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I'm looking to hike the Grand Canyon (found out that as a single I do have a good shot at securing the permit!), and now I'm trying to make sure I carry as little as possible on said hike. First thing I'm thinking about ditching is a tent.

I figure in May, its definitely not going to needed from a warmth perspective, and I was thinking about just taking a simple tarp to keep out any rain that might fall.

Here's my concern. I'd rather not wake up with any companions in my bag. I do believe if i woke up with a scorpion, snake, or spider in my bag, I would be a bit, well, freaked out.

If I sleep in the open in the desert, am I likely to have an unwelcome guest?

{ asked by Affable Geek }


I would call it a reasonable risk to camp in the desert without a tent (but with a tarp available if it was to rain!). I've "cowboy" camped 40 or 50 nights in the desert and never had any company try to join me in my sleeping bag :) That being said, I would heartily recommend shaking out your clothes and shoes before putting them on in the morning.

In the desert setting, just be careful where you setup camp - anthills can make your campsite miserable, as can popping your inflatable mat on dried spiky things strewn about canyon floors.

{ answered by Ryley }