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minimalist net tent
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Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
minimalist net tent on 04/03/2012 19:36:48 MDT Print View

We (2 of us) normally backpacking with an 8 x 10 ID flat tarp. We sleep under the stars if we can, but sometimes it looks like rain (or actually rains!) or it's too cold or windy, so we always bring the tarp and set it up if needed. For the last few years we've been getting by with deet and headnets for mosquitoes. (So far we haven't visited black fly country.)

A couple of times recently we've found ourselves really wishing for more mosquito protection. Last summer on the John Muir Trail, on some sections the mosquitoes were overwhelming. We managed by keeping headnets on and staying in our sleeping bags in camp, but it was a drag. And here in Texas we get that warm weather, too warm to stay in even a light sleeping bag, but perfect for swarms. For example this last weekend on the Lone Star Hiking Trail--didn't really need the tarp or the sleeping bag, just some netting.

Looking at commercially available net tents (like from BearPaw or SMD), they look very nice and we could theoretically afford one, but they seem to be overkill for what we want. Don't need the bathtub floor and all the zippers...

I am thinking of doing just a kind of "triangular tube" with mesh drapes at the ends. We could still lay our polycryo groundsheets under it to prevent snagging. The upper corners could be tied to the top corners of the tarp where they tie into the poles.

Searching this MYOG forum doesn't bring up much for making net tents. Has anyone experimented with this? What fabric did you use? Are there construction issues I need to know ahead of time? Since this would only be used occasionally, and we are old enough to have to really watch our (pack) weight, I'd prefer a pretty thin fabric.

Thanks for any ideas out there!

K C
(KalebC) - F

Locale: South West
Re: noseeum mesh on 04/03/2012 19:52:12 MDT Print View

I have made a few mesh tents, the mesh usually weighs between 0.7-1.0 oz/yd, of course I always choose the 0.7. It can be as cheap as $5.00 per yard in rolls of about 54-63 inches wide. It is easy to sew on my machine and you can use Velcro tabs to keep pseudo doors closed. Are you looking to make like a golite shangri-la 2 nest with no floor? Should be easy and cheap.

PS: I was on a 25 mi section of the JMT last summer and the mozzies were crazy, not Alaska crazy but persistent.

Edited by KalebC on 04/03/2012 19:55:53 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: minimalist net tent on 04/03/2012 21:59:29 MDT Print View

I bought mosquito netting from Colghan's (Is that how you spell it?) and sewed it myself without a floor. I have no sewing skills and didn't know what on earth I was doing. I have to lift a corner to get in. If the ground is too lumpy or irregular, there are gaps between the edges and the ground and I have to set all my stuff around the edges to close the gaps. But it works and it isn't too heavy. I have no idea what the weight is. I don't have a pattern or anything. I totally winged it.

Mosquito net tent on JMT

Mosquito net tent and tarp on JMT

My crazy tarp/bugnet setup

Edited by sbhikes on 04/03/2012 22:02:11 MDT.

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
good info on 04/04/2012 07:52:30 MDT Print View

Thanks, Kaleb and Piper! That is just the sort of information I was looking for. I'll do a web search for noseeum mesh. Piper, your net tent looks pretty much like what I have in mind. I hadn't thought about leaving it open on the bottom and just lifting the edge to crawl in. Looks like a good idea to me, less chance of accidentally leaving a door open. Putting stuff on edges is no big deal, we do that kind of thing all the time. I'll report back when I have some progress on this project. Thanks again!

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: good info on 04/04/2012 13:15:03 MDT Print View

Glad it's helpful. I used mosquito netting instead of noseeum netting. It was about $3 a piece and I think it took me 3 pieces to make this little one-person tent. Plus some tulle fabric from the fabric store for the bottom edges. I can sit up inside this thing and strum my strumstick (like a small guitar) so it's plenty spacious. It does take some contorting to get in and out.

Chris Lucas
(ChemE) - F

Locale: SC
Nanoseeum on 04/04/2012 15:17:25 MDT Print View

The 1.0 oz/yd material is usually referred to as noseeum while the 0.7 oz/yd material is called nanoseeum. Joe at ZPacks sells nanoseeum in 63" roll widths for $8/linear yard.

http://www.zpacks.com/materials.shtml

Mina Loomis
(elmvine) - MLife

Locale: Central Texas
netting sources on 04/07/2012 20:16:02 MDT Print View

Thanks for the possible netting sources! A web search mostly turns up finished products. I'll post when I have some progress on getting something made.