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Floorless Tents and Shelters 101

Floorless Tents and Shelters

Floorless tents and shelters present an ultralightweight choice for backpackers who wish to considerably scale back their backpacking gear weight. Whereas that weight discount would possibly sound fairly engaging, most often you’ll nonetheless need some type of insect safety like a bivy sack and/or floor safety, like a floor material or bathtub ground to guard your gear from dust and moisture. The load of these added elements will whittle away among the potential weight financial savings however you’ll be able to most likely nonetheless scale back your shelter weight, relying on the elements you select which is able to most certainly embrace:

  1. a tent rainfly or tarp
  2. insect safety, if required, within the type of a bivy sack or net-tent
  3. floor moisture safety within the type of a plastic sheet, floor material, or bathtub ground.

In relation to a tent rainfly or tarp, there are a variety of various approaches accessible together with using a modular double-wall tent, a modular single-wall tent shelter system, or a flat (rectangular) tarp or formed tarp like a pyramid.

1. Modular Double Wall Tent

Tarptent Notch - rainfly only
Tarptent Notch – rainfly solely

You should utilize a modular double-wall tent, like a Durston X-Mid 1 Rainfly or the Tarptent Notch Rainfly, and simply use the outside rainfly portion whereas leaving the interior tent at dwelling. Should you already personal such a tent, you can begin experimenting with utilizing a floorless tent with none additional value or delay. This may be a sexy choice when insect safety will not be essential and a plastic or ultralight floor sheet can suffice for floor and moisture safety.

Nonetheless, if insect and floor moisture safety is required, it may be arduous to save lots of a lot weight over utilizing the interior tent already provided with the rainfly in case you already use an ultralight tent with a light-weight interior tent. For instance, the interior tent on the Durston X-Mid 1 weighs 10.7 oz, which makes it tough to slash a lot weight, even in case you change to an ultralight bivy sack and a plastic groundsheet.

2. Modular Single Wall Tent

Some manufacturers sell shelter specific inner tents as part of a modular single wall shelter system.
Some producers promote shelter-specific interior tents as a part of a modular single-wall shelter system.

Alternatively, you’ll be able to put money into a modular single-wall pyramid tarp like a Mountain Laurel Designs Solomid XL or the Hyperlite Ultamid-2 or a modular formed tarp system just like the SlingFin Splitwing Shelter Bundle and increase it with an ultralight mesh bivy sack and floor material, both plastic sheeting or a bath ground.

The benefit of this method is which you can improve with a fitted interior tent, just like the Ultamid 2 Half Insert if later you resolve you favor having a extra livable interior tent that gives insect and floor moisture safety. Many single-wall pyramid tarp producers present this selection when buying a mid or as an add-on together with Mountain Laurel Designs, Hyperlite Mountain Gear, Search Exterior, MSR, and Black Diamond.

3. Flat Tarp or Formed Tarp

A shelter system that includes a shaped catenary cut tarp, a bivy sack, and palstic ground sheet
A shelter system that features a formed catenary lower tarp, a bivy sack, and a plastic floor sheet

An alternative choice is to make use of a flat tarp or a formed tarp, including a bivy sack for insect safety and a  groundsheet or bathtub ground. This usually gives the best approach to shave gear weight however requires the most important transition in case you’re used to utilizing a tent. The most important weight-saving on this state of affairs possible be the load of the rainfly, notably in case you select one made out of an ultralight materials like Dyneema

Some formed tarps are additionally accessible with perimeter bug netting just like the 9.8 oz Gossamer Gear DCF Whisper and the Six Moon Designs Deschutes Plus, and simply require utilizing some type of floor and moisture safety to show into a whole shelter system.

Insect Safety

Insect safety is commonly a necessity when tenting below a rainfly or tarp, however not all the time. It might additionally present some safety towards bigger bothersome animal life like snakes, lizards, or scorpions that could be drawn to your physique warmth.

The Katabatic Gear Pinon Bivy weighs 7.3 oz
The Katabatic Gear Pinon Bivy weighs 7.3 oz

Ultralight backpackers usually go for an ultralight bivy sack for insect safety, which is solely made with mesh or has a mesh window over the pinnacle and a breathable high material. Most ultralight bivy sacks are usually not waterproof and have to be used with some type of waterproof floor sheet, though there are exceptions together with the 7.3 oz Katabatic Gear Pinon Bivy and seven.3 oz Bristlecone Bivy Sacks which have waterproof flooring.

I’ve used bivy sacks fairly extensively and revel in sleeping in a single, however they’re not everybody’s cup of tea by way of livability. If extra inside area is desired, you’ll be able to attempt a bigger Internet-tent just like the 6.5 oz Mountain Laurel Designs Bug Bivy or the 11 oz Six Moon Designs Serenity NetTent, which have the additional benefit of getting waterproof flooring. They’re primarily the identical because the interior tents accessible with modular single-wall tents, however are usually not wed to anyone tent and can be utilized with all kinds of different single-wall tents or tarps.

Floor Safety

The Zpacks Solo Bathtub Groundsheet weighs 3.2 oz
The Zpacks Solo Bathtub Groundsheet weighs 3.2 oz

Floor safety, notably moisture safety is often a requirement when utilizing a floorless tent or shelter. It might take a number of varieties from a sturdy plastic floor sheet or a tyvek floor sheet to a full bathtub ground which has sidewalls to guard towards working or pooling water. All three profit from good campsite choice expertise as a way to preserve you and your gear dry.

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