Floorless or not???

bounds

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I've been in the search of the perfect shelter for a while now. I don't have the money to buy one yet, so it has given me plenty of time to consider all my options without jumping into something. I think it's become somewhat of a curse though! Every time I think I've made up my mind, I think about it longer and start looking at something else!

Anyway, I've been riding the fence about whether to go with a bombproof/floored shelter from Hilleberg or to take the plunge and go floorless. I know that a lot of you are going floorless now so I need some field use feedback. I've got two main concerns.

First and foremost, when it's been raining all day and you go to set up, what's it like being inside your shelter and your floor being a wet mess? I think this would be the hardest thing to get used to/most uncomfortable thing about floorless.

I think I've figured this out, but with a full closure floorless shelter like a Megatarp or tipi, is anyone using a bivy? Or is it necessary? I don't think it is, but just want some from-the-field opinions.

The last thing is if you are using trekking poles to pitch it, are you taking the shelter down everyday and using or trekking poles? Or do you just use them for the hike in and out?

Thanks!
 

Backpack Hunter

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I think I can answer some of the questions.
When it has been raining all day and the ground is wet is an area where the floorless shelters shine. You don't have to worry about tracking in dirt/mud etc on your floor. I generally put down a piece of tyvek then lay my bedding on top of that to keep my gear clean.

I have just started to use a net bivy (in the Supertarp), but honestly have never needed it yet. There are a couple areas I'm hunting this year that are supposed to be heavily infested with mosquitoes so I have been giving it a shot. I have used nests in a tipi style shelter with good results.

Generally I use the trekking poles only for the hike in, and out, and of course with a meat load. However if doing a true bivy hunt everything gets packed up every day and moves with me, in that case the poles are generally used while walking.
 

Beastmode

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I've been in the search of the perfect shelter for a while now. I don't have the money to buy one yet, so it has given me plenty of time to consider all my options without jumping into something. I think it's become somewhat of a curse though! Every time I think I've made up my mind, I think about it longer and start looking at something else!

Anyway, I've been riding the fence about whether to go with a bombproof/floored shelter from Hilleberg or to take the plunge and go floorless. I know that a lot of you are going floorless now so I need some field use feedback. I've got two main concerns.

First and foremost, when it's been raining all day and you go to set up, what's it like being inside your shelter and your floor being a wet mess? I think this would be the hardest thing to get used to/most uncomfortable thing about floorless.

I think I've figured this out, but with a full closure floorless shelter like a Megatarp or tipi, is anyone using a bivy? Or is it necessary? I don't think it is, but just want some from-the-field opinions.

The last thing is if you are using trekking poles to pitch it, are you taking the shelter down everyday and using or trekking poles? Or do you just use them for the hike in and out?

Thanks!

Where do you hunt? State, altitude, terrain. I think a floorless shelter is great for a lot of scenarios but not all.
 
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bounds

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Thanks BH. Good info. Do you find that the ground inside dries out after you've been set up for a little while?

Beastmode - Currently, most of my hunting has been earlier season and higher altitude. But I also plan to go on trips to Alaska and also hunt late season. Unfortunately, I can't afford more than one shelter right now so I'm just trying to figure out what would cover the broadest range of conditions. If I could have two I would have something ultralight, like the Megatarp or something similar and also have a 4 season from Hilleberg. Just not in the cards right now.

I know I can save weight and still have plenty of weather protection for the conditions I hunt now by going floor less. I've never been in a floorless shelter though, so don't know if I would like it or not.
 

Ozz08

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Castle Rock, CO
Bounds, you sound just like me. I've been going back and forth on a new shelter as well. I can't decide it I want to go floorless or not. I've slept in floorless shelters before and for whatever reason I just never slept well. But the space to weight ratio of the mega tarp is getting very hard for me to ignore. Right now I've got it narrowed down to a mega tarp or one of Henry shires tarp tents. Good luck with your decision!
 

Beastmode

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Get whichever one will fit YOUR needs the most. I use a floored shelter due to all the ticks and ants in California. If I didn't have to deal with the insects I would use a floorless shelter. Unfortunately the bug issue is a huge ordeal for me.
 
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bounds

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I'm glad someone shares in my struggles Ozz! If I go with a floored tent, I've been leaning towards a Hilleberg because you can run it as a floorless shelter. Still wouldn't be as light as a tarp, but you have the added advantage a serious 4 season shelter for whatever adventure calls.

Thanks Beast! Appreciate your input!
 

Beastmode

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Do a search on shelters here. There is a ton of great info. Floored as well as floorless. As said before what works great for one guy may not work great for the next. Comfort is a huge thing and if you aren't comfortable it can really break you down. Good luck let us know what you end up getting.
 

ohhiitznik

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Rochester Hills, MI
If I had to have only 1 shelter for a do all type shelter it would be the Hilleberg akto. I'm a tarp/tipi guy too. But if you plan on going where bugs are and pitching on wet ground might bother you just get the hilleberg. You won't be disappointed. I myself would like to have a stable of these shelters a Hilleberg Akto, and a Kifaru Megatarp or Kifaru Supertarp. My hunting buddy and I are deciding between the super or the mega, or going with 2 LBO bases for our shelters this year. But if I was sleeping in cliffs or worried about bugs I'd have a hilleberg akto.
 

Backpack Hunter

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Thanks BH. Good info. Do you find that the ground inside dries out after you've been set up for a little while?

If you have a stove definitely. There have been quite a few places in the Great Smoky Mountains that just always seemed to stay damp, but that's just the nature of that forest. For the most part though it will dry out pretty quickly, usually at least within a day without a stove.
 
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bounds

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Thanks for the added info.

Beast - I've definitely done tons of searching on here and across the web. I work in the outdoor industry, so I see a ton of product, I just don't have field use with most of it. But I think you're right, it's based on what I like and am comfortable with.

At some point I'm just going to have to start spending money!
 

justin davis

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Colorado
Hunt where I hunt with a floorless shelter and it may change your mind.

Where do you hunt? ... And 2nd have you ever used a floor less shelter like a Kifaru?

I camp year round in floor less shelters (Kifaru tipis and supertarp). I have camped in some of the worst weather you can imagine. I have stayed much dryer in a floor less than in a floored tent. Sounds scary, but I bet once you spent a night in a Kifaru tipi you will be hooked for life.
 

justin davis

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I've been in the search of the perfect shelter for a while now. I don't have the money to buy one yet, so it has given me plenty of time to consider all my options without jumping into something. I think it's become somewhat of a curse though! Every time I think I've made up my mind, I think about it longer and start looking at something else!

Anyway, I've been riding the fence about whether to go with a bombproof/floored shelter from Hilleberg or to take the plunge and go floorless. I know that a lot of you are going floorless now so I need some field use feedback. I've got two main concerns.

First and foremost, when it's been raining all day and you go to set up, what's it like being inside your shelter and your floor being a wet mess? I think this would be the hardest thing to get used to/most uncomfortable thing about floorless.

I think I've figured this out, but with a full closure floorless shelter like a Megatarp or tipi, is anyone using a bivy? Or is it necessary? I don't think it is, but just want some from-the-field opinions.

The last thing is if you are using trekking poles to pitch it, are you taking the shelter down everyday and using or trekking poles? Or do you just use them for the hike in and out?

Thanks!

I don't use a bivy in my floor less shelters. If I was using a tarp or my supertarp pitched like a flat tarp I would use a bivy.
I use trekking poles to pitch my supertarp. I keep the poles in there. Only use the poles for the hike in and hike out
 

oldgrowth

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Jan 1, 2013
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california
This year i am going to get my first packable shelter and i too have been wondering whether or not to go floorless. The more i look at the floorless concept the more i think i will like it. I have in the past always just slept under the stars with just my bag. I like the freedom of being in the wilderness and just staring at the stars before i go to sleep. As for critters i have had a few rousings in the night from a stray bug (the fast ones can quite exciting :eek:), but for the most part skeeters and such just leave me alone(maybe i just stink or taste bad, or both!) For family camping we have always used a floored tent but i never liked the floor for a couple of reasons. One, they always seem to end up with holes in them unless you are careful. Two, you track in dirt and such that you can never seem to get out. Both these issues would be gone going floorless. Also i would think they would have less condensation issues than a fully enclosed tent? In the past, when i was camping alot (before the wife and kids) i had no reason for, nor could i afford a tent as i doing most of my camping in the summer and if it rained i could just pack up and go to the truck or home .Really the main reason for getting a shelter is i am just getting into backcountry hunting and later in the season when i will be hunting the weather could change and it would suck to have to bail early due to not being prepared. i have done plenty of camping over the years and have hunted most of my life so it made sense to combine the two. For years i have wanted to do this but I just never had both the time or the money in the past, but now the kids are on thier own and i would regret not doing this while i can. I guess what i'm tryin to say i i'm going to give this florless shelter thing a try.:D
 

Beastmode

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Northern california. Everywhere you sit, sleep or stop to glass is loaded with ants and ticks. No fun in a floorless shelter. I could set up a bivy in a floorless but don't like being that confined. Believe me I would love the benifits of a floorless shelter, just doesn't work for my situation.
 

oldgrowth

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california
Beastmode,I have to agree about the ticks and ants. I have picked up a few ticks in the past (you know your screwed when you feel an itch and when you scratch it then it feels like someone put a match to ya), but the ants don't really bug me (my wife hates e'm, thus a tent when we camp). The insect that really bugs me (pun intended :p) are them dang yellow jackets. I can't count the times i have (unknowingly)stepped on a nest. Nothing like doing a crazed 50 yard dash down a 70% grade on pine needle covered ground, through thick brush, all while trying not to drop your rifle (if you do your gonna have to go back into angry bee infested air to recover it):(
Or, you just down a nice buck, and you don't even have time to finish gutting it before you have to battle hundreds of ravenous bees to get your deer out let alone get out alive yourself.
 
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bounds

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Pineywoods - Cleveland, TX
Thanks for the input JD. I think I'm going to have to try one.

Beast. I grew up in Texas and lived in Nor Cal for a while so I know all about ticks. They're the worst. I'll definitely keep that in mind.
 
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