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Tarp Camping Without poles/sticks
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Frank H.
(porker110) - M

Locale: California
Tarp Camping Without poles/sticks on 04/21/2013 10:46:22 MDT Print View

I've been thinking lately about how many people still take a tarp and don't bring any kind of poles/sticks to help set it up. With the new shelters that have been coming out (hexamid, gatewood) there doesn't seem to be any downside (weight, ease of setting up) to just carry one pole for these shelters.

Does anyone one still hike with out their shelter poles and if so have you had any bad situation that you wish you would have brought at least one?

Edited by porker110 on 04/21/2013 10:56:05 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Tarp Camping Without poles/sticks on 04/21/2013 10:56:08 MDT Print View

I did a tarp without pole for a while. But, it's difficult enough finding a nice flat spot without also having to have it oriented properly to a tree or rock. Especially in alpine areas which I like.

Mike D.
(mpd1690) - F
Re: Tarp Camping Without poles/sticks on 04/21/2013 11:01:47 MDT Print View

I don't carry anything. I have never had a problem using a tree or a stick. I use a flat tarp with a half pyramid generally.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Tarp Camping Without poles/sticks on 04/21/2013 11:12:11 MDT Print View

I usually carry only one hiking staff. A homemade, 3.8oz one. Most of the time, I can use a longer stick (55-60"), but I can always use the staff(43") if I cannot find one.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Tarp Camping Without poles/sticks on 04/21/2013 13:25:34 MDT Print View


I have quit using trekking poles. For my Hexamid I bought the zPacks carbon fiber poles. But I find it bends too much is the wind. Replaced it with a carbon fiber pole from Josh over at R.L. Much better, but it is almost the same weight as a LT4. Not many tree branches in the desert.

Recently I bought a Trailstar for those really windy conditions. But a light carbon fiber pole is not going to be able to handle the tension, and two poles are needed in most pitches, plus adjustable from around 38" to 48" will be highly desirable. A real conundrum for me!

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Tarp Camping Without poles/sticks on 04/21/2013 13:36:35 MDT Print View

I have never carried a pole. I've always pitched off a tree. Above the treeline, you can improvise off big boulders. All you need is one high object to tie off too.

William S.

Locale: East Coast
Tarps on 04/21/2013 15:09:34 MDT Print View

About a hundred years ago I took a month-long NOLS course in the Wind Rivers. All of us used tarps, and nobody carried trekking poles or walking sticks (or any other kind of poles). Worked out fine above tree-line... at least that's how I remember it.

That said, I've slept in a conventional free-standing tent for all my camping since then.

Edited by Balt on 04/21/2013 18:01:33 MDT.

John G
(JohnG10) - F

Locale: Mid-Atlantic via Upstate NY
sticks on 04/21/2013 16:03:56 MDT Print View

I'm in the eastern forests. It takes a couple of minutes to locate sticks, but there is always downed trees within a hundred yards with 1.5 inch thick branches. Bring a sharp knife to cut notches around the branch until you can break it off. A swiss army knife with a saw is easier, but heavier. Only worth it if you are making fires every day imo.

Marc Lefebvre
Re: Tarp Camping Without poles/sticks on 05/01/2013 13:20:54 MDT Print View

Just ,came back from tarp camping did a video you can see what I did cheers

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Tarp camping on 05/01/2013 14:48:59 MDT Print View

Great video production - and the dog. Not exactly an LNT approach, but I know there are advocates and opponents when it comes to LNT camping. I for one would keep the fire pit but camp around the sapling.