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[pct-l] Bivy tents



I've sent a similar note in recent days to the rec.backcountry bb... been
using my Eureka Gossamer bivy tent for a good while now and am fairly
certain it will be following my every step on the PCT this spring.  I think
it strikes a nice compromise between the spartaness of the tarp/bivy bag
idea and the heavy, sensible set who carry full-sized tents.
Here's my logic.  The Gossamer weighs in at 2lb10oz, over a pound less than
just about any tent on the market (particularly for its cost).  For
comparison, that would be maybe 10oz to 1lb more weight than carrying just
a bivy bag, and perhaps an equal weight to a bivy bag plus a tarp.  But I
feel the advantages to a small tent outweigh any combination of the latter.
First off, you're completely out of the rain and wind.  No bugs to worry
about, and an entirely no-see-um mesh top and side panelling to keep cool
on warm nights.  You have a protected environment in which to either wait
out bad weather, or simply change out your clothes at night, without getting
gratuitous in either the size or weight dept.  If you're smart and decide to
stealth camp, you're probably following Jardine's concept on sleeping with
the food bag as well.  Personally, if I'm going to have the smell of food
at my doorstep, I'd rather be in a completely enclosed environment, as
opposed to the openness of the tarp and/or bivy.  Yes, any large animal that
might want at the food could easily get his wish, but at least there'd be
some warning and perhaps a chance of eliminating the problem.  Better than
waking up to find a bear's paw groping around your head!  Also, the problem
of insects getting at the food bag would be largely obviated.
  On the down side, I guess Jardine's right in that a tent doesn't ventilate
as well as the tarp in rain or snow, and this could pose a potential problem
over a period of wet weather.  But most of the PCT features amiable weather,
esp. at night, during the thru-hiker season.  And animals interested in the
contents of your food bag are omnipresent.  So, it's going to be the
Gossamer here.  
  Greeting fellow '98'rs.  I guess we're all chomping at that bit by now...
any word if El Nino has provided the Sierra with abnormally high snow levels
for the date, or not?
- Blister>Free, AT '96-'97, PCT '98
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