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Old 06-25-2012   #1
Abingdon, Virginia
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 7
Grand Canyon shelter questions

Starting to think about the canyon, we have a permit for one year from today. It's a self-support kayak trip.

Right now my shelter thoughts are along the ultra-light backpacking line. I have a tarp that I can hang using my paddle and part of a break-down, and I'm planning on using my section of orange material (req'd by the park service for helicopter landing designator) for a ground cloth. Sleeping pad and light blanket. Will the lack of bug net be a problem? I have a bug net option thought out, but is the added weight and complexity worth it? What about stakes, do I NEED sand stakes or can I get by with the modern "standard issue" aluminum stakes (stakes are "bent" 90 deg along the long dimension, if that makes sense?)?

Thanks for any insight,

Dan P.

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Old 06-25-2012   #2
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Paddling Since: 2005
Join Date: Aug 2007
Posts: 61
Never had problems with bugs on the Grand - skip the bug net. I usually bring a tent and rarely if ever use it. It will be very hot so you will likely be using your sheet and maybe even wetting it down at night. In late June you could potentially hit an early monsoon so I would be prepared for rain. The wind can be brutal so make sure your tarp set can withstand big gusts. Rocks are always available. If you are going to leave your tarp/tent unattended at all you will need to make it bomber.

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Old 06-25-2012   #3
kikii875's Avatar
Orem, Utah
Paddling Since: 1969
Join Date: Oct 2010
Posts: 207
I second desertrat, there are no bugs at camp to bother you. For a self support Kayak trip I would suggest a bive sack or very small one person tent. Don't get in it until it actually starts to rain. If it looks like rain set it up, but if you get in it before it rains then it will be like a sauna.
You had me at 'Hey, Row'
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Old 06-25-2012   #4
TriBri1's Avatar
Tigard, Oregon
Paddling Since: 1995
Join Date: Nov 2011
Posts: 768
I vote for the 9' or 12' Kelty Noah Tarp. It is compact, easy to setup and enough covered area for 2 to 4 people if they are snuggily.
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Old 06-25-2012   #5
DFW, Texas
Paddling Since: 2010
Join Date: Apr 2012
Posts: 6
Never been on a Grand Canyon trip but on multi-days I use a Kelty Noah's Tarp 9 with 2 Kelty aluminum tarp poles. I carry sand and snow anchors which are like little nylon parachutes sold in packs of 4 and weigh an ounce each. You bury them down in the sand, snow or gravel and I have been in some sustained high winds on the beach using these anchors. Setup on a mound of high ground to stay dry from rain runoff. Nothing is worse than being stuck in a tiny tent in heat and rain.
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Old 06-25-2012   #6
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408

I have been using the big agness seedhouse sl 1 for several years now.

works for kayak self support or any where you are traveling light

just big enough for you and your pad, but gets the job done. plus the interior tent is mesh so it is there if needed for bug protection.
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Old 06-26-2012   #7
cataraftgirl's Avatar
Sandy, Utah
Paddling Since: 1997
Join Date: Jun 2009
Posts: 3,121
Here's the tarp I use now.....Wilderness Logics Wild River, Big Otter tarp. Silnylon 12 X 15. 29 oz. packed weight. Packs down small. More $$ than a Kelty 12 X 12, but lighter and a better design.
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Old 06-26-2012   #8
Jenks, Oklahoma
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,408
I just ordered and received the enhanced bed net system, civilian version of the Marine Corps setup.

Looks perfect for fast setups where you need bug protection and the water protection should work fine for the afternoon monsoon rains.

Here is the youtube demo of the product.

As I said, no chance yet to use it on river, hoping to do that soon.

But it does look like a winner from what I have tested in the yard.

My take is if it works in the field for the Marine grunts, it has to be fine for us river trippers.
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Old 06-28-2012   #9
Northern Colorado, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1993
Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 115
On several of the trips I've done I've brought a black diamond mega-light (like a mid, but lighter). Works good in a pinch if the weather comes in. The superlight sil-nylon tarps are good too and probably a bit cheaper. Be sure to get some good sand stakes too or any minimalist shelter is useless. Bugs aren't an issue on the Grand.
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Old 06-28-2012   #10
slamkal's Avatar
vancouver, Washington
Paddling Since: 1996
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 1,146
I bought a Noahs 16 which i'm hoping can cover my tent, cooking area if its raining

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