Do you actually like camping?

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robing
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Do you actually like camping?

Postby robing » 19 Sep 2015, 9:04pm

Serious question. I've done a few tours now with camping gear. I like the idea of camping - it's cheap or even free, gives you freedom. But in practice I don't really enjoy it. It's uncomfortable, often noisy, too hot/ too cold, midges, mosquitoes, no fun in the wet, etc. I just wonder sometimes if it's worth the hassle of carrying all that extra weight, setting up and taking down your tent etc. In some places a hostel or cheap hotel may not cost that much more.

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simonineaston
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby simonineaston » 19 Sep 2015, 9:43pm

robing wrote:But in practice I don't really enjoy it...
Well that's sorted for you then - don't do it! Who sez you gotta? Not me!
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b1ke
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby b1ke » 19 Sep 2015, 9:52pm

I love it. Though it's not always the experience of camping. Rather, it's the self-sufficiency, the flexibility it offers, the cost (or lack of it).

The weight it adds to my bike is more than offset by the weight it takes off my mind when I'm travelling. In short, a tent is an essential part of my touring gear.

Should also add that some places I've camped have been beautiful, far nicer than being stuck in a hostel.
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robing
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby robing » 19 Sep 2015, 10:30pm

All good points. I feel I want to keep trying. I have had some nice camps. I have a good sleeping bag. One problem I find is it's difficult sleeping on my back, which you are designed to do in a sleeping bag. I didn't camp as much in Spain as I would have liked as it was too hot and air conditioned accommodation was cheap. In Scotland the midges put me off. But generally I prefer sleeping in my own tent to a dorm bed. I should try some more cycle camping in this country when the midges aren't too bad.

beardy
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby beardy » 19 Sep 2015, 10:57pm

I never sleep on my back.

I always lie on my side and possibly curl up a little. Regardless of whether on a mat, in a mummy bag or even a bivibag.

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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby Vorpal » 19 Sep 2015, 11:03pm

It depends... Early morning in a forest or on a mountainside with no one else about, a sunny day burgeoning, and a fresh cup of coffee in my hand? Camping is wonderful!

Trying to dry out, cooped up in a tent with two bored kids? Not so much fun.
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syklist
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby syklist » 20 Sep 2015, 9:33am

1) You never have to wipe the table after eating. It doesn't matter if you spill your coffee or tea. Especially important when touring with a "Junior"!
2) There are some great spots with fantastic views. More often wild camping than on a campsite.
3) Two weeks staying at cheap hotels will cost as much as a really good tent.
4) Do you like cycling in the rain? Do you like walking in the rain? Is there anything you like doing in the rain?
5) Are you using a decent sized tent or a fabric coffin?
6) Midges and mozzies can be kept at bay if you bring the right stuff, burning mosquito coils works well as do some repellents. I have, on occasion (pre-Syklist Junior days) cooked in the inner tent of a three and four person tent. Not something I would like to do in a compact two person tent.
7) A multi-pitch tent such as the Macpac Citadel could be useful. Outer tent up first, down last on rainy days, pitch the inner tent on its own on hot dry nights.
8 ) Maybe a different tent that is easier to put up and take down?
9) I sleep on my side mostly, I have not had problems with my sleeping bag. In summer I tend to open my sleeping fully and use it like a duvet unless it gets really cold.
10) Falling asleep when wild camping next to the sound of a babbling brook/waves lapping on the shore is just lovely.
11) In civilised countries you can pretty much stop when you feel like it and put your tent up, rather than having to push on to the next hostel/hotel/campsite. I like that sense of freedom that cycle camping gives me.
12) In Norway there is a saying, "There is no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing". Maybe a review of clothing and sleeping gear/tent might help with your "too hot/too cold" problems?

I have to say that our best nights we have had have been wild camps or camping on a free Danish camp spot where we had the 'campsite' to ourselves.
So long and thanks for all the fish...

mercalia
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby mercalia » 20 Sep 2015, 11:40am

robing wrote:Serious question. I've done a few tours now with camping gear. I like the idea of camping - it's cheap or even free, gives you freedom. But in practice I don't really enjoy it. It's uncomfortable, often noisy, too hot/ too cold, midges, mosquitoes, no fun in the wet, etc. I just wonder sometimes if it's worth the hassle of carrying all that extra weight, setting up and taking down your tent etc. In some places a hostel or cheap hotel may not cost that much more.



Inclined to agree with u - hostel costs increasing beyond what I want to pay. And these days I dont want to pay much. I am having trouble with getting a good nights sleep, camping, always glad to get back home and sink into my bed. In mycase really a better of the many evils - I dont like sharing dorms either, pick up all the bugs from some coughing traveller. Even campsites cost a lot these days, so I am trying the stealth lark. Done it a few times and more excting and warmed by the fact its FREE :lol:

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pjclinch
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby pjclinch » 20 Sep 2015, 12:00pm

Like cycle touring in general, it can be glorious or it can be grim, depending a lot on conditions. When you've got the right site on the right day it's magic, and it's really a case of do you want to take that chance or have a guaranteed reasonably comfortable but probably not special night in a bunkhouse/hostel/B&B.

(I don't sleep on my back... if I do I snore and if I snore my wife will nudge me until I either wake up or roll on to my side).

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simonineaston
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby simonineaston » 20 Sep 2015, 12:32pm

mercalia wrote:I dont like sharing dorms either, pick up all the bugs from some coughing traveller. Even campsites cost a lot these days, so I am trying the stealth lark. Done it a few times and more excting and warmed by the fact its FREE :lol:
In my experience coughing is what you get at best sometimes... :shock: Gave up on YHAs after some special guest in my dorm thought it was OK to get up at 3, potter off and have a bath - I know he had a bath 'cos he told us, after he'd woken us all getting his bath-time things ready... then back to the dorm to pack up and get the rest of his stuff all sorted, each item apparently in its own placcie bag - and you know how they rustle! He was lucky to get away with his life that morning... seriously, that's part of the charm of touring in France for me - decent campsites at decent prices. That and the quiet roads and the loverly grub. Ah, the cheese, the cheese!
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mercalia
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby mercalia » 20 Sep 2015, 2:50pm

re the coughing - just an example. whenever I use the tubes in London I often end up with a cold that knocks me off my feet - I put down to all the bugs from the many people from many places in a confined space.

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al_yrpal
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby al_yrpal » 20 Sep 2015, 3:04pm

In good weather its great because I love the open air. But when its tipping it down it can be miserable, but you can always retreat to a B&B. As for French Cheese we now do it much better. France lost its Mojo :P Lack of nice hard cheeses is their downfall. Just had a week in Devon, the local cheeses were to die for. Personally I cannot do camping without a nice cup of tea, thus for me, a stove is essential. Looking forward to next Spring.

Al
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fossala
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby fossala » 20 Sep 2015, 3:05pm

I love waking up in a tent. There is nothing better than opening the door of your tent and throwing the stove on for that first cuppa! I'm an early riser so I get up at 5am when I'm camping and no one is about. Dammit, now I want to go camping but have 3 more shifts at work. :(

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foxyrider
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby foxyrider » 20 Sep 2015, 6:11pm

yes or i wouldn't still do it! Doesn't mean I want to camp every time I go away or even every night when I take the tent but with the right gear I'm comfortable and every night is a new experience. There are times when its less enjoyable - this year high winds and a thunderstorm on consecutive nights did little for my enjoyment but they just join the tree blown down onto the tent, wind flattening same with me in it and ice inside after a late frost - the positive side is far bigger sunsets, sunrises, views, people watching, unusual spots - quite a few after 50 years! :D
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NATURAL ANKLING
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Re: Do you actually like camping?

Postby NATURAL ANKLING » 20 Sep 2015, 7:23pm

Hi,
robing wrote: I should try some more cycle camping in this country when the midges aren't too bad.

In my experience midges in north England and Devon hang around damp area's like slow moving lowland streams.
Most of my camping has been on the moors, they disappear at altitude, like horse flies, no grazing animals no horse flies.

No camping near farms / woods either.
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