Flat tarp in the high country?

Just Over That Ridge

Junior Member
Dec 26, 2016
I have been using a Tarptent Contrail on backpack hunts for several years. It has served me well for that purpose.

On basecamp style hunts, I have switched to a floorless tipi, since weight is not so critical. I also have a flat tarp in my daypack on those hunts as an emergency shelter for the group. I recently purchased a Jimmy Tarp skyline xl to fill this role in the future.

This year, it looks like it will be back to the backpacking format in the high country of Colorado in mid September. After enjoying the benefits that the floorless shelters offer (boots on inside, cooking, etc.), I am considering taking the skyline xl as my backpacking shelter instead of the contrail. Its flat dimensions are 9' 5" x 12'. I have a down EE quilt, and I will not use a bivy due to weight/condensation. Pitched low, I don't think there would be much risk of getting wet due to rain, but I've never spent a night under a tarp. I also will be camping just below timberline (camped really high and exposed once before in the contrail, and I don't know how I wasn't struck by lightning).

Any comments on this idea? I'm not looking for confirmation, so let me know what you think: good, bad, or any other thoughts. Thanks


Senior Member
Sep 6, 2016
Northern Colorado
How well does you quilt fit around your sleeping pad? If theres a lot of wind, might get a little cold. I got rid of my quilt because of this exact reason.