So if you’re new here then do consider subscribing in this article, I’m covering my shelter system from my upcoming hike this summer, I’m going to be linking together a series of trails through the High Sierra and California. So my shelter system basically is comprised of two major parts: it’s the in line equipment, recon, bethey and then the gossamer gear, twin tart and then of course, some steaks.
So previously, I’ve been using gossamer gears, the one shelter which is a single wolf, ultralight, backpacking tent, but this summer I was looking to rely on the load a little bit as well as just have a little bit more versatility in my sleep system. In conjunction with this article, I’ve released a really in-depth article over at my website, which is Pioneer Trail comm and in the article I go into a lot of detail on ultralight, backpacking shelters, whether that be single tense or tarps or biddies, and I also talked about Ground sheets and steaks and all that stuff.
So if you want to go check out that article, the link will be in the description when I go on an uptight, backpacking trip then 9 times out of 10, I’m actually cowboy camping. So if there’s no chance of rain and there’s no bugs, then what I’ll normally just do is throw out a ground sheet. Put my sleeping system on top of that and settle in for the night. There’s two major reasons that I do that, the first being that there’s a lot less effort in setting up my shelter every night, I’m packing it away in the morning, so I basically just save time.
The second is that I actually just prefer it: it’s really nice to just sleep out in the open. You feel kind of more connected to nature and it’s just a more pleasant experience in my opinion, but then of course, anytime, there’s inclement weather or of course, especially if there’s bugs then I’ll go set up my shelter system, even when I’m cowboy camping. What I now do is I throw the Recon bivy down out on the ground, stake out the four corners and sometimes I’ll, attach the included bungee cord up into a tree just to keep that mesh up and away from my face.
It’s super quick and super easy. So it doesn’t take more than a few minutes to actually set that system up and then again pack it down in the morning and then of course, if there’s going to be bad weather, then I’ve set up a gossamer gear table of the bivi and then I’m Completely protected from rain and any bugs that might be an issue. The enlightened equipment, recon is a fairly new item of gear.
To me, I’ve been testing out over the past couple of weeks and so far I’ve been really happy with it. It’s kind of a hybrid between a traditional mummy style, waterproof bivy that you slide into and then a bug mesh that you kind of hang from the inside of a top. So it has a built in kind of bathtub floor. You do slide your sleep system inside it. It has a zipper that runs up the middle, but then it also you can use basically there’s included bungee cord on either end that you can attach to the top of your top.
So basically, what that does is it pulls it away from your face and it pulls away from your feet, and it just makes the bivi a little bit roomier one of the cool things about the in line equipment bivy that i’ve not seen on any other bit Is is that in the four corners they’ve included, a small plastic stick is the only way I can really describe it and what happens is when you stake out the four corners of the bivi and you pull up that bungee cord.
It basically makes the bathtub floor rise up, and so it kind of has more structure to it. That’s obviously great because it feels a little bit more roomy when you are inside the bivi, if you’re having rain and there’s a little bit of splash pack, that might be coming up underneath the top and it’s more protected, because that bathtub floor kind of rises up Vertically and protects to the inlined equipment, recon bivy is made of waterproof seal nylon and bug mesh and weighs just six point three: five ounces.
The second component of my old life backpacking shelter system, is the gossamer gear twin tarp. It’s also made of waterproof seal nylon and it weighs nine point five ounces. So it’s extremely lightweight. You can probably save a little bit of weight on a tarp if you went for a Dyneema composit fabric stop. But personally, the soon I’ll on is a lot more affordable and I’ve been really happy with it.
So I’m going to stick with the twin tarp at least going forward. I’ve been using it now for the past few months, and I’ve tried it and a bunch of different weather scenarios, and it’s been, it’s been really great. One of the main reasons I personally like it is because it has a Canton area cut so top such as this coming, usually two different options: there, either completely rectangular or cancer nari and cancer.
No, basically, it just means that it’s not symmetrical. There’s like a designated head end and a foot end the setups pretty straightforward once you’ve done it a couple of times you take the tip of your trekking pole and insert it into the grommets at either end adjust it to whichever height you want. I usually leave it pretty high up for extra ventilation, but then, obviously in bad weather and rain, you can drop it down lower for extra protection.
I’ve been super super happy with it. It’s a really high quality product like everything from gossamer gear, I’m going to be leaving links in the description of all the products I’m talking about in today’s article. If you do purchase something through those links, you help support this blog and it doesn’t cost you anything extra. One thing I will say about this show system is that it’s not for everyone, not everyone is going to enjoy sleeping inside kind of a mummy style or busy with just a tarp for protection, and you can feel quite exposed using shelter systems like this.
I did at first now I’m really used to it. So isn’t an issue for me if you are dealing with bugs and you’re inside that bivy with the bug mesh zipped all the way up. Even if you pull it away from your face and from your feet, it can feel a little bit claustrophobic for some people. You also do need to be careful if you are sleeping with your arm or your head pressed against the bug net, then the mosquitoes could potentially bite through that as well, and you are laying on your back on your sleeping pad with the bug mesh.
Just a few inches from your face, if I was going on a trip where there I know, there’s going to be a lot of rain consistently and a lot of bugs consistently, then I probably will use a single walled tent because there are a lot more livable. There’s obviously a lot more space, you can sit up. You can eat inside them if you’re using the tarp on its own. That’s fine, because if it’s raining you can sit up underneath your top and you’ve got plenty of space.
But if there’s bugs then you’re, of course, going to want to climb inside that bug, bivy so you’re protected from it and it can feel a little bit claustrophobic. You can’t sit inside your Vivienne eight, but it’s fine. If you want to read before bed or journal or something like that, there’s plenty enough space. It just takes a bit of getting used to and it’s not going to be for everyone. And then, of course, I carry a set of states with me.
I use a combination of two different stakes. I use the MSR mini groundhog stakes and I use titanium. Ultralight shepherd hooks and the reason I carry two different kind of stakes is I, like the MSR ground holes because they have a lot more holding power they’re a little bit heavier, but the reason I like them is: I use them on my ridge lines and on The corners of my top – they have a lot more holding power, especially if there was heavy wind and rain.
I don’t want that top blowing away in the middle of the night, and then I use the titanium Shepherd hooks to stake out the edges of the top. And then, if I’m staking out the bivi, then I’ll use those as well, because they don’t need an awful lot of holding power. They just need something enough to hold them in place without flapping around in the wind. The MSR ground homes weigh about 10 grams, a piece and the titanium Shepherd hooks weigh about six point five grams.
So there is a weight savings between the two. I think there’s ten stakes inside the bag, which is all that I need plus one or two extras and that weighs 3.5 ounces, so the overall weight of the top and the bivi and the stakes is about twenty point: five ounces. So pretty light weight. I’m pretty happy with it. I could probably go a little bit lighter, but I still feel like this is plenty light enough for what I want to do.
So that’s my shell. I assisted them for the summers hiking trip. I won’t be vlogging on that trip, but I do have a very special article project plan for the trip so stay tuned for that, if you want to follow along and the hike, I encourage you to check out. My Instagram is just at PI on the trail I’ll, be posting pictures regularly and kind of doing mini blogs over there as we go through the hike thanks for reading this article.
As always, may the force be with you and I’ll see you in the next one.
I know that I keep mentioning Spunks, but I like these pumpkin seeds and you should try them too! They are just great for camping and other fun activities. The video below is a little bit of a look into the shop that makes Spunks.