Tarp Camping Questions and Concerns
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Andrew Brinkman
(amuroray) - F

Locale: Southern California
Tarp Camping Questions and Concerns on 08/14/2012 14:18:21 MDT Print View

For those of you who tarp camp I need some real experience with what it is like to tarp camp. My chief concern is obviously insects. I understand that one can use a net but what do you do about crawling insects like ants, ticks, centipedes, scorpions, spiders etc.? My answer would be using permethrin but how effective is it in repelling these type of insects. The benefits are amazing I am sure once you overcome this minor issue. Weight, views, openness with nature etc. So what do you all do? Any enlightenment would be awesome.

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Tarp Camping Questions and Concerns on 08/14/2012 14:41:55 MDT Print View

"I understand that one can use a net but what do you do about crawling insects like ants, ticks, centipedes, scorpions, spiders etc.?"

They don't eat much.

Permethrin seems to work pretty good on clothing.

If there are too many bugs, go to a different place. Last week I was out for a five-day trip, and I never once detected anything crawling around me.

--B.G.--

Devon Cloud
(devoncloud)

Locale: Southwest
tarp camping on 08/14/2012 14:46:26 MDT Print View

Permetherin will stop insects from crawling on your body anywhere where you have clothes on and solved most of the issue right there but will not do anything to help you with exposed skin. I guess it all depends on where you are camping and at what temperature. I would imagine you could get away with just a net over your head as long as you were covered elsewhere, maybe some deet on your hands and any other exposed areas. I have found as long as you can cover your head with netting and are covered with permetherin and deet, dealing with the bugs is very easy after you get to sleep... it is dealing with the buzzing in your ears or them landing on your face that causes a sleepless night. Myself, I moved away from tarps and have gone with hammock camping. A bit heavier but the sleep is so much better.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Bug Bivy on 08/14/2012 15:07:42 MDT Print View

If crawling bugs are your concern then I would suggest a Bug Bivy to accompany your Tarp. Something like one of the following

MLD Bug Bivy http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?products_id=55

Bear Paw Minimalist 1 http://www.bearpawwd.com/shelters_floors/minimalist1_bivy.html

The beauty of that setup is when the weather is nice you can just setup the bug bivy with no tarp and enjoy the stars and extra ventilation without worry of bugs.

Just so that all biases are clear, my current setup is a GG SpinnTwinn with the MLD Bug Bivy.

Cheers.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Tarp Camping Questions and Concerns on 08/14/2012 15:32:35 MDT Print View

"Last week I was out for a five-day trip, and I never once detected anything crawling around me."

;) Tell you anything, Bob? (chuckle...)

Yeah permethrin works pretty good. Mostly, this is your face, since sleeping, you will be in your bag. A permethrin coated head net works. I personnaly don't bother...just slather on a bit of DEET and call it good. Scorpions (in the southern states or in desert areas, can be aoying, though.

Scott Bentz
(scottbentz) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
"Tarp Camping Questions and Concerns" on 08/14/2012 15:58:55 MDT Print View

Andrew,

I think you would also find that most of us just cowboy camp when we can. No tarp at all. Try it. It is quite liberating. I really don't think much about bugs when I hike in the Sierra. I always carry a headnet just in case there are bugs but rarely have to use it.

If I am hiking early in the season I will use my Gossamer Gear The One since it has full bug protection but haven't used it in a few years always preferring a tarp.

I also hear there are bears out there too.

Scott

Edited by scottbentz on 08/14/2012 15:59:27 MDT.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Tarp Camping Questions and Concerns on 08/14/2012 16:26:08 MDT Print View

Of course cowboy camping in a sleeping bag does provide quite a bit of protection with a headnet. A quilt doesn't offer that same protection. So either your ok with the risk of crawling bugs, mice etc..getting on you or you are not in which case a light Bug Bivy will do the trick.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Tarp Camping Questions and Concerns on 08/14/2012 16:31:59 MDT Print View

This is why I bring a bivy. I read before going to sleep, usually on my stomach. My headlight seems to act like a magnet, and eventually a few of them fly under my body or quilt if I don't use a bivy.

Here There
(cowexnihilo) - MLife
Re: Re: Tarp Camping Questions and Concerns on 08/14/2012 17:12:08 MDT Print View

Crawlies tend to wake me up when I ground sleep, so I use a bivy most of the time (either full mesh or dwr with mesh head area). I've mostly switched to hammocks though so the crawlies don't usually get to me anymore.

-David

Theron Rohr
(theronr) - F

Locale: Los Angeles, California
Re: Re: Re: Tarp Camping Questions and Concerns on 08/14/2012 17:58:32 MDT Print View

Up in the SoCal mountains there are very few bugs. Next time you're there setup your tent but try sleeping out. Normally there's nothing to "bug" you.

In lower elevation grassy places there will inevitably be some big juicy spider lurking outside you bag in the morning though. But I've never been bitten by anything. Keeping your imagination under control is the main problem :)

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

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: Tarp Camping Questions and Concerns on 08/14/2012 18:10:46 MDT Print View

"there will inevitably be some big juicy spider lurking outside"

Just think of that as extra protein.

--B.G.--