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


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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.