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Old 06-16-10, 08:18 PM   #1
helmut
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No tent = BUGS?

A couple weeks ago, I did my first overnighter on a whim to see what it was like. I shoved a rack on my Specialized Allez, loaded up some panniers I had for commuting and took off to a nearby campground. Not the ideal bike, or gearing, but I survived. I have a backpacking tent that only weighs 5 lbs and strapped it to the top of the rack.

When I set up camp, there wasn't a spot that didn't have less than 12 ant holes, so I just set it up and kept the flaps closed. I'm in OK, and it was brutally hot. When night time came, I got in the tent and zipped it up to keep all the bugs out. Now, I've read a lot about some of you folks foregoing a tent in favor of a hammock or simple tarp. Sounds reasonable, but what do you do about the bugs? On my trip, I had about 15 daddy-longlegs creeping along the tent mesh, and about a zillion of those wood bugs crawling over all my gear, not to mention the relentless assault from mosquitoes during the night. Is Oklahoma simply bug Mecca, or do you guys just shower in Off and call it a night?
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Old 06-16-10, 09:08 PM   #2
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My hammocks have bug nets, so I'm still protected from bugs. I am curious how the ultralight backpackers manage with just a tarp; I wonder if many are camping in the east without a bug net.
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Old 06-16-10, 09:17 PM   #3
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You can buy or make your hammock with bug netting. Some people attach the netting permanently, others make theirs with removable netting so in winter they can use a solid piece of fabric for extra warmth.

An example of a hammock you can buy with netting: http://warbonnetoutdoors.com/

In the National Guard, I'd forgo the pup tent in favor of using my poncho. If I positioned my poncho very close to the ground, just a couple of inches from my face, it kept most of flies and mosquitoes off of me.
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Old 06-17-10, 04:54 AM   #4
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For my first tour I took just a tarp. I went from South Bend, IN to North East, PA (near Erie, PA) in the middle of summer. I had some lousy nights with lots of mosquitoes. For some reason I didn't even carry bug spray. I had a couple of nights for which I didn't fall asleep until I became so tired that I could ignore the buzzing and biting.

I now use a tent -- 4lbs and a few hundred bucks that I never regret. (Or, as others have mentioned, you can use bug netting with the tarp.)
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Old 06-17-10, 05:38 AM   #5
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I also have the mosquito netting jacket and pants for campsite use. Great invention.
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Old 06-17-10, 07:43 AM   #6
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netting is good, some use just a head net. Many folks using no netting are high in the mnts out west. Less buggy there. I can tell you that in the Mid-Atlantic states bugs rule. Netting required
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Old 06-17-10, 08:04 AM   #7
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yep, depends on where you are. In AZ and many parts of the rockies, its not really an issue. When i lived in DC, though, huge bug populations....
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