Which tarp or floorless shelter to go over OR Helium Bivy

RSC12

Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2016
Messages
67
Location
British Columbia
So I just purchased a new OR Helium Bivy. I've never tried bivy camping but have always wanted to for some reason. I've tried it out in the backyard for a couple nights and can definitely see the appeal in certain cases. (I don't mind the tight space but can imagine I'd like a dry area for gear or sitting etc)

Now I know that I want to sleep with just the screen mesh cover as much as possible to reduce condensation and not be so stuffy. Just wondering what the best options are for a tarp or shelter of some sort to go over it to keep the majority of the weather off. I'm currently leaning towards Seek Outside DST tarp.

I have a couple of good tents so the purpose of the bivy is for quick over nights or possibly leave in the pack in case I'm on to an animal and don't want to hike out back to my base camp. In that case tho do guys pack their sleeping pad and bag etc with them all the time? Time of year would be the spring and Sept possibly early Oct. I live in BC and most of my hunting after that is from more of a base camp.

Thanks
 

Poser

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 27, 2013
Messages
4,221
Location
Durango CO
Lots of factors to consider in this equation. How much room do you want? How much set up fiddling are you willing to put up with? Do you camp above treeline?

I was out in a bivy/trap setup for 2 nights this weekend. Hiking in Friday night
, the clouds unloaded. It was absolutely pouring rain, echoing thunder and lightning strikes galore. I made it to my destination well after dark and was trying to setup my ultra minimalists tarp (which is great during the dry season) in the whipping wind and the pouring rain and I was cussing for sure. Finally got it setup, rolled out my bivy, inflated my pad inside the bivy, spread out my quilt, zipped up the bivy and dived in there to take off my rain gear laying down. -would have been nice to have had some clearance to work with, but none of that: it was hard work. Then, with the whipping wind & the hard rain, I had to eat dinner with my bivy sack zipped up 3/4ths if the way before braving one last, good night piss. It ain’t for everyone.

Go too big, too heavy, and your bivy sack + tarp weighs more than a Nemo 1P tent. Go too light, too minimalist, and you’ll get caught with your pants down, rain dumping into your tarp. Tarps are finicky to setup and often require 10+ stakes. Setting them up well and efficiently has a learning curve and requires a good bit of practice. They versatility of all the different setups using trekking poles, trees etc is great and all, but it’s really difficult to master multiple setup variations in a way that requires less than 10-15 minutes. A person would have to spend a lot of nights out to have all of those variations mastered.

So, I’m going to advise that you pick a single setup design, not a versatile design, and go with that. Figure out the nuances and spend a bunch of nights out in different conditions until you have confidence in the limitations of that design. Bigger is not better, in fact, bigger is more complicated as well as a bigger sail in the wind.
 

sneaky

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
Messages
8,686
Location
ID
DCF tarp of some sort. No stretching, no sagging, waterproof, super light, easy to dry. Expensive though.

Sent from my SM-G955U using Tapatalk
 

mrbillbrown

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Dec 26, 2013
Messages
3,254
Location
Edmond, OK
I carry a sheep tarp for emergency shelter or shade. It doesn’t leave a ton of extra room to spread stuff out but covers me and my bivy nicely. Definitely minimalist. My 8x10 BearPaw flat tarp provides a lot more usable space but at a size and weight penalty. Poser is right, pick something and learn it well. I really prefer the shaped feature of the SuperTarp of Paratarp for my tarp and bivy set ups.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

BBob

Well Known Rokslider
Joined
Jun 29, 2020
Messages
1,651
Location
Southern AZ
I use the TarpTent Notch Li tarp only (9oz) and an MLD DCF bivy w/full mesh over face. Plenty of room for me solo. A similar but slightly smaller tarp setup would be a ZPacks DCF Hexamid Pocket tarp with doors (6oz). Years ago I spent a lot of time in a Bibler tripod bivy but when it rained that was a pain in the A**. If it rained I carried a piece of Tyvek to drape over me when getting in and out of the bivy. Much nicer to have a tarp over a more minimal bivy and less weight total than the Bibler tripod.
 
Top