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Author Topic: Floorless Tents for Backpacking  (Read 1501 times)

Offline YosemiteSam

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Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« on: March 11, 2019, 03:33:50 PM »
I'm curious about people's experiences with floorless backpacking tents. 

I've done light-weight bivies, which are fine for an overnighter or even a few days in warmer, drier weather.  They're not very comfortable but they keep the bugs out & any light rain. Definitely a light weight setup -- about 1# all-in.  Sometimes I need the bug protection (carpenter ants & mosquitoes) but sometimes I just leave it open.  Ticks aren't usually a major problem but I have found one on me after a 3-nighter.  Could have picked it up in the bush just as easily, though.
 
I've also done full tents, which add about 3# when I add the rainfly, stakes and a ground tarp.  More comfy but heavier and bulkier, for sure. 

Can a floorless tent, like the Seek Outside tipis, do much better weight-wise?  How much of a problem are bugs in these designs?  Is the rain protection adequate for late fall, early winter backpacking?  Any pros/cons from your own experiences are appreciated.
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Online Orion

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #1 on: March 11, 2019, 03:41:56 PM »
I have a floorless Kifaru tepee.  I've never had a problem with it.  I usually carry a ground cloth for under my sleeping pad.  A piece of tyvec if I'm going real light, otherwise something a little more substantial. 

A tent is never going to be as light as a small tarp, though.  Kifaru makes what it calls a mega tarp, that makes into a pretty nice tent.  Its Sawtooth half tepee/half tent is also relatively light.  Either of these is a good size for one person and gear and will handle two in a pinch.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2019, 01:18:22 PM by Orion »

Offline Sam McMichael

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2019, 04:01:30 PM »
I gave up floorless tents as soon as I could afford one with a floor. I just don't like bugs!. Back in my younger days, I did a fair amount of backpacking and did fine as long as I kept weight of the tent to about 5 - 6 pounds. However, I was not carrying hunting equipment, either. I say balance the bugs against the extra weight. I do not backpack hunt, so I have no field experience to factor in. But I have plenty of experience with tick borne disease.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2019, 08:58:05 PM by Sam McMichael »
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Online 76Aggie

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #3 on: March 11, 2019, 05:16:03 PM »
I have a couple of Seek Outside Tipis and am a huge fan of them.  That being said, I use them in Northern Climates such as AK. during times of the year that bugs are generally not a problem.  I said "generally not a problem".  Even in September, I have found that when the temp gets near 50 degrees, the bugs seem to come out.  I did get the attached screens on both of mine for that reason.  I have the 4 Man and the Redcliff.  They do well in the rain and are exceptionally lightweight and wind resistant.  The available titanium stoves can be a real lifesaver especially if you get some wet clothes and have to dry them.  Drying clothes without them could be difficult considering the fall weather up there.  Being able to stand up and enter the tent without having to crawl in on your knees is a great asset as well.  I live in Texas and do not use them here.  No floors are no problem in the North for me as I lay my mat and bag on a piece of tyvek.  We have too many snakes here in the South and I much prefer a floored tent in snake country. 

Online slowbowjoe

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #4 on: March 11, 2019, 05:25:11 PM »
I have a Seek Outside "Cimarron". I added the option on mosquito net screening on both doors. Weight, (by way of published specs) is 3#, 7oz for pole, stakes, and tent.
I haven't used it much yet, but did leave it set up in the yard for a couple of days, including a thunderstorm, and it appears to hold up well against the weather.

There is the inherent issue of condensation in a single wall tent, and floorless is just that... I also carry a ground cloth (cut out floor of a deceased dome tent) when the possibility of wet ground is present. This particular design requires several stakes to set up, which somewhat reduces the efficiency of a one pole design; however it does afford a lot of square footage. Good headroom. Color is easy on the eyes, and fits well with the woods.

I'll stop here... glad to answer more questions if helpful.

Online wayne rollinson

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2019, 03:22:24 PM »
I use a tipi style tent if i can hunt close to a vehicle but I like the hammock and lightweight tarp if I am hunting off any roads or travelling, does anybody your side hunt and camp with a hammock/tarp,regards wayne

Offline kbetts

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2019, 08:41:30 PM »
I bought one after going back and forth.  I like it.  A nest is needed where it’s buggy, but so much more room overall.  There is a learning curve as far as setting up for height and ventilation.  Mine is from Luxe gear and not nearly as expensive as the Seek Outsides.  Excellent quality.
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Offline Homebru

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2019, 09:35:39 PM »
I use a tipi style tent if i can hunt close to a vehicle but I like the hammock and lightweight tarp if I am hunting off any roads or travelling, does anybody your side hunt and camp with a hammock/tarp,regards wayne

Yes.  I'm quite happy with my hammock / tarp setup for the backcountry.  If I'm camping from the car, the bell tent is real nice but more work.
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Offline Angus

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2019, 11:28:30 PM »
I don't use anything without a floor.  First, I don't like bugs crawling over my face, and second, I always am concerned about rain seeping into the sleeping area (after all, I live in Washington, where the state flower is a can of Rustoleum spray paint!)!  I'm either in a Warbonnet Blackbird hammock, or in a KUIU tent.  If I'm hunting as part of a shared group, I'm hauling their Mountain Star 2person, which weighs 3 lbs 3 oz with the carbon poles.  If I'm out by myself, its their Ultra Star 1 person, at 18.9 ounces.  I also opted for their tent pole on this one.  Bathtub floors, very well ventilated, lots of room, and exceptionally lightweight.  I'm impressed by both the quality of the materials and the construction.  And of course, the lack of bugs...
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Online kadbow

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2019, 10:18:27 AM »
I slept in a buddy’s kifaru tipi one trip and it was terrible. We had on and off rain and snow which it kept out but it rained on the inside from the condensation. Will never do that again.
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Online 76Aggie

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2019, 10:23:18 AM »
Condensation can be a real problem in single wall tents.  That is why I have liners in my seek Outside tents.  Burning the stove will also keep the condensation down.  I would not use one without a liner.

Online pavan

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #11 on: March 14, 2019, 02:24:55 PM »
I have lugged everything from an ultra light 2 person tent to a four person dome that weighted about 10 pounds to a 9by9 full front Egyptian canvas Baker tent all over Quetico, that filled a number 3 Duluth pack, over 40 pounds..  On some canoe trips we portage almost as much as we paddle.  My favorite is that Baker, which turns into a 9 by 15.  The worst thing to own when the weather goes foul is a Hammock tent, the second worse thing is a one person with no floor, the third worst thing is a dome tent with the ground cloth under the tent floor.  The groundcloth goes inside the tent. 
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Online bigbadjon

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2019, 03:26:03 PM »
I have been pitching tarps in a fashion similar to a Kifaru para tarp for the last couple of years. I am not squeemish about a bug crawling on me and have not had a snake crawl in with me. I did get poked in the eye by a grasshopper once and woke up with a snail on my cheek another time. My experience is condensation is an issue only if you are a tossy sleeper. It will rain on you if you kick the wall but it just runs to the ground if you can stay centered. Here in Fl a bug net is a must and I treat my tarps with permethrin. I have found these ultra light shelters to be uncomfortable at best, but if you are packing in what choice do you have?
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Online pavan

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2019, 04:11:15 PM »
I don't know about the rest of the world, but I like to stand when I pull up my pants or take a pee.  What does one do in a driving snow or a downpour when your only protection from the elements is a bevy sack?
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Online bucknut

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2019, 08:35:02 PM »
I switched to a warbonnet hammock with the Super Fly tarp last year and really like it. I set my tarp up porch style with sticks or poles so you can stand under it. You can re rig in a few minutes if the weather looks like it will get bad. I'm real happy with it so far. It cut several pounds off my pack weight.
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Offline Jack Skinner

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2019, 11:38:15 AM »
Must be getting old. Floor for me from now on. Went floorless one year between the wind flapping the shelter and the ants it wasn't worth the weight savings


This not worth it to me

Online wingnut

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2019, 12:23:04 PM »
We use Kifaru tipi's for our hunt in Alaska every year.  each of us has a tyvek tarp for under the cots but other then that it's floorless.  Never had water come inside but we don't have crawly things up there.

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Offline Kevin Dill

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2019, 04:01:19 PM »
Floorless only for 12 years and never regretted it. No ground cloth of any type. Liners will prevent drips from condensation. I don't use a nest or bug screens, but would consider them if I was likely to encounter major bug conditions. Sod skirt helps tremendously in keeping out unwanteds at ground level. Spiders and things are viewing entertainment when weather keeps me indoors.

I was a total skeptic on floorless tents until I talked with 4 guys who owned and preferred tipis. It took a leap of faith, but now I am one of those who will never prefer a conventional tent again except possibly in unusual circumstances.

Offline Wudstix

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #18 on: March 16, 2019, 12:21:20 PM »
I switched to a warbonnet hammock with the Super Fly tarp last year and really like it. I set my tarp up porch style with sticks or poles so you can stand under it. You can re rig in a few minutes if the weather looks like it will get bad. I'm real happy with it so far. It cut several pounds off my pack weight.


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Offline fujimo

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Re: Floorless Tents for Backpacking
« Reply #19 on: March 16, 2019, 01:07:53 PM »
i really like the Kifaru sawtooth, it offers a significant weight saving- by not being full height everywhere- but has a high point- to facilitate proper headroom, and some weather resistance.

i truly like the concept of hanging too- except that we live in a temperate rain forest, and it always rains, just the angle changes.

I currently use a 15' bell tent with woodstove, but am busy building my own lightweight canvas 3 man sawtooth type tent- with no built in groundsheet.
 a sod cloth to tuck inside, with the outer shall going right down to the ground .
 and the option of a small fold up woodstove- we really need the stove up here- just to dry things out at the end of the day!_ and to keep humidity and condensation down.

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