Any ideas about the ultimate tarp and bug protection

I’m looking at making a tarp/bugnet system for our next NZ trip in Jan 2012, that allows us to sleep bug free on an upturned raft, and also to be relatively dry. We plan to take a tarp (perhaps 8’ x 10’ as well, for more general shelter, should we need to stand around under something in the pissing rain, but the likelihood for sleeping is that our heads will be protected by the tarp, but that out legs will stick out from under it, and may need some rain proection.

Is there anything out there in the general market that would do this, or do I need to design it myself?

I’m thinking of a nice little tarp that covers a packraft, but also has some netting from the edges of the tarp to the ground, outside the perimeter of the raft, and obviously has no groundsheet.

I slept on my upturned packraft last year for the first time, and it was probably the most comfortable sleep I have EVER had (sad as that is). Just needed some bug and rain protection.

Andrew Allan

andrew -for catenary curves etc for tarps, and general advice, read up on Roger Caffin’s Bushwalking FAQ pages (google it), looking for the lightweight / DIY pages. Also check out threads and articles on Backpacking Light.

would a tarp be necessary? my brother lives out of a waterproof bivy and a half body bug net (~6 foot dia bug net, and elastic around the outside… only cover what you need to) for most of his adventures. and if it’s too nasty/sunny a simple tarp over that.

Jules, I’ve been a long follower of Roger Caffin’s FAQs - fascinating reading.

Uncoolperson - yep, it would be possible just to fit in under our bigger home tarp, but I’d like a little more roof covering for sleeping under. When it rains there, it can really rain properly! (as in the river can rise 4-5 feet over a few hours), and, whilst I’ve used a goretex bivvy bag, and still own an epic one, I’m not sure that I’d like to rely on them entirely.

I’ve decided to bite the bullet and give a Hennessy Hammock a go, particularly as we are often limited in terms of rocks etc on the ground in terms of where we can sleep, and there are always enough trees!

Andrew A

I understand rain (NW washington state, about 3 not rainy days a year, I can’t go for a walk without a snorkle [both exaggerations]) I go full on proper-ish tent (golite shangri-la 3 [golite has/had a code for ~40% off… I don’t recall what it was but I could find it if you can’t], eurka spitfire, or something).

Beleive it or not… Last year on a sea kayak trip in Prince William Sound the kayak rental guy asked “Do you have any black tarps for bugs?” Of course we didn’t know what he was talking about. He went on to say that the black tarp would deter bugs and we could sit, cook ,and relax under it without needing our face nets. We were skeptical to say the least, but we took one from him anyways. After reaching our first campsite we se up the tarp and the guy was right. All the bugs swarmed around the outside of the tarp and very few of the massive swarm ventured under it. Worked every day of the trip. Not sure if this works at night cause we were there during the long summer Alaskan days, but it defenitly worked while the sun was out. Haven’t tried it here (Montana) because the bugs are not as big of an issue… Might be worth a try…

Beleive it or not… secrete weapon
A black tarp??A regular cheap plastic tarp but simply black?No net?Do you have picture?

Sorry no pics… but yes a regular cheap tarp, only black. The funny thing is I have yet to see them for sale anywhere…

Do you smell tarp?No deet smell,i know :probably Permethrin,or invisible net!!or funky mosquito!!

If you are actually looking for a good and hazel free solution over pest control then I will suggest you to hire services of Termite inspection mid north coast. I assure you that their services are worth hiring for. I always hire them once in a year and it really saves my home from pests.