Ultralight tarp/tents for early season backcountry hunts

Bozone

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Mar 16, 2012
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Location
Montana
As I continue to lighten the load for each fall, shelter can be an area to make up big weight savings. Traditionally, I have used a small, freestanding one or two man tent. There are many out there that fit the bill, and work great in various weather: MSR Carbon Reflex, Big Agnes, Hilleberg, etc. But, even for as light as they are, they are still, relatively speaking pretty heavy, clocking in over 2 or 3 pounds, or more.
Here are a couple of great options to look at, for those of you looking to knock your "shelter system" weight way down. And don't be put off by the ultralight look or design--these things have seen some serious weather, and have been on long distance trips by the likes of ultra-hiker Andrew Skurka, who did this "hike" http://andrewskurka.com/adventures/alaska-yukon-expedition/route-description/ (holy sh*t...)

Some lightweight tarp or tent options for early season backcountry hunts:
http://www.tarptent.com/contrail.html ($200, 24 oz.)
http://www.mountainlaureldesigns.com/shop/product_info.php?cPath=47&products_id=105 ($205, 12 oz.)
http://www.kifaru.net/supertarp2009.html ($310, 16 oz.)
http://www.titaniumgoat.com/vertex5.html ($300, 240z.)

Some of these are floorless (Kifaru, Duomid) but that can be a real asset; use a small plastic ground cloth for the sleeping bag/pad, and don't worry about coming in to your shelter with wet boots, etc. Very user-friendly, but takes a bit more practice to set up the first few times. Test it out in the backyard first, and get really good at staking them out for a nice, taut pitch that will shed wind and rain.
 

Matt Cashell

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Feb 25, 2012
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Western MT
Hey Bozone (nice name ... must be from Bozangelas),

those are some great UL tents.

I have been running the Contrail for past few years, and really like it. You are right. It is sturdier in rough weather than I ever thought it would be. It doesn't take up a lot of space in the pack, either.

I am looking into the GoLite Shangrila 5 (floorless) as an UL palace for going it with a partner this year. What do you think?
 

dotman

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Feb 24, 2012
Messages
8,201
Nice list, i use the supertarp which is great but maybe add the paratarp to the list as well.
 

Mike7

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Feb 28, 2012
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Location
Northern Idaho
My buddy and I use a TiGoat Vertex 7.5 when hunting together and so far it has been bomb proof and is a great size for stove and 3 guys with gear, but I have been looking at the Supertarp vs. a Mountain Laurel Duomid or Supermid for solo hunting. I have a homemade Supertarp which works okay, but I wish it was taller in the middle for changing clothes, etc. I would like to know what the experience has been with other hunters who may have used a MLD Duomid or Supermid, as these seem to be a big hit with through hikers.
 

luke moffat

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Feb 24, 2012
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I have a golite SL 3 for hiking and don't use a nest when solo. Can use either a trekking pole or tripod as a center pole to keep the weight around 24 oz but you get 60 sq ft of complete protection from the elements which is a palace when going solo. For two or more the SL 5 at 29 oz for the tent is a in its own right for 2 people at 90 sq ft.
 

Ryan Avery

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Jan 5, 2012
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6,172
Supertarp all the way, it's modular. You can use the tarp in the early season. Then bring the annex and stove later in the year!

Ryan
 

a3dhunter

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
859
Location
Colorado Springs,CO
Hey Bozone (nice name ... must be from Bozangelas),

those are some great UL tents.

I have been running the Contrail for past few years, and really like it. You are right. It is sturdier in rough weather than I ever thought it would be. It doesn't take up a lot of space in the pack, either.

I am looking into the GoLite Shangrila 5 (floorless) as an UL palace for going it with a partner this year. What do you think?

I jumped in and bought the SL-5 and can't wait to get some time in it. After talking and reading about those that have used it, it will absolutely hold up and be what is needed.
If guys like Luke have used them in Alaska and all over, I have no problem using it in the rockies.
I was impressed with the quality and the ease of setup right way.
 
B

bearguide

Guest
it is hard to choose, there are lots of good options, i am still researching, thanks for the info
 

les welch

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Feb 25, 2012
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2,351
Location
Central WI
I have a six Moon Designs Lunar Duo. Two man, double vestibule, double entrance. 2# 9oz.
 

kcm2

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 26, 2012
Messages
160
You've done your homework. I'm a kifaru addict, but you could not make a mistake with that list.
 

sreekers

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Mar 8, 2012
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1,254
Location
Wyoming
I haven't put my hands on the Cuben Fiber yet. I am interested in how it differs from Silnylon.
 
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