Eureka VCS-16 Backcountry Bug Shelter Review
“My most prized piece of gear right now is my bug shelter!”
By Camper Christina.
Being someone who camps year round, the most important thing to have is the right gear. If you are out enjoying nature, but are missing an item that can make or break your trip, it can make all the difference in the world.
One of my favorite pieces of gear is my Eureka VCS-13, Backpackers Mesh Room. This model is a bit older and only slightly different from the very popular No Bug Zone, and something I would never camp without during bug season. The current model of this version is the VCS-16 weighing just 3 lbs and worth it’s weight in gold. The shelter sets up to approximately 6 feet in height at the centre and is approximately 8.5” on each side, providing a good amount of room for 2-4 people.
Since 2018, I have been a proud owner of a no bug zone type shelter and it is a total game changer. Bug season is one of the hardest seasons to camp in, in my opinion, as deer flies, mosquitoes and black flies can be relentless and totally spoil your outdoor adventure. There is nothing worse than trying to enjoy your time in the great outdoors and have bugs buzzing in your ears, your eyes, flying into your mouth and biting you on any part of your body they can get to.
Eureka has designed a few different models of bug shelters to suit the campers’ needs. The shelter I have has no poles and it is put up similar to a tarp, using rope to attach it to all 4 corners. The VCS 13 also has the tarp being able to detach or attach, to the mesh room itself, using durable buckles, so it can be used with or without it, which is a feature I love. It is great when a piece of gear can be used for more than one thing and being able to just use the tarp for rain or bad weather, or add the mesh room below it to keep out the bugs is a great feature. For adventures where trees are scarce, Eureka also has poles you can purchase to bring on your adventures with you so no matter where you are, set up is a simple procedure.
The No Bug Zone CT11 is a bit of a smaller version of the VCS13/16 and is approximately 7.5 feet on each side. On this model, as well as the No Bug Zone CT13 the tarp is not removable and the item is all one piece. One of the features I really like about the CT11 and CT13 is that they have 3 way zippers allowing you to set up a hammock or clothesline inside the shelter as well. Something I wish I had in the shelter I own.
Don’t avoid camping during such a special time of year, when the forest begins to come alive and many new and wondrous plants and animals begin their journeys. Be there to see it all while being comfortable, bug free and buzz free, in a bug shelter. Whether I am deep in the backcountry of Temagami, or car camping at a nearby Ontario Park, my bug shelter is one of my most used pieces of gear during bug season. I honestly have no idea how I ever camped without it.
If you would like to know how I set up my bug shelter during my solo canoe trip in Temagami, watch the video below (skip 3 minutes from the start to get to the bug shelter part).