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[pct-l] Tarptent review from '01 PCT

Henry Shires Tarptent review:

My tarptent performed beyond my expectations during my '01 thru-hike of
the PCT and I couldn't imagine using anything else if I were to do the
hike again. I probably wouldn't reccomend taking such a shelter to a
rain forest, but feel that this is perhaps one of the best choices for
an arid trail such as the PCT.

I found it very versatile in setting up according to the conditions of a
particular day: On warm, calm nights I tended to set it up a bit high,
sometimes proping up the front aluminum pole as much as ten extra inches
with a rock or log then tying off the front two corners more like a
regular tarp thus providing a lot of space, however the no-seum netting
couldn't be zipped up in this set up. On cold, windy evenings I would
set up as low to the ground that I could possibly stand with the side
facing the prevailing wind staked flush to the ground. I found that this
shelter held up very well in the wind when set up this way. Most of the
time during my hike I prefered using rocks instead of stakes, but when I
did use stakes I normally put a nice sized rock on top of it.

As for bugs I found that the no-seum netting sewed around the edges of
the shelter was adequate for repelling the worst of the mosquitto's and
I especially loved the zipper on the front entrance. Yes, occasionally
one or two bugs managed to get in once in a while but I'd say that the
netting was at least 99.9 percent effective. On the few occasions when I
encountered rain I usually set it up in the same fashion as I did for
windy nights... as low to the ground as I could stand. In 109 days I
never had any drenched gear while in the shelter during the rain,
however there were plenty of times when I would receive a misty-type
"spray" when the rain drops would hit the highly exposed front of the
tarptent on the no-seum netting, but that netting was most efficent in
breaking up those rain drops into a more manageable mist which I was
able to find creative ways to deal with. I did use some of those sticky
dime-size velcro pieces to make a "garbage bag" shield on the front of
my tarptent, but I found that just putting more thought into where and
how to set up the shelter (low and one side facing the wind) was plenty
effective in keeping me and my gear dry. Henry Shires is to be commended
for such a great contribution to light weight backpacking and his
willingness to share.

Dave Brock "Lightningbolt" http://members.tripod.com/gohike

"A man travels the world over in search of what he needs, and returns
home to find it." George Moore

>I am considering making a Henry Shires tarptent for >my PCT hike. Did
>it work well for you as a shelter? Did you have >problems with rain
>coming in on the sides?


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