OK, I finally did it. I bought a tarp off craigslist. It arrived this week, and I’m gonna write a review of it.
Initial thoughts after backyard testing:
- SilNylon is not as delicate as I had imagined. And the Golite Lair seems very well made. I wonder why they discontinued it…
- The package with a plastic ground cloth is very small.
- The stakes that come with the Lair 2 are very much like MSR Groundhog stakes (my personal favorite.)
- It takes some practice to set up a Lair. And there’s nearly nothing on the Internet as far as tips (I hope to write some.)
- The Lair 2 is much bigger than I would have thought. There’s much more space in it than any of my 2-man tents. And it’s only a pound.
- I use trekking poles anyways, and it makes the tarp setup much easier, especially to elevate the rope on the foot end.
- I’m gonna have to weather a hard rain in warm weather to ultimately make up my mind. But, initial impression is this is the way to go.
In the backyard, it’s kinda tough to get it tensioned right. If it rained hard, I can picture the fabric sagging.
I’ve read various bug strategies for tarp camping. One is to pitch it up on a hill with a breeze, which is probably a good idea when it’s bug season. But, imagine turning on your headlamp in the tarp to read or straighten out your setup. I ordered a Outdoor Research Bug Bivy with my REI dividends.