I have been playing around with my Etowah Gear Mesh Under Tarp Shelter and have really liked what I’m seeing. I usually cowboy camp but when it comes to bugs especially from a particularly wet year I do enjoy a reprieve from being eaten alive. I have had the opportunity of camping with it both under trees with a tree to tree set up and freestanding with trekking poles.
Etowah Gear has a long time reputation of making quality affordable gear and is quite popular with the Pacific Crest Trail crew (trail angels is who I learned about them from from) and many other ultralight hikers. So it is quality and light and affordable too! The system comes in at 26 oz and packs down to 12x4 inches or about the size of a 48 oz Nalgene bottle.
Set up is pretty easy and self-explanatory. Basically steak it down then either tie off or run up you trekking poles as tent posts. Speaking of tent stakes these are my only real gripes with this net, do yourself a favor and pick up some high quality durable tent stakes for the net and tarp.
This is a cool little bug net at 84x48 its long and wide enough to fit two people or one me (6’3” 280lbs). It is 43 inches tall and while there is a little sag and droop I never really felt Closter phobic. And the No See-um mesh allows you to still enjoy the stars and breeze.
What I like about this as a summer option is you can run it as a net alone or in combination with a tarp for added flexibility. Since the bug net has a water proof tube you gain an actual tent to keep water from flowing under you as well. I will say though don’t forget extra stakes for your tarp too…
With two doors you are really living the highlife ha-ha, but they are there for a good reason. In tent mode you will have to enter and exit form the end when the tarp is fully staked down. When you can roll up a side of tarp or don’t need it there is a huge door that makes getting in and out of easy.
I think for the overall size weight and utility of the Bug Net it has definitely earned a place in my backpack this summer when I can’t hammock camp. It is a nice refuge from the bugs and other things that crawl around at night especially in the desert. We are really happy about getting to test these out and will be getting some for the store ASAP!