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temporary shelter for day hiking in PNW
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Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
temporary shelter for day hiking in PNW on 12/17/2012 07:14:05 MST Print View

I was wondering, do folks carry any sort of shelter while hiking in late fall/early winter in the Olympics or Cascades, that they are in the habit of putting up for a break while they eat lunch or brew up hot drinks?

I'm taking a poll. I commonly carry an MSR e-wing tarp as my emergency shelter, but I'm not in the habit of putting it up, and I think there are lighter options out there (I've had this for a while, found it on sale).

I would really appreciate fast-pitch suggestions. Something easy to put up and take down. I am not an experienced tarp camper.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
temp shelter on 12/17/2012 07:35:01 MST Print View

Diane do you use trekking poles? even though you're not an experienced tarp camper, a little practice in the backyard and you'd be surprised :)

going to be tough to beat a tarp for weight and volume, MLD's "dog" tarp comes to mind for a small, light shelter for day use

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
nadda on 12/17/2012 08:00:36 MST Print View

by the time youve set it up ... your tea is already brewed with a jetboil ;)

so unless youre stopping for a decent amount of time its not worth it IMO

if you do perchance want to set one up ... remember to stuff it on the outside of the pack ... with rain heavy enough to warrant its use, the tarp and its lines will be quite wet, enough so that trying ti get it back in its stuff sack and inside your pack will just get your even wetter negating its purpose somewhat ...

the brits use Bothies which are supposedly quick and easy ... but i dont think you want to be cooking in one =P

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/17/2012 08:03:49 MST.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
darn BPL funky software on 12/17/2012 08:01:08 MST Print View

darn BPL funky software

Edited by bearbreeder on 12/17/2012 08:02:03 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: temporary shelter for day hiking in PNW on 12/17/2012 08:10:41 MST Print View

+1 eric - not worth putting up and down when day hiking

sometimes I find a sheltered spot under a tree or rock

you could use an umbrella

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: Re: temporary shelter for day hiking in PNW on 12/17/2012 08:39:00 MST Print View

well be careful around trees if ...

- there is deep snow on the ground ... tree wells are quite dangerous
- if its a temperate rain forest (coastal BC) with a lot if canopy vegetation and heavy rain ... its quite common for those big trees to have dead branches hanging like a sword over yr head ... many times you hear a CRACK ... which is that big dead brand falling to the ground
- any type of strong wind ... trees get typsy

sometimes its just better to do quick stops and keep moving ...

Ryan Bressler
(ryanbressler) - F
Bothy on 12/17/2012 09:18:17 MST Print View

For quick stops, the ease of use of a dedicated bothy is hard to beat.

We have a two person terra nova and I wouldn't cook in it but before we left the cascades we would frequently use it for lunch stops in snow/rain. It has two built in waterproof seats which don't provide any insulation but keep you dry. Stomp a foot hole in the snow, put your sit pad or pack down to sit on and pull it over you. With a belay coat, you will be dry and warm until condensation starts to become an issue which takes longer then a lunch stop.

I've heard from people that have spent the night in one that shaking it out and reversing it every couple of hours is key.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
My confession on 12/17/2012 09:28:24 MST Print View

I'll admit to having taken a tarp along a few times, when we were planning on spending 2 nights in the same place, and when we knew there would be a considerable chance of rain/light snow. Once, the 1# 10 oz. Integral Designs 8' x 10' sil tarp and stakes/guy lines was the best extra weight we carried. We were hit by a 50-hour non-stop barrage of precip, and it was a godsend to have a protected place to hide out and not be tent bound.

On solo trips where I might expect the same scene, I'll take along a GoLite poncho tarp with guy lines and stakes. It weighs about a pound, complete. Without a tarp, I've had to hunker down in my Contrail for a few hours at a time, and it's not much fun.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: temporary shelter for day hiking in PNW on 12/17/2012 09:40:30 MST Print View

I've gone back and forth on this issue.

When I do carry something it is usually a bag shaped emergency shelter of some kind. A big plastic shredder bag, for example, is large enough to pull over my head and it covers most of my body. I cut the closed end off so I can stick my head out and also walk around with it on.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Or not. on 12/17/2012 10:21:02 MST Print View

Slightly off-topic, but to give alternatives:

For hiking, I just bring trash bags. A sturdier, smaller, trash-compactor bags for a shorter, <20-mile day hike. Plus two full-sized Hefty trash bags for emergency shelter if I'm concerned about being far from the trailhead and injured. They double as, well, trash bags if I find some litter on the trail to pack out.

Stopping to cook, I seem to lose more BTUs to the wind and reduced activity level than I gain from a hot drink. So I do cold food and drink and keep moving throughout the day.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
day shelter on 12/17/2012 11:11:39 MST Print View

I'll take one if its really rainy. If its just the normal rain I won't. Also I don't always use trails dayhiking so sometimes the days are longer than I anticipate :) and having something to block the wind/rain is nice.

@ eric- you said "by the time you get your tarp up your tea is ready"

-exactly! then you can enjoy hot tea in the comfort of a shelter.

Brian Lewis
(brianle) - F

Locale: Pacific NW
Gatewood Cape perhaps on 12/17/2012 12:55:45 MST Print View

If it's a trip where I expect just lots and lots of rain, I probably wouldn't go this route, but for one where it's lighter, on/off rain or just "possible" rain I'd consider a gatewood cape as a great choice for such a day hike. Perhaps add some tyvek sleeves if you're so inclined. The G.C. is not, IMO, optimal rainwear, but it's okay, and it pitches pretty fast as a floorless tent. My wife and I can cram in there for a dayhike break of the type you describe.

Of course, if it's raining much when I put it up or take it down I'll likely get a bit wet in so-doing, but no big deal IMO. If that really concerned me I could also bring along a very light disposable poncho.

Alternatively, a more conventional poncho tarp, such as a golite poncho could work in similar fashion.

And a very light rain jacket that can double as essentially a windshirt could be a worth while thing to augment this. Or just a straight windshirt.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re: temporary shelter for day hiking in PNW on 12/17/2012 18:33:46 MST Print View

What about a windsack ? Hilleberg, Exped and others offer them. Big nylon bag with head holes.

Richard Scruggs
(JRScruggs) - MLife

Locale: Oregon
Re: temporary shelter for day hiking in PNW on 12/17/2012 20:07:17 MST Print View

I've never used a bothy, but I've researched them -- here are some reviews, mostly covering (pun alert) the Terra Nova bothies:

And here's a review describing the use of an alcohol stove inside:

Edited by JRScruggs on 12/17/2012 20:33:44 MST.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: Mind your own business
Re: Re: temporary shelter for day hiking in PNW on 12/17/2012 20:35:22 MST Print View

I have carried Terra Nova Superlite bothy 2 on all my mountain day hikes for years, it is an amazing bit of kit.
Combined with Blizzard bag and half a Ridgerest could save my ass sometime.

Paul McLaughlin
(paul) - MLife
Re: temporary shelter for day hiking in PNW on 12/17/2012 21:20:30 MST Print View

I have occasionally set up my megamid at lunch or to wait out an afternoon shower. Any rectangular or square pyramid, whether mega, duo, super, speed or what have you, is really fast to set up - just stake out the corners, crawl under and set up the pole. Comes down just as fast. I've cooked under mine many times.

Diane Pinkers
(dipink) - MLife

Locale: Western Washington
tarps and bothy bags on 12/18/2012 08:09:12 MST Print View

I really should regard this as an opportunity to experiment with a tarp, that would be a smart thing to do since I carry one as my emergency shelter. However, fussing around with perfect pitch while on a day-hike isn't really attractive--I think I'll have to reserve that activity to messing about in the back yard on a week-end. The bothy bags are a really interesting idea--looks like something I should have in my snowshoeing pack. Not sure it's a cozy lunch spot option, but it works for those folks, just requires a different mind-set.

Prior to this, we haven't really stopped much, but just keep moving to keep warm. Sometimes that's not such a great idea, though--stopping for a little food and a hot drink might help ward off hypothermia. Got into that situation once in 50 F drizzle, don't want to be there again. Also, if we have this option, I'm hoping my hiking partner will be more inclined to get out in more questionable weather--trying to get out in the fall around here can be a real chanllenge.

Diplomatic Mike

Locale: Under a bush in Scotland
Bothy bag on 12/18/2012 08:16:13 MST Print View

A bothy bag can be good for morale in poor weather.
Enjoying a break in a TN Superlite 4 HERE

Don Abernathey
(OldGuysRule) - F

Locale: PNW
Re: temporary shelter for day hiking in PNW on 12/18/2012 09:22:49 MST Print View

I always carry a poncho. My favorite is the GoLite. Usually I wear it. I only pitch it if I'm covering more than myself. I usually hunker down under a tree when the weather is nasty, so I pitch to the tree.

Michael B
(mbenvenuto) - F

Locale: Vermont
bothy on 12/18/2012 19:17:59 MST Print View

a bothy bag is really perfect for what you want. much warmer than a tarp and way easier.