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PCT Bivy/Tarp
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Joshua Thomas
(jdthomas83) - F
PCT Bivy/Tarp on 03/31/2010 20:05:55 MDT Print View

Hello Everyone,
I will be Thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in 2011. I was hoping to get some advice on a Bivy/Tarp Combo that would be great for the seasons and if anyone would recommend any setup. So far I am looking at the MLD Superlight Bivy, along with the MLD Soul Bivy Side Zip. If I did buy the Superlight I was wondering the the halfmoon netting is enough or should I go with the full window hood netting for the Superlight. As far as the two I was not sure which is the better buy all around. Please feel free to send any other recommendations for Bivy's along with Tarps. The tarps i have been looking at are MLD and the SpinnTwinn tarp made by GG, please send some advice

Sean Nordeen
(Miner) - F

Locale: SoCAL
Re: PCT Bivy/Tarp on 03/31/2010 20:39:36 MDT Print View

I hiked the PCT in 2009 with a MLD Grace Solo Tarp in cuben fiber and the MLD Superlite bivy. My bivy was the half moon netting. For the majority of the trail, you probably would be happier with the fuller netting option as you can always use your rain jacket if you really need the head coverage.

I only used the tarp about 9 times for weather (rain and snow) and cowboy camped for the rest of the time. The bivy got used more then 70% of the time. As I normally stopped early for dinner before hiking on and only camp when I'm ready for bed, I didn't mind the bivy sack as protection against mosquitos when it was called for. Though normally they left after dark and I could sleep with the bivy opened in warmer weather.

If I was hiking the PCT again this year, I would use the same setup I used last year. I reviewed some of my gear after I finished the trail on my journal. They start with this entry: The following entry has the tarp and bivy reviewed.

Death Valley

Edited by Miner on 04/18/2010 17:53:39 MDT.

Ken Bennett
(ken_bennett) - F

Locale: southeastern usa
netting on 04/01/2010 13:02:40 MDT Print View

I've not hiked the PCT, however I generally want as much netting as possible over my head and chest in a bivy (for use under a tarp.) Much more ventilation, much less condensation. I also prefer a side or circumferential zipper for ease of access.

Scott S
(sschloss1) - F

Locale: New England
PCT Bivy/Tarp on 04/01/2010 13:09:35 MDT Print View

I hiked the PCT this year with a Superlite Bivy, also, and I really liked it. I slept in it literally every night on the trail (it was my ground cloth). I had the small netting, but that was plenty for me.

I had a solo-sized tarp on the trail, but if I had to do it over again, I'd get a SpinnTwin or something similar in size. It's really nice to be able to sit up under your tarp with it pitched low to the ground, especially if you're cooking or eating under the tarp. With my little tarp pitched low, the best I could do was lie on my side or hunch over.

Joshua Thomas
(jdthomas83) - F
MLD with Half moon or Full hood? on 04/02/2010 12:08:51 MDT Print View

I have decided to go with the Mountain Laurel Design Superlight bivy. I am only getting hung-up on the option for (The all net only hood). Several of you recommend going with the full Net hood instead of the half moon window the bivy comes with. MLD's website for the Superlight Bivy states: ---Optional all noseeum bug net head- recommended only for hot climates and season with night temps above 70 degree.---
I just wanted to see if you still recommend the hood over the half moon window for the PCT thru-hike and why that would be better than the half moon window. Thanks for your time guys.

Evan Chartier
Joshua on 04/04/2010 18:12:38 MDT Print View

Im on the PCT right now. Although it hasnt been long I too am using the bivy/tarp combo. I would get the smallest, lightest tarp you can find as you wont use it much at all, assuming you go with the herd. When you do, a minimal one should be enough. Just get really good setting it up (plenty of time for that on the trail).
For the bivy, I sleep in mine every night. Mostly I dont zip myself in at all so the netting feature would not matter. I would only use it if there were bugs, and then I would want the whole mesh face. You lose a little rain protection I guess, but you should not need to worry about that if you have the tarp.
So I would say full net hood. Probably wont use it much, but you will be happy when you have to.