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Floorless Shelter Options for Restricted Camping Areas (Example: White Mountains of NH)
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John Brochu
(JohnnyBgood4) - F

Locale: New Hampshire
Floorless Shelter Options for Restricted Camping Areas (Example: White Mountains of NH) on 06/01/2009 12:33:46 MDT Print View

Last year I did a bunch of backpacking in the Whites and on the AT in Maine and primarily used a Gatewood Cape for shelter. However, often when it rained I used tent platforms or stayed in the available shelters rather than camp on the ground.

This year I want to get away into more areas where shelters and tent platforms are not an option, but would like to continue to use floorless shelters. (Sometimes the G Cape and sometimes a small tarp.)

My concern is that often camping is either officially restricted to designated sites, or unnofficially restricted to limited site availability due to the terrain. These sites suffer from heavy use and often end up forming shallow depressions and I'm afraid will become like swimming pools in a heavy rainstorm. I'm not 100% confident that my bivy sack, even if combined with a groundsheet, will keep me dry when forced to camp in these heavily impacted sites in a storm.

So I'm wondering, if you hike in an area like the Whites and use a floorless shelter, what do you do to ensure staying dry in the rain?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Floorless Shelter Options for Restricted Camping Areas (Example: White Mountains of NH) on 06/01/2009 14:30:05 MDT Print View

I'd consider taking a piece of 2-3 mil plastic dropcloth (visqueen).

john flanagan
(jackfl) - F

Locale: New England
Floorless Shelter Options for Restricted Camping Areas on 06/01/2009 15:29:55 MDT Print View

Consider using a hammock. An experience in the whites in which I walked for a couple of 'extra' miles at the end of a long day looking for a flat spot is precisely what started me down that path. I can't say that I LOVE hammocks - they have their own set of issues (what doesn't?) but ya don't need that flat spot!

jim bailey
(florigen) - F - M

Locale: South East
Floorless shelter options in the Whites on 06/02/2009 18:36:32 MDT Print View

Would agree with Jack about hammock use for many of the popular sites like Liberty Springs & Guyout. Hammock would easily guarantee you a spot even when sites are filled . AMC employee's do a great job at finding people sites and rarely turn people away, also helps knowing where the overflow area's are when you arrive in camp.

Have used a floorless set up/tarp over the past few years in the Whites with no problems whatsoever when combined with a bivy. You should be fine, just get creative with the pitch of your cape in tight spaces.

Feel free to PM me on this and can give you info about certain area's to camp close too popular sites

Jim

Michael Davis
(mad777) - F

Locale: South Florida
Re: Floorless shelter options in the Whites on 06/02/2009 21:25:09 MDT Print View

A hammock definitely has the advantage in the Whites. Not only do I have trouble finding a dry, flat, clear spot to pitch a shelter, I also DON'T want to be around AMC facilities. Both problems solved with a hammock!

AND, a hammock is floorless if you really think about it :-)