First let me say "hi" as I just joined. Up to this point I have only posted on NWHikers.net, but there have been links here to my website and I've seen other quotes from my blog so I figured I'd better finally join up and take advantage of the content in this great site.
For background I sort of "specialize" in Mt. Rainier's Wonderland Trail, having hiked it about 25 times. Over the years I am constantly refining my system and have just blogged about the latest iteration of my "fastpacking" shelter. One of the tenets of creating a useful light system for me is multi use gear, and my shelter system consists of 3 items: my B4 (a half cuben/half noseeum netting 3/4 bivy bag), a custom 3/4 length bivy made by Joe at ZPacks out of cuben/breathable cuben, and a ZPacks poncho.
My so called "B4" is a piece of gear I created last year and has been tested and used, most of the time to mitigate bugs while lounging at rest or strolling during the evening. I made it large enough to come mid-thigh and eat inside. In the shelter system it is used prone to keep bugs out and snuggly critters at bay. I am a trail ambassador for Gossamer Gear and they are currently looking at the design for production.
I am using the ZPacks groundsheet/poncho as part of the system. During the day it is used for rain protection and also covers my back and front packs, or as a ground sheet to sit on for backside protection. When sleeping I fold half under my upper body to act as a ground sheet and a place to put my pack and other items. During inclement weather the other half can be folded over and zipped (the ZPacks design incorporates side zippers). I use a Plastidipped delrin rod to create a mini-tent inside, providing plenty of headroom. the "stickiness" provided by the rubber like coating on the rod allows it to just be placed inside without slipping out of position, alleviating the need for any kind of staking.
All this leaves my lower half exposed, but I didn't want to use a full length bivy as this seemed redundant. My solution was a custom 3/4 length bivy with dimensions flexible enough to accommodate a full length pad if need be along with a sleeping bag. The B4 weighs in at @2 ozs, the bivy at @3 ozs and the poncho is 5 ozs for a total weight of 10 ozs (excluding the delrin rod).
This system is designed for sleeping only with the flexibility to use in areas inappropriate for a tent, while providing shelter from bugs, critters and rain. This is a synopsis but if you'd like to view the blogs here are the links:
for the B4:
I hope to be able to add value to this forum; I've made lots of mistakes over the years and have developed systems and techniques accordingly.