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Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Shelter choices and projected forecast - strategy changes? on 11/07/2013 07:46:23 MST Print View

We have a trip planned next weekend with a pretty significant climb component going in - which places a premium on taking the lightest options. However, at least right now the long range forecast calls for cooler temps and rain... knowing that might change significantly but still.

So normally I'd take my Seedhouse SL1 - which is the lightest shelter I currently own and be perfectly happy with the ligth weight and size. It is, however, not terribly roomy and with the prospect of inclement weather and spending more time in shelter - well - I am pondering sucking up the extra weight and taking my LL Bean Microlight FS2 which is not quite but almost twice as heavy at around 4 pounds. It is, however, quite roomy and comfortable for just one person... !

Does the forecast other than the obvious rain gear change your strategy if rain or inclement weather is projected? Do you take more "luxury" items than you might on a crisp clear fall day?

Max Dilthey
(mdilthey) - M

Locale: MaxTheCyclist.wordpress.com
Choose by Activity on 11/07/2013 07:49:00 MST Print View

When I expect prolonged rain, I take my BA Fly Creek, about the size of your Seedhouse. Otherwise, I'd probably use my tarp. So, everyone's different, but I absolutely choose a shelter based on conditions.

Consider what you'd be doing if it rained. If the answer is reading a book or kindle, you could probably do that in the seedhouse without too much discomfort.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: A very flat place (Grrrrrrrr)
Re: Shelter choices and projected forecast - strategy changes? on 11/07/2013 07:53:38 MST Print View

3 things come in to play for me.

1. Location
i.e. above or below treeline, Flat land or High Mountains

2. Forecast & duration of trip,
a forecast is normally only good for 3 days.

3. Number in group & Group Dynamics

Is it better to have 1 big tent or a muliple of smaller tents. I don't mind sharing with buddies but definuley not with people I dont know well.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Shelter choices and projected forecast - strategy changes? on 11/07/2013 07:56:50 MST Print View

"Does the forecast other than the obvious rain gear change your strategy if rain or inclement weather is projected? Do you take more "luxury" items than you might on a crisp clear fall day?"

I don't take 'luxury' items backpacking. They are a barrier that separates you from the environment. Backpacking is about immersing yourself in the nature-world on its terms, while relying on your skill to remain warm, dry, and safe. IMO.

When I want comfort or luxury I take my trailer and go "camping."

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
Luxury items on 11/07/2013 08:04:46 MST Print View

Let me clarify - I'd take my Kindle (normally don't) and probably an Alite Monarch chair to stay off the ground which I don't always take if conditions are dryer...

Stephen Komae
(skomae) - MLife

Locale: northeastern US
tarp on 11/07/2013 08:22:14 MST Print View

In your situation I'd probably keep the Seedhouse but bring a tarp to supplement it. There's nothing like having a big porch for your tent, which makes entry/exit easier and gives you a place to hang out outside as well as possibly drying off some gear. You won't get those benefits if you simply take a larger tent.

Usually it doesn't matter what the forecast looks like, I bring the same stuff. Nothing like surprise weather ruining a trip, so best to be prepared for anything.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Luxury items on 11/07/2013 08:27:18 MST Print View

Yes,

Those are luxury items and extra weight. I don't bring them, even on winter snow trips. There are more than enough things in the wilderness to keep me occupied. YMMV.

Phillip Asby
(PGAsby) - M

Locale: North Carolina
luxury items on 11/07/2013 09:07:44 MST Print View

Nick - I appreciate the purity of your approach - I might not adopt it entirely (yet) but I post/read here to get and process different perspectives and approaches. Heck if I didn't do that I'd be hauling 50 pounds out into the woods thinking there were no alternatives...

As a relative newbie different approaches for me at least come somewhat slowly - and in steps - as I gain more experience backpacking. And of course personal preferences and regional variations have an impact - I admit to being more bug intolerant than some - and my southeast locale has plenty of them so perhaps its founded. Part of why I like cool/cold weather camping to be honest - I can layer all day but sleeping hot is a lot less fun... and no bugs.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
Hiking and projected forecast on 11/07/2013 09:20:11 MST Print View

My kit doesn't really change much with the forecast. I expect to be self-sufficient with my gear independent of weather or trip length. A small tarp is perfect for me, as I will only be under it when sleeping. Like Nick, I also don't bother with luxury or comfort items. I prefer to spend my time hiking, eating, setting up camp, or sleeping. For me, it's about being "out there."

How you enjoy the backcountry is up to you though. Figure out what you like and do it that way.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Hiking and projected forecast on 11/07/2013 09:40:09 MST Print View

I understand the appeal of tents but a 9x9 or 8x10/11 tarp can be pitched high during the waking hours as group shelter for cooking etc and then low for when it's time to sleep. If you don't have access to one, I'd bring the lightest shelter you have and buy a cheap-o poly tarp to hang out under. With a minimum amount of practice, tarps are a great way to save weight.

Chris S
(csteutterman) - F

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Shelter choices and projected forecast - strategy changes? on 11/07/2013 11:09:48 MST Print View

I personally have 2 shelter options -- a mid for bad weather and a smaller tarp otherwise. In your situation I'd stick with the Seedhouse, skip the chair and wouldn't hesitate to bring the kindle if you enjoy reading.