My fool’s errand to become a lightweight backpacker is doing wonderful things
for my G.A.D. (Gear Acquisition Disorder). I bought a 5×8 tarp several weeks
back, immediately realized it was way too small for riding out a High Sierra
deluge, and decided I needed something a bit more stormworthy.

This became an unhealthy obsession cured only by ordering the GoLlite Hut 2.
(Yes, there is a Hut One. Insert imagery of a grown man with hands millimeters
from another man’s naughty bits and thank your lucky stars for the advent of
American football). This new toy weighs about two pounds including stakes, guylines
and ground cloth; my My REI Quarter Dome tent weighs five. The extra three pounds
in the REI tent consists of such girlyman luxuries as netting to keep bugs out
and a sealed floor to keep my butt dry.

Here it is, all set up. It comes without poles, but hiking poles or branches
cut to fit can also work. It has a nice, taut pitch and feels pretty sturdy.

It’s roomy as all get-out inside — it could even hold three (minus packs)
if you’re close friends who don’t mind the smell of each other. I figure if
I’m going to be a bug-bitten, soggy-butted wretch in the name of lightweight
camping, at least I should be able to sit up straight, which is why I went with
the Hut 2 rather than the Hut 1, which pitches quite a bit lower to the ground.

The rear end ties out to provide space at the rear of the shelter.

The tie-downs are these hard-core tensioning straps. Probably overkill but
they do make the tent seem sturdier. They also help pull the fabric nice and
taut, which keeps the flapping to a minimum.

At some point I’ll actually have to camp out in this thing; I’ll report back
if anything interesting happens.

As for my G.A.D.: It seems like it’s in remission, at least till my MasterCard balance gets back to zero.