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Sean Walashek
(caraz) - F

Locale: bay area
Does a tarp work in Marin? on 06/05/2008 19:19:26 MDT Print View

Hello everybody :) I spend about 3 nights a week outside around Marin county, CA. I live in Fairfax and the majority of my time is spent to the open west (for those of you familiar with the area). Nowdays I just sleep out with my bag and pad. However I just got back from a little 20 mile overnight and feel that in the intrest of self preservation have to make some changes to my shelter situation. Projected forcast was clear lows in the 50's but after about 1000' of gain I was facing driving rain and 40+ mph winds. Luckily I dropped down to Kent lake and ecaped the madness. I love the idea of a tarp but don't know if its practical for where I am. In most all photos the tarp is very elegantly pitched on level ground with ample space between trees. In the years I have been hiking these hills these type of sites are few and far between, designated to campsites if anywhere. What alternatives do I have?

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: Does a tarp work in Marin? on 06/06/2008 16:21:34 MDT Print View

How much weight are you willing to carry?

I haven't been to Marin County, but it appears that you have some trees. Could you use a hammock?

What about a tarptent - they don't require trees.

If you want something for only occasional use in bad weather, how about a fully stormproof bivy?

Nat Lim
(LithiumMetalman) - F

Locale: Cesspool Central!
Will work on 06/06/2008 20:43:53 MDT Print View

Hey Sean

Take it you're near Tamarancho area / Golden Gate National Recreation Area? Totally understand about the lack of "flat clear ground" out there.

A tarp will work perfectly fine, all one really needs is enough space to fit a body, it doesn't matter as much like a tent where "flat ground" is imperative for a good pitch! (As long as drainage is good and there is no pooling!)

That's the beauty about tarps is the flexibility to place them just about anywhere one's imagination will allow one to do so.

The other option is using a bivy (which is great when stealth camping in the tall golden grass while keeping out the bugs, in this case ticks!)

Or combine the two together for more options and coverage!

Can also use trekking poles to set-up a tarp! Can also use MLD's carbon fiber tent poles, if not using trekking poles to do the same job!

For out on those windy hills, pitch that tarp low!!!

Hope this helps!

Edited by LithiumMetalman on 06/06/2008 20:48:20 MDT.