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Old 07-24-09, 10:26 PM   #1
sandybar
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Tent or Tarp? Touring Italy

I'll be touring Italy for several weeks in September and I'm trying to decide whether to bring a tarp or a tent. I've been leaning heavily towards a tent, (a light, 1-person Kelty) juts as much for the psychological space as protection from the elements - i.e. you can be in a tent in a crowded campground and have some sense of privacy; and you can leave your things in a zipped tent and feel there's some layer of protection there (not much, but some). Then again, my ultralight tarp is a LOT lighter (less than 1 LB vs. 3.5 LB) and smaller, and I know that weight is critical. When I'm pulling a steep grade or staying in a pensione I'll be glad not to have the extra weight & bulk...

Any ideas, suggestions feedback welcome. Is Italy buggy in September?

Thanks!
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Old 07-24-09, 10:46 PM   #2
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Go with the tent for the reasons you mentioned, not to mention the bugs. A good night's sleep is worth the extra weight.
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Old 07-24-09, 11:48 PM   #3
imi
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Yeah take a tent... I have a very small tent which I only put up in organised campsites to keep my gear in (I sleep outside of the tent if it isn't raining anyway). Many campsites in europe won't let you in if you don't have a tent (or maybe hammock).
It can rain even in the summer and when there are lots of mosquitos it can feel great to crawl into a tent (btw, euro-mozzies don't have infectious diseases, (malaria, dengue...)

If you can lock your tent zip with a small padlock your gear will be a bit safer (theft iis rare from tents but certainly can and has happened, don't leave passport and money unattended), and lock your bike, but don't sweat the security thang, it ain't a big problem...

Don't worry about the weight, your leg's will get strong!
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Old 07-25-09, 09:05 AM   #4
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Tent. I like the roomyness of a 2 man tent over a single.

-I've backpacked for a month with a tarp/bivy combo. I didn't like it (bugs/privacy/skunk next to my head).

-I've backpacked and toured 2 month trips+ using a Hennessy Hammock. Nice, but my comfort in one depends on the weather. For me-Northern Italy in late September I wouldn't be comfy in one.

-I've backpacked & toured 2 month trips+ with a 1.5 person Kelty Clark tent (a bit bigger than there current crestone 1man-same idea.) Pretty comfy.

-I took a 2 man freestanding (Eureka Zeuse 2 exo classic) on my year tour. Perfect for me.
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Old 07-25-09, 12:23 PM   #5
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Thanks for the feedback - a tent was my original idea, it's good to get ideas from others.

Grazie!

-Mark
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Old 07-25-09, 12:34 PM   #6
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What about taking a Tarptent http://www.tarptent.com

Single man versions weigh 1.5lbs and give the privacy of a tent.
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Old 07-25-09, 12:42 PM   #7
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I vote for a tent too. I brought both when I toured in Europe and liked the (camo) tarp for facilitating quick and dirty stealth camping/napping sites but if I had to choose one I'd go for the tent because of all the mosquitos and spiders and other creepy crawlies. The security factor was a bonus. FWIW I brought an el cheapo 2 person tent with a nice sized vestibule and rarely used the tarp. My tent weighs around 6 lbs but boo hoo, it's not a big deal, we all adapt to what we bring.
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