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tarps in high sierra
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Sam M
(samw51) - F
tarps in high sierra on 07/09/2012 02:17:10 MDT Print View

I like the idea of a ul tarp shelter for my hike of the JMT at the end of July, but I'm concerned that I might have trouble setting it up above the treeline and in very rocky areas. Is this concern justified? By the way, I will have two trekking poles with me.

Am I right to think that by July 25 mosquitos won't be much of a problem. I hear there's so little water this year that they came early/will leave early.


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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: tarps in high sierra on 07/09/2012 02:24:11 MDT Print View

"Am I right to think that by July 25 mosquitos won't be much of a problem. I hear there's so little water this year that they came early/will leave early."

We keep reciting that same prediction about mosquitos in hopes that it may be true.

So far, I have kept to the slightly drier places, and bugs are present, but they sure are not nearly as bad as they have been in the past. I'm still scratching at the bites from July 5-7.

About the only thing that you can predict with certainty is that the wet stream crossings will be far easier than they were last year at this time.

As for the tarp, you might practice setting your stakes when the ground is a solid slab of granite. You might be able to tie guylines to big rocks sitting around, but you may need extra cord length for that.


Dirk Rabdau
(dirk9827) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Tarps in high sierra on 07/09/2012 02:26:24 MDT Print View

Sam -

I had little trouble setting up my tarp except for one windy area where there was little protection. But honestly, I didn't really need to use my tarp at all, instead just camping in a bug bivy under the stars. It was so dry, the tarp wasn't necessary. Obviously, we didn't experience much bad weather and only one minor afternoon thunderstorm.

As for mosquitoes, we encountered fairly low levels of mosquitoes along the trail for all but a handful of miles. This was in mid June of this year. By July 25th I imagine there will be only fewer.

Have a great trip.


Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: tarps in high sierra on 07/09/2012 09:18:49 MDT Print View

How to set up on rock surfaces

This one you must be a member to read(very good on not using stakes)

Edited by annapurna on 07/09/2012 09:20:07 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: tarps in high sierra on 07/09/2012 09:39:19 MDT Print View

It's very possible, but you have to get creative each time.
Here is one example. Obviously this specific set up wouldn't do well in rain, but it kept the wind off us.a

Sumi Wada
(DetroitTigerFan) - F

Locale: Ann Arbor
Re: tarps in high sierra on 07/09/2012 10:22:32 MDT Print View

Above the tree line in itself won't be a problem if you have trekking poles. I use a tarp in the Grand Canyon and rarely can use stakes. I've always been successful setting with rocks. I do put longer lines on (enough for a few wraps around a rock) and take a little extra with me besides. Just practice the setup at home a bit.

Sam M
(samw51) - F
thanks on 07/09/2012 11:20:39 MDT Print View

Excellent. Thanks for the replies. I'm actually quiet good at setting up these types of shelters. Is my best bet an 8x10 foot blue REI one or is it worth getting a bigger/fancier one? I'd like to avoid the $170 tarps...

Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Re: thanks on 07/09/2012 11:27:08 MDT Print View

Oware would be a good place to look:;jsessionid=0B7F2F89CB2CF4A6AB7A25E90D857735.qscstrfrnt06?categoryId=6

Art ...
(asandh) - F
Re: tarps in high sierra on 07/09/2012 11:28:17 MDT Print View

I guess its my mountaineering background, my experience with bad weather, and my glass is half empty attitude, but I'm just not the kind of guy who would take a tarp into the high country.
but July, I guess you'll be fine.

Link .
(annapurna) - MLife
Re: thanks on 07/09/2012 11:36:45 MDT Print View

8x10 tarp silnylon $85 16oz

8x10 $92 15oz

The blue ones from REI are o.k. if you don't have the money but they are take up a lot of room and are stiff,you can get the same ones at most hardware stores in different colors,I use one for the back of the truck with rope or bungee cords to keep stuff from flying out.

Thayne N
(teethless) - MLife

Locale: Boston
just returned on 07/09/2012 13:25:33 MDT Print View

We spent the past 10 days wandering the mono recesses and mammoth area. Tarp setup was no problem at all. Bugs were inconvenient at times (traveling through a low meadow) but nothing a good headnet couldn't fix. (thanks Peter!)