I forgot to ask Seth what he's calling these things, so I'm just calling it a tarp.
Well, you guys know me. Something new comes along and I want it; something new comes along from somebody in my state, I'm getting it! Soooooo, I got me a Trek Light tarp and a Trek Light bugnetting. I'll let you know on the netting as I haven't had an opportunity to use it for a night. At altitude, once it gets cool the bugs are gone. No need for a net.
Of course, I left the weight at home. Totally forgot to stick the slip of paper in my pocket this morning. I did take some pics so ya'll can see it. First thoughts on the first trip; ummmmm, it's heavy. However, there are a couple of things that I really like about this tarp. First of all it is black; a nice thick black. The interior of the tarp is a very light gray. I don't know if it's two layers of fabric stitched together (would be odd) or maybe a heavy exterior with a liner. I obviously have more playing to do. Whatever, the combination of the weight and the black surface make sleeping in during the morning a breeze. Very nice and dark under the tarp when it's closed up. Second, the weight gives the tarp a little more staying power in the wind. To a point, anyway.
You can see in the pics below, it has 3 tie-outs on each panel. The stuff sack is attached (you can see it in the fuzzy pic) and mostly out of the way. It is a rectangular tarp with straight edges. I couldn't get the taught pitch that I am accustomed to, but it certainly gets the job done. I didn't think to throw together any extra tensioners before we left, but I'm not sure they would have held this tarp; probably need to go with the surgical tubing to have any hope of exerting any real force on this tarp.
We camped up at about 10,000' on the edge of a mountain field in a nice valley. Translation: Windy! We had constant gusts all afternoon and evening Saturday night. You know the kind, where it takes you 4x as long to get the tarp deployed because it keeps fluttering this way and that, it's ends cracking like the end of a demonic whip. Well, that's what it looked like when Genuine Draft was setting her MacCat anyway. Me, I was 15' away having almost no problems. Apparently, a heavy tarp is a good thing sometimes. To add to the drama, the ground was thick with pine needles. Some of them probably walked on by early settlers. This means one needs to dig down through several inches decaying pine needles to find solid ground in which to plant the stake. Even then, the ground is loose so stakes being pulled out is not unusual. The MacCat lost her stakes 3 times, the Trek Light tarp once. Score a couple of points for the Trek Light.
When I went to sleep Saturday night, I closed the porch to block the wind. What a great job it did! With the three tie-outs and the heavy material, I didn't hardly feel a breeze all night....but I heard it.
I hated the weight at first, but I think this is going to become my go-to car camping tarp. It's a really nice tarp as long as you don't have to carry it too far. Lets me sleep in, holds and blocks the wind very nicely, and I don't have to worry about loosing a stuff sack.
For your viewing pleasure. These are iPhone shots and I'm still learning how to use a Macintrash machine; better pics, and the numbers on the weight, will follow soon.
One last unrelated thing. As Genuine Draft and I were driving down from Guanella Pass we came around the corner and stopped to stare in disbelief. I mean really, I'm all for access to the wilderness but this is a new kind of low; a STOP LIGHT! What the ........?!
Turns out, they were rebuilding the road and had it down to one tiny little lane. So the light made sense, I guess. We had to wait about 10 minutes before it changed. It was a very surreal experience and there was another one about 5 miles further down. It just seems to me that there are some places where traffic lights just have no business being. Ah well, progress.