Author Topic: Camping w/o a tent  (Read 7355 times)

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Offline mattsissel

Camping w/o a tent
« on: April 14, 2005, 11:32:18 am »
Has anyone tried to do a tour w/o a tent?  Sleeping in just a gore-tex lined sleeping bag or bivy sack?  I am not talking about a bivy bag which is more of a tent.

If so, I was curious if animals and the like are ever pests?  What else does this arrangement effect?

I am planning on doing a solo self supported transam tour at the end of June, west to east.

Any help would be great!

Offline sam21fire

Camping w/o a tent
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2005, 12:51:45 pm »
I've done quite a bit of camping w/o a tent (and a lot with the military).  Sleeping out in just a sleeping bag has a lot of obvious advantages especially the view of the stars.  The biggest problems I've run into are rain (I take a small tarp just in case), mosquitos when it's too warm to hide inside your bag, and changing clothes if there are lots of people around and you're shy.

Good luck and have fun!
S


Offline RussellSeaton

Camping w/o a tent
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2005, 04:04:49 pm »
I'm guessing you do not live in the Midwest.  Otherwise the idea of sleeping without a tent in the summer would never have crossed your mind.  Mosquitos/flies and dew/rain are the insurmountable  problems.  At night and in the morning, the mosquitos are out and you would have no refuge without a tent.  A bivy bag would keep the bugs off but you would be confined to the bag.  Not exactly a fun way to spend every evening.  The dew would soak your stuff every night.  You can try to get around this by carrying plastic garbage bags to put everything into every night.  Hassle.  Instead of putting the stuff in your tent where it will be accessible and dry.

The small 1 man tents are 4 pounds now days.  Just enough space for you and your stuff.  Not a lot of weight for the convenience.  Remember, you are riding across the country for the joy of the experience.  Not to get wet and be eaten by mosquitos.

Go to Barnes Noble, Borders or other book stores and check out the camping/hiking section.  They have several books on lightweight backpacking.  The authors discuss going tentless and how to try to get around the mosquitos and dew/rain problems.  Most advocate using a tarp as a shelter for rain/dew and a large mosquito net as protection from bugs.  To me it sounded kind of like they wanted you to make a tent every night instead of just carrying a real tent.  Others just seem to think people only backpack in the areas of the country that have no mosquitos and during the dry seasons and gloss over the bug and dew issues.


Offline dnasmyth

Camping w/o a tent
« Reply #3 on: April 16, 2005, 12:10:42 am »
Try a Hennessy Hammock lighter than a tent.  Comfortable and protection from rain, bugs etc.


Offline happyare

Camping w/o a tent
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2005, 12:02:33 am »
I've slept under the stars with Girl Scouts, Venture Crew, and in Yosemite. The bugs and animals have never been a problem for me. My guess is that as long as you're in a place with a lot of people, there won't be a pest problem. If you're alone, the animals might be more curious, but I've never been alone, so I don't know. Moisture is very annoying if you don't have the right equipment, but just about any kind of tarp takes care of the problem.

that crazy teenager,
Hapward Weird Annoying Dandelion I. Are
that crazy teenager,
Hapward Weird Annoying Dandelion I. Are

Offline wanderingwheel

Camping w/o a tent
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2005, 07:18:44 pm »
I've done some light tours with only a bivy sack and it works for most conditions.  Like any ultra-light touring, you are trading less discomfort on the bike for more discomfort off the bike.  You will probably find that once past the Rockies, your bivy sack will be used more to keep bugs away than to stay warm or dry.

Sean


Offline srtraveler

Camping w/o a tent
« Reply #6 on: April 23, 2005, 03:58:08 am »
I rode from Oregon to Illinois last year. I strongly
recommend a tent. You will have a lot of
uncomfortable nights, get wet, be bitten by
mosquitos and have to jump through hoops to
change clothes, get dressed. You will also have
lots of damp or wet gear even when it doesn't rain.
I talked to a guy in Three Sisters, OR who was
walking the Pacific Crest Trail. Some nights he
slept out but was clear that when he needed the
tent it was worth every ounce. And he was carrying
everything on his back. Good luck. See my journal
at srtraveler.crazyguyonabike.com. There are over
400 journals on this site with many TransAm
stories.



Offline srtraveler

Camping w/o a tent
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2005, 03:59:29 am »
I rode from Oregon to Illinois last year. I strongly
recommend a tent. You will have a lot of
uncomfortable nights, get wet, be bitten by
mosquitos and have to jump through hoops to
change clothes, get dressed. You will also have
lots of damp or wet gear even when it doesn't rain.
I talked to a guy in Three Sisters, OR who was
walking the Pacific Crest Trail. Some nights he
slept out but was clear that when he needed the
tent it was worth every ounce. And he was carrying
everything on his back. Good luck. See my journal
at srtraveler.crazyguyonabike.com. There are over
400 journals on this site with many TransAm
stories.



Offline LobodeSolo

Camping w/o a tent
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2005, 11:25:33 am »
Try the Thai made Siam Hammock. It works as a hammock with a bug net and as a tent and as a sleeping cover for hostels. It is awesome. Check it out at http://www.siamhammock.com


Offline jeek

Camping w/o a tent
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2005, 10:45:22 pm »
I camped for years in all weather including snowy winter in only a tarp (it was a rain fly fitted with two poles and cords) and a visquine floor sheet.

REI makes a series of tents for which you can buy a "footprint", a floor sheet with gromets in the right places, so you can use that and the rain fly and the tent wands and not need the rest of the tent. That seems like an excellent light weight system. They have one such model that is only a footprint, wands, and fly. Even better.