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We test UST's Base Bug Tent shelter and BASE all-weather tarp for minimalist bite-free bivvying under the stars

ust bug tent
Overall Score
Light weight bug protection for sleeping out
Needs a tarp or bivvy bag for rain and dew protection - and a sleeping mat

If you want an altogether more immersive and lightweight camping experience, you can't beat sleeping in a bivvy bag either out in the open or under a tarp. The downside to these is their lack of bug protection.

If you're abroad leaving yourself exposed to insect bites can be potentially lethal, with virus' such as Malaria and Zika, plus many more, to worry about. But even in the British Isles bugs can be a major irritation, such as biting midges in Wales and Scotland, especially in summer months.

This is where UST's Base Bug Tent comes in, used in combination with their BASE tarp. Weighing just 544g, the Bug Tent protects your upper body within a 56cm high dome made of fire-retardant fine mesh that will keep out even the smallest of gnats and mosquitos, supported buy two shock-corded poles, and takes less than a minute to set up. The mesh then extends down over your legs like a blanket.

Setting up the BASE Tarp takes a little longer unless you're a well-practiced bivvier but comes with guy lines, steel stakes for when there are no trees around, and a stuff sack to keep it all together.

UST's tarp gives a fairly minimal coverage of 6ft by 8ft but with one side aluminium coated for thermal insulation and reflectivity for emergency signalling, and the other high-visibility orange, this is a versatile product that will be on your must-take list for any trip into the wild. It only weighs 360g, and folds down to just 40 x 8 x 5cm.

Altogether an excellent lightweight and decent value combo for protecting yourself from the elements and the bugs, without having to isolate yourself from nature entirely as you do in a tent.

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