Like a lot of you guys, I go back and forth in my decisions about whether to take some sort of bug shelter on various trips. The only one I own is a large, traditional 4-sided ďbug tentĒ with an external frame. Itís heavy and bulky, and depending upon the type of trip Iím on (location, time of year, mode of travel, size of group, trip logistics, etc) I often have to decide: ďIs it worth it to bring it?Ē Sometimes I do, and sometimes I donít.
Iíve been looking for a lightweight alternative to a traditional bug tent, and I found one Iím pleased with. The Integral Designs Bugamid recently worked very well for us on a 3-person float-fishing trip in the Togiak country. We were traveling relatively light: 2 persons in a break-down Ally canoe, and the third guy in a pack raft. The Bugamid is pyramid-shaped, and made of no-see-um netting with grommeted loops to stake it out. It is supported by either a tarp pole in the center, or it can be hung from a tree. It is floorless, which is what I was looking for. When itís set up, I can stand in it. I found one on sale for just over $100.
Of all its features, what especially attracted me to the Bugamid was itís size. It weighs les than 2lbs and crams into a small stuff sack about 16Ē x 6Ē. On 2 windless evenings on our recent trip, it gave us some respite from the bugs. The 3 of us, plus our folding table, fit into it. Sure, we could have just slathered on the deet, sat in the smoke of our campfire, and burned some Buhach, but we liked the Bugamid for what it was, and taking it with us came at no real ďcostĒ. Looking at it critically, Iím a little concerned about its durability. It is, after all, nothing more than mosquito netting. But Iím hopeful that if I take care of it properly, itíll hold up.
Currently, a buddy of mine is using it on a Tatshenshini raft trip with a mixed crowd of men & women. He plans to set it up over the rocket box latrine, to give the girls a little privacy, and to keep the bugs off people while they do their business.
Anyway, if youíre curious you can read up on it at the ID web site. See: