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Though a tent or shelter found in our Ultralight Tent Review is the centerpiece of a floorless shelter system, modular components can significantly increase function and versatility.
All three components of the Echo II shelter system together, tarp, insert, and beak (with the beak and insert doors tied back).
Credit: Brandon Lampley" alt="All three components of the Echo II shelter system together, tarp, insert, and beak (with the beak and insert doors tied back). Credit: Brandon Lampley">All three components of the Echo II shelter system together, tarp, insert, and beak (with the beak and insert doors tied back). Ground cloths are useful for protecting an inflatable sleeping pad from sharp objects that might puncture it.
A bug bivy, such as this one from Mountain Laurel Designs, can offer good protection from insects on hot buggy nights, but is a poor value compared to a water resistant bivy sack, which is more protective and versatile.
For solo use we prefer water resistant bivy sacks to bug bivys because they are a better value and much more versatile. The Mountain Laurel Designs Superlight Bivy is the best water resistant bivy sack we've tested. Now that you have a better idea of the modular components you can purchase to complete your shelter system, check out our complete ultralight tent review. About the AuthorClimbing Magazine once computed that three percent of Chris McNamara's life on earth has been spent on the face of El Capitan—an accomplishment that has left friends and family pondering Chris' sanity. Question for the author: do you recommend the mountain laurel bivy with the cuben fiber on bottom or the sil nylon on the bottom?
November 13, 2014 by Angela Thayer 2 Comments My boys are always interested in learning more about bugs. I need this game for our UCCE Fresno Master Gardeners Kids Garden Day May 9, 2015 as well as library presentations we make each month in Fresno County.


In just about any survival situation or any emergency scenario, assuming you are not injured in any way, and where you are forced to fend for yourself, then your number one procedure is to ensure you can make a good shelter suitable to keep you out of the elements and as safe as you possibly can be. The average UK citizen is very much a town dweller and has probably only ventured out into the wilds of the UK’s countryside once in their lifetime anyway. But for the UK prepper, who should have a bug out plan already in place, survival skills are an essential part of your prepping for such future events which, it would seem, are getting closer by the day..! Building a good shelter that is suitable to give you protection from the elements is not difficult – getting it water tight and warm, however, can be a problem.
These can all be easily constructed with a little bit of survival knowledge using basic materials and working with the terrain.
We recommend starting with our full ultralight review, but once you've finished up there, this article summarizes the types of available components and recommends several options for various applications.
While modular in theory, we find all components necessary to provide great weather protection. They provide the most comfort in very buggy places and are the best value option for protecting two people from insects. These are good for solo use in hot, buggy climates, but we find that inserts are more comfortable because they have more space and are a better value because two people can use them.
We also prefer water resistant bivys to inserts for winter use because they block spindrift and are warmer. This review provides in depth advice and information about which ultralight tent or shelter will best meet your needs. Its $70 more for the cuben & saves an ounce but unless theres some added benefits for cuben over sil nylon i have a hard time justifying the extra $ just to save an ounce.. I don’t want my kids to be afraid of bugs, but I want them to recognize that they are helpful to the environment!


Unless you have a fear of hordes of marauding bunnies attacking you, then you’re pretty safe here in the good old British Isles.
They are also the most comfortable option for hot nights or for curling up with someone else or with a book.
Unlike climber style bivy sacks, which are made entirely with waterproof fabrics, water resistant bivys have a waterproof floor and sides, water resistant top, and bug netting in the head area. In 1998 Chris did the first Girdle Traverse of El Capitan, an epic 75-pitch route that begs the question, "Why?" Outside Magazine has called Chris one of "the world's finest aid climbers." He's the winner of the 1999 Bates Award from the American Alpine Club and founder of the American Safe Climbing Association, a nonprofit group that has replaced over 14,000 dangerous anchor bolts. First, he went through the cards and explained what the bugs were doing and asked them if they were doing a good thing or a bad thing. They serve as a ground cloth, completely seal out flying and crawling insects, block wind, stop spindrift, and add between 5 to 10 degrees of warmth.
However, we rarely use ground cloths because they can be substituted by smart campsite selection, backpacks, packrafts, dry bag style pack liners, or are unnecessary if you sleep on a closed cell foam pad.
We recommend purchasing a two-person version and suspect that the Mountain Laurel Designs DuoMid and SuperMid Inserts could be the best for pyramid tarps.
For A-frame and flat tarps the Hyperlite Mountain Gear Echo II Insert is the best we know of.



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