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[pct-l] tents, tarps, bivy sacks, igloos, rabbit holes, skyscrapers, arcosanti,...

OK, I sent this to Bill alone but he thought you all could use it,...
By the way, I work at REI, I'm a gear head, and i love to use, abuse and rate
all types of gear---

Hey Bill, I'm hiking the pct this summer, northbound, and using a tarp in
california and then a tent in oregon and washington for bug protection and my
sanity! First, about the bivy sacks: I was considering using one in
california, but they aren't versatile enough, condensation can really build
up in some after awhile and it can be just too claustrophobic sometimes. i've
used all these shelters and i find bivy sacks best for semi-cold weather
mountaineering. the Cyclops, in particular has some neat functions with the
hood and 4 zippers so you can stick your arms out and cook and all, but that
hood leaks like crazy in a downpour. Outdoor Research (OR), Bibler, Moonstone
and others make much thoroughly designed Bivy sacks. OR makes 3 different
models, a standard with zip around head, deluxe and advanced. They all have a
zip in bug screen. I have the advanced, with 2 poles that make the opening
adjust to 4 different positions, but keep it open at low angles for bad
weather but still get good ventilation. oh, yeah, weight-wise the REI is
heavy for what it offers. The OR advanced with poles and better ventilation
is about the same weight if not a few more ounces. of course you don't have
to take the poles with you either.
my tarp is home-made out of coated ripstop nylon and it's a palace at 8' by
8.5'. I have 4 stake points on each edge, and 2 on each side, half way up to
the a-frame ridge. on my hike this summer i'm using trekking poles to save my
knees, cross rivers, spear fish, and use the adjustable length to rig my tarp
at what ever height/angle I want. Besides, my tarp and guy lines weigh 1.5
pounds, while my bivy's about 2. I think I'll take all the extra room and the
less weight option!
Hope this helps
oh, yeah, about tube tents. if that's what your used to, make one! It's
easier to make than the tarp I made!
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