I’ve got the pack. The bag is good enough. I made the stove. Runners? Check. But where to sleep….
Constraints on the choice:
- Yari-ga-take campsite: exposed ridge at over 3000m, lots of wind.
- Camping below 500m, in the woods, near roads, etc with Japan’s wonderful summer humidity
- Less than 2 pounds
- Doesn’t break the bank
Initially I was thinking the MLD Trailstar ($155). It provides lots of coverage. Shed’s wind. Brand has great reviews. But, it’s 17 ounces and I would need a bivy in case things got really hairy…and they take up to 8 weeks to ship. And that won’t work at all.
Instead, I’m going local. I’ve talked to Locus Gear, a new Japanese cottage manufacturer, and they will customize their great solo tarp ($70) to some of my needs. I’m hoping to add beaks so I can pitch the tarp low in the case of heavy wind. I’m going to pair this with the ultralight Ti-Goat bivy ($110). The bivy includes a mosquito-net hood they will give great protection and ventilation for the lower elevation interludes in my trip. The total weight will be under a pound.
I’m excited to work with a local equipment maker, and to try out bivy/tarp camping. Hoping I can hook up with some local ultra-light hikers and hear their take on the state of hiking in Japan (few young people, lots of expensive heavy gear).
Cheers to Wes from Hiking in Japan for his shelter advice. Check out his blog and ask him any questions you have about hiking in Japan, he’s been just about everywhere!
If you’ve got advice on the shelter, let me know…before I buy it…after that I’d prefer just to think I made the best choice ever. If it rains on the bivy…roll over…