Author Topic: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?  (Read 9616 times)

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Offline gjjmtnus

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #15 on: February 20, 2009, 10:42:44 am »
To answer a question with a question:  What experience does anyone happen to have with riding light (personally this is all via mt bike) and just carrying a waterproof bivy and maybe a compact tent in ones pack so as to avoid expensive planned stays?  Is this not what has to be done for riders of say the near 600 mile Colorado Trail? I haven't done this type of stay-over yet myself, but have been entertaining the possibility.  Given the trails and 4wd roads that I ride on my multiday tours, most of which are not amenable to trailers/panniers, staying at a hotel or meeting a friend in a support vehicle has to date been the only option at the end of a long strenuous mtb trek. 
Climb till there is no trail, then keep climbing.

Offline rabbitoh

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #16 on: February 20, 2009, 11:27:21 am »
My own opinion is that camping is probably the best way of meeting other travellers, especially other touring cyclists. I sometimes lock myself away in a motel room when I'm touring, when I would be better off in a campsite, mingling with other people. Admittedly, the sanctuary and comforts of a motel, are often too inviting too resist.

I have cycled the NT (admittedly 18 years ago now), and mixed up camping and motelling. I found that a number of the campsites did not have showers, so after two or three nights of that, I needed to stay in a motel. But carrying a tent and sleeping bag, gives you additional options, should things go wrong with either the bike or your own body during the day on the road. The distances between towns along the western section of the NT are vast. Small towns indicated on your maps, might just happen to be closed on the day you pass through. Be prepared, but most importantly, enjoy the ride.



Good Cycling
Dennis

Offline wanderingwheel

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #17 on: February 20, 2009, 11:55:25 am »
What experience does anyone happen to have with riding light (personally this is all via mt bike) and just carrying a waterproof bivy and maybe a compact tent in ones pack so as to avoid expensive planned stays?

I've done it.  For short trips during the rain season with a very light load, I'll carry a bivy and a sleeping bag liner rather than a sleeping bag.  Works for me, and everything can fit in a small backpack.  For longer trips I prefer the full load, but it is convenient to just pack a small bag and head out the door for a long weekend.  This set-up has even got me through mild snowstorms.

Sean

Offline indyfabz

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #18 on: February 20, 2009, 12:12:00 pm »
"My own opinion is that camping is probably the best way of meeting other travellers, especially other touring cyclists. I sometimes lock myself away in a motel room when I'm touring, when I would be better off in a campsite, mingling with other people."

Camping is definiely the way to meet people.  And if you are travelling alone you sometimes get hospitality.  I was given half a home baked pie in CT and all the beer I could drink in NH.

You can also miss some spectaculr experiences slepping inside.  In Wisdom, MT on the TA route I almost opted for a motel over the Lion's Club park on the edge of town because the minute I got off my bike at the local grocery store the mosquitoes were on me like you know what.  I mentioned this to the cashier and he told me that the park had a screened-in porch.  I set up my tent inside the porch and later read by natural light after 9 p.m. while a nearly full moon set behind the snow-capped Bitteroot range.


Online RussSeaton

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2009, 01:24:25 pm »
What experience does anyone happen to have with riding light (personally this is all via mt bike) and just carrying a waterproof bivy and maybe a compact tent in ones pack so as to avoid expensive planned stays? 

How much weight or volume do you think you will save?  Taking the newest latest and greatest modern day camping materials.  A down sleeping bag can easily be less than 1 pound.  Maybe 13 ounces.  How much lighter is a bivy?  2 ounces maybe?  Big deal.  Tents are 3-4 pounds now days.  Fully functional 2 person tents.  And these can be pitched/carried with just the outer fly and omit the body.  Lose another 1-2 pounds.  How much lighter is your compact tent?  Unless you go with a plastic sheet as a tarp and an aluminum foil emergency blanket as sleeping bag, its hard to get much lighter than the newest tents and sleeping bags.  Why suffer with something else for no gain?  Yes I know the newest tents and sleeping bags of super light weight cost money.  But a transcontinental bike ride is 3 months.  Seems to me you would get your moneys worth.

Offline gjjmtnus

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #20 on: February 20, 2009, 02:39:04 pm »
How much lighter is your compact tent?  Unless you go with a plastic sheet as a tarp and an aluminum foil emergency blanket as sleeping bag, its hard to get much lighter than the newest tents and sleeping bags.  Why suffer with something else for no gain?  Yes I know the newest tents and sleeping bags of super light weight cost money.  But a transcontinental bike ride is 3 months.  Seems to me you would get your moneys worth.
[/quote]

Looking at a 1stx investment in a tent, and bivy/down sbag, but I'm not commited to anything yet.  The key is to find something that is efficient, decent quality and affordable.  Haven't chosen to carry so much extra stuff yet, given my routes of steep pitches and technical terrain on s-t and 4wd backcountry trails. For this guy 40-60 miles is a good day in high altitude off-road riding.  Thanx for the feedback. I'll keep all responses to my question in mind.
Climb till there is no trail, then keep climbing.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #21 on: February 21, 2009, 04:07:17 am »
For ultra lightweight cycling you might want to consult some books on backpacking. I have never been much of a hiker, but I have read some books. There seems to be some agreement that reducing gear-weight is more important for backpacking than it is for cycling. If through hikers on the Appalachian Trail can get by for four to six months on the bare minimum of light weight gear, perhaps their packing lists would be a good source of information for your inquiry. Generally speaking, summer weights should be less than winter.

Offline cyclebum

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #22 on: March 09, 2009, 08:33:11 pm »
As there is a questionable stretch on the NT for motels, and you prefer light and fast, mail a bivy and light bag ahead to last post office, general delivery, before you leave civilization. They'll hold it for you for 30 days. Include whatever you plan on hauling the gear in. When you reach civilization again, ditch the gear by mailing ahead to your destination. Or, come up with a fun contest and give it away. I know a fellow who walked across the US and promised to give every penny he picked up to whoever guessed the closest. I think it was about $35.

If you are able to average 100 miles/day unloaded, your motel cost will be much lower than the average touring cyclist who only manages about 50 a day with a load. I'd guess about $1500.

I personally would not trade one day of camping for a motel, but that's just personal preference.   

Offline Westinghouse

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #23 on: March 10, 2009, 04:53:16 am »
Camping may or may not be a necessity depending on who is taking the tour, how much money he / she has to expend on the project, and preferences. However, the question was---Is camping necessary to bike tour? There is no simple answer. For some people camping and stealth camping might be necessary for financial reasons. For some people, paying for motels every day might be pocket change; for others it might be an ubearable drain. As for myself, sometimes I use motels, but the vast majority of the time in the past several years I free camped.

bobbyrob22

  • Guest
Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2009, 11:59:42 am »
With a 100 miles a day you shouldnt have a problem finding a hote/motel every day, a lot of campers camp to simply save money ( or at least thats why I camp.)  The hotels/motels can get exspensive but if that is your prefrence by all means go for it.

Happy trails.

Robert
« Last Edit: March 11, 2009, 12:03:08 pm by bobbyrob22 »

Offline gjjmtnus

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2009, 12:40:18 pm »
For all you biker/campers out there, what low weight set up do you use, or would you recommend for a short multi-day tour?

This is where I'm at for now, when packing light.  One downs bag good to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and weights 2lb.  An emergency tent (>1lb), which could be used  only as a canapy/floor while it is low weight, but may be questionable under torrential rain. Thought of purchasing a bivy to better protect myelf from a rain storm. Note, there's no trailer or pannier, just a back pack carrying emergency kit, food, h20 etc. Riding technical back country trails vs. roads.   Any thoughts are welcome. thanx.
Climb till there is no trail, then keep climbing.

Online RussSeaton

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2009, 01:31:10 pm »
For all you biker/campers out there, what low weight set up do you use, or would you recommend for a short multi-day tour?

This is where I'm at for now, when packing light.  One downs bag good to 25 degrees Fahrenheit, and weights 2lb.  An emergency tent (>1lb), which could be used  only as a canapy/floor while it is low weight, but may be questionable under torrential rain. Thought of purchasing a bivy to better protect myelf from a rain storm. Note, there's no trailer or pannier, just a back pack carrying emergency kit, food, h20 etc. Riding technical back country trails vs. roads.   Any thoughts are welcome. thanx.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/ultralight.cfm


Offline GarySherck

Re: ‘Camping’: Is it really necessary?
« Reply #27 on: May 07, 2009, 12:29:49 am »

"A good campsite can be just as good as a motel. However, after several days on the open road it is a welcomed comfort to spend two or three days in a motel. When I use motels I make a practice of entering in the morning, and staying the full 24 hours. That way I get the full benefit of the rest. On one tour I stayed in motels one day out of every four days on the road. On another tour I stayed in motels one day of every six days. On one 93-day tour I stayed in motels only five or six days total. The big thing with me is getting a good night's rest, and having a safe secure place to do it."

Westinghouse.

This make a lot of good sense.  Also, the ACA maps, which may be the best way to travel cross-country, do provide lots of good camping/motel information.
In addition, I am sure, but not ridden across the country, one will find much good information from Locals along the way.

gary