Tents

08 Jul 2021 11:22 #77027 by Dieter
Replied by Dieter on topic Tents
With all the caves and huts in the country do we even need a tent 

This image is hidden for guests.

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
12 Jul 2021 20:29 #77028 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Tents
True story! I'm only using a tent on 1 out of 5 hikes over the last few years. This year I haven't used either of my tents..

I have a Rab Alpine bivy and it's perfect for the berg
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dieter

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
13 Jul 2021 13:11 #77032 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Tents
I pretty much only use my tent in summer when there is a higher probability of rain. I hate sleeping in the wet. As ASL says, bivvies are mostly fine for the berg. I use them in snow and wind, no problem. Wet, no, won't be fun.

So to answer the question of whether we even need tents with all the caves and shelters available in the berg, my answer is yes, when the available shelters are occupied or full. Or if you can't find them due to seriously inclement weather. The problem is, you don't know when this will be, so I always take some form of shelter along. ALWAYS, just to be safe :-)
The following user(s) said Thank You: Dieter

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
19 Jul 2021 23:24 #77046 by intrepid
Replied by intrepid on topic Tents

@Intrepid, that's a great fast and light set-up.  What are the limits of its weather-worthiness? Would you, for example, take it into a summer Drakensberg thunderstorm?  I guess you can increase its waterproofness by the choice of bivy or inner tent (semi-solid inner with higher bathtub floor, perhaps)--just wondering what the tarp/outer tent would stand up to?

Perhaps you can experiment and report back

This image is hidden for guests.


 

I'd like to know how it performs in a Berg summer thunderstorm, not sure myself. You can pitch it different ways (for example having no pole at the back end), in order to be in a better "storm mode". On my particular tarp the silnylon does stretch and sag a bit when its wet, so one issue might be that if you have pitched it very low to the ground, then you could easily brush against it with your sleeping bag. I'm told not all silnylon is created equal. And you can get this kind of tarp made of Dyneema, which won't stretch and sag.

I do find that this tarp set-up does require a fairly big area to pitch it on, which would be fine for the escarpment but might be awkward at times in the Little Berg. I just used it on a 5 day trip, and on one of the nights all we had was rocky islands sticking out of the snow to camp, so I just didn't bother trying to pitch it - and I wasn't interested in pitching it on the snow either.

 

Take nothing but litter, leave nothing but a cleaner Drakensberg.

Please login or register to view the image attached to this post.

The following user(s) said Thank You: Serious tribe, ASL, riaan300

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
20 Jul 2021 10:42 #77047 by Riaang
Replied by Riaang on topic Tents
@Intrepid,

I've done a bit af tarp camping in the berg, mostly in the lower berg. Not quite convinced my silnylon tarp will survive the big escarpments winds. Maybe I should try it out :-). I ALWAYS take my bivvy along when I tarp camp, just in case it becomes a kite, but also due to the very real possibility that water can come in below, and it does, as it is open at the bottom. Been in the rain with it and yes, it keeps the water off you quite well. In my opinion the comfort rating in rain is as follows:
- bivvy only, crappy, you are in for a long and uncomfortable night
- bivvy and tarp, the better option. It won't stop water from below, but since you are in the bivvy it doesn't matter as you can operate out of the rain under the tarp. Unless it becomes a kite
- Tent, comfy, dry, the best option in the rain.

For the above reasons I take my tent in rainy weather, and the bivvy only or bivvy and tarp when no rainfall is predicted. Caves are always a good fallback option.

Regarding a large footprint, there are many methods to pitch your tarp and you can increase or decrease the footprint based on the shape you require.

The biggest "problem" for me with tarps is that I don't practice enough how to fold them, so when you are in the berg and the wind picks up and it starts raining, trying to figure out how to pitch the tarp is, to say it nicely, problematic, annoying, frustrating etc- you catch my drift. However, if you've practised how to pitch it (I now have 4 basic go to shapes I use) then the thing goes up quickly and easily.

For me the biggest benefits to taking a tarp rather than a tent is the following:
- weigh saving. My tarp weighs roughly 470g, the tent is 2,6kg
- the tarp packs waaaaaay smaller
- I can configure it in many ways, meaning I can pitch a shelter over my roof over rocks, bushes, rough ground etc, which a normal tent footprint wouldn't work.

The cons are simple - leaky at the bottom and the very real possibility of it becoming a pretty expensive kite. Armed with a 400g bivvy, I'm prepared to risk the cons as the benefits outweigh the cons, for me. For somebody else it might not work (and no, your wife will most likely not approve!) so be aware of what you are getting into with tarps before venturing into the berg with it.

Whichever option you prefer, enjoy the berg!!!
The following user(s) said Thank You: ASL, supertramp, riaan300, wildingo, Dieter

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
23 Jul 2021 11:23 #77054 by ASL
Replied by ASL on topic Tents
...my 2 cents as I was under that tarp with Riaan and Van in a rainstorm!

I was nervous about using a bivy and or a tarp after mainly camping in the high Berg for years. That said, my experience after being on an exposed slope in an emergency bivy under continuous rain was surprisingly dry and comfy (relative term). I also found that we were dry and comfy under the tarp at the base of Pins with no real negatives compared to a tent except not being able to sit up nicely to dress and pack in the morning. The rain did stop to allow us to do this in the open..

From my perspective the experience of really being 'out there' in the mountains feels a little wilder without a tent and if it's limited to a couple of nights it's well worth it. If the trip were much longer though, I think a tent is more comfortable.

I recommend you try it as it has definitely added to my enjoyment of the mountains!
The following user(s) said Thank You: supertramp, riaan300, wildingo

Please Log in or Create an account to join the conversation.

More
Powered by Kunena Forum