Camping light - what to take???

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
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Swizz69
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Camping light - what to take???

Post by Swizz69 »

Hi

i'm considering fitting in some s24o's this year (sub 24 hour overnighters). I read about this style of touring in an american article by the guy who runs Rivendell. The idea is to ride out/camp out/ride home within 24 hours.

We have a young family and would like (probably next year at the earliest) to get away for the odd night cycle camping, but i'd like to have a go this year meself to test the water - and with permission from the Missus & a few sites in mind near great country pubs... ...erm well, never look a gift horse in the mouth :D

I've been looking at a Gelert Solo tent for starters at 20odd quid, but having never cycle camped before am wondering what people generally carry, having usually driven to the campsite before rather than pedalled.

For instance what about camping mats? I've never camped without one so wouldn't know how a field felt without a layer of foam, though have never bothered with an airbed. Could probably cope without too much cooking gear depending on the weather & location.

Any advice gratefully recieved. I'd like to get the weightsaving out of the way on a few trips before taking the family along, so I know whats essential (Nintendo DS :lol: ) and what can safely be left behind for a night.

Ian...
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meic
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by meic »

All you need for such a short trip is
tent, sleeping bag and mat (foam is fine)
Toothbrush and toilet paper.
It may be nice to take a little something to eat for breakfast.
I eat Jordans toasted oats out of a mug with the pint of milk I buy just before camping.

Extras that I would take are

Small stove, kettle/pan, mug, tea bags and spoon.
Emergency food/snacks
Change of underwear
Set of waterproofs.
MP3.
Small towel and soap, if I think there will be somewhere nice I could use them

Anything else you take is up to you and what you like.
Yma o Hyd
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pjclinch
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by pjclinch »

Gelert Solo scores points for being cheap, simple and light, but it gives you very little space to do anything other than lie down unless you're a dwarf, so I don't think it'll give much in the way of comfort. Something you can sit up in is preferable.

Mats are well worth having: aside from a bit of insulation from bumps and hardness their main point is insulation from cold: they make a big difference for that. Self inflating mats compact better than plain foam and are more comfortable, but also more expensive. Alpkit (http://www.alpkit.com) do some very good value ones, Airics.

Pete.
Often seen riding a bike around Dundee...
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simonineaston
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by simonineaston »

self inflating foam mats (SIFM) can inspire a spirited conversation in themselves :shock:
arguments go something like this: they have the potential to give a great night's sleep, as they insulate user from cold hard ground v.well, but are heavier than closed-cell foam mats (C-CFM), BUT biggest draw-back apart from the 30-50% extra weight over C-CFM, is the potential to get a puncture and go flat, thus reducing the user to sleeping on No Insulation At All :(
Anyone who brightly remarks that cyclists would be ideally placed to fix the puncture and continue with a sound night's sleep has not had their SIFM go flat at half past three in the morning...
Things that have made my, or friends' SIFM go flat include, flint, glass, small piece of barbed-wire, thorns. That said, I wouldn't dream of leaving mine at home, unless I was going somewhere very dusty and stony.
S
(on the look out for Armageddon, on board a Brompton nano & ever-changing Moultons)
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Swizz69
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by Swizz69 »

Okay cheers for your replies - all food for thought (hadn't even considered breakfast Meic, thats now top of the list :) )

I'll have a look at some airbeds also & see how small they pack. One thought since had for a foam mat though, using one under the groundsheet instead of inside the tent - has anyone done that? If the mat is closed cell foam & not absorbing water it should also keep the groundsheet clean & undamaged, or is that not such a good idea? (never tried it, but have used a tarp in the same way making folding the groundsheet/inner tent less fussy without worrying about mud :?: )

Re: tents. We have a 3 man dome (eurohike) thats serviceable, but with 3 f/glass poles its bulky when packed. Too big to take for a solo trip & not the quickest to put up hence thinking about the Gelert. Also seen a Coleman Avior X1 solo tent which seems a bit bigger. Does anyone else have a tent recommendations thats low cost/easy to carry?

Thanks again,

Ian...
martinwf5
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by martinwf5 »

Swizz69 wrote:
We have a young family and would like (probably next year at the earliest) to get away for the odd night cycle camping, but i'd like to have a go this year meself to test the water - and with permission from the Missus & a few sites in mind near great country pubs... ...erm well, never look a gift horse in the mouth :D


Ian...


I have also been given permission to do the same, but it cost me a bit more, Fridge,Dishwasher, etc.... "if your having a tent " attitude??

Not sure where you are, but im in Wakefield,
i looked at a few lightweight tents this weekend and a trianga set , that would do for cooking on ,and a set of clothes ...never camped out on a bike ride before, so its exciting and im looking forward to it, though my friend im trying to persuade to come along isnt really over eager.
I'll be watching this post, as its my cup of tea, as i like camping,i'd like to read a few more "members trips" ,
Martin
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Swizz69
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by Swizz69 »

From over in Hyde, Martin. If todays weathers a sign of things to come i'll be off the leash sooner rather than later 8)

As a sidenote I got a couple of panniers today from Lidl that I read about on here & what buy for £11 each. Probably be of more use for next years camping, but a steal at that price.
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meic
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by meic »

If you put the mat under the tent, you will end up with both the bottom of the tent and the mat getting wet and dirty. Also you will not be able to move it a little bit to get it just right. Then you will find that the water can get on top of the mat easier and then it will be easier to get to you through the groundsheet.

I have just got a new, expensive tent with a much thinner groundsheet than the excellently tough one on a Eurohike. So I have given the idea some thought.
I am going to make a "footprint" which is a groundsheet to put under the tent's groundsheet to protect it, like you did with the tarp.

If forced to camp somewhere nasty I would put the mat underneath to protect my tent, even if I ended up getting a little bit wet!
Yma o Hyd
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fossil
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by fossil »

whilst looking in our local camping place i saw the Vango Banshee 200 , which i thought would make a good cycle/camp tent
martinwf5
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by martinwf5 »

Swizz69 wrote:From over in Hyde, Martin. If todays weathers a sign of things to come i'll be off the leash sooner rather than later 8)

As a sidenote I got a couple of panniers today from Lidl


Dont by the pump, useless !!

Just looking forward to getting off....

Martin
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DaveP
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by DaveP »

I'm surprised that no one has suggested using a bivvybag for an overnight trip.
Trying to retain enough fitness to grow old disgracefully... That hasn't changed!
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Swizz69
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by Swizz69 »

Never camped in a bivvy bag before tbh. Haven't 'rough camped' either & was horrified at the idea till I read Josie Dew's first book :D
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andrew_s
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by andrew_s »

DaveP wrote:I'm surprised that no one has suggested using a bivvybag for an overnight trip.

Bivvy bags are OK if the weather looks likely to be reasonable. If it's chucking it down, getting your sleeping bag unpacked and into the bivvy bag, and you out of soggy clothes and into the sleeping bag, without getting the sleeping bag wet isn't very easy. Some sort of extra shelter can be necessary.
If you are a cheapskate and your bivvy bag is one of those big plastic survival bags (rather than goretex), sleep on top of it unless it's actually raining.
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syklist
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by syklist »

Swizz69 wrote:Hi

i'm considering fitting in some s24o's this year (sub 24 hour overnighters). I read about this style of touring in an american article by the guy who runs Rivendell. The idea is to ride out/camp out/ride home within 24 hours.
[snip]
My general rule for 'am I taking too much stuff' is to see if I can carry the bike up and down stairs at say a train station. If I can't then something has to go 8)

I have recently written some pages about our gear including why we chose certain things. Our budget for stuff is large but you might get an idea of how we started thinking about the stuff that suited us. We like to cook on trips even an evening away so we take a stove and pots. You don't have to spend loads of money to get usable gear. The cheapest Camping GAZ stoves work fine and you'll go far with a single 1 l aluminium pan.

We've used foam mats in the past, then Thermarest self inflating mats and have finally graduated to down filled Exped mats (airbeds). With each step the price, comfort level and weight go up. Comfort is less important for the odd night away. Foam mats are fine if you get a firm one and don't try sleeping on very bumpy surfaces. The Exped mats are great in colder weather, on bumpy ground and for long cycletours but cost twenty times more than a foam mat. In four years of use we've had one small puncture on a Thermarest mat, fixed with seam sealer. They're quite durable but not indestructable.

Different people have different ideas about what makes a good tent. My personal preference is for tents that pitch outer tent first and ones with a good thick groundsheet. The best way to learn about tents is to buy one and then see what doesn't work and what breaks. I'd have good look at a tent you want to buy, climb inside it and lie down, try and sit up and get out, see how easy it is to unzip the tent and zip it up from the inside and the outside.
HTH
Stan
So long and thanks for all the fish...
Tako
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Re: Camping light - what to take???

Post by Tako »

If you the type of person who can't imagine overnighting or touring without a stove for hot meals or brews, try a hobo stove. Cost nothing, weighs nothing, dead easy to make, fuel is free and has the pleasures of a camp fire!
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