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I Need Help-Floorless Tents
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“Okay, so I've been looking at different tents for a while and I've wanted one that's light in weight, but still holds up nicely. For the longest time I never wanted a floorless tent, but I've been concidering it recently. The only problems I have are, what happens when it starts to rain hard? Do you get soaked and your screwed? And how do you defeat the bug problem? I dont wanna be woken up time after time to swat mosquitos or possibly be pulling ticks off. I dont want to spend more than $150 on the whole set-up. Any help or suggestions? I'm planning another boundary waters trip in August, but my 5lbs tent really takes a toll after 5 days. I'm 17 so I want gear that's going to last a good amount of time. Thank you!”
“ what happens when it starts to rain hard? Do you get soaked and your screwed?
not if you choose a good spot. Just don't set up your tent in obvious channels where rainwater might flow
And how do you defeat the bug problem?
close the door and use a groundcloth. that'll keep 99% of the bugs away”
“One night in the upper Buffalo wilderness Area in the Ozarks, my buddy was awakened by the sound of a 2 ft long copperhead slithering around his head, outside the tent(not floorless). I got up and killed it and we found 3 more within 25 feet of us. Not a good situation for a floorless tent! I'd do it if I had to but you don't have to. Save up and buy the baddest, lightest tent they make or get a hammock, that's my advise. Good luck, Boundry waters is my dream trip!”
“Well, here in Minnesota, we don't have any poisnous animals. Down south I think there are a few rattlers, but nothing to worry about around here. Just mosquitoes. How would you make the ground cloth for a floorless tent? The same as a regular tent? Could you dig trenches in heavy rain if there was a worry of getting wet?”
“How would you make the ground cloth for a floorless tent?
Could you dig trenches in heavy rain if there was a worry of getting wet?
No. That is poor LNT (leave no trace) practice (I would argue Strat killing the snake is also poor LNT practice). I would advise you to read up on the do's and don't's of LNT practices before setting out on another hike.
last edited: 6/24/12 11:11:46 AM”
“I understand the whole concept, when we took our trip to the Boundary Waters, that's their whole philosophy. I was just curious. And I've been kind of scounting out floorless tents, and it doesnt seem like all of them have ground cloth options. Alot of the more expensive ones do, but I can't cut that for the budget. I was also looking at the Kelty Salida 2. If I can't find a good set of options for the floorless design. That's what I'm getting.”
“You may have to buy the ground cloth separately. Tyvek sheets cut to the right size make serviceable ground cloths.
last edited: 6/24/12 11:33:30 AM”
“So how would you cut one? Just slightly smaller than the tent right? Or is it different for floorless designs?”
“I was looking at the Appy Trails Mark III from campmor http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___10020 What do you think?”
“Yea, I think you're supposed to go slightly smaller. Slightly larger would catch the rain and potentially bring it in.
That Mark III looks pretty good at first glance. I've never heard of that company, so I don't really have anything positive or negative to say about their product.”
“The customer reviews give pretty solid endorsements.”
“I've done alot of review research on the product. There was even a guy who went into great detail about the pros and cons. Plus according to his statement, customer service was GREAT! So, I think if I'm going to go with any floorless design, that's what it'll be. I'll make a velcro bug screen as well. (some adhesive velcro on the wall and on some bug net then throw it on when the doors on) Really I'm just worried about water getting in during storms.”
“The tent that I use the most is floorless, and unless I set up in a spot where the water flows, I don't get wet. Once, on Roan Mt., I made the mistake of setting up in a spot like that. Slight incline combined with the terrain made a nice little channel for the rainwater to run, and it stormed like hell that night. But spots like that are easy to avoid. I was just too cavalier.”
“Just pay attention to where you set up your tent. If it's on an incline with the roots and rocks and shape of the terrain looking like it could channel rainwater into your tent, don't set your tent there. If you've done much camping, you know that doesn't happen in most places. It might be more common at the top of mountains, like I was (over 6200 feet).”
“That's what I figured, just basic instinct I suppose. I'm not sure where I read this or heard it, but in times of heavy rain, you take sticks and put them under the edges of your groundcloth to prop it up so any water that does run through, just runs right under it and you don't have to worry about waking up wet. Like I said, I was thinking about that Appy Trail 2-3 man shelter, then just getting some painters plastic, cutting it down to size, and using it for a ground cloth, then put the adhesive velcro on the edges of the door and putting some removable bug net on there in case you wanted to leave the door open. I was thinking it might be possible to do to with the ground cloth as well by just putting some velcro on there and on the walls almost to create a bathtub style floor that's more bug-proof as well. Let me know what you think about the velcro ideas, to me they sound good, but your own ideas always sound good. Haha”
“I've always been a fan of the pyramid style shelters like the Black Diamond Mega Light. You get a tremendous amount of space for very little weight.
You can add the bathtub floor if you're worried about getting wet or the bug shelter, but the latter weighs more than the tent itself.
I always just use a ground cloth a little bigger than my sleeping pad and my tentmates do the same.
Like Mr. Bang already said, just be careful where you set up and you don't have to worry about a stream running through your tent. The only time I ever got wet was when we set up on an incline and I slid downhill in my sleep and my lower half was sticking outside in the rain.
If the bugs are bad I just stake it closer to the ground and lose some ventilation.
I don't know about the velcro idea. My concern is that it may cause water to wick through the nylon but I've never tried it or know anyone who has so I could be wrong.”
You're in the wrong country.
“The Boundary Waters is for people in canoes!”
“By the time you purchase a floorless tent and a good floor, you can probably match the weight in a tent. I use floorless (usually tarp or tent floor and fly) in the cooler months(below 55°) and an ultralight tent in the warmer months. Tent: Seedhouse 2 or Black Diamond Lighthouse. Tarp: 10x12 silnylon tarp with poncho for floor or floor and fly of Seedhouse 2.”
“By the time you purchase a floorless tent and a good floor, you can probably match the weight in a tent.
True, but even with a floored tent, you should use a groundcloth to prevent wear and tear on your tent floor. Floorless tent plus groundcloth weighs less than tent with floor plus groundcloth.”
“I would be far more concerned about mosquitos getting into your tent that water getting into your tent. They don't call them the state bird for nothing. I am from Duluth and spent many summers in Ely :)”
Good points about LNT, but besides that important practice learning to live and let live has its own rewards.
Zpacks has and interesting design that is floorless but uses bug netting for the floor, so you sleep on the bug net. Little priceyer than what you mentioned. Interesting concept I thought.
“learning to live and let live has its own rewards.
well put. and i see that mantra as being incorporated into LNT philosophy, especially when it comes to nature's critters”
“I agree but this particular serpent had already been removed unharmed once. It came back and my buddy was freaking out after it was 2 inches from his face with only a layer of sil nylon in between. It was a judgement call at that point. Oh, and we cooked it and ate most of it. Tasted like fish jerky. we threw the other 3 snakes in the river....And didnt get up to pee till sunrise!”
“Sew a 4 inch netting skirt around the bottom of the tent including the doors...then you can pitch it with a vent all around and no fear of the mossies or creepy crawlies.”
“Supertroll, that's not a bad idea, but I've only ever hand-sewn before and dont own a machine so that'd be tough. 1Camper, that's WAYY to expensive for me. If I had a budget like that I'd look into TarpTents products or Golite. Creek Dancer, its nice to see local people on TrailTalk. I definitely worry more about bugs than water. I was just thinking about getting a cheap, light cot net and finding a way to string it over the walls a bit. I usually hike solo so I'll have plenty of space regardless. I ordered the velcro. It's fabric velcro that is heat activated to fuse with the fibers. So I'm going to try my original idea and see if it works, if all else fails and its more weight than I bargained for I'll just leave it behind and have some extra velcro on the walls. Nowslimmer, I have no idea what your talking about. Yes the boundary waters is for canoes, so I dont know what your "You're in the wrong country" subjects for. If your talking about the fact that its not hiking, there are LOTS of trails up there. Confusing. 147 Million Orphans, that was another idea I was thinking about too. Just a barely bigger than me ground cloth, but I'd have to make one for my pack too so it doesnt get wet. I appreciate having all of you with feedback and suggestions. Thank you.”
what happens when it starts to rain hard?Pick your site carefully. Pitch your tent or whatever on high ground like a dirt mound, so that the water can run downhill on all sides. Look for a dirt mound on which to set-up your camp.
If you have to set-up on the side of a hill, use dirt to build a dam above your site. It should be constructed to direct the water to the sides to bypass your site. And the dam should be large enough so that it will not wash away in a hard downpour.
And how do you defeat the bug problem?Chose your season. October through March is good for most areas.”
“Thank you. That's very helpful. Although the bug problem is still there. I camp in the summer too and I want to get to using these ideas soon and bugs will still be around. But to be honest, I'm not really worried about it. So thank you again. Any other ideas or suggestions you have would be nice. Appreciate it!”
“If you have to set-up on the side of a hill, use dirt to build a dam above your site.
No, do not do that. What did I just say about LNT, Nowslimmer? Leave sh&t like you found it.”
“Maybe look at this?
“crash bang - With a "good rain," no trace will remain!
Yes, I should have said, "Restore your site."”
“With a "good rain," no trace will remain!
So what? You shouldn't be encouraging people to alter their campsites. Period.”
Scroll about halfway down.”
“Yes, we understand. No need for you guys to argue about it. Leave No Trace entitle not building structures and restoring any moved objects. This isn't a huge deal. I mean, maybe if 100 people all dug little trenches or damns in the exact same spot it'd be different. But if your out in the remote wilderness and you dig a small trench around your tent, or a damn uphill. I couldn't see it harming anything. After a week it'll be virtually gone. And you wont have anyone out there ever again or not for a while. So I don't see why it'd matter all to much, but that's a total opinion. Maybe you see it different. And RoseyMonster, yes. I've definantly looked at the Shangri-La 1, my only problem is, if I had someone else with me, I wouldn't have room. I mean, I'm kind of contradicting myself from earlier. I didn't really specify I guess how many people.”
“if all your concerned about is getting wet, then why not just roll up in a tarp?
i did that once, not a drop of water, except i used a warmer sleeping bag than i ought to have, and sweat like crazy that night.”
“also i agree about the leave no trace, i mean, i pack out what i pack in, and if really mess something up (a firepit with a stone ring and scorch marks for example)i try to fix it, and leave it like i found it, but i would have no qualms about make a ditch/dam so my tent wont get flooded.”
“Good call Abc. Sweating would definitely be an issue though. But I remember when I went out one time and it started raining so I threw out a tarp. Water started getting in, so I took the tarp and rolled small wrist sized logs into the edges of it and I stayed dry. With the log rolled in, it was like a mini dam. I think if I did that, I'd be fine.”
“ No need for you guys to argue about it.
you're new here, aren't you?
“ After a week it'll be virtually gone.
if you insist on altering your campsite, at the very least return it to its previous state before you leave. i seriously doubt it will be gone any time soon, and the next person to use the campsite does not want to trip over your alterations. it is a big deal. don't start taking the attitude of "it's no big deal, i'm just one person" because that kind of attitude snowballs, and it is not fair that other people are respecting guidelines and regulations other people don't. i dont mean to be b8tchy, but you're young and i think it is important that you have the right attitude toward the wilderness.”
“crash bang -
About halfway down:
"Replace surface rocks or twigs that you cleared from the campsite."
Bull! I've already burnt the twigs in my Zip Stove to cook my meals.
Thanks for recognizing that I am still young with a week remaining before I am 80.
I believe this person id headed for an area used mostly by canoe folks. There are trails there, too, but not used much by hikers. However, your remarks are proper, accepted and noted.
Pleasant hiking to you.”
“crash bang -
About halfway down: "Replace surface rocks or twigs that you cleared from the campsite."
Bull! I've already burnt the twigs in my Zip Stove to cook my meals. This is just a crude example to illustrate that not everything written is completely correct and/or applicable.
Thanks for recognizing that I am still young with a week remaining before I am 80.
I believe this person is headed for an area used mostly by canoe folks. There are trails there, too, but not used much by hikers. However, your remarks are proper, accepted and noted.
Pleasant hiking to you.”
“I am fairly new here, yes. And Crash Bang, I understand the whole concept, and of coarse Id do my best to restore it. But if I take a downed log or two and place it uphill from my tent and pack a little mud under it to prevent water from coming through. I don't think that is going to make a huge deal to the land. Again, these are all opinions and I'm not trying start arguements. Im just explaining how I see it. But, we've strayed from the topic. Along the topic now, what I did was I set up a tarp shelter (8x10) and I had an old screen tent lying around that I cut to fit the opening and have velcro along the opening. Then I took another tarp, and cut it to the size of the opening and also added velcro. That way the whole opening can be opened or you can just have the screen there. And the screen has a zipper right down the middle. Its perfect.”
“Site selection is key. If you have to dig, pile, move, pack mud, etc.. you've chosen poorly. It is afterall "leave no trace", not leave some traces I think are appropriate.
Good job on the shelter. Very satisfying making your own stuff and saving money at the same time. Well done!
Also you learn what features are most important to you in the places you camp. Some places out west a bug net isn't a big deal, some places it is an absolute necessity.”
“you know that song from the jungle book with bear necessity? that popped into my head when i read that.”
“If you have to dig, pile, move, pack mud, etc.. you've chosen poorly. It is afterall "leave no trace", not leave some traces I think are appropriate.
winner winner chicken dinner”
“It can be very difficult to set-up camp during a hard rain and/or storm. Almost always, I carry a tarp in my backpack. I even have bongie cords attached to each corner, to help speed the set-up time. It even comes in handy to hang it across a trail, when a rain shower hits.
During a pouring rain, I love to observe people setting up camp from the shelter of my tent and/or tarp. And after the rain, it is great to watch people exit from their shelters, after they discovered the hard way that they had selected a slight depression for their site.
last edited: 6/29/12 5:31:09 AM”
“1camper, your right. And it is really satisfying making your own stuff. Makes other people jealous! =P Nowslimmer, I usually care a tarp on me, even when I have my tent with. It comes in handy for many reasons. What would you guys suggest is the best tarp shelter setup?”
“A one-man tent under a tarp.”
“if your gonna use a tarp
if not. just use a tent.”
“Check the weight on that cot that guy is using? ..almost 4lbs!
You should spend money on the tarp, imho. Get a nice cuben fiber tarp and save money somewhere else.”
“That cot is a little expensive and a little heavy, but I like the idea. I've seen people make those cots out of tarps, pvc, and tent poles. I like that guy in the videos setup though. He didn't quite seem like the backpacking type though to be honest. Glad he has a good system. I think I'll just stick with the setup I have now. It seems to work nicely.”
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