When it is raining and I am on the river, I am not bothered by a good drenching. However, as soon as camp is made, the rain can be a major nuisance without a proper shelter. A week ago my wife and I spent 6 days on Lake Creek; it rained steadily the entire trip. During the day we were digging the incredible fishing and floating and were not deterred by the weather, but when it came to setting up the tarps, well that was a different story. This is not my first multi-day trip where it rained the entire time, but it is the first trip with my wife where it rained pretty much nonstop. When I am with the guys, we set up a quick shelter, drink beer, fish, gobble down some food, and go to sleep. When I am with my wife (and sometimes our kids), it is board games, gourmet meals, lounging around, talking…. Basically she (they) want to be comfortable. Although I have been setting up tarps since I was a kid, I still do not feel as though I have perfected this art. I use trees if available, oars, stakes, and parachute cords to set up my tarps. The tarps usually look like nice, solid structures when I set them up; then the rain and wind turn them into Heg’s riverside ghetto by the morning.
I went on a trip with a friend that brought the Black Diamond Megamid (I think that was the model) and it worked great, but was too small for the family/friends. Do any of you have experience with some of the larger shelters like the NRS Riverwing? Are they worth the money?
I was wondering if some of you that are traveling with big groups and/or kids, where comfort is critical, have any ideas you would be willing to share.