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Just bought a Tarp... do I need a bug bivy?
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Anthony Alpert
(goby99) - F

Locale: Trinity Alps
Just bought a Tarp... do I need a bug bivy? on 06/13/2010 12:16:30 MDT Print View

I just bought my first tarp for a backpacking trip with my 8 year old son to the Trinity Alps. I got a Integral Designs Silshelter 2 off eBay for $67.00.

I've been to the Trinity Alps a zillion times and have never had any bug problems, but I've always had a tent.

Do I need bug bivy, or some other type of protection from bugs?


Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Re: Just bought a Tarp... do I need a bug bivy? on 06/13/2010 12:44:38 MDT Print View

All depends on the bug conditions Anthony. Here in Washington, I use bug protection from May to September or so. What you'll need totally depends on your situation. If you say bugs have never been an issue before, I'd guess you already answered this question. That said, a couple of ultralight bug headnets weigh next to nothing and can be a big help if you are surprised. Long pants, windshirts, and a little DEET would probably round it out just fine.

Have a great time! I can't wait to get out backpacking with my family! My son Henry is 4 and has been on 8 backpacking trips and my 11 month old daughter Lily has one. Can't wait for a bunch more this summer!


Anthony Alpert
(goby99) - F

Locale: Trinity Alps
Thanks! on 06/13/2010 12:49:36 MDT Print View

Thanks Doug! Backpacking with kids is a challenge, but so much fun! My little guy went on his first backpacking trip when he was about 1. It was a lake called 'Hidden Lake.' It takes 2 hours to drive there, and it's just a 15 minute hike, so NO ONE goes there! I think I carried him at least 90% of way.

I think I'll look into the head gear. Thanks again.


Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Just bought a Tarp... do I need a bug bivy? on 06/13/2010 19:10:14 MDT Print View

I hiked through the Trinity Alps/Marble Mountain portion of the PCT around July 4 last year and was glad to have a tent. The mosquitoes were not bad at all most of the time, but in a few places they were quite numerous around dusk, so I was glad to have protection in order to sleep well.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Re: Just bought a Tarp... do I need a bug bivy? on 06/24/2010 07:39:34 MDT Print View

You could look into a bug tent or bivy. I find headnets creep me out when sleeping, as do bivys with small net areas.

I have slept comfortably in the SMD Serenity, SMD Meteor and various inexpensive hanging nets.
The hanging nets are fine and keep 99% of the flying insects out. I have tried attaching the cheap hanging net to a ground sheet via self-stick velcro tabs with OK results.

Check out for reasonably priced ultralight options.