Tarp Shelters and rain

Forums Mountain Bike Forum Tarp Shelters and rain

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    • #259613

      I’m very new to backpack hunting and I like the idea of a lightweight shelter like the Jimmy Tarp. But what happens when it rains? Or if there are strong winds?

      How do you keep your sleeping bag and gear dry if there is no floor to prevent water coming in?

      Sorry for the newbie questions,

    • #259614

      If you’re hunting in the woods on a bicycle, you need more mental help than a tarp can give you.  If not, then this is simply the wrong website to ask at.

    • #259615

      I think the freestanding UL tents are now good and light enough to not consider a tarp-like solution in potential weather.


    • #259631

      Have you looked into bivy sacks? Basically a one-person tent that fits a person and sleeping bag. I have the Alpine model in the link below and it has a Gore-Tex floor. It’s obviously small, so this probably wouldn’t work for anyone who is at all claustrophobic.


      If you get an over-sized one, you might be able to pull your pack in, obviously depending on how big you are, but the pack can also always be hung from a tree with a rain cover, which, if you’re in bear country and carrying food, is your better option. Unless, of course, you also want to be the hunted while you lie in your sleeping bag. You should actually probably get a hard food canister (not plastic tupperware), too.

    • #259706

      If I know I’me going to deal with wet weather while roughing it, I look to hammock solutions.  A hammock tent to sleep in, and another to store stuff.  If it’s windy, it’ll just rock me to sleep.  But I have the same question as ZipHead.  Hunting while mountain biking? 🙂  Guess it isn’t impossible.



    • #259864

      Lots of bivy bag-like options, but a bivy bag is for surviving a storm, not for sleeping. One night in a good storm in one and you’ll see why. Condensation is an issue no matter the material. Putting in a long day on bike after a poor night of sleep sucks; not at all worth any weight savings . A bivy bag with even one pole at the shoulders makes it livable. (A stiff wire around your head doesn’t count.) Bug netting is mandatory.

      My UL 1P tent weighs about what my bivy bag does, and it has tons of room for everything that needs to be dry, it also has a vestibule. I’ve spent over 60 nights in it, it kicks ass: https://www.nemoequipment.com/product/hornet/


      Fred, it’s not hunting on a MTB ride, it’s using a MTB to hunt.

    • #259977

      My initial backpacking tent was a tarp. This was back in the day when the only advice on the subject came from Colin Fletcher, author of The Complete Walker, who used a tarp on his trips in the southwest desert (also, I couldn’t afford more at the time). I got soaked and flooded out on one trip in a deluge in the Appalachians and shortly thereafter scraped for a tent. The next trip I took was in the Adirondacks in black fly season. I would have gone insane without the bug protection of the tent.

      One man tents these days weigh about a pound more than a tarp and give much superior protection from biting insects, which can ruin a trip, and rain. A free-standing tent doesn’t require stringing lines to trees, a factor above timberline or in a prairie. They also allow you the room to sit up, change clothing out of the elements, and in a pinch, pee into a container at night when it’s pouring outside, something a bivy sack will not allow.

    • #260045

      agree, totally weird to ask a hunting question on a mountain bike site.  But since we’re all here…

      I’ve endured some significant storms with just a tarp for shelter.  If you avoid laying in a low spot you’ll be fine.  Don’t pick a spot that looks like a stream used to run through it.

      If bad weather looks possible pitch the tarp pretty low in an A frame style.  If you run the ridgeline cord under the trap you need to position 2 small drip lines at the edge of the tarp to keep water from running in.  At least one of the trees should be right up against the open end of the tarp to sort of “close the door”.  Put a scrap of Tyvek or HD painters plastic under your sleeping bag.  methods that wrap the tarp around to serve as a floor are terrible.  That just creates a bowl for water to collect in.

      This method is about as good as I’ve seen https://youtu.be/UlJE_SkN_ng  but again, picking the right spot is a big deal.

      • #260050

        Nothing weird about using a mountain bike for hunting. Lots of folks out west do it.  I just recently did a 4 day bike hunting/camping trip.

      • #260058

        Well, I learned something new today!

        I’m picturing you firing while riding like the hunt scene in Dances with Wolves.  Much more exciting than hunting in the south which mainly consists of sitting in a tree freezing your butt off trying not to move.

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