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Re: [at-l] Ground sheet?

At 09:44 AM 8/6/97 PDT, BChan@vines.gems.gov.bc.ca wrote:
>Hi all,
>To you ultra-liters who carry tarps and bivy's or just tarps and no tents, 
>do you also carry a ground sheet?  Isn't a tarp, ground sheet, and bivy 
>almost as much weight as a tent?

Depends.... I carry a fairly heavy bivy and a small tarp, no ground sheet.
The bivy weighs 2 lbs 6 oz, and the tarp (6x8), rope, and stakes weigh
around a pound.  Conservatively, my total shelter "weight bill" is 3.5 lbs,
which is a bit lighter than most tents (except for the Stephenson models).

The bivy is a tall/winter version of the Integral Designs Unishelter.  It
has one hoop across the head area and a large, noseeum mesh lined top
opening door.

On the other hand, I really didn't buy the bivy to go "ultralight".  Here
are some other issues that were more important to me:

- quick setup/take down.  I HATED futzing with a wet tent.

- On a dry day, I just skip the tarp.  On a wet day, the tarp goes up first
and makes it easy to set up the bivy at the cost of extra setup time.

- I can use the tarp during the day for an extended break.

- I'm 6'2" tall.  Most small light tents (I gather that Stephensons are
another exception here) are too short.

The big reason for bringing the tarp is ventilation.  The
waterproof/breathable fabrics the bivy is made from seem to work relatively
well.  Whether that is because they are transporting moisture, or because
the fuzzy inside disperses condensation I can't tell.  Nevertheless,
NOTHING beats ventilation, and with the tarp up I can leave the big door
wide open even in the rain.  If it gets colder, I zip up and get an extra 5
or 10 degrees of warmth.

One caveat, I haven't had the bivy out on more than short trips yet.  I've
found it very comfortable so far, but I cannot say how I would feel after 6
months on the AT! (I'd like to be able to though... :-))

-- Jim Mayer

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