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Lightweight bug protection options under a tarp that don't include a bivy?
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Richard Banks
Lightweight bug protection options under a tarp that don't include a bivy? on 06/15/2013 19:24:24 MDT Print View

Hey guys,

I am a big fan of tarps. My 8x10 Sil tarp works wonderfully, however I am switching to a top quilt, and can no longer just wear a hat and some bug netting and go to sleep.

I am not really a fan of bivy's I might go that route if I have to, but I'd prefer a different solution.

So fellow quilt users with a tarp, how do you keep out the bugs?

Jeffrey McConnell
Net tent on 06/15/2013 19:31:12 MDT Print View

A net tent of some sort could work. Plenty of cottage manufacturers make them. Sea to summit has a light one without a bottom. You can see it here:

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Bear paw wilderness-Minimalist 1 on 06/15/2013 19:39:27 MDT Print View

BPWD Minimalist 1 works great for me

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Lightweight bug protection options under a tarp that don't include a bivy? on 06/15/2013 19:49:25 MDT Print View

Bear Paw Wilderness Designs makes several net tents and bivies:

Many of the other cottage tent and tarp makers have their version of an inner net, bivy, etc. All are about the same idea with a waterproof floor and a net top.

That's about it with a quilt unless you have a tiny robotic anti-flying insect system. Might do the trick for bears and raccoons too :) Like a Rumba vacuum for skeeters:

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Lightweight bug protection options under a tarp that don't include a bivy? on 06/15/2013 20:04:46 MDT Print View

4 foot circle of netting - just lay it over your head end and make sure your foot end is protected by quilt

But mostly I just avoid bug seasons so I use this only occasionally

josh jordan
BPWD on 06/15/2013 21:08:26 MDT Print View

like others have said i would highly recommend bpwd.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Lightweight bug protection options under a tarp that don't include a bivy? on 06/15/2013 23:57:51 MDT Print View

Everybody is different, but even more than the bites the thing that drives me crazy is high pitched point-blank buzzing. While it sounds like they are flying right into your ear as you try to sleep, I think 6-8 inches away is probably is sufficient to make me scream.

Because of this all my experiments with using head and body nets and low volume bivies have failed over the years, and I basically require a "sonic perimeter" of at least a few feet in every direction from my head if they are going to be at all active at night. Laying the netting over my head area would not work for me. At the very least it would have to be hung overhead teepee-style. So for me I'm stuck with at least a tarptent or full bug tent during those times.

When there are tons of them out I usually ritually search the inside of my enclosure before I get in my bag and "evict" every last one I can find (with extreme prejudice). If there is one left alive chances are near certain it will fly in my ear and make me jerk painfully awake multiple times during the night. LOL

Anyway, as you try to figure out the minimal solution that works for you, keep the sonic annoyance factor in mind too. I suppose you could try earplugs, but blocking out all sounds doesn't work for me either.

Edited by millonas on 06/16/2013 00:03:19 MDT.

Pete Staehling
(staehpj1) - F
Re: Lightweight bug protection options under a tarp that don't include a bivy? on 06/16/2013 05:36:42 MDT Print View

What is it about bivies that you don't like? Would an all mesh bug bivy work for you? They are pretty light (5-6 ounces) and feel much more open than a regular bivy. You can sleep on top and only climb in if/when there are bugs. TiGoat, Borah Gear, and others make nice bug bivies.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Lightweight bug protection options under a tarp that don't include a bivy? on 06/16/2013 05:45:05 MDT Print View

Sleeping under a tarp in bug season can be a problem. I don't think there is a large difference between a quilt or bag...mostly in warmer weather, I use my bag as a quilt anyway. Colder conditions means there are no bugs.

Anyway, I often use a tarp through the ADK's. Bugs are always a problem except for winter. I use a layered approach.
1) Your tarp will help with some bugs.
2) Your quilt will help with some bugs.
3) Permethrin on your outside clothing. You should keep one set of LIGHT long johns treated, too. Use these for warm evenings with lot's of bugs.
4) Keep a fire about 10' away from you. Some bugs like the IR. Some like the CO2. Give them an alternate target.
5) Smoke a cigar (more for waking hours.) Bugs do not like the smoke, generally.
6) DEET over all exposed skin. Most bugs will obey it. Not really recommended, but...
7) Wear extra-long sleeves. Close these up for the night with a hair tie.
8) Use the sleeping "net".
9) Someone suggested I use mosquito coils. It does seem to help but they don't last a long time. 3-4 hours is about it.
10) Cotton balls in the ears will quite most buzzing.
11) DEET on your hat, heavily saturated, will deter them from your head and ears.
12) Afterbite (oil & ammonia) will handle most bites.

Last week I was out in the ADK's in blackfly season. I didn't get one bite. Mosquitoes were also out. These can bite right through clothing. Avoid the areas that has a lot of mosquitoes, if possible. Using these techniquies, can keep you relativly bug free, but, do not expect to avoid all bites.

I have not tried to use permethrin on my down stuff, but, next week I will give this a try. I need to permethrin some new pants and a shirt, anyway. It is not really a repellant, but, even bugs will avoid something that will kill them. If you have a nylon, felt or wool hat, permethrin that, too. Permethrin will not stick to PET-recycled clothing too well nor many synthetics (example: polypropylene doesn't absorb much, it resists most chemicals.)

David Noll
(dpnoll) - MLife

Locale: Maroon Bells
Lightweight bug protection on 06/16/2013 15:33:37 MDT Print View

Tarp Setup
From Yama Mountain Gear.

Slo Hiker
(SloHiker) - F

Locale: NC Foothills
Equinox No-See-Um Mesh Mosquito Bar on 06/16/2013 19:54:21 MDT Print View

Less than $30 ......

Equinox Mosquito Bar

Edited by SloHiker on 06/16/2013 19:59:08 MDT.

BJ Clark
(bj.clark) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Re: Lightweight bug protection Yama Mountain on 06/16/2013 20:08:08 MDT Print View

+1. A good piece of gear

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Lightweight bug protection on 06/16/2013 20:24:58 MDT Print View

David, that sure takes up a lot of real estate.

Brett Peugh
(bpeugh) - F - M

Locale: Midwest
better options? on 06/16/2013 22:52:51 MDT Print View

I like the look of the Sea to Summit one. I mainly cowboy camp now or am trying to so I have no poles to use. Since mosquitoes mainly can bit you through the mesh if it is on your body I was looking for a larger coverage option because during the summer here it is too warm to use quilt or bag. I don't think it is big enough for my 6'5" self. I have been trying to rig up a 3 meter piece of noseeum netting next to myself with sticks but that really isn't working.

Any real options out there for people who will be sleeping out on hot summer days that need more full coverage but also don't have any poles or structures except possibly one tree?

David Noll
(dpnoll) - MLife

Locale: Maroon Bells
Lightweight bug protection on 06/17/2013 06:23:57 MDT Print View

Not really. I pitched wide there because of the room. The 1.25 bug tent is 42" wide in front so you can actually get by on slightly less than 48". Gen also has a 1.0 which is only 36" wide.