You'll save about 2 pounds and about one-third the space compared to a
good, light one-person tent. I am unfamiliar with how a tarp would
perform in the Sierras but I suspect it does substantially better as a
shelter compared with lower, wetter climes on the East Coast where there
are more creepy crawlies and bugs to deal with. Waking up in the middle
of the night to a mouse prancing across your lips is an experience that
is harmless on one level but also one you don't soon forget. Ask me how
I know that. I found a shaped tarp design with relatively steep sides
was much superior to a rectangular design since it is easier to set up
in windy conditions, especially if using hiking sticks as your 'tent'
poles. A rectangular tarp set up with a low arch is apt to have
condensation problems since moisture expelled by respiration and
perspiration will migrate to the waterproof tarp material and hang
suspended on the underside until shaken loose. In a downpour, the
pounding rain shakes loose the droplets on the occupant beneath, almost
like being out in the rain. With steeper sides, gravity eventually wins
out and the droplets slide down the material and fall off around the
perimeter. I had a good experience with the Integral Designs Sil Shelter
hiking the AT a while back and may decide to use it on JMT this year.
> Hi all,
> I'm hiking the northern half of the trail in late Aug. and early
> Sept., for the first time, and I'm wondering if anyone has any input
> on tarps vs. tents. I have never used tarps and don't know much about
> using them, so I'm wondering about them vs. a tent.
> Also sleeping bags - what's the temp. drop to usually this time of
> year? Depends on the altitude I know....and does anybody have any
> thoughts on zip together bags?! I'm thinkin about a 20 degree down bag...