New Shelter System

Posted by

How much gear does one need? For me the answer is easy x +1, x being the amount of gear you already have. “Hi my name and Mick and I’m a gear junkie. I’ve been clean for 6 months but I’m about to relapse.”

I’ve been tarp camping for over 20 years but in that time have accumulated plenty of tents as well. In the collection there is a dedicated 4 season tent for snow camping, a solo tent, several tarps and an assortment of bivy gear for mountaineering. All items have there place but until now I’ve never hit upon a solution that will cover the range of activities I love to do across an array of environments.

In the shift to lighten my load and go ultralight I think I’ve finally found a sleep system that meets all the criteria I’m looking for:

  • Light weight (total system under 1 kg)
  • Options for shelter only; bug protection only; or a combination.
  • Spacious

There is lighter gear out there and while this set up is probably not ultralight, it is light enough for me…. for now…. until i stumble upon something else that is…. This won’t necessarily meet other peoples criteria or definitions of ultralight either.

My System: 

Terra Nova Tarp Shelter2:  Silnyon, 2.90m x 2.48m, 3000 mm HH, 332 g

Plus guylines and stakes (115 g ). I use my trekking poles for support (free weight)

. TerraNova Tarp

Mountain Laurel Designs Bug Bivy: 142 g


Mountain Laurel Designs Superlight Bivy: 190 g


The multiple bits of gear I currently have fulfill one or more of my criteria but never all of them. Both my snow and solo (Mountain Equipment Sprite1) tents have the optional sets up but require poles and foot prints at an added weight. My solo tent without a foot print is roughly 1.5kg, which isn’t too bad, but there just isn’t much room. A bivy by itself… well that speaks for itself…. great protection, no room and your pack stays out in the elements. In a buggy environment I have to rig the bivy to stay off my face as well as there is nothing more annoying than mozzies buzzing by. And a tarp by itself = good protection but little in the way of bug protection.

This system should cover all bases.

The search for lighter gear has really opened my eyes to the number of companies out there that are making great gear that your stock standard outdoors stores just don’t provide.

I’m loving the search for new gear and refining the way I do things. Just one last thing on my list of gear to find – deeper pockets.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s