Ugh. It's been tooooo long since my last post. But I've used the time well....a week before a multiday backpacking trip into the Sierras, I found an answer to my soon to be aching back.
Tarptent. BOTH a tarp AND a tent. The ultralight advantages of a tarp.... but the all enclosed, insect barrier and wind resistance of a tent. All in a small bundle weighing in at 2.5 pounds. My previous tent - the Marmot Equinox - was in the heavyweight division, 6.5 pounds. Even better? My particular tarptent, the Rainshadow 2, is roomy enough for 3 people, whereas the old heavyweight could only stomach 2.
Yep - 5'2" me, nearly 6' of my friend Jeff, and about 5'5" of my friend Jessica. Cozy enough but not too cozy... I'm in love with my new tent. Hopefully we'll spend some more quality time together soon.