56
    Thanked 315 Times in 240 Posts
    Congratulations
    3
    Congratulated 3 Times in 1 Post
    That is awesome, Kevin.

    So far, for a solo shelter, I really like the TT contrail best.

    As I have mentioned here and elsewhere, I think the GoLite SL5 will be my multi-person shelter this year. I will use it floorless with a bivy. That way all of my gear will be out of the elements, I can take my boots off inside, have enough room to stand up, and still be protected from the wet ground with the bivy.

    We will see how it goes.

 

 

Similar Threads

  1. One man bivy
    By Jrod in forum Lightweight
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 02-18-2014, 11:07 PM
  2. Back packing tent vs wall tent with log burning heater
    By ProjectCO87 in forum General Hunting
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 04-07-2013, 11:07 PM
  3. Canvas Wall tent vs Cabela's Ultimate Alaknak Tent
    By gwilliams in forum Everything Backcountry
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: 04-04-2013, 11:04 PM
  4. bivy sacks
    By cacklercrazy in forum Lightweight
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 03-07-2012, 09:01 PM
  5. Canvas wall tent or Cabela's Ultimate Alaknak™ Tent
    By gwilliams in forum Everything Backcountry
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 11-15-2011, 08:16 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •