"I pack in the NE. Tarp will take me another year or 2. City boy and like the protection. I know the mm of nylon will stop a bear or such, but can't see it; it ain't there. Stupid philosophy but works for me."
It's a trade-off. I hike in California, mostly in the summer, so the tarp is basically insurance, and I don't even expect to need it. Pros and cons of switching from a tent to a tarp, as I see them:
- much less weight and space
- no bug protection
- can be time-consuming to set up and take down
- can be difficult to set up if you don't have convenient trees and don't hike with trekking poles
- not a comfortable way to wait out a long, strong storm
"For me, it's not a goal to get as light as possible. It's lighten the load and enjoy. I know that comment is going to twist some people but I just looking to cut another pound or so."
Hey, it's just a hiking style, not a religion :-) But if I had to carry 55 lb instead of 23 lb, I would have a lot less fun. I wouldn't be able to hike as far, and I'd feel like hell going up hills.