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Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Using a tarp on wet ground on 05/18/2008 07:51:29 MDT Print View

I've over 30 years hiking experience but have always slept in a tent. Apart from a few nights a year when i have used a 'bomber', but heavy bivvy-bag with netting. A lot of my hiking is on wet, sometimes water-logged ground, and a dry pitch is sometimes impossible. Even a dry pitch can become flooded during the night. The security of a bathtub floor in a tent was welcome.

Last year i started using a tarp for the first time. I use a 10 x 10 tarp with plenty coverage, so rain isn't a problem. The usually wet ground is the problem. I slept in a Rab Quantum 250 bag backed up by clothing. I also started useing an ID e-Vent bag cover. The ID bivvy-bag took care of the wet ground problem.
Well it's now bug season so i'm trying to think of the lightest way to go. I'm expecting an Arc Specialist so that will replace the Rab bag. I have a MLD Bug Bivvy for protection from the midgies. I think i can create a bath-tub effect with the suspended bug-bivvy, so do i leave the ID bivvy-bag at home? It's my first time using a quilt so a bivvy-bag might be welcome for stopping draughts, as well as 'bomber' protection from sodden ground. Any suggestions welcome. Do i just have to accept that i can't go as light as a desert hiker and will always have to carry a fully waterproof bivvy-bag, just in case?
Thanks, Mike.

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Using a tarp on wet ground and a bivy bag on 05/19/2008 10:51:07 MDT Print View

Mike
I am struggling with the same issue, having moved to a much wetter buggy clime. I also have the MLD bug bivy and a number of other bivys. My plan is to use a tarp, an MLD bug bivy and carry a BPL (USA) Vapr Bivy (similar to the MLD Soul Bivy), which are breathable and water resistant.

I think that this will work and will also be lightweight at about 680 gm. However, my quilt has an Epic Shell and therefore I maybe able to not carry the bivy in which case the weight is about 400 gm.

As they say YMMV especially in Scotland.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Using a tarp on wet ground on 05/19/2008 11:41:08 MDT Print View

Hey Roger, my quilt has an Epic shell too! As i'm not worried about rain, but ground water, i may try to rig some guylines at the corner tabs on the MLD bug-bivvy. Maybe also add 2 on the sides. These could hold the floor sides clear of the ground in saturated conditions.
I've thought of ordering the Titanium Goat bivvy, as the waterproof sides seem to go high up, looking at the website pics anyway.
I could save myself a lot of hassle by using my Contrail, but i've grown to like the sense of 'being there' under a tarp:)

Roger B
(rogerb) - MLife

Locale: Here and there
Re: Using a tarp on wet ground on 05/19/2008 12:13:42 MDT Print View

Yep I agree, tarps are better and much more fun. Have you looked at the Gossamer Gear site, on that there is instructions for a bath tub floor for a Spinn shelter, which may provide a starting point for a bath tub bivy. The instructions are here

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Using a tarp on wet ground on 05/19/2008 12:37:57 MDT Print View

Yeah, i've seen that. I've also thought about the Golite Shangri-La 1 floor. Similar idea, Only $35 but weighs 10oz. That would be fine for bug free conditions as the weight would be cancelled by leaving the bug-bivvy behind. I could leave the bivvy-bag behind too as my tarp is big enough to be safe from side splash.
I would still need bug protection at this time of year. Oh the variables! :)

Martin Rye
(rye1966) - F

Locale: UK
Re: Using a tarp on wet ground on 05/19/2008 14:42:06 MDT Print View

Mike didn’t this one get argued not long back that tarps in Scotland have challenges to contend with and the Scottish midge are one of them. On waterlogged ground Chris Townsend said he thought it was an issue. Anyway Colin Ibbotson is doing the Challenge with a tarp right now and Andy Howells site has been featuring his kit and it’s worth a look and may give you some ideas.

I remember Eddy Meechan was looking to use a light bug shelter with his tarp, though I see this as creating a type of tent and defeats in my view the flexibility of a tarp. I’ll be interested to see how you get on and keep us posted on any good ideas.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Using a tarp on wet ground on 05/19/2008 15:05:09 MDT Print View

Hi Martin. I was trying to make this thread different from the tarps in Scotland thread. I'm looking more specifically at standing water strategies, and possibly MYOG solutions for a lighter set-up. Plenty of US tarpers hike in wet areas and have done so for years. I think tarping in Scotland is fine but the average weight of a Scottish set-up will probably always be heavier than someone from a drier climate. I feel very secure with my tarp, ID overbag and MLD bug-bivvy set-up in wet, midgie infested conditions. When the midgies are gone, i don't need the bug-bivvy. I don't need convinced that tarps work in Scotland. They do for me. I'm trying to find the lightest set-up i'm comfortable with. Saying that, i haven't used one for more than a weekend yet. :)

Martin Rye
(rye1966) - F

Locale: UK
Re: Using a tarp on wet ground on 05/19/2008 15:19:33 MDT Print View

Mike don’t worry I’m not looking for a debate. I did point you in the direction of those that do tarp up in the highlands and would like to see your solutions to your enquiry. Follow Ibbotson’s progress as a two week walk in Scotland should give you some info to think about.

Diplomatic Mike
(MikefaeDundee)

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Using a tarp on wet ground on 05/19/2008 15:34:07 MDT Print View

No probs Martin. I had noticed they were doing the TGO. The more people that use tarps here, more solutions to our climate/terrains problems should appear.

Martin Rye
(rye1966) - F

Locale: UK
Re: Using a tarp on wet ground on 05/19/2008 15:39:51 MDT Print View

Mike that is the truth, as tarp use is more new to many over hear and I for one have had my doubts but wait and watch to see how it could work, not to see it fail. Get out in those hills and lets us see how you make it work.