Buggy climes can send campers fleeing to their tents, but the Bugout lets you congregate for blissfully insect-free meals and card games within mesh walls that don’t obscure scenic views. “Through clouds of mosquitoes and persistent drizzle, it was a relief to retreat inside so we could look over maps, plan our day, and cook,” declares our tester, who used this 81-square-foot party room for a week in the mosquito-filled Boundary Waters.
Watermelon-sized when packed, the floorless, four-sided shelter pitches with NEMO’s optional accessory poles ($45 and 15 oz. each) or just lashed to trees, using the 15-foot guylines (included). The 75-denier polyester “roof” funnels rain into smartly designed gutters that send runoff to the corners (so it doesn’t sheet down the walls). The superfine, DWR-treated mesh repelled precipitation in all but the windiest conditions. Six people can mingle comfortably inside, the 72-inch peak height lets most campers stand up fully, and two-way zippers at two corners facilitate easy exits. Prefer a hammock to a camp chair? Open the zippers to accommodate hammock straps, and you can swing and doze in bug-free bliss. $250; 4 lbs. 1 oz.; nemoequipment.com
The Brooks-Range Ultralite Tarp is the perfect shelter for professional mountain and ski guides, as well as the recreational backcountry travelers, hikers, and hard-core backpackers. All Brooks-Range tarps are made with an amazing lightweight fabric available only in Brooks-Range Ultralite products. This high-tech, water-resistant, rip-stop nylon fabric delivers an unparalleled strength-to-weight ratio. Each Ultralite Tarp is designed for maximum flexibility, with a centrally-placed weather resistant pass-thru patch for rigging to a hard anchor, along with several nylon webbing loops sewn to the corners and along the edges to facilitate multiple configurations using trekking poles, trees or tents. The tarp is available in four sizes, making it compact and light enough to take on any trip, where it can be used as a shelter, tent, ground-tarp, awning, wind shelter or gear storage shelter.