Do I need a tent

Neil Holtzhausen

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Apr 27, 2016
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I'm planning a 4 to 5 day backcountry hike in Mt Zion Nat Park and a 3 day trip in Bryce Canyon during the first two weeks of August. Do other hikers take tents in with them or is it possible to just sleep under the stars? Rainfall for August averages 1.7 inches. Does anybody have experience hiking those parks during August.

Thanks,
Neil
 

Nick

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Depends on how confident the forecast is when you are hitting the trail. July and August are the two wettest months of the year on the Colorado Plateau due to the monsoon pattern. The nature of said monsoonal storms is notoriously unpredictable. You're probably going to want a tent.
 

Wyatt Carson

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Depends on how confident the forecast is when you are hitting the trail. July and August are the two wettest months of the year on the Colorado Plateau due to the monsoon pattern. The nature of said monsoonal storms is notoriously unpredictable. You're probably going to want a tent.

Neil, I echo Nick's post as it pretty much says it all so well. Monsoons are notoriously hard to forecast too. We have done a lot in that area during your time period and there are times when it is storming all around us but we don't get hit, but if you do it can be a drenching rain. I'd take at least a tarp to get under but a tent will help keep out the creepy crawlies too and they come out at night even in the most barren places. If nothing else a tarp can be set up for shade in areas where there is none. Hyperthermia can be a factor in August if you are prone. Nothing like a good tarp.
 

Neil Holtzhausen

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Thanks for the input guys. We will go with a tent. We have hiked on the east coast and Glacier where a tent or a tarp is a must, but was kind of hoping to sleep under the stars this time :)
 

Nick

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Thanks for the input guys. We will go with a tent. We have hiked on the east coast and Glacier where a tent or a tarp is a must, but was kind of hoping to sleep under the stars this time :)

I still sleep under the stars most of the time, I just make sure to have the option if I need it. A lot of times I'll bring both a tarp and tent to the trailhead and leave one or the other behind depending on the forecast at the last minute.
 

Dan_85

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Jul 25, 2013
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One of the rainiest nights I ever spent camping was at Bryce in August a few years back. Definitely take a tent and if it turns out you don't need it, that's a bonus. Better safe than sorry!
 

Wyatt Carson

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There are times in summer when the juniper gnats are biting and very obnoxious. I'm not sure if you will encounter them in August but that is when a screened in tent will save you. They tend to bite my girlfriend a lot more than me but with them flying in your ears, eyes and nose, it is distracting to the point of driving you crazy at times. But many times there is not a hatch and all is well...

I think they are more prolific in late May and June but not always and I have encountered them in northern AZ in August and they were real bad...
 

Nick

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There are times in summer when the juniper gnats are biting and very obnoxious. I'm not sure if you will encounter them in August but that is when a screened in tent will save you. They tend to bite my girlfriend a lot more than me but with them flying in your ears, eyes and nose, it is distracting to the point of driving you crazy at times. But many times there is not a hatch and all is well...

I think they are more prolific in late May and June but not always and I have encountered them in northern AZ in August and they were real bad...

Ah yeah, those things are awful. I had them one night in September in the Swell. They drove me INSANE. If there were any time of year I do err toward a tent, it's summer. Except for out on the boat in Glen Canyon. No bug issues out there for some reason.
 
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