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UL 1 person tent for the desert AND snowfall?
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Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

UL 1 person tent for the desert AND snowfall? on 09/02/2013 19:36:36 MDT Print View

Here's a weird question! Scroll down a bit for the question part!

I don't know who keeps up with the blog (nobody) (here's the blog: but after over 6,000 miles of traveling accident-free, I crashed and bent my bike's fork. That grounds me for 2 weeks while I replace it, so it makes traveling across Canada impossible before snow hits. Bummer!

I'm thinking instead I'll buy a ticket to Arizona or Nevada (undecided) and do some desert riding into Colorado and Northern California, and then up to Vancouver. Since it's the west coast, I believe snowfall should be mild until november and december at least.


I can't really count on trees for hammock camping given where I'm going. I need a tent! Anything new I don't know about, or a real gem you've been testing?

-1P Tent
-Lightweight (2-3lbs)
-Less than $300 or popular on Gear Swap? Or available from one of you guys?
-Good for the desert, mild (under 6 inches) snowfall, and everything in between

Bonus points if it's a color other than grey! Thanks!

Edited by mdilthey on 09/02/2013 20:21:13 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: UL 1 person tent for the desert AND snowfall? on 09/02/2013 19:43:42 MDT Print View


Trailstar or Duomid or similar. You'll have to buy some poles.

Jeffrey McConnell
MLD Cricket? on 09/02/2013 19:47:59 MDT Print View

Maybe the MLD cricket. Lightweight. You can get it with an inner or use a bivy with it. And you can get that nice bright yellow, or a more subdued brown. Not sure how it would handle snow, but it seems like it could deal with a little. I plan on getting one soon and using it as my solo desert shelter. The trailstar or duomid would be great as well.

Edited by Catalyst on 09/02/2013 19:48:40 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: UL 1 person tent for the desert AND snowfall? on 09/02/2013 20:08:03 MDT Print View


Shame to hear about that.

The Trailstar should be fine for a small bit of snow, you may need to give the canopy a kick during the night though, the Duomid would be a bit better for static snow loading.

Here is a pic of two Trailsars on a BPL snow shoe trip a while back.

Actually the Duomid or a Trailstar may not be best if your on a bike as they use trekking poles, you might be better
with a Scarp 1 or Moment Dw.


Edited by stephenm on 09/02/2013 20:17:31 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Thinking Creatively on 09/02/2013 20:14:55 MDT Print View

Ok, hmm...

So tarp looks like the way to go. I am extremely on board with this.

Two problems:

1. I'm home for 1-3 weeks, not 8 weeks. I can't order new from MLD.

2. No poles.

For the poles situation, I have two ideas. First off, do you think I could set up the Duomid using a Tripod? I use an Oben:

The tripod only has an 11lb load capacity on the ball head, but it's sturdy aluminum, so maybe the strength of the legs is higher? What's a 40mph wind gust in a storm exert on a tarp pole?

I wasn't going to bring the tripod, but having it along would be a real treat (I love night photography) and having it be dual-purpose might be enough to drag it along.


Can I set up a tarp effectively using a bike as "poles", and have it withstand high wind?Bike

Edited by mdilthey on 09/02/2013 20:19:33 MDT.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Maybe I'm already set...? on 09/02/2013 20:18:14 MDT Print View

Oh also, not to double-post, but do you think my MLD Ultralight hammock tarp is big enough / shaped well enough to use for this?

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: UL 1 person tent for the desert AND snowfall? on 09/02/2013 20:18:49 MDT Print View

I would get a Tarptent Scarp with the solid inner. Fully modular and easy to set up.

The bit about the snow. You have until November until there will be snow threatening.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Snow on 09/02/2013 20:20:43 MDT Print View

Good to know, Dave. I figure I'll get adventurous in high altitudes where given the chance and then it'll be snowier. I'm trying not to over-plan, but rather, play it by ear. It worked great for Montreal!

Jeffrey McConnell
Re: Thinking Creatively on 09/02/2013 20:21:23 MDT Print View

I think the tripod idea could work. If it's a couple inches short you could easily find a rock to help get a little extra height. It might be worth calling Ron up and seeing if he could work some magic for ya.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: UL 1 person tent for the desert AND snowfall? on 09/02/2013 20:23:58 MDT Print View

Nice picture, Stephen! :)

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Re: Snow on 09/02/2013 20:25:49 MDT Print View

If all else fails, our Pubs are good up here.

I seem to remember that you are quite tall. If you are over 6 foot with a high loft sleeping bag, you will touch the ends of the DuoMid. I had a Trailstar which was awesome, but wasn't keen on using it in snow because of the unsupported large panels. A larger / longer mid would be a decent choice.

With something like the Golite Shangri-La 3, which is taller, you would have space for yourself, gear, AND bike.....

Other options would be the MLD SuperMid.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Deep Frreze
Re: Re: Re: UL 1 person tent for the desert AND snowfall? on 09/02/2013 20:29:38 MDT Print View

It is Travis,

I was trying to remember if it was you or Tim that took it as I am in it :-)

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Details on Size on 09/02/2013 20:47:52 MDT Print View

I am tall. I thought I was 6'2" thanks to Dr. Han's measurement when I was 19, but at 23 I appear to have shrunk to 6'1". I still tell short girls i'm 6'2", though. From their perspective they can't tell the difference. Don't spread the word out there until after I've left.

I am a notoriously easy sleeper, and I tolerate imperfections in shelter systems like a seasoned expert. So, I would say barring extremes, ignore my height as it hasn't been an issue so far in anything.

Not concerned at all with covering the bike (he's a big boy anyways, 59cm). I wouldn't mind using it to rig a tarp in the desert, as that would absolutely fill me with childlike wonder and glee.

So, would a traditional rectangular tarp actually be best for rigging in a diamond shape with the bike at one end and three tie-outs on the ground, with maybe a center tripod pole? Or would a gusty storm soak my sleeping bag quick? I hear the west coast is windy. I think I prefer protection as I love storms and aim to sleep in them (as some users may remember).

Right now the Duo-Mid and Trailstar are tops on my list, but beggars can't be choosers so I have to see what I can find on swap.

Edited by mdilthey on 09/02/2013 20:49:17 MDT.

Troy Hawkins
(ollyisk) - F - MLife

Locale: Germany
re: on 09/03/2013 04:30:58 MDT Print View

I'd nominate the Tarptent Moment DW. It's a very well thought out, proper tent. It has bug protection if that's something you want, dual vestibules (to keep panniers out of the rain/snow/whatever, if you're not using Ortliebs or something), and I believe a solid inner is now available to avoid sand in the desert and retain heat in the snow (as an alternative to a fully mesh inner with bathtub floor.

It only takes two stakes at a minimum, it's relatively light, and pretty simple to set up (like 3 minutes tops). It also comes in a relatively small package. I have one for touring and I like it a great deal. Though I will admit that I'm rather lazy, and the prospect of pitching a tarp in a driving rain, howling winds, or after a long day's ride doesn't exactly thrill me.

It is grey though.

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Tarp Sounds Good on 09/03/2013 06:24:02 MDT Print View

I think I found a solution, and it's thanks to you guys.

I'm going to use my MLD Ultralight Hammock Tarp for this, using the bike as a "pole" on one end and then guying out the other 3 corners. Since I have Ortliebs, I only need room for me.

Now, I think this tarp is a little small for a serious storm (I had concerns about that when using it as a hammock tarp, too, but I ignored them). If I set up like this I will likely get some wind spray.

To supplement it, I'm going to use a water resistant bivy bag. Since it's cool at night in the desert, condensation shouldn't be a problem.

Ideally I'd go with MLD's Ultralight Bivy, but ron tells me there's a (perfectly understandable) 6 week wait time on one. Instead, I found the North Face Simple Bivy.

I don't particularly like North Face anymore, but this bivy looks fine. It weighs 16oz, has a bug net over my face, is highly breathable and water resistant (not waterproof) and should serve my purpose just fine. With some haggling, I got it for $99.95 with free shipping and free returns.

If it doesn't look good in my backyard, I'll probably grab something like the MLD Patrol Shelter or Trailstar since they ship the next day.

Thanks for the help! I'm a tarp camper now!

Edited by mdilthey on 09/03/2013 06:25:09 MDT.