View Full Version : ultralight/tarp camping

August 14, 2005, 15:15
after lugging around our Eureka timberlite XT for more than a couple of miles, I've off and on been looking at some of the ultra-light goodies.

and then I looked at some of the prices for the tents.

y'all want *that much* for just a tarp with rigging points?

took the Eureka out in the back yard this afternoon to play with just the rainfly off the tent. later on in the fall this is something that will work for us.

looks like it will really only work for one person diagonally if there's bad weather. that will get you and your gear under cover.

when initially setting it up, I dropped my trekking poles down by a third to get the tent roof lower.

when doing the initial stakes for the corners, I started them at two thirds the width of the rain fly when rolled out on the ground. once you get the corners staked and the trekking poles in, you can do the sides. you'll probably have to move the stakes around a little to get them where you like them.

bottom line, a rain fly from another tent, ten aluminum nails/stakes, two twelve foot pieces of paracord to rig the ends. in other words, about zero expense.

August 14, 2005, 15:15
looking at it from a lower angle

August 14, 2005, 15:16
details showing the trekking poles inside

August 14, 2005, 15:41
A fine, taut rig, raeldridge!

Amazing whatchew can do on a minimal scale, isn't it?

I've used the fly from my two-man in a similar fashion, in fine weather.

Great pix, too!

Thanks for sharing the knowledge,

August 15, 2005, 08:26
Way to go. REI is on par in the spawn of the devil department with microsoft and AOL. "Yuppifying the outdoors since 1987."

August 15, 2005, 10:13
Looks alot better than 2 shelter halves and about 500% lighter!

August 15, 2005, 21:19
These shelters are mighty fine, worth a look.http://www.hennessyhammock.com/index.htm

These work over water too, as you enter them from the bottom, wiegh between 1.8 lbs and 3 lbs complete.

Stake it on the ground too.

Check it out .


August 15, 2005, 22:30
I do much the same thing with rocks & a plastic dropcloth when camping. unless I'm careful about keeping it open it will condense moisture though.

August 19, 2005, 12:32
Thats about all I ever use no matter what time of year. With a little imagination and prcatice, you can build a "bomb proof" shelter with a tarp.

Bwana John
August 23, 2005, 10:54
If you put para cord on the two peaks of the tent, and camp where there are trees, you can tie the tent up. It increases the useable area under the tent, and you dont need the trekking poles.

I have also just rolled myself up in a light nylon tarp with no sleeping bag, just a bunch of leaves and forest debris, it kept me warm and dry, and I didnt have to build anything.

But for the ultimate in "ultra-light", I would recommend a loin cloth, flip-flop sandals, and a piece of obsidian.:wink:

April 21, 2007, 02:09
We have 36 acres of land. But even better is the 4000 acres of timber land around us. I take my two kids camping out in the woods all the time. First time they were concerned that I didn't have a tent. All I packed was a couple of ponchos and para cord. Make stakes out of sticks and you can always find a couple of trees in the right place. Think about it. If it's warm then basically the only thing you need shelter from is rain.
I hate wasting the room by packing a tent. If it's not raining then we don't even put the poncho hooch up. Just sleep on top of it. Leaves plenty of room for food, fishing gear, other comfort items, broken down Para;)
A friend who was in the SAS gave me an Australian Poncho years ago. It's the best Poncho/Tarp I ever had. Bigger and stronger then the U.S Poncho. More designed for shelter purposes then a Poncho. Not that anyone really ever wears a Poncho. I looked everywhere to buy another one of these. Ever hear of one of these for sale, snatch it up.
Last year we went up to the N.C Aware National Forest to camp. One of the most under used wild life areas I ever been in. It's about an hour from our house. When we park by the Ranger station to start hiking off. It's all free camping up there. The Rangers always take a look at our small packs when we tell them we will be back in five days. Just a few ponchos, food, medical and some extra clothes and that other tool they don't need to know about. It amazes me the size of the packs people hump. They usually only go a few miles in before stooping. Bigger then I had in the Army.
Also traveling light with kids lets you go deeper into the park were you won't ever see another camper.

April 21, 2007, 02:41
I used to like the old jungle hammock, till I grew to over 6'04. I wish I could get one designed for taller people:sad:

April 21, 2007, 12:53
I used a tarp sometimes when camping with the scouts. But what I like best is just a camo GI poncho and a ground cloth. I would just use a ground cloth but we have morning dews here all summer and some of them will soak you like a light rain.

Andy the Aussie
April 21, 2007, 18:54
I use to do this all the time....a thremarest ultralite mate and issue hootchie (like a US poncho without the headhole). I now have a Eureka USMC 2 man tent and the fly works alone just fine...in fact I use it more than the tent/fly combination.

Love waking up to that fresh air...!!


April 21, 2007, 22:08
usgi poncho and poncho liner , tie a small rock in each end of the poncho liner and string it between 2 trees about 24 inches off the ground , string the pincho about 18 inches higher and stake it out like your tent , put your ruck under the one end of the poncho and your rifle in the "hammock" with you keeps you off the ground and alot drier in rain and wet conditions

also if your using a usgi alice ruck take a 6x8 plastic tarp and fold it up so it will sit in between the frame and your back they sit down inside the kidney pad some make the ruck more comfortable to hump and in my case saved my squads butt's in a freak snow /ice storm

those are a few tricks i picked up in the army i dont like carrying extra junk but i will splurge for the little tarp

April 22, 2007, 04:19
i use the same tent fly in the winter campouts , i added a few rock colored cans of spray painted cammo to the fly and it blends in pretty well in the area we camp .

i find the tarp works good , we had 3 days of solid rain at our jan .bob campout kept my gear dry and gave me a place to cook while it was pouring using my backpack stove.