Forum Index » General Lightweight Backpacking Discussion » Why do women prefer a tent?


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Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 14:43:13 MDT Print View

I have been reading a number of threads lately that somewhere in the thread the poster mentions that they bring a tent because their wife, GF, partner, other prefers or won’t go without a tent. This concept has been around for a long time.
I personally would rather sleep without a tent or tarp if I can and only use a tarp if conditions merit its use. I try and not camp by anyone else so privacy isn’t a real issue.
I need to understand this (am I missing something?)

Nate Meinzer
(Rezniem) - F

Locale: San Francisco
Bugs on 06/01/2009 14:44:52 MDT Print View

Bugs bugs bugs....

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: I hate bug also on 06/01/2009 14:49:42 MDT Print View

A bug bivy solves that problem?

Bugs didn't seem to be an issue on the last thread- I think it is a bigger issue then that.

Ali e
(barefootnavigator) - F

Locale: Outside
"Why do women prefer a tent?" on 06/01/2009 14:54:49 MDT Print View

Just my 2 cents which is all its worth. Lizzie prefers to cowboy camp and will take a tarp over a tent. When It gets buggy we move our site. Ali

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 15:00:13 MDT Print View

I don't think it's so much that 'women prefer a tent.' I bet it's more accurate to say that 'people who don't backpack much' prefer tents because camping=tents in most people's minds until they find BPL and are shown the light. It woudn't surprise me if most of the members of these forums started out tent camping and were semi-resistant to the idea of a tarp until the read up and saw the benefits.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 15:09:56 MDT Print View

Women?

Half the manly-men of this country won't step into the great outdoors unless they're in a locked down motorhome (complete with queen-sized bed, air conditioning, and of course, a generator + television).

Also throw in a good deal of weaponry and plenty of bright lights to fend off the dark.

Jared Cook
(rooinater) - F

Locale: Northwet
Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 15:12:22 MDT Print View

I'd been a tent camper for years and was only a tent camper for a little over a year when I picked up backpacking. I had slept in a bivy and a floorless tent a couple times in bootcamp years ago, but after I started reading on the lightweight gear I wanted to try a tarp and bivy combo for backpacking. I started out with the tent with Heather, and this year I moved her to my myog tarptent which I was sleeping in last year, by the end of the year I'll sew her a bivy and she'll more than likely be under a tarp with me. For me it was about breaking her into the idea slowly and still is. She would have told me no way in hell when we started dating years ago if the first backpacking trip was under a tarp. My goal is to slowly make her comfortable with less, and eventually we might be able to be side by side in bivies without the tarp on a nice stary night. I think it was mainly the openness and exposure that initially kept her back, and honestly it had me nervous the first time I was solo by myself sleeping under a more open shelter.

Edited by rooinater on 06/01/2009 15:16:00 MDT.

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
true story on 06/01/2009 15:27:53 MDT Print View

one night, arriving late at night and exhausted near the trailhead in King's Canyon, I threw down tarp, pad, and bag, climbed in and quickly fell asleep.

i was having a strange alien abduction/experimentation dream as i gradually woke up, the alien ear probe gradually resolving into a more waking state reality of something itchy in my ear. reaching to my ear, my hand was confronted with a large exoskeletonal creature completely filing the void where my ear canal should be. calmly, due entirely to my temporal proximity to near comatose sleep rather than a paricularly steely nervous system, i tapped the butt end of the ear borne stowaway - to may wakening surprise, the creature complied and crept out onto my cupped hand.

i tossed the trespasser to my right and prepared to return to my restful slumbering, then, slightly more alert and awake, i thought "wait a minute," grabbed my light and had to have a look at my intimate intruder. it was a big ass black beetle.

then i went back to sleep.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 15:40:38 MDT Print View

Tad,

I don't know that it is a fair statement that women prefer a tent. Especially if that person is fairly new to BPing.

Also, is seems that a majority of men on BPL prefer a tent too.

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 15:42:30 MDT Print View

I think James and Craig have got it. All during my growing up years, camping meant a tent. I've used a Contrail for several years, and this last weekend I tried my Gatewood that I've had a few months. I absolutely loved it! Not exactly a tarp, but I'm getting closer. Here's a picture of what I call the 2 grandmas.
Kathleen and Gatewood

cary bertoncini
(cbert) - F

Locale: N. California
if a woman wants a tent on 06/01/2009 15:43:37 MDT Print View

i'm happy to pitch a tent for her ...

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 16:05:46 MDT Print View

Hey Kathleen, I use a Gatewood Cape too. What are you going to use for bugproofing?

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 16:19:06 MDT Print View

I won't be using my bug tent. I just sold it! My plan is to use the Gatewood in the winter, because it's floorless, and I can dig down a foot for insulation. Plus, with snow there's no bugs to deal with. I'll use my Contrail during snowless, bug season because it's already all-in-one protection and so easy to set up.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 16:23:18 MDT Print View

My vote would be bugs. And I'm not fond of them myself.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 16:38:11 MDT Print View

For me, it'a all about the bugs, possums, rats, weka, kea and other cheeky creatures.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 16:43:54 MDT Print View

At the low end of tents, it's 1 pound (either Refuge-X or
"The One" or Tyvek Sublite (17 oz)). What's the big deal
discussing one's preference at this weight? Thare are
plenty of tarps whose weight approaches this amount.

I prefer a tent to keep not only bugs but marmots, squirrels, etc., away from my gear. I'm with Lynn on this issue.

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
tents. on 06/01/2009 16:44:15 MDT Print View

it's probably more just that the less experienced person that we are dragging out into the woods (friend, wife, cousin, husband, kid, co-worker) might just not be as "far along the evolutionary curve" (or insanity curve) as we are.

unless we were in the army, we probably all started camping in a tent. probably a big, heavy tent.

it took me a while to get comfortable sleeping in the woods with no tent! it's mostly a psychological boundary i think (besides keeping the crawlies out), but the tent still provides that boundary to folks. i still love sleeping in one when car camping (along with an inflatable mattress...)

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: tents. on 06/01/2009 17:03:25 MDT Print View

Face it: Tents are fun. We start playing in them from a very young age, and the enjoyment of playing in a tent hasn't worn off for me. I like BIG tents when car-camping, and I would prefer BIG tents when backpacking if I didn't have to carry the weight. I think it is more evolved to seek good shelter than less eveolved. Finding the right balance is the most evloved of all ;)

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 17:22:46 MDT Print View

Gee, this is an easy one.

My GF likes to stay clean, warm, dry, cosy and out of the wind. She doesn't want wet grass next to her sleeping bag, or wind coming in through the end of the tarp. It's very much a psychological thing. Yes, she could stay warm and dry under a tarp with a bivy but she *likes* having a larger refuge that is away from the wet and the wind and the bugs.

In short, a tent is much more like a warm cosy bedroom than a tarp is.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 17:25:02 MDT Print View

> I won't be using my bug tent. I just sold it!

I know. I just bought it! ;-)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 17:27:20 MDT Print View

I have been a backpacker for years, I get in a lot of bag nights per year. I am no newbie or casual hiker.

And I have NO issue saying I prefer tents. I will sleep in tarp tents, but it HAS to be sealed.

I like having cozy snug walls to get inside. I like having a clean spot that is all mine at the end of the day.

I want a floor, a door that shuts and walls. I like being able to sleep away from bugs, I like room to move. I don't like bugs. I don't want to cuddle with chipmunks.

You all may like cowboy camping, but yeah, no thanks. You can have a dirt floor all you want. I'll suffer carrying the extra couple ounces of nylon that make the bottom of my tent :-P As a bonus I am not packing a dirty piece of old Tyvek with me......or a dirt encrusted sleeping bag. And I am not sleeping with a bug net wrapped around my head either.

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 17:35:17 MDT Print View

> And I am not sleeping with a bug net wrapped around my head either.

Heh, neither will I be, I'm buying Kathleen's old one for my lady. :-)

Ray Dunham
(Raymond) - F

Locale: SE US
Wife's Answer on 06/01/2009 18:38:58 MDT Print View

It's a nesting thing / a home thing / and protection from bugs. She said she'll sleep outside, she'll sleep on the ground but it ain't walkin' her. :-)

Kathleen B
(rosierabbit) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 19:09:48 MDT Print View

"I'm buying Kathleen's old one for my lady."

Hah! Roger - I had originally bought that bug net to go with the Gatewood and possibly even a "real" tarp down the road. But I realized when using the Gatewood this last weekend in the snow that I was pretty sure I didn't want that much openness when critters are in season, even with a bug net around me. I'm glad it's going to a good home.

So I guess it does come down to bugs. But man is that Gatewood great when I'm the only mobile carbon-based life form. As an aside, I also used my neoair and golite ultra quilt for the first time. All got a thumbs up.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 19:13:38 MDT Print View

I'd say it is one of two factors (or both):


  1. Not comfortable being a dirtbag.

  2. Wanting the sense of enclosure and separation.


From my observation it isn't reliably a gender thing ... but the distribution definitely leans towards the female half.

Me, just call me a slow moving dirtbag.

Edited by jcolten on 06/01/2009 19:14:28 MDT.

Rick Cheehy
(kilgoretrout2317) - F

Locale: Virginia
Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 19:22:09 MDT Print View

Cuz,
bow wow chika chika bow wooow
wika chika!!!
Deep Voice "Oh yea you know what I mean"

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 20:25:10 MDT Print View

I like to be able to sweep my castle!

But seriously, it comes down to creepy crawlies and flying biting things. The biting is the BIG ISSUE, but stealing my food and making rustling or high pitched buzzing noises in my ear are a close second. Then there's the fiddle factor of carrying and deploying separate tarp, ground sheet and bug bivy or bivy bag (not that bivy bag is a serious option for me in bug country). Then there's doubling it all if, like me, you mostly hike with a partner. The weight for a decent Double Rainbow, when split between two people, is soooo worth it for the bug protection, rain canopy, double entries, bathtub floor and easy pitch that it's really not a choice for us to consider tarping. For solo trips, the Refuge-X likewise fits the bill with little weight penalty.

Jared Cook
(rooinater) - F

Locale: Northwet
Re: Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 21:38:27 MDT Print View

>Cuz,
>bow wow chika chika bow wooow
>wika chika!!!
>Deep Voice "Oh yea you know what I mean"


That's when you just put your sleeping mats toward the large open ends and partially block the view...

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 22:09:05 MDT Print View

>That's when you just put your sleeping mats toward the large open ends and partially block the view...<

I try and camp away from people so I can have the view regardless or maybe to enhance whats happening under the tarp or open sky.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 22:11:43 MDT Print View

I got thinking a bit after I posted my reply and realized something: until I was nearly of drinking age I didn't sleep in tents or even have a tarp over my head.

My first real backpacking trip was an awful (yet fun) experience. I went on a group trip of overgrown boy scouts (who had their copy of the manual with them.....from like 1982). We went for a week into the woods and they had us build a tiny city (oh the ravages of not being LNT) in 4th growth forest. I slept on a sleeping platform we built, sheltered on the sides and roof...by fern fronds I spent a day cutting with a dull pocketknife, that then we wove into the structure. I had a cotton bag and no sleeping pad. Froze every night, figured out if I slept between people dog piled I wouldn't be as cold. Somehow the idiots I was with didn't have us cut evergreen branches to sleep on! After all, that couldn't have been worse than the two shelters we built, the massive kitchen, walking platforms and latrine. Sigh! Dumb college kids :-(

After that and a couple more trips of sleeping in the open I got a tent. And never looked back. I don't go hiking to suffer pointlessly. If I can do it light, then by all means I will be more comfortable. I am fine with wearing the same clothes for 5 days. I can live without deodorant, without a hairbrush.

But for me....having a private space to myself is something that is priceless. And weightless!

Jim MacDiarmid
(jrmacd) - MLife
Open-ness on 06/01/2009 22:44:17 MDT Print View

I found the openness of the tarp the most appealing thing the first time I used it. I didn't know this until the first time I went camping in bear country, but apparently I'm afraid of the dark. Things that go bump in the night, to be specific.

The problem with a tent, for me, is that I hear something, wake up, yet lack the superman x-ray vision to see through the tent wall what's out there. It's probably nothing, but when I can't see it, my imagination goes into overdrive.

And it's not like a thin piece of silnylon makes me feel protected.

With the tarp, camping in Little Yosemite Valley, I woke up hearing something trodding through my campground. I was able to just glance up through the bug netting of my bivy and see that it was just a deer and go back to sleep. In a tent, I'd have been awake for the next 30 minutes listening really really hard any little sound, wondering what it was.

Brian UL
(MAYNARD76)

Locale: New England
Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 22:48:37 MDT Print View

Are we forgetting the wild card here?
Bivys with total bug protection like the ones from MLD and the Meteor bivy and the Serenity shelter.
I would not be able to get a lick of sleep in the mosquito infested summer without total bug protection. I have whats known as sweet blood- the mosquitoes and black flies cant bite me enough. It would be impossible to sleep without protection.
Thats why I have a Meteor bivy for use under my tarp.

I think its true that anyone starting out backpacking is going to get a tent, thats what people always used -a tent.
It will take time and experience before someone will even consider the more fringe alternatives.
Plus I wouldn't want to use a bivy if I was going to share a shelter. There are different prioritys when on an outing with a woman.

Joseph Reeves
(Umnak)

Locale: Southeast Alaska
Why mine prefers a tarp on 06/01/2009 23:22:03 MDT Print View

We spend a lot of time under tarps, kayaking and hiking. Eve prefers the tarp for its room and the view
Tarp Camp at Bare Loon Lake, Chilkoot Trail

Fred eric
(Fre49) - MLife

Locale: France, vallée de la Loire
mine prefer a floorless shelter on 06/01/2009 23:25:14 MDT Print View

Because when it rains you can get in asap, and out when needed with your shoes on and not dirtying the piece of polycro/silnylon you will sleep on

Ian White
(DeuceRegular) - F

Locale: Southern Jefferson
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 23:25:14 MDT Print View

Tents offer security (or a sense of it) for when the weather turns bad, or for when bugs get aggressive.

That being said, I have known many women who love to sleep on a tarp under the stars. On my first extended backpacking trip it was the ladies who convinced me to do likewise.

Nowadays, I only set up a tarp or a tent when the weather turns (or looks like it may soon), or when camping at high altitudes for warmth.

I also like to look and be able to see that it is just a deer moving around. And I don't like to go through the hassle of unzipping a tent when I do need to scare a brown bear from my camp. I am lazy when tired.

James Dubendorf
(dubendorf)

Locale: CO, UT, MA, ME, NH, VT
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/01/2009 23:43:06 MDT Print View

Seems the real question is, why might a *person* prefer a tent? Sometimes you have to question the question.

:-)

James

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Open-ness on 06/01/2009 23:45:57 MDT Print View

One of the things that made me hesitate about shifting to a tarp (from a tent) was the 'dirty' factor, eg getting my bag or stuff muddy/dirty.

But it really isn't a problem, a bivy bag keeps everything that matters clean. Arguably cleaner, since I don't have muddy stuff like pads, packs clothes in there, like I might with a tent.

Not feeling shut out from the world is fantastic, a good tent like the DR (I have one) totally unzipped gets close to the feeling, but a single drop of rain and you have to close it up (which involves pegging out the sides). Whereas under my Patrol (a tarp with a closed foot) I can just lie there and watch it rain.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/02/2009 00:00:14 MDT Print View

Hi Sarah

Funny - that's sound exactly like Sue.
As OP said - a 'nest' or a 'cave', or 'home'.

Cheers

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
Why do I prefer a tent? on 06/02/2009 00:37:44 MDT Print View

NOT because I am female!

It's because to have a bug-free space for both my dog and me, using a tarp plus ground sheet plus bug net big enough for both of us adds up to the same weight as a single-wall tarptent-style shelter. Plus the dog thinks the tent is the same as his crate, so there are no issues with his getting restless or wanting to wander during the night. It's also far easier to pitch a tent (at least the ones I use) than to fuss with the separate components: the tarp, the ground sheet, the bug net, the bivy....

Some areas have lots and lots of ants, and it's great to have something that keeps them out, which a tarp definitely doesn't.

Richard Matthews
(food) - F

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Hammocks on 06/02/2009 08:22:12 MDT Print View

Tad,

I think modern women prefer hammocks, but then so do men.

Jarod Fleming
(flemdawg1) - F

Locale: SE US
Re on 06/02/2009 13:48:35 MDT Print View

yep bugs. Unfort here in Alabama, if you don't have some netting could wake up like this.

Edited by rcaffin on 06/02/2009 16:39:01 MDT.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/02/2009 14:43:24 MDT Print View

Wow!

I'm flabbergasted when this question comes up. More blown away when people say that it's really only inexperienced hikers who prefer tents. Or comments that tents only give the psychological sense of increased protection. Get real!

I've been backpacking and traveling the backcountry for well over 20 years. I've slept in "survival" style brush shelters, snow caves, under tarps, and in tents. Last weekend I paddled 240 miles in two days (which I mention because I'm guessing most newbies couldn't or wouldn't). I have a book forthcoming on backpacking equipment. And I will really only sleep in a tent.

Do I have some kind of massive insecurity? Am I an idiot who carries a couple pounds "too much?" No. Of course not.

The joke around the areas I frequent is that mosquitos should be the state bird (incidentally, doesn't matter which state I'm in). Sometimes people get bored and switch it up, saying the black flies should be the state bird. Bugs are thick and they drive me batty. Sure, I could use a bug net under a tarp... but then, why not just use a tent? I could also use a headnet or a bug bivy... if I didn't mind locking myself into my sleeping bag or bivy any time I wanted to escape the bugs. It would make eating, playing cards, or otherwise doing anything other than hiking or sleeping more of a pain.

I think it's absurd to argue that a tarp gives better, or even equal, storm protection as a tent. A double-skin tent will be warmer and drier than a tarp, period. If you do most of your traveling in dry (or drier) areas, this probably won't matter to you. If you hike as I do in areas where 4 or 5 days of rain isn't unheard of, you come to appreciate the genuine shelter of a tent. For those who say a tarp is easier to set up, I say baloney. I can set up a tarp or a tent in about the same amount of time and with about the same amount of hassle. Although, frankly, the tent takes a little less hassle in tensioning guylines.

So if you love being bitten by bugs and hate having pret' near bomber storm protection, use only a tarp in my neck of the woods. If you go out to have fun, though, and are secure enough in your "status" as an outdoorsperson, you'll probably find that your experience in a tent isn't nearly as miserable. Again, your take on this probably differs depending on climate and such.

My cents.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Hammocks on 06/02/2009 14:49:07 MDT Print View

"I think modern women prefer hammocks, but then so do men."

Ugggh. Me No Modern?? Me Get Motion Sick In Modern Hammock. Me Not Always Have Trees Either.

This un-evolved women prefers Refuge-X for solo use, and Double Rainbow for two people plus dog.

If you ignore the gender aspects of the question, then it is an entirely different question. There have bee many MANY posts at BPL of guys asking what kind of shelter they should get for their women coz the women won't go without a fully enclosde tent. I haven't yet seen the opposite question, ie what tent should I get for my man coz he won't go without one. So I think it's a legitimate gender query even though SOME men prefer tents and SOME women prefer no tent.

Obviously the answer is as varied as the women who are answering it. There is no single reason. I suspect that one big reason is that women are less likely than men to go solo. For a couple, a tarptent can be just as light as a double tarp/groundsheet/bivy bag/insect net combo, and more conducive to intimacy. For a solo hiker a tarp or bivy bag may be fine.

The point about the dog is also a good one I hadn't really thought about before. Without a tent, we would have to tie our dog up, and he would be restles and probably keep us awake. Inside a tent, he is very happy and secure. Again, nothing to do with gender per se, but a lot to do with the more social nature of many women's outdoor pursuits.

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/02/2009 14:55:12 MDT Print View

Hi Brad, I don't think people are quite that judgmental about tent users :)

For the record, I camp in a lot of rain and clouds of sandflies, and still prefer my 'tarp'-like shelter over my tent. That's all it is, a preference.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/02/2009 16:43:51 MDT Print View

Hi Adrian,

Yeah, I was probably on a borderline rant there. Sorry. It does seem to be the inference here, though. What really gets me is the plethora of pics of wet, cold, miserable looking people under their tarps "building character." I've got plenty of character! I just wanna have fun.

I will say that I also psychologically prefer a tent to a tarp... as do my dogs. It's our little den, cave, hut, home away from home. Or, to build on what Lynn said, it's our portable fort. Guess I'm a kid at heart, too.

In a sense, I think the tent vs. tarp debate is much like the quilt vs. bag debate: there are people who strongly prefer one over the other, not always for rational reasons, and sometimes for rational reasons that apply to a limited circumstance. As we say so often, HYOH...

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/02/2009 16:44:45 MDT Print View

I like a tent because I am a wimp.
My wife likes a tent because she does.

AWTO1S.jpg

Autumn trip (very long), snow not expected, bail-out not possible.

Cheers

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/02/2009 16:51:04 MDT Print View

Ooo pictures... !

Here's a tent:

Double Rainbow on the Kepler

Here's a sort of tarp:

MLD Patrol in the Ahuriri

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/02/2009 18:24:05 MDT Print View

I'm remembering some of my earlier 'cowboy' camping trips as a teenager with my mates in Yosemite. The weather was fine but cool one night, no bugs around, ideal weather for sleeping out. Come morning, one of the girls in our group awoke to a snake in the foot of her bag. Turned out it was just a harmless rosy boa, but it was a life-changing experience for me. It COULD have been a rattler. I like tents a lot. It may be irrational, it may even be a primitive instinct that goes back to our cave-dwelling days. Controlling my sleep environment to keep me safe, warm and unbitten is not something I feel a need to justify. It just feels right, and if anything has a lot more to do with plenty of experience being in uncomfortable or in dangerous situations where I wished I'd had a tent. Nothing at all to do with being a newbie. Quite the opposite...It's the reason why I will carry a tent even though I'm going to where a perfectly good hut is located. I can't keep insects, rats or other snoring, coughing, drinking, smoking late night hikers out of the hut!!

As for being a woman, it is well documented that the 'average' woman is less risk-taking and more harm-avoidant than the 'average' male. Nuff said.

Edited by retropump on 06/02/2009 18:40:42 MDT.

Zack Karas
(iwillchopyou@hotmail.com) - MLife

Locale: Lake Tahoe
aging on 06/02/2009 18:31:26 MDT Print View

"As for being a woman, it is well documented that the 'average' woman is less risk-taking and more harm-avoidant than the 'average' male. Nuff said."

This might help explain why women live longer.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: aging on 06/02/2009 19:23:21 MDT Print View

"This might help explain why women live longer."

Yup, and when was the last time you saw a woman in the running for the Darwin Award?

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Re: Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/02/2009 19:42:13 MDT Print View

>I'm remembering some of my earlier 'cowboy' camping trips as a teenager with my mates in Yosemite
...
>As for being a woman, it is well documented that the 'average' woman is less risk-taking and more harm-avoidant than the 'average' male. Nuff said.

I think you're right, but I'm not sure it's strictly connected with a tent is it ?

A snake would have happily crept in through a tent left open on a fine evening, or it would have been stymied by a zipped up sleeping bag or bivy under a tarp.

Similarly being a harm seeking male ;) I could camp out somewhere exposed at 2000m in my Double Rainbow, but my Patrol would take higher wind when tight to the ground. And a floorless pyramid shelter like the MLD Duomid would be better than both.

So (just like people) differences between individuals are more important than whether it's a tarp/floorless/tent/boy/girl.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Happy on 06/02/2009 20:14:08 MDT Print View

Photobucket

Snug in my little tent looking out at what the winds brought all night. It was early October.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Tents...or not on 06/02/2009 20:31:00 MDT Print View

All I know is that when I'm in unknown territory, I sleep far better in a tent than not. Like the Kakadus, Roger?

My lessoned learned happened back in '86, when I hired a guide to hike me deep into Malaysia's Taman Negara N.P., the most wild of jungle experiences I've had. One morning, after it had, and still was, raining hard (1.5" per hour), we were lying prone and looking out the screened A-frame tent door. We kept hoping the downpour would go away sometime soon so we could start our day. Then we saw it. A 10' python slid toward us out of nowwhere, and it stuck it's nose into the void where we didn't quite have the T-zip door closed. Jalil popped it in the nose and it sort of backed off, enough so we could zip the door closed. That dragon-without-legs could easily have come in while we were sleeping, and I have never been comfortable thinking about that possibility since.

But there's nothing better than sleeping just atop a ground sheet at 11,000' on CO's Continental Divide during a cloud-free Perseid shooter show in August, where/when there are no bugs or critters to mess things up.

Tents or no tents? It depends, doesn't it? Tarps are good, and tents are as well. So is sleeping under the stars, when you can afford it.

Disclaimer: I own 15 tents, and each has it's own purpose. I enjoy them as I do unique hotel rooms, playing with the different amenities--like attics, loops to hang a Photon, door arrangements, views, and interior space for waiting out a storm, etc. Some light, some moderate, a couple that could be called "Hemmingway" tents, which would work for a year based in Africa while one writes his book (Base Camp 6).

I say, whatever is light and serves the purpose is where it's at. Unless you're horse camping or have a couple porters to carry your stuff.

Just watch out for the frightened and territorial baboons that toss coconuts down at you, and of course, the pythons. And I guess also the 14-year olds with hunting rifles.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/02/2009 20:31:47 MDT Print View

"I think you're right, but I'm not sure it's strictly connected with a tent is it ?

"A snake would have happily crept in through a tent left open on a fine evening"

Which I never do. I now always at least have some mesh between me and the creepy crawlies (and more importantly live where there are no snakes).

"or it would have been stymied by a zipped up sleeping bag"

My friend's bag was zipped up, just not cinched tight around the neck as the night was not that cold.

"or bivy under a tarp."

Again, this would require complete mummification to keep critters at bay, which is not nice when the weather is fine.

It certainly does come down to personal preference, but it also happens that women more often personally prefer a complete enclosure than men. It's not a sexist comment, just a recognition of one of the many dichotomies bewteen the sexes (in the general sense, not the individual sense where some women really prefer open camping and tarps). To deny general inherent gender differences in personal preferences is going overboard in the direction of political correctness IMHO. Obviously, all women prefer chocolate ice cream to any other flavour ;)

For me, a tent gives me all the options I want in a shelter. I can zip it up tight to keep out weather and crawlies without restricting myself to a fully cinched up sleeping bag or bivy bag, I can keep the dog happy, I can open it up if I'm not worried about insects or other vermin, or in the case of the Double Rainbow I can sleep under one of the rain porches if I want a true 'tarp' feel. I can share it with a loved one in a double quilt without bivy bags or headnets getting in the way.

It's all about Nidification!

Rog Tallbloke
(tallbloke) - F

Locale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/03/2009 01:07:07 MDT Print View

Tarp or tent?

Or just a happy camper.

gatewood a deux

rob wil
(AUradar) - F

Locale: FL Panhandle (aka LA)
tent on 06/03/2009 09:16:57 MDT Print View

Right now I perfer a tent for several reasons,

1) bugs, bugs, bugs, ants, ants, ants, snakes, snakes, snakes, etc

2) sense of protection, even if its a false sense of security. This is mainly for my boy who's 7.

3) I don't understand how a floorless tarp keeps you out of the water running on the ground

But one thing that hasn't been mentioned here is dew. Around my neck of hte woods, you wake up in the morning and everything is soaked. And if you aren't in an enclosed tent, you are soaked to. With the tent, you are just moisted.

When I did basic at Fort Sill, OK, this wasn't the case. You could be out at night and in the morning everything was dry. Same as when I was in Texas.

Do ya'll tentless guys tent in very humid, dew pronged areas?

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: tent on 06/03/2009 13:42:05 MDT Print View

>1) bugs, bugs, bugs

I cover up with clothing (which I do anyway in a tent to keep my sleeping bag clean) and use a bug headnet.

> 3) I don't understand how a floorless tarp keeps you out of the water running on the ground

Bivy with waterproof bottom acts like the bottom of a tent. My Soul bivy has bathtub-like sides when you peg it out or clip it to your tarp pegs.

> Do ya'll tentless guys tent in very humid, dew pronged areas?

Under the tarp I'm ok, and inside a bivy it's not an issue that I've found. I wouldn't sleep out in the open (even in a bivy bag) for this reason.

rob wil
(AUradar) - F

Locale: FL Panhandle (aka LA)
Re: Re: tent on 06/03/2009 14:02:50 MDT Print View

>>Bivy with waterproof bottom acts like the bottom of a tent. My Soul bivy has bathtub-like sides when you peg it out or clip it to your tarp pegs.

A bivy is "tent sleeping bag" correct? What do you do when its to hot to sleep in a bag?

Adrian B
(adrianb) - MLife

Locale: Auckland, New Zealand
Re: Re: Re: tent on 06/03/2009 14:11:45 MDT Print View

A bivy bag is a protective bag for a sleeping bag, see http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=22&products_id=37&osCsid=9ed8db06621297981e9abae67b5cddda. It has no insulation, so if you got out of your sleeping bag inside it you'd be unlikely to overheat (think sleeping under a windshirt).

I only zip mine up in very windy cold/wet weather, so when it's hot I wouldn't really be in the bivy or the sleeping bag, at least not above my waist.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: tent on 06/03/2009 15:21:55 MDT Print View

I usually hike in areas with little precipitation. Also, few bugs most of the time. When there are bugs, they don't bother me much, especially with a little DEET. Been sleeping in the deserts and mountains for decades and never had a snake bother me in my bed.

Tarps mostly for rain. Sometimes a single wall tent for rain, with no bathtub. Have camped in light snow with tarps and single wall tents. No problem. In real snow, then it is a double wall tent. But I generally avoid a lot of snow.

It works for me. If it doesn't work for someone else, then whatever they choose is fine with me, and none of my business. There is no right or wrong.

If no rain or snow, then I always sleep in just a bag or quilt. I don't like sleeping in a tent or tarp unless it is necessary. I like to lay on my back and watch the sky until I fall asleep. But then I own a couple telescopes, so maybe I am more interested in the night sky than most.

Bed with a view. Yes that is a heavy pack, but I needed to carry 2 gallons of water.

Bed with a view

Overnight temps in the 20F's. Nothing better than watching the sun slide down the red rocks and the interesting shadow formations. When the sun finally cupped my bag and started to warm me up, I got up. I thoroughly enjoy watching the sunrise and slits of light inching towards me. I position my sites to take advantage of this. It is one of my favorite camping pastimes. I can't participate in this morning glory inside a tent.

472

This shelter allows me to capture and observe the awaking of the sun from the comfort of my bed. I also would have been hard pressed to find a spot where a tent footprint would have fit will all the cactus and rocks. Few areas with enough sand to set up a tent. You will notice the sides of the tarp overhang the plants. Desert plants are fragile, so we need to let them be.

609

Last resort :)

478

. .
(biointegra) - MLife

Locale: Puget Sound
Re: Re: tent on 06/03/2009 23:49:55 MDT Print View

Holy smokes, i think i'm fragile compared to some of those desert plants...at least I know who'd win in a wrestling match. (Nice pics by the way.)

I use different shelters for different expected conditions. I'm yet to meet someone who will use anything less than a proven mountaineering tent when trekking to the poles or high altitude mountaineering. My wife likes tents, but also floorless shelters, depending on where we camp and in what conditions. She likes to be comfortable and I enjoy making sure that she is...for as little weight penalty as possible.

rob wil
(AUradar) - F

Locale: FL Panhandle (aka LA)
Re: Re: Re: Re: tent on 06/04/2009 05:48:07 MDT Print View

>> It has no insulation, so if you got out of your sleeping bag inside it you'd be unlikely to overheat (think sleeping under a windshirt).

>>I only zip mine up in very windy cold/wet weather, so when it's hot I wouldn't really be in the bivy or the sleeping bag, at least not above my waist.

I may have to look into this some more. I'm still not convienced I would have luck here without an enclosed tent, however, maybe I can do some backyard experimentation on some weekends.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/05/2009 23:58:24 MDT Print View

I think Geoffery Chaucer said it most succinctly in the Wife's Tale of the Canterbury Tales: sovereignty.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/07/2009 14:26:15 MDT Print View

Aw, come on guys. You all are talking about why a tarp/bivy or whatever is just fine as far as you're concerned. That has nothing to do with the question, and if you are planning on taking you wife/girlfriend/daughter or whatever along, you really need to bury that machismo stuff and cater for your lady's needs. Three is no way to have a romantic snuggle when the bugs are biting and you're both in bivy bags with a headnet on. Hard for your gal to enjoy eating her dinner through a headnet too. Get real, and get a real tent for those trips (beg/borrow/steal/buy). And face up to the likelyhood you will also be the one carrying the extra weight.

OTOH, if you're going out with one of your male friends for some tough bonding, then feel free to use whatever your little heart desires.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/07/2009 18:38:29 MDT Print View

Lynn,

You nailed it!!

:)

Rick Cheehy
(kilgoretrout2317) - F

Locale: Virginia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Why do women prefer a tent? on 06/08/2009 15:06:45 MDT Print View

Lynn for president.