Lil’ Bug Out Shelter: Versatile, Ultralight, Floorless

The Seek Outside Lil’ Bug Out Shelter is a component-based tent system. It adapts to varying temperatures, group sizes, and uses. Contributor Jarrett Babincsak put it to a test for this review.

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Do you winter camp or backcountry camp – solo, with friends, family or your pup? Are you tired of freezing your butt off on cold nights? If so, then you’re probably using a bunch of different tents. Here’s one that can do it all.

Lil’ Bug Out: Versatility

The Lil’ Bug Out Shelter from Seek Outside is designed as a customizable, component-based system comprising a base, connecting tarp, two- or three-piece vestibule, and an interior nest handy for buggy summer nights.

Base + 3 Piece vestibule

The system is designed to be used with or without a collapsible titanium stove and pipe that heats the inside with a wood fire. Sleeping in a 70-plus-degree tent on a winter night is a nice benefit, particularly if you’re out hunting where the increased quality of sleep translates to feeling fresh each day.

Multiple Configurations For One, Two, Or More

The Lil’ Bug Out comes as a three-sided “base,” a very basic tarp shelter, perfect for summer camping. You can also add on accessories like a bug-proof “nest,” a “vestibule” covering for the the base, and a “connecting tarp” that provides extra coverage and connects two or more bases. Here are a few possible configurations:

  • Warm weather setups for one or two: base only; base + nest; base + vestibule + nest; base + vestibule
  • Warm weather setup for three or more: base + connecting tarp, two bases + connecting tarp (plus you can mix and match components to make multiple shelters in case mom and dad want the kiddos in their own tent!)
  • Cold weather setup: base + vestibule + stove for one person; two bases + vestibule + stove for two or more people
base + tarp + base
Shelter in base + 3 piece vestibule configuration

Weight

My solo cold weather set-up: a base plus a three-piece vestibule, medium stove and 6-foot stove pipe weighs in at a modest 4.4 lbs. Weights will vary based on the accessories and configurations you choose. See the specs below for some options.

Lil Bug Out Shelter

  • Lil Bug Out Base: 16 ounces / 43 sq ft (One or two people open ended)
  • Lil Bug Out and 3 Part Vestibule: 26 ounces / 72 sq feet (two people gear, maybe a dog or two)
  • Lil Bug Out Dual Bases: 32 ounces / 86 sq ft (two to four people)
  • Lil Bug Out Base / Tarp / Base: 125 sq feet (two to six people)
  • Add 3 ounces for stove jacks

Benefits of a Floorless Tent

You probably noticed there’s been no mention of a footprint or floor. This has some advantages: Obviously, the ability to use a stove, weight savings, and there’s no mess on the tent floor!

seek outside tent

Notable Concerns

Bugs! As the base only covers above, I recommend getting the nest for use during buggy seasons. Also, without a floor and just a three-sided base, water running into the tent can be an issue. But I weathered a torrential downpour in mine and noticed no problem. So long as you pick your campsite correctly – high spot where water is unlikely to pool – the inside of your tent will be dry and warm!

A little About Seek Outside

Seek Outside is a family owned business operated from Grand Junction, Colo. All of its products are made in the U.S.A. The company produces high quality, lightweight camping and backpacking products with a focus on all-season performance and long-term durability.

Seek Outside also emphasizes conservation and protecting public land access, donating thousands of dollars annually in cash and product to organizations like Backcountry Hunters & Anglers.

Because the accessory options are varied, prices for the Lil’ Bug Out range from $205-$539, not including the wood-burning stove. But if you’re looking for a simple renaissance-style tent that adds a little more “roughing it” feel, the Seek Outside Lil’ But Out is a great option.

tagged: #review

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