Tuesday, October 4, 2011


"Stingray" (above)

"A frame" (above)

"Flying Squirrel" (above)

Mosquitoes in Northern Yosemite July 2010 (above video)

Here is the tarp I used on the PCT and the TRT. It's the Spinn Twinn by Gossamer Gear. It's an excellent tarp in my opinion, large enough to provide plenty of space, simple, and light. I've used it in heavy rain in Oregon and Washington and stayed plenty dry. Of course, you must be smart about your decisions when it is raining to stay dry.

I usually set up the "Stingray," mostly out of laziness. Usually I'd be so dog tired at the end of the day, I had little energy left to do anything. Same proved to be true on the TRT. I've always felt the "A frame" to be the most "bomb proof." On the PCT, if I knew heavy rains were coming, I set up the A frame, and enjoyed its protection from the elements.

On the first couple of days on the TRT, I was worried. Mosquitoes were out and I did not know the extent of their ferociousness. I was doubting my shelter choice because I did not have bug netting. I did not, and was horrified of the thought of experiencing mosquitoes like I did on the PCT in Northern Yosemite in late July last year. They did not bed down in the evening and attacked all night long in swarms. Thankfully, on the TRT, the mosquitoes disappeared after the sun went down, and the couple of nights they didn't, they attacked in small numbers which made it bearable. If I am able to hike a long trail again, I will consider sewing a mosquito net onto my tarp.


  1. Did you ever have problems in heavy rain with water on the ground running under the tarp?

  2. No, I had a larger piece of plastic on the PCT under my sleeping bag and ridge rest and folded the plastic up like a "canoe." This technique worked miracles in North Carolina. In Carolina, we used tarps with that simple blue plastic. It weighed more, but combined with an A frame and a "canoe" set up, I think I could have weathered a hurricane, that's how confident I felt about it. My current set up doesn't feel as strong and secure, but thats part of the weight sacrifice.

  3. Cool. I see it now in the third photo.

  4. To really make it really effective with a lot of rain, you can sinch the ends of the plastic like a candy wrapper, tie it with a small piece of P-cord, and then attatch it to the string at the top of the tarp which elevates the ends like a hammock. You are not suspended in the air, just the ends on both sides. The water is free to flow right underneath the plastic if a stream happens to make its way under your tarp.