Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

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mikeymo
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Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby mikeymo » 20 Oct 2019, 6:18pm

I'm planning a small cycle tour. Scotland, specifically the Outer Hebrides and maybe some of the west coast. In summer.

I'm not a particularly experienced cyclist, and have never toured. But I've tested myself a little in the place I'm going to (on holidays) and 30 miles is fine. I could have done more I think, fairly easily. I even deliberately loaded the bike with an extra 17kgs of stuff, as a test, and it was fine on a 20 mile ride.

I was thinking I would do "credit card" touring, stopping in hostels/B&Bs and similar. But the drawback is that it has to be booked and then I'm tied to get to each place each night. Which may be too far, or too near. Depending on wind/hills/weather/legs.

So if I were to plan for self supported touring, how much extra weight would that need? I would still expect to eat in cafes or from shops, so wouldn't take any cooking gear. I'm thinking tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat. Lightweight tents and bags seem to add about 2/3/4 kilos.

Anything else I need to think about?

TIA

tatanab
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby tatanab » 20 Oct 2019, 6:29pm

I think you will get an enormous range of opinions. Your 17kg is more than my extra weight over my daily riding weight in total when camping! All my clothing, camping kit etc comes in around13kg. I'd suggest re-evaluating what you need to take. On a credit card tour I doubt whether I would carry more than 5 or 6kg over my daily weight.

The most sensible piece of advice you are likely to get, and I've seen it several times here, is that we each have our own acceptable levels of comfort which dictates what we carry.

PH
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby PH » 20 Oct 2019, 6:37pm

Somewhere between 2 and 20 kg :wink:
At the minimum, good quality lightweight tent, sleeping bag and mat, could be in the region of 3kg and you could always swap the tent for a bivi.
BUT - if you're not riding long hours, then you're spending a lot of time camping and a few additional items will make that more pleasant.
I usually like to tour light, maximum of a couple of weeks, long days riding and short nights camping, I've invested in decent kit and total weight including panniers is 12kg. For a B&B tour, it'd be different luggage and around 8kg. I'm contemplating a longer tour next year and there'll be more campsite time, so I'm expecting the weight to get up around 20kg. I started camping with cheaper kit to see how it went, it all functioned fine but added another 4 kg or so.
Don't stress too much about the weight, take what you need and fit the activity around that. Not getting a comfortable nights sleep will take the fun out of it more than carrying a couple of extra kg.

Jamesh
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby Jamesh » 20 Oct 2019, 8:39pm

Does your choice of bike have a bearing on the tour you do?

If a racing / audax bike them credit card touring

If touring, mountain or gravel bike with racks then camping will be on the cards.

Also you can wild camp in Scotland and thus spend as much time sdpossible outside, so I would chose that. Where as I would credit card tour in England using travel lodges.

Just my opinion btw

Cheers James

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby Tigerbiten » 20 Oct 2019, 9:34pm

How low do our gears go on your bike ??
The lower your gears are, the easier it is to lug the extra few Kgs of camping gear up the last hill before the campsite.
A lot of touring bikes have a first gear around the 25" range for this reason.

How much do you want to spend on camping gear ??
And how likely are you to reuse it ??
I wouldn't start with the ultra light gear unless you're sure you'll get your money's worth out of it.
I'd go one step lower, it will be a few Kgs heavier but around 1/3-1/2 the price.

An ultra small gas stove so you can boil water for tea/coffee can be a lifesaver if you get cold and wet when camping.
Then again you can always bail to a hotel/b&b if/when the weather gets very bad.

Luck ....... :D

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honesty
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby honesty » 20 Oct 2019, 9:38pm

I don’t pack light and I don’t skimp on comfort when I go. Camping I usually have around 17kg load, plus food. BBing it’s around 7kg all in.

mikeymo
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby mikeymo » 20 Oct 2019, 9:59pm

Jamesh wrote:Does your choice of bike have a bearing on the tour you do?

If a racing / audax bike them credit card touring

If touring, mountain or gravel bike with racks then camping will be on the cards.

Also you can wild camp in Scotland and thus spend as much time sdpossible outside, so I would chose that. Where as I would credit card tour in England using travel lodges.

Just my opinion btw

Cheers James


This is the bike.

Image

I built it up myself when the frame was on sale cheap. Reynolds 853 oversized tubing so strong enough. Even though it's designed as a touring bike, I didn't really make it specifically with the intention of touring, more that touring was at the back of my mind. But I wanted all the braze-ons for racks front and back, and mudguards. And I like the geometry of a touring bike.

mikeymo
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby mikeymo » 20 Oct 2019, 10:05pm

Tigerbiten wrote:How low do our gears go on your bike ??
The lower your gears are, the easier it is to lug the extra few Kgs of camping gear up the last hill before the campsite.
A lot of touring bikes have a first gear around the 25" range for this reason.

How much do you want to spend on camping gear ??
And how likely are you to reuse it ??
I wouldn't start with the ultra light gear unless you're sure you'll get your money's worth out of it.
I'd go one step lower, it will be a few Kgs heavier but around 1/3-1/2 the price.

An ultra small gas stove so you can boil water for tea/coffee can be a lifesaver if you get cold and wet when camping.
Then again you can always bail to a hotel/b&b if/when the weather gets very bad.

Luck ....... :D


Gear range is 22" to 118". It's 9 x 3 gears. I built the bike up myself. I didn't test it on a very steep hill with a lot of weight on, I guess I need to find a hill round here to do that. If it kills me I might change the chainrings to give me lower overall gearing. Top is a bit of a waste to be honest - I only ever use it on a downhill where I feel safe. On a loaded tour I'm sure I'd just coast down most hills.

Yes, good advice not to spend a fortune to get the very lightest gear, thanks.

I probably wouldn't bother with a gas stove. Just find a friendly cafe. I know the southern part of the Outer Hebrides very well - we've holidayed there the past 8 years.

I'm minded to set this up as two days tent, one night B&B/Hostel type thing. So I know I've got 3 days to cover 120 miles, or whatever. But in between can camp as appropriate. Also I get to shower/sleep in comfort one night in three.

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foxyrider
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby foxyrider » 20 Oct 2019, 10:33pm

how much extra weight? how long is a piece of string? i think that rather stress too much over weight (many on here have been doing this stuff a while and have acquired lighter kit than you might want to buy at this point), considering the bulk of what you take is more pertinent.

The camping gear will be essentially the same for 2 nights as 2 weeks but you can get away with considerably less clothing! My essentials (bearing in mind you'll be wearing one set anyway) is two sets of bike gear and a set of off bike gear, i always have some different footwear too, maybe sandals or trainers, to give my feet a rest from and allow time for the bike shoes to air/dry.

i would also recommend taking a micro stove set up (mine is a stove, cup, kettle and mekkings), theres nothing like a late night cuppa or early morning caffeine hit made by yourself - you can still hit a cafe/bar for food when they open. most people wake early when camping, far earlier than cafes open!
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

mikeymo
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby mikeymo » 20 Oct 2019, 10:42pm

foxyrider wrote:how much extra weight? how long is a piece of string? i think that rather stress too much over weight (many on here have been doing this stuff a while and have acquired lighter kit than you might want to buy at this point), considering the bulk of what you take is more pertinent.

The camping gear will be essentially the same for 2 nights as 2 weeks but you can get away with considerably less clothing! My essentials (bearing in mind you'll be wearing one set anyway) is two sets of bike gear and a set of off bike gear, i always have some different footwear too, maybe sandals or trainers, to give my feet a rest from and allow time for the bike shoes to air/dry.

i would also recommend taking a micro stove set up (mine is a stove, cup, kettle and mekkings), theres nothing like a late night cuppa or early morning caffeine hit made by yourself - you can still hit a cafe/bar for food when they open. most people wake early when camping, far earlier than cafes open!


I wasn't really stressing about overall weight, just wondering about what EXTRA weight camping adds, compared to B&B touring. Like I said, I can think of tent, mat, sleeping bag. Wondered if I'd forgotten anything. Some people are suggesting stove. Anything else?

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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby Vorpal » 20 Oct 2019, 11:06pm

It depends on what size tent, as well as how much you spend. I take a smallish 2 person tent, so I can take all my stuff inside with me.

2.4 kg for tent
~ 500 g self-inflating mat
~ 500 g 3 seasons sleeping bag

I could probably save about 1 kilo taking a smaller tent and ultra lightweight stuff, but I'm not that bothered.

Something else to add to the list is one or two microfibre cloths/towels. I take 2, 1 for myself, and 1 to wipe off gear before taking it into the tent &/or wiping the tent down to help it dry out in the morning before packing it up.
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby Psamathe » 20 Oct 2019, 11:19pm

Last summer I did 2 months camping touring in EU and this summer another two months camping touring in EU and for both trips my luggage was 20Kg on departure. That included 2 person tent (I was solo but like the space), a fair amount of electronics (phone, GPS, iPad, camera, solar panel, battery packs, USB charger), camping chair, long'ish bike cable lock (and probably stuff I can't think of now.

Ian

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Tigerbiten
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby Tigerbiten » 20 Oct 2019, 11:41pm

An extra 10 Kg in weight will slow you down by roughly 1 mph on gently rolling terrain.
So I recon a full camping load will slow you down by around 2 mph on average, 1 mph if very flat and 4 mph if very hilly.
Using that you should be able to roughly work out how long you'll be on the bike each day.

The other thing you need is a Kindle.
If you're only doing ~30 miles in 3-4 hours per day then you need something to do/read when your not cycling.

Luck ....... :D

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andrew_s
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby andrew_s » 20 Oct 2019, 11:43pm

Weight will obviously depend in good part on how much you want in the way of camp comforts, and how much you are willing to spend.
I'd guess about 8 kg extra over B&B/Hotel touring.

Tent - about 2 kgs, give or take - maybe down to 1.5 if you are OK with a 1-person tent that's got space to sleep in and get dressed in, but not much more, or up to a bit over 3 if you want a bigger tent with lots of space. Suggestion: Zephyros 2 (1.9 kg)

Sleeping bag - 0.7 to 2 kg
Down or synthetic fill? Down packs smaller, weighs less (for the same warmth), and costs more.
How warm? These days there are EN "comfort limit" and "lower comfort limit" ratings (often abbreviated as "comfort" and "limit" respectively) that are at least consistent between brands, but they don't say much about how any individual might feel, so one person may be fine in a temperature of zero in a bag rated Comfort Limit = +7, whilst someone else may want a bag rated at Comfort Limit = -10. Unfortunately, only experience will tell which is you.
There's not much worse than spending all night shivering, so I'd recommend being somewhat generous, and going for a full zip for ventilation if it's a bit warm.
Temperatures will depend when you go (and luck), but overnight temperatures down to 5-7, and occasionally down to zero, can be expected if you go to northern Scotland early (May/June) or late (September). May is often the best month in western Scotland.

Mat
Closed cell foam - around 300g - not much padding, bulky to carry
Self inflating - 500g to 1 kg - an inch or so thick
Lightweight airbed - 350 to 600 g - 2 or 3 inches thick (look for one that says it's insulated, especially if using a down sleeping bag)

Other stuff...

A sleeping bag liner (washing sleeping bags isn't easy, particularly down ones, so wash the liner instead) - 100g?
A pillow (can just put spare clothes in sleeping bag stuff sac, but if you aren't carrying many an inflatable pillow can be nice) - 100g?

Bigger, heavier, panniers to carry the bulky tent and sleeping gear.

More warm off-bike clothes (you'll be outside, not in a nice warm B&B).
You'll also want to consider clothing strategy generally, as you can't dry stuff the same when camping as you can in accommodation. Some campsites have washing machines and driers, but if there aren't any, it can be better to put yesterdays damp stuff back on than get your dry clothes rained on.
Fewer smart evening clothes.
Head torch
Reading matter (kindle?) - (no B&B TV).
A chair (I use an Alite Mayfly) or chair kit for the sleeping may can be nice to have (300g to 1 kg)
Toilet paper and a trowel, if you may camp away from formal sites. Try to arrange matters so you use the facilities of such establishments as you may pass during the day, but that doesn't always work.

You'll also probably want to carry some food & drink, even if it's only full water bottles and a lump of fruit cake from the last shop you passed.
Whilst you can eat in a hotel/pub/cafe during the afternoon or evening as they are available, places open in the relatively early morning are less common, and you may want some food before 11:00 or so.

I'd agree with those who recommend a small cookset - something like the Optimus Terra Solo/Crux set. As well as the occasional mug of tea, you get the emergency backup evening meal (in my case, it's usually a small pack of couscous and a tin of sardines, but you could have an emergency freeze-dried meal). As well as the unplanned camp out in the wilds, there's always the chance of arriving somewhere and finding what you'd expected isn't available (owner gone on holiday (France, 10th September, ish), or that the hotel is rammed out with a big coach party or wedding).

The advantage of camping is not only in day to day flexibility, but also in that you don't have to plan in detail and book several months in advance (apparently most accommodation along the route of the North Coast 500 now has to be booked a year beforehand).
Un-booked, on one occasion I changed a planned camping trip to the west coast of Scotland to a tour of Dorset, Devon and Somerset, in the face of a weather forecast during the preceding week for at least a week, and possibly two, of more or less continual heavy rain in the west of Scotland (this turned out to be largely accurate - I'd have had reasonable weather for the last 3 days or so of 2 weeks, if I hadn't given up and gone home by that time, as at least 2 forum people did)

Just to demonstrate that you can go on a camping trip (6 nights) without taking masses of stuff:
Image

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honesty
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Re: Camping touring vs B&B touring - how much extra weight?

Postby honesty » 21 Oct 2019, 9:01am

Extras I take if camping over B&Bing, my clothes off bike shoes, toiletries etc. are the same otherwise:
    tent
    sleeping bag
    mat
    pillow
    towel
    head torch
    cache battery
    chair (sometimes)
    cooking stuff (pots, pans, spork, stove, gas, and wind shield)
    food
    extra water bottle
AND don't forget the extra weight from the extra panniers to carry all this