I'm curious as to what other people's shelter philosophy is for continuously wet weather (multiple days of rain or light snow - PNW weather?). My wet weather hiking experience is limited (I live in AZ but am moving to OR in a few months), so I'm looking to learn from those who know best. Three ideas that come to my mind are:
1. Take a single large shelter: this will provide room to live, spread out gear, and cook. Examples: large mid or tarp
2. Take your normal tent + a small tarp: the tarp will provide room to live, spread out gear, and cook, while you can sleep in your normal tent. Examples: tarptent + small cuben or silnylon tarp
3. Take your normal tent: I suppose you can make do with your normal tent and rely on it and a combination of natural shelter for everything else
From what little wet weather hiking I've done, I've found that having a large, floorless shelter makes a big difference. It's nice to have a roomy space to eat and relax in that's not in the rain, particularly if you are out with friends. The vestibules on most tents simply aren't big enough IMO. What works well for you?
Finally, my other question is on the weight of your wet shelter. I got rained on last weekend and had to pack away a wet, soggy tent in the morning (I stayed dry, but I had a fair amount of condensation). When I got home later that afternoon, I decided to weigh my tent which had been in its stuff sack since morning: my 23 oz tent had gained 15 oz. I shook it off pretty well when packing it up, but it seemed the silnylon fabric had absorbed quite a bit of water. This would have been quite the hassle if I'd planned on staying out another night.
I've heard that cuben fiber does not have this problem and the water can be mostly shook off. Has any one verified this? In addition to avoiding sag, this trait might actually make cuben seem worth the price.