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ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North; UK
What PCT shelter for a European two-skin tent camper..? on 02/23/2014 13:12:48 MST Print View

So I've pretty much got the work OK for a PCT thru in 2015...

Been solo walking for some 46 years and have a reasonable kit list sorted; will post it later - most of it suits me re. comfort vs weight.

But I keep reading accounts of months of 'cowboy camping' on the PCT; is it so? I am very attached to my two-skin setup. It would take a lot to let it go and for what weight saving I wonder...a few oz's?

I am thinking of going with a TT Notch (used a fair bit in Scotland and on the Colorado Trail last summer)...but a Hexamid or a cuben tarp keep turning my head.....but once I have a bug net, groundsheet, long lines etc etc etc...is there really a weight saving..? And the PITA of setting it all up...

I know, or I think I know at 52 that I should stick with what makes me comfortable...but....

Psychology is kind of hard. I'm a Brit. I like the cocoon of a silnylon comfort blanket..

Inaki Diaz de Etura
(inaki) - MLife

Locale: Iberia highlands
Re: What PCT shelter for a European two-skin tent camper..? on 02/24/2014 03:11:29 MST Print View

Use what makes you comfortable. A compromising trip is not the best place to take chances. The PCT is actually not that much of a technical challenge for an experienced hiker but the length of the trip and the mental strength it takes makes that advisable.

Besides, cowboy camping is not that much about weight savings because you can't absolutely count on the weather to keep dry for weeks or months. Carrying no roof of any kind is not a good idea and the shelters you are considering are light enough. Cowboy camping is more about convenience, once on the spot, and you will be doing it naturally or not (and both options are fine)

Dan Durston
(dandydan) - M

Locale: Cascadia
PCT Shelter on 02/24/2014 06:39:44 MST Print View

I like shelters that are simple to set up, which is a big part of why I like mids (ie. MLD Duomid). You could grab a 400-600g pyramid shelter that sets up with a single pole and 4 stakes, and then add a 300g inner net tent during bug season for double wall protection. Most of the time you'd just need the pyramid and a 50g ground sheet, so you'd save weight while retaining a simple and fully enclosed shelter.

John Smith
(jcar3305) - F

Locale: East of Cascades
Fiddle Factor on 02/26/2014 17:59:36 MST Print View

I hiked the Wonderland Trail last year and after watching my two companions set up their hexamid twins I would not recommend them to anyone. Their fiddle factor was way too high in my opinion. I had a lunar solo from six moon designs and I had it set up in a couple of minutes every time regardless of weather. Looking at the Zpacks Duplex tarp, I am guessing that it has a lower fiddle factor if you are looking for something truly light weight, I would consider that. I also like the fact that it is a true 2 person tent and that gives you more space to dry out from inclement weather that could goo n for days, especially in the northern portions of the trail.

Best of luck, to you.

M B
(livingontheroad) - M
hex twin on 02/26/2014 19:51:08 MST Print View

"I hiked the Wonderland Trail last year and after watching my two companions set up their hexamid twins I would not recommend them to anyone"

Dont know what they were doing, but I have no fiddle factor with mine. Line lengths are fixed. Its pretty strainght forward. UNLESS you are trying to pitch lower to ground for storm. In which case you will need to shorten the lines, wrap them around stakes or something.

OR uneven ground can make fixed guylines hard to get everything right as well.

Stake out one front stake, pull other side of front tight, come in 10" and stake. Insert front pole and stake front guyline to hold front pole up, insert rear pole , stake rear line tight. Stake other 2 rear corners. make any final adjustments on front pole height position or stake placement. Stake side pullouts lightly. Takes me about 2 minutes at a leisurely pace.

Perhaps some people just like to fiddle with their setup more than others. Tarps allow for lots and lots of fiddling if you are inclined or OCD about getting things perfect.

Of course, practice makes perfect.

Edited by livingontheroad on 02/26/2014 19:53:36 MST.

ed hyatt
(edhyatt) - MLife

Locale: The North; UK
What PCT shelter for a European two-skin tent camper..? on 02/27/2014 00:53:54 MST Print View

Thanks for the info...

You'd do well to hide behind those sunglasses Dan as I'm now thinking how light and nice a cuben Locus Gear Khufu would be :-(