Saturday, September 11, 2010

Well, That Didn't Work! Part II

<===We were extremely excited to see that the nylon sarcophagus was nearly 100% intact, even after all these hours!

Okay, here's the lowdown on my tent/bivy experience. I tried it the other night after the kids went to bed and everything had settled down. I said goodnight to Mrs. Guitar Ted and sauntered out into the back yard with my ThermoRest, down bag, and an LED torch lighting the way.

I was planning on using the empty stuff sack for my down bag and my Marmot PreCip jacket, all rolled up inside of it, as a pillow. I figured this would be the most likely scenario if I was on a "real" bikepacking trip.


<====After breaking the Eternal Seals, we were amazed at the interior of the sarcophagus. How could such a man of International Intrigue fit into such a tiny death bed? 

Anyway,  I "slid" into the tent, (and I mean slid!), zipped up, and settled in for the night. It didn't really seem all that bad at first. I had a decent flow of air over me, and I was coolish, which I took to be a good sign.

I did have a bit of trouble falling asleep though, drat that cup of late night coffee! I should know better! But, I did eventually nod off. It wasn't feeling all that great in terms of the pillow idea though. It was woefully undersized for where I like to place it and how high I like my head up. Still, I did actually fall completely asleep.

Then, at about 2:30am, I woke up with a start. I had the sensation of being under a cover and suffocating. I wasn't, but my heart was pounding and I was damp with sweat. The air in the tent was stifling and I needed to open the door up. I decided to prop the outer door up and allow the air to get in there as well. This felt much better, but by this time, I was fed up with the pillow deal, and I needed to relieve myself anyway. I bailed out at 3am and went into the house.

Okay, so I needed a better pillow and better ventilation. But here is the rub: It was 57 degrees out last night. 57! If it were summer, this tent would be waaay too hot. I can't imagine using it during a summer like we just had. High humidity, low winds, and high temps would be no good for this tent and I.

I will be trying it some more, but I am hoping for some colder weather as well. For warmer temps? I'm thinking a tarp tent. But what about bugs?

Got any recommendations folks?

17 comments:

Jay Dub said...

If you didn't want to just go with a straight up tarp, I would recommend a MSR Hubba. There are different varieties of that tent thought so don't let the first price you see throw you off. I don't necessarily get claustrophobic but I can sit up and carry on in it, and it's got a nice sized vestibule...

Ben said...

Tough to beat an Outdoor reasearch Bug Bivy and some sort of tarp tent. I'm pretty happy so far with my Golite Eden so far as well. It depends on how light versus how comfortable you want to be.

Doug Idaho said...

Yea, that tent looks way to small for you...think you need something you can sit up in.

I know I do....it is nice to be able to change clothes in a tent without being a contortionist. Eat the extra pound or so and get something bigger.

Cellarrat said...

I donno Mark i tend to go sans any tent lately.... although i dont have to deal with as many bugs as you do in the midwest... i've seen no see um netting sawn into a tarp and its just hangs to the ground

grannygear said...

I am going through the same dilemma.

http://www.gossamergear.com/cgi-bin/gossamergear/Bug-Canopy.html?id=wTHDq93c:76.169.177.30

http://www.tarptent.com/

http://www.rayjardine.com/ray-way/Tarp-Kit/index.htm

Just some options in the tent/tarp idea.

Doug Idaho said...

GrannyGear....those tarptents look great. Thx for the link.

Clivus said...

Bivy sacks are horrible. Check out the tents from Stevenson's Warmlite at warmlite.com. I have used them with great success. The entire tent is similar in weight to your bivy. If you get the side windows as an option you will never be warm.

Clivus said...

Check out warmlite.com. Stevenson's makes extremely light tents that are great for bikepacking. Bivy's are hot and tarps do not tolerate adverse weather well.

Evan Bacon said...

Eagles Nest camping hammocks are available through Quality, but they are out of stock. Seems like the best solution for bike camping. Got to find two trees though.

J Meiser said...

Waking up in a pool of your own sweat, yummy...Now do that day in, day out after big miles.

I've found a tarp+head bug net to work very well. If you need/want a ground cloth a piece of Tyvek does it. The tarp only needs to be deployed if you need/want spacial enclosure, or need shelter from wind/rain.

paxtoncoyote said...

Mark, for a pretty good looking summer type set-up I'd recommend checking out the late Dave Blumenthal's blog on his TD shelter set-up, looks like a good deal for summer time bug camping & a little something over the head. www.type2fun.wordpress.com Personally I think I'm holding out for something from Big Agnes in a lightweight 2 man tent as I'm big & need more space than a bivvy or 1 man tent.

Guitar Ted said...

Thanks all for all the great suggestions. I am still researching and will post my thoughts soon.

spruceboy said...

I second the tarptent suggestion - you should be able find a fully bug and weather proof single wall shelter with lots of room in the 2lb range that will be a lot more comfortable than that coffin thing you tried.

retroscool said...

Not sure if hammocks are in the realm of possibilities but I just picked one up and will hopefully be trying it out soon. I'll let you know what I think after.

http://hennessyhammock.com/

JT said...

http://hennessyhammock.com/

reverend dick said...

I'm also a proponent of skipping the tent entirely if you can. Just a tarp and a bag. When I do take a tent, I use a 3 season 2 man Big Agnes (at just over 2lbs)and it works well. Also, an integrated rain fly is key for keeping weight down.

retroscool said...

Finally tried out the hammock and I loved the thing. I didn't get any clausterphobic feelings in it and my back felt great in the morning. The downsides to using one would be that you would probably get cold in cooler weather if you didn't use a sleeping pad and warmer (bulkier) sleeping bag. Also the tarp that is supplied with it could be a bit bigger. I've used lots of tents and bivy sacks before and would choose the hammock over them for most situations (as long as you have somewhere to set it up).