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Camping

Tarps, Tarp Tents, or Tents?

Oware Cat-Cut Tarp

Over the past 4 years, I've progressively migrated from tents, to tarp tents, and finally to tarps as my preferred camping shelter. Over time and many backpacking trips, I came to appreciate the flexibility of of tarps over tents or tarp tents in a variety of different weather conditions and …

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Shelter Etiquette

Appalachian Trail Shelter

I’m writing this post at the request of one of our regular readers. He had a bad experience camping at an Appalachian Trail Shelter over the Columbus Day weekend with his children. Some other campers showed up and were drinking heavily. They got loaded and and rowdy and trashed the …

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How NOT to hang a Bear Bag

When I was hiking a section of the AT recently near Crawford Notch in New Hampshire, I came across this bear bag hanging on a tree at the Ethan Pond Shelter. I was stunned when I saw it because it’s one of the worst examples of how to hang a …

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How to Use LineLock Guy Line Tensioners

The guys at RVOps in the UK publish a lot of really great gear reviews and how-to videos on YouTube. Here’s one that caught my eye last week about how to use LineLocks, an ultralight guy line tensioner. I’ve owned these for a few years and never could figure out …

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Best Camouflage for Stealth Camping

People often ask me what kind of shelter is best for stealth camping. The answer varies depending on the type of stealth camping you want to do. If you’re out backpacking and decide to stay at a site where camping is uncommon due to heavy day use (be sure to …

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Ultralight Tarp Practice

Ultralight Tarp Pitch Pratice

I got some more practice today setting up a tarp and I’m finally feeling confident enough that I could actually use it as a shelter on a section hike if required. This time around, I practiced with an 8 x 8 ft square silnylon tarp that I own for hammock …

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Tarp Set Up Basics

On Sunday,  I spent a few hours in the woods by my house setting up tarps in a variety of configurations and it's fair to say that I need a lot more practice. I'd read about setting up tarps before trying it today, but it seems like I had to …

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Setting Up a Tarp

Ultralight Bivy Sack under a floorless Silnylon Square Tarp

When hiking on a long trail, it is important to bring along a fall back shelter system in case a shelter or hut is already full or if you run out of gas between between shelters. I address this by bringing a tarp, which lets me shave some additional weight …

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Weight Saving Tip: Tent Footprints

Tent Footprint

If you are serious about lowering your backpacking base weight, you need to weigh and examine each item on your gear list and ask yourself if you can substitute it with a lighter weight alternative. For example, if you have a tent made by one of the larger commercial manufacturers, …

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Sleep System Survival Tactics for Staying Warm

Camping in Winter

Have you ever spent a cold night in your sleeping bag  wondering why you are cold when you’re sleeping in a bag that is properly rated for the temperature outside? A lot of backpackers and campers have this problem and blame their sleeping bag for it, when it could be …

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