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335 Mega Light 2011-01-19

Black Diamond's Mega Light

Mega Light at Vestal Basin, CO

On a climbing trip to the Keyhole Ridge of Longs Peak our group of three scored reservations to camp at the Boulderfield. With a late afternoon start we left the trailhead. We were moving slower than expected and a storm was brewing. We made the decision to split the group. After swapping some gear, I took the Mega Light and headed toward the camping area while my partners continued at their pace.

At the Boulderfield, the only site open was next to the trail. I quickly began to set up the Mega Light. Using rocks instead of stakes, I secured the back of the tarp to the wind. Soon all the guy lines were tied to rocks and I jumped inside and raised the tarp with the single, center pole. In minutes I went from being exposed to the weather to having a shelter. Since I had chosen to tie the tarp to rocks I was able to adjust the tension from inside the tarp by pushing or pulling the rocks with my trekking poles.

Even though we had a great shelter, our Boulderfield camping experience was far from ideal. We had decided to camp high so that we could have a leisurely 5am wake up. Sleep was difficult. We tossed and turned for hours on the rocky tent site before finally falling to sleep.

The evening storm passed and it was a calm morning. By 3am, the daily caravan of hikers began to appear. Their lights scanned from tent to tent waking all sleepers. Their voices penetrating the thin nylon walls. We easily heard every word they said and felt every moan of soreness they grunted. As soon as one group left, the next arrived. All of the groups spoke loudly of the advantages of camping at the Boulderfield instead of starting the hike in the wee hours of the morning from the trailhead. Of course those complaining hikers were passing by and not trying to sleep. It was a miserable night; but no fault of the Mega Light. If I ever return to camp in the Boulderfield, I will definitely bring ear plugs!

A few Mega Light notes ...

  • Black Diamond's Mega Light is a 2lb 5 oz tarp/tent. It has no floor. You can use a tarp or buy the optional bathtub floor from Black Diamond.
  • Setting up the Mega Light is simple, it only has one pole.
  • The tarp is very versatile. We have set it close to the ground (shorter) for more protection from the weather or higher from the ground for better ventilation. We have even set it over a picnic table.
  • Black Diamond suggest seam sealing the Mega Light.
  • The door has a double zipper allowing venting at the top of the door.
  • The Mega Light makes a great gathering tent.
  • Bugs collect in the peak of the Mega Light.
  • We have gotten wet inside the tarp from a deluge. It rained very hard for a long time.
  • Condensation may be a problem in humid areas like the Southeast. We set the Mega Light as high as possible for maximum ventilation. We also use sticks or trekking poles at the midpoints along each side of the tarp to keep the sides taut while lifted.

If we only owned one tent, the Mega Light would probably be our choice. It is as versatile as the users.

None of our affiliates sell the Mega Light. It is available through other online retailers or perhaps at the local shops.

Happy Mega Light trails.


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