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Old 05-03-07, 06:18 PM   #1
Tom Stormcrowe
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Tarp and trekking poles or tent for May in the UP?

Your best sugestions as which way? I can go either way or both! I'm using a trailer and touring with a first timer.
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Old 05-03-07, 07:37 PM   #2
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FIRST TIMER? Tent, definetly.
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Old 05-03-07, 08:24 PM   #3
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If you are experienced using a tarp in that region, then go with the tarp and trekking poles. Better still, if you're setting up in the woods, there should be plenty of good wood for poles just laying on the ground. You may be able to leave the trekking poles at home.

Don't forget about mosquito netting.
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Old 05-04-07, 01:39 AM   #4
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Take a look at the tarptent squall. Its really a tent with floor and full perimeter netting, ~2.5 lbs, using your poles for front support (although optional 2oz pole will substitute).

http://www.tarptent.com/squall2.html
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Old 05-04-07, 09:21 AM   #5
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Click this link and print it if you plan on using a tarp.
http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/tarp/TarpShel.htm
I use a tarp in all weather conditions. Advantages are primarily cost and availability. Tarps may be purchased almost anywhere, most good tents must be ordered through specialty stores. If you damage your tarp during a tour you may replace it easily by purchasing a new one. If you damage your tent, good luck replacing it during the trip. Tarps are so cheap there disposable eliminating storage of a tent between tours. Purchase a new tarp before the tour and dispose of it in a trash can the last day of the tour. Purchase your tarp and practice putting it up before the tour starts. After you determine the size and shape of the tarp shelter you like use a permanent marker to indicate fold lines making setup faster and easier.

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Old 05-04-07, 03:51 PM   #6
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May? in the UP? with a first timer??

DEFINETLY A TENT, Tom.
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Old 05-04-07, 04:12 PM   #7
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May? in the UP? with a first timer??
Don't forget to bring your skis and ice skates. Ja ja ja ja.
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Old 05-04-07, 06:17 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by n4zou
Click this link and print it if you plan on using a tarp.
http://www.bushwalking.org.au/FAQ/tarp/TarpShel.htm
I use a tarp in all weather conditions. Advantages are primarily cost and availability. Tarps may be purchased almost anywhere, most good tents must be ordered through specialty stores. If you damage your tarp during a tour you may replace it easily by purchasing a new one. If you damage your tent, good luck replacing it during the trip. Tarps are so cheap there disposable eliminating storage of a tent between tours. Purchase a new tarp before the tour and dispose of it in a trash can the last day of the tour. Purchase your tarp and practice putting it up before the tour starts. After you determine the size and shape of the tarp shelter you like use a permanent marker to indicate fold lines making setup faster and easier.

We'll be taking the trekking poles anyway, as we also intend to hit Isle Royal Nat Park for a few days and do some hiking.

The tarp will add very little weight and I'm using a trailer, so I'll be using the tarp as a wrap of our gear in the trailer. Double Duty, carry the tent and the tarp is a backup if we have problems with tent damage as well as keeping the gear with an extra dry layer if the weather goes south! Win-win!
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Old 05-05-07, 01:16 AM   #9
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I would ditch the poles and take the tent. I doubt you need a pair of poles in that kind of terrain. it's not a gasp up McKinley. A single walking stick is great and can be picked up along the way. I doubt you will find the trip bug-free though it can happen in May. It's usually right at the worst. Tent is good, and if you find you have lots of room for the other stuff, then you can take it if you wish.

A trailer is a less efficient way to carry marginal weight. It's not as though because you have a trailer you can load stuff on with impunity. It's arguable that a trailer is a better method of carrying a load than paniers, but it's not arguable its a more efficient method per marginal pound, or we might as well all switch to low pressure tiny cheap wheels.
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Old 05-05-07, 11:36 AM   #10
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I was hiking in the Porcupine Mountains in the UP in late May last year, and the black flies were unbelievably awful in the forest. Definitely take a tent. Outside of the woods, there were virtually no flies. It was unusually hot, too (upper 90s in May).
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Old 05-05-07, 01:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterpan1
I would ditch the poles and take the tent. I doubt you need a pair of poles in that kind of terrain. it's not a gasp up McKinley. A single walking stick is great and can be picked up along the way. I doubt you will find the trip bug-free though it can happen in May. It's usually right at the worst. Tent is good, and if you find you have lots of room for the other stuff, then you can take it if you wish.

A trailer is a less efficient way to carry marginal weight. It's not as though because you have a trailer you can load stuff on with impunity. It's arguable that a trailer is a better method of carrying a load than paniers, but it's not arguable its a more efficient method per marginal pound, or we might as well all switch to low pressure tiny cheap wheels.
IOt is a better way though, when you are pulling the gear for two riders. The wife rides a delta trike and I have yet to find a good system to load gear on it.
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Old 05-05-07, 06:34 PM   #12
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Can you say "black flies"?

We took our first non-credit-card tour last summer. We took a 5-day self-supported trip in the UP the first week of June. We had a tent and I will never be able to get my wife to go there again (except maybe in the middle of winter). She looked like boxer after a few days - her face was misshapen from blackfly bites. She wanted me to burn all of our maps after we got home (I've got them hidden in the back of the closet).

I got black fly bites too - although mine were more of a problem after we got back home. I had about a dozen welts on one calf and they took a couple of months to completely disappear.

Looking back though - it was a nice trip otherwise.

I'd recommend the tent.
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Old 05-05-07, 07:48 PM   #13
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"IOt is a better way though, when you are pulling the gear for two riders. The wife rides a delta trike and I have yet to find a good system to load gear on it."

Wouldn't presume to argue with you about that. It just occured to me that all the advatages really don't come down to advantages in rolling resistence, and therefore one shouldn't be complacent about marginal weight increases, though obviously the real harm of marginal weight increases is the additional weight intself, and not whether there is some additional penalty regarding one or another method of carrying it.
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Old 05-05-07, 08:01 PM   #14
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I have known people who have camped on the Wisconsin shoreline of Lake Superior durring Memorial Day weekend and reported that the bugs were very bad. Be prepared, take lots of DEET, and this is not the time to experiment with alternative insect repellents.
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Old 05-05-07, 08:11 PM   #15
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I have known people who have camped on the Wisconsin shoreline of Lake Superior durring Memorial Day weekend and reported that the bugs were very bad. Be prepared, take lots of DEET, and this is not the time to experiment with alternative insect repellents.
Definitely using DEET
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Old 05-05-07, 08:12 PM   #16
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Others are right about the bugs. You definitely want a tent because of the mosquitoes, especially on Isle Royale.

I lived in the UP for 18+ years, so you can trust that I know what it's like up there. I also hiked Isle Royale for about a week.
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Old 05-05-07, 08:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peterpan1
"IOt is a better way though, when you are pulling the gear for two riders. The wife rides a delta trike and I have yet to find a good system to load gear on it."

Wouldn't presume to argue with you about that. It just occured to me that all the advatages really don't come down to advantages in rolling resistence, and therefore one shouldn't be complacent about marginal weight increases, though obviously the real harm of marginal weight increases is the additional weight intself, and not whether there is some additional penalty regarding one or another method of carrying it.
I just looked back at my post and it looks like I was typing with my toes!

I'm a LOT stronger rider than the wife and I routinely pull 60-100 pound loads in the trailer, so it's not really an issue with me. I appreciate what you are saying, and don't want you to think I was snarking at you.
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