I am looking at decreasing my pack weight during my summer scouting trips and was considering exchanging the 5 lb one/two person tent that I am now using for a lightweight silicon treated nylon tarp of about 7 oz. ###Have any of you made this transition yet? ###I would think the combination mummy bag and mosquito net would help keep out the bugs but I am curious to hear your experiences with that. ###I am also worried that the use of one of these lightweight tarps as a ground cloth during fine weather may damage it? ###Let me know what you think.
Have you taken a look at some of the bivy setups they have. I borrowed a North Face bivy from a friend for a scout trip two years ago and it was great. This is all by memory, but I think it came in at around 2lbs. It's no 7ozs. but it was pretty effecient in keeping out critters and a splatering of light rain that fell.
I thought I would buy one, but just never got around to it. It may be worth you looking into.
There are times when one can just go out with a sleeping bag and pad. Ain't nothing better than falling asleep while staring at the stars. Repellent is usually good enough for me to keep the bugs away. Permethrin on the bag and clothes work very well. Throw in a couple space blankets and some duct tape in case a freak storm or cold spell comes your way. One makes a tent, which you can pitch at an angle against a tree to let water run off and the other for extra warmth. They tear easily when holes are punched in 'em so use the duct tape and make your own sticky loops with them instead.
(Edited by shaginator at 11:44 pm on Mar. 20, 2002)
I'm in Shaginator's camp on this one. Early hunts will generally only produce wet weather - not snow or even freezing. Some places, not even that. Just depend on your specific location. I used to hunt Arizona with tarp or nothing but a bag and pad. Some years and hunts would be really wet. Some very dry. Here in Washington, I use a 3-season tent or tarp.
Check out some of the tent and tarp options at sites like these: http://www.backcountrygear.com/
ABout tarp damage - unless you are in the barren desert with no trees, try making an A-frame shelter. More secure from elements and more tent like with room to move around.