stories from the trail
I am considering buying a tarp for my bikepacking adventures. Something similar to this http://www.mec.ca/product/5000-629/integral-designs-siltarp-2-tarp/. Although the price feels a little steep the reviews are favorable. With the above information and some research on google. Here is a list of what seems like the pros and cons to a tarp (I could be completely wrong!).
Pros: lightweight, more than one type of use, packs down to a really small size and the siltarp seems pretty sturdy.
Cons: price, may not be 100% waterproof, could be hard to get setup in certain conditions
A bivy sack is another option but I have used one and had an issue with the claustrophobic feel.
Up until now I have been using a tarptent (one person) http://www.tarptent.com/projects/tarpdesign.html#. Even though I like the lightweight of the tent, condensation seems to be a problem. I used it for the 2014 Tour Divide Race and woke up many times drenched. Of course it could be the way I have been setting it up as well! Right now in sunny Southern California I can sleep out under the stars without much worry. In any case I will be travelling around and experiencing many different areas and climates. Therefore I am certain I will be needing some bad weather protection.
I would really like any comments or opinions on what works well for others!