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Floorless Shelters and Creepie Crawlies
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Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Floorless Shelters and Creepie Crawlies on 05/23/2011 14:26:53 MDT Print View

Hey- Just wondering how those of you who sleep in floorless shelters w/o a bug bivy deal with creepie crawlies? I live in the desert, so mosquitoes aren't a problem- but what about spiders, scorpions, beetles, ants, centipedes, etc..., etc...? It's amazing to me that whenever you stop and stare at the ground for a few mins, how much life there is crawling around on every square foot of ground...

I'm trying to get my kids more into doing back country type stuff, but w/o breaking the bank. Light weight 4 person tents cost an arm and a leg and still aren't that light, so I'm looking to diy projects and many people lean towards floorless 'mid's and tipis for group settings...

I'm making myself a meteor bivy for solo outings, but dunno what to do for the kids (10, 8, and 6). Making each of them their own bivy sounds like a lot of work, and the cost starts going up for all the materials, plus I don't know how in-to it they would be.


Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Floorless Shelters and Creepie Crawlies on 05/23/2011 14:31:17 MDT Print View

When you think about the creepie crawlies, just think of them as another protein resource.


Evan McCarthy
(evanrussia) - MLife

Locale: Mid-Atlantic
Re: Floorless Shelters and Creepie Crawlies on 05/23/2011 15:02:20 MDT Print View

Sleep with your mouth open for most efficient method. The creepie crawlies gravitate toward warm, dark places.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Floorless Shelters and Creepie Crawlies on 05/23/2011 15:23:05 MDT Print View

"The creepie crawlies gravitate toward warm, dark places."

Which is why they stay away from my heart -- that's a very cold, dark place.....

To the OP, most people either just deal with it and don't let it bother them, or they use enclosed shelters. A bug net isn't that expensive. Perhaps something like the MLD Trailstar with the BearPaw Pentanet inner (or, more accurately, under).

Walter Carrington
(Snowleopard) - M

Locale: Mass.
MYOG bug tent. on 05/23/2011 15:54:12 MDT Print View

It wouldn't be that hard to make your own big bug tent for everyone. Make it with a bathtub floor of silnylon and netting for the top, designed to fit in your shelter.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
Single Skin Pyramid on 05/23/2011 16:10:08 MDT Print View

Order the Pyramid with 18" of mesh sown around the perimeter. Then, set it up with 9" of mesh lying on the ground - under your ground cloth. The overlap should discourage almost all the creep crawlys if you put your pads or packs on top of the overlap to seal the two together.

Alternatively, you could have the ground cloth sown to the mesh, and have a single skin pyramid tent.

Ultra Magnus
(Ultra_Magnus) - F
Re: Single Skin Pyramid on 05/23/2011 16:30:22 MDT Print View

"Alternatively, you could have the ground cloth sown to the mesh, and have a single skin pyramid tent."

I had the thought to do that, but I've read so many myog posts that recommend against putting a floor in a pyramid shelter. I guess the big advantage of going floorless is being able to cook inside or have a wood stove inside for a heated shelter.


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Single Skin Pyramid on 05/23/2011 16:57:17 MDT Print View

I don't think a wood fire inside a nylon tent would be a good idea. It would melt and burn up and you'de be stuck inside with melting nylon all over you and horrible third degree burns.

You could very carefully use a canister or alcohol stove.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Floorless Shelters and Creepie Crawlies on 05/23/2011 18:45:55 MDT Print View

One of the GoLite Shangri-La tipis with an inner nest would do the trick. I'll bet the kids would get a kick out of that kind of tent.

Somebody has a 4-person for sale on Gear Swap:

Ed Tyanich
(runsmtns) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Single Skin Pyramid on 05/23/2011 19:28:28 MDT Print View


That must be news to the owners of thousands of Kifaru, Ti-Goat and Go-Lite Shangri-La shelters that people use wood stoves in.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
Re: Re: Single Skin Pyramid on 05/23/2011 20:06:55 MDT Print View

I like floorless shelters and a seperate ground cloth myself. But it's because it's for the convenience. ie: It's often wet where I live, and I can take my rain gear and my muddy shoes off while out of the rain, without getting the floor all wet, or pressing up against the vestibule canopy (and getting all wet from the condensation). I also like to be able to throw the ground cloth into the washing machine when I get back home :)

For family camping with my wife and kids, their fear of creep crawlies easily out weighs the extra convenience we get in the rain.

For 2 people, I like a 10x12 tarp and mesh tent. It's heavy, but versitile. (ie: The tarp doubles as a dining fly).

For 3+ people, I think a pyramid is easier to get everyones sleeping area laid out nicely, and allows more room to move around.

James Castleberry
Re: Floorless Shelters and Creepy Crawlies on 05/23/2011 20:20:21 MDT Print View

My kids wanted barrier against bugs. I second the Shangri-la option. Sierra Designs used to make the Origami 4, which had a floor option that could clip onto the pyramid, sort of creating a sloped bathtub floor effect that would make it hard for bugs to crawl in. Must not have caught on because they discontinued the Origami 4 and now just sell the 2 person. My kids didn't like having any open space for bugs to get in and I ended up getting a Shangri-la 4 nest to put inside the pyramid, which worked well and made them happy.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: Single Skin Pyramid on 05/23/2011 21:00:19 MDT Print View


You must mean a wood fire inside an aluminum or Ti stove or something.

For just a regular wood campfire, it doesn't seem like that would be good inside a tent.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Floorless Shelters and Creepie Crawlies on 05/23/2011 22:23:57 MDT Print View

The Nemo Pentalite looks interesting, especially with the addition of the "Wedge" which has a floor but only one netting wall which somehow zips/attaches into the shelter. Total weight for both looks to be around 5 lbs, which isn't bad for a 4p shelter.

Ed Tyanich
(runsmtns) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Single Skin Pyramid on 05/23/2011 22:26:58 MDT Print View


Yes, I meant a wood stove, stainless or ti. Campfires won't do thats for sure.

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: Floorless Shelters and Creepie Crawlies on 05/24/2011 08:39:45 MDT Print View

Maybe kids take their cues from their parent(s); I'm not fazed by creepie-crawlies (and I'm the mom), and neither is my son. He was still in diapers when we camped under the stars for the first time and he was totally in awe of seeing all the stars (just like mom...) We're both still the same way and will always choose to sleep without a tent when we can.

The only things that really get to him are mosquitoes, so in mosquito country, we do carry at least the tent body or netting. We sleep without the fly as often as we can.

In the desert, canyon country, etc., we take a tarp but I don't think he's ever actually slept under one. He's good with just a ZLite and his sleeping bag.
Clear Creek Trail, GC

Edited by DetroitTigerFan on 05/24/2011 08:41:13 MDT.

Al Nichols
(everready) - F

Locale: Sh!^^% Ohio
Bugs on 05/24/2011 08:42:55 MDT Print View

I've heard of folks using a long piece of cord/string saturated with bug juice. They just encircle their sleeping area with the cord. I guess the bugs don't like to crawl over the bug juice.

Steofan The Apostate
(simaulius) - F

Locale: Bohemian Alps
Floorless Shelters and Creepie Crawlies on 05/24/2011 10:47:21 MDT Print View

I used to worry about it but got tired of the weight of a tent and of losing sleep worrying about snakes, spiders, etc. Got really lucky last weekend and woke up surrounded by toads - who needs bug juice?!Toad

kevin timm
(ktimm) - MLife

Locale: Colorado (SeekOutside)
Creepy Crawlies adn Floors are over rated on 06/21/2011 11:12:41 MDT Print View

I prefer floorless, mainly for the freedom and flexibility with shoes, dogs cooking etc. In a floored tent you are always cleaning the floor and worrying about the floor anyway.

As for creepy crawlies, I have not had an issue, in fact I often see more bugs and spiders in my bedroom than the tent. I think the floor is generally a faux security, (my kids sleep floorless all the time). Think about it, I've seen more spiders in the house than in the tent. Mosquitos, will get in any tent when the door is open, but once you kill them after closing a door they are generally not an issue. Do you think that a full tent will stop any determined animal from getting at your stuff anyway ? No way. Snakes ? I don't like them, but they don't like me either, as long as you don't set up on snake holes you are good. In our tipi's we have a sod skirt, so I can always flip it outside and cover it with dirt to create a tight seal if I want and then vent the screen door.

The fear of a river in a floorless tent is overblown as well, I've had floored tents where water has come through the floor on several occasions. I've only had this happen once when floorless and it was my fault due to setting up in the "established area".

In dirty sandy areas such as many developed campsites, I prefer a bivy, Bathtub ground sheet, floor, or cot. If I'm car camping I take a cot then I have the advantages of floorless along with cheap hotel comfort. Dogs will get your stuff dirty on a floor, and the same with a bathtub ground sheet. A bivy or a cot will keep you pretty clean. Most backpacking in the NF, I can choose a nice spot.

Not much of an issue

Edit: Spelling

Edited by ktimm on 06/21/2011 11:13:17 MDT.

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Floorless Shelters and Creepie Crawlies on 06/21/2011 11:28:53 MDT Print View

Why not use a lightweight groundcloth like 2mil plastic painters cloth a bit bigger than the bivy bottom?

Edited by hknewman on 06/22/2011 19:23:53 MDT.