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PNW Spiders, snakes, etc with a tarp setup
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Cody Croslow
(Graelb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
PNW Spiders, snakes, etc with a tarp setup on 02/22/2012 11:38:23 MST Print View

Hi folks!
I've recently gotten a new oware 2.5 cattarp, and a lightweight (5oz) bivy, and I'm trying to get my girlfriend to try it out with me. The biggest argument I run up against with using a tarp is that you arent as "protected" (I suppose we can leave alone the fact that against any type of bigger animal (cat, bear, etc) you aren't protected period...) from the buggers and snakes and little animals.

Any pointers on how to battle that particular battle?

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: PNW Spiders, snakes, etc with a tarp setup on 02/22/2012 12:03:39 MST Print View

Yes. Don't create a battle that doesn't need to be created. If she feels uncomfortable under a tarp, then bring a tent or tarptent as well. Yeah, then the tarp would be theoretically redundant weight, but so what? With a tent / tarptent comfort zone set up, who knows, your GF might be tempted to try out the tarp on the second or third night -- knowing she can always escape back to her tent if things don't work out.

Edited by ben2world on 02/22/2012 12:04:47 MST.

JJ Mathes
(JMathes) - F

Locale: Southeast US
PNW Spiders, snakes, etc with a tarp setup on 02/22/2012 12:06:14 MST Print View

+1 for what B2W said

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
But the Bivy on 02/22/2012 17:49:53 MST Print View

Snakes and other large critters aren't a problem under a tarp.
Spiders and other crawlies maybe, but flying bugs are the real issue.

You mention that you use a bivy. That adds the same protection as using a fully enclosed tent. So there should be no issue?

If your girlfriend has a real phobia about these things, I doubt she is going to be happy no matter what you do. You will be spending more time outside of your shelter than in it.

You may want to stick to day hikes in all kinds of conditions, including bug season and rain to acclimate her before you attempt any long overnight trips.

Edward Jursek

Locale: Pacific Northwest
PNW spiders, snakes, etc. on 02/25/2012 00:15:25 MST Print View

I have done all most all of my hiking in the Washington Cascades over the last 15 years. I have seen exactly one snake at a low elevation near the start of a hike. I can't recall any spider issues ever. Mosquitoes, especially last year, were annoying but no worse then my experience else where. Sometimes when it gets warm in the higher elevations there have been some biting flies, but only during the day and only an annoyance when I stopped. A bivy with some kind of bug netting should be plenty. I can't comment on anything further East of the Cascades.

Cody Croslow
(Graelb) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
You might be right... on 02/25/2012 00:24:47 MST Print View

I think you guys have a great idea there about not actually trying to "force" her into sleeping in the tarp. (Especially not in the winter...) She actually just said yesterday that she'll sleep in the tarp! weeeoooo!

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
PNW spiders, snakes on 02/25/2012 01:26:50 MST Print View

"Spiders and other crawlies maybe, but flying bugs are the real issue."

Ditto that. But stay away from the two month window starting roughly mid-June or so and you're golden with a tarp in the PNW. It indeed is about perceptions and mental comfort. For a similar issue, my wife liked using my backpacking hammock quite well, except that she never felt secure; she had the sense that she was somehow more vulnerable to wild animals in a hammock than on the ground, never mind any sort of objective analysis or data.

If it's important to you to break through that, however, what works is if the person is willing to push through it --- i.e., sleep enough nights in a tarp and you find out in your gut (not just in your head) that nasty things won't be constantly crawling over you! :-) At the end of the day, the person with the concern has to be willing (or you have to be willing to really stress your relationship!).

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: PNW Spiders, snakes, etc with a tarp setup on 02/25/2012 08:28:57 MST Print View

I have slept out 100s of nights in PNW in tarp or nothing

Occasionally I find a spider or bug crawling across me, just brush it off.

A time or two I think a field mouse has run across me. It was more scared of me I think.

If this bothers you, then maybe tarping isn't the best, but it's just psychological.

some periods in summer - mosquitoes or black flies can be serious problem, need DEET or netting protection.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: You might be right... on 02/25/2012 12:02:16 MST Print View

"She actually just said yesterday that she'll sleep in the tarp!"

You lucky dog, you! Hope you two have a great trip! :)