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Tarp vs. TarpTent for flying bugs
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David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Tarp vs. TarpTent for flying bugs on 07/25/2005 15:08:53 MDT Print View

I'd be very interested to hear people's thoughts on protection from mosquitos and biting flies in a tarptent (like the Virga) vs. a true tarp with a bug net (like the SpinnShelter from Gossamer Gear). I live on the east coast of Canada and the bugs can be pretty bad in many places during the summer months. I love the light weight of the Spinnshelter / Bug Canopy solution... but I don't know if the half pound savings over a floorless Virga would be worth it.

Thoughts? I guess I have to answer this one for myself depending on my local conditions... but I'd be interested to hear thoughts / opinions / experiences anyway.

david epley
(RenMan) - F
Tarp plus bug net works great on 07/25/2005 15:44:33 MDT Print View

I've been using a tarp/bug net combo for about 8 years and have never been disappointed. My wife and I use a sil nylon 8x10 with a rectangular 2-person hanging net. We hang the rectangular net from the ridgeline and it works wonderfully. If it isn't bug season we leave it at home and save the 6 ounces. As soon as I can afford it I plan to switch to the SpinnTwinn from Gossamer Gear, and make a hanging bug net to fit. I figure I can make the exact net I want for no more than 4 ounces and have versatility and room to sit up under the net for myself, my wife, and our daughter.

David Lewis
(davidlewis) - MLife

Locale: Nova Scotia, Canada
Re: Tarp plus bug net works great on 07/25/2005 15:57:46 MDT Print View

Cool. Thanks so much for your input David. I've been debating Virga vs. SpinnShelter as a solo shelter solution. The bug canopy that Gossamer Gear offers as a companion for their SpinnShelter really only has enough space for your head... you certainly can't sit up under it (I don't think)... it's more of a solution for sleeping only... and that was my main concern.

But I guess it would be easy enough to rig up a bigger net... say twice the size as the one GG offers. However, then you are down to a savings of only 5 oz. over a floorless Virga 2 :) Then again, as you say, with the shelter and netting as seperate components... I could leave the net home in the Fall months! Very good point!

The other thing is... how much time do you spend in your shelter when you're not sleeping anyway?! If it's buggy around camp... I'm more apt to cover up, put on some deet and don my head net than to hide out in my shelter. So perhaps space under the net is not a big concern in reality. As long as I can sleep there in peace... that's the main thing.

Edited by davidlewis on 07/25/2005 16:00:25 MDT.

Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
re: tarptent vs tarp+bug_net on 07/25/2005 16:57:47 MDT Print View

I'm a tarptent fan and have not used a plain tarp during bug season.

Most of my use is in the northern halves of MN and WI and although I'm certain there are places with more biting insects I haven't been there yet.

One tarptent advantage I like is not relying on my quilt for lower body insect protection on warm nights, I can start outside my quilt and move under it when I need the warmth.

Doug Johnson
(djohnson) - MLife

Locale: Washington State
Skeeter Shelters on 08/05/2005 00:46:05 MDT Print View

Hey David-

I've used both solutions extensively and I live in Washington where the bugs can be absolutely horrendous.

First, there are several netting solutions for tarps on the market. Here are a couple of cool ones:

The Bug Bag from Mini Bull Designs
http://www.minibulldesign.com/fs2.htm

Bug Bivies from Mountain Laurel Designs
http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/bivys.html

Sleep Net from Dancing Light Gear
http://trailquest.net/dlgcsleepnet.html

However, when the bugs are really horrible in early to mid-July, I usually grab a Tarptent or Six Moon Designs with full bug netting (especially when I'm not going solo). For me, having a refuge from bugs to read or hang out is worth the weight on these days.

Both are good solutions- good luck finding what works for you!

Doug Johnson
Shelter Systems Editor