Author Topic: A couple of touring questions  (Read 2914 times)

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Offline CraftGeek

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A couple of touring questions
« on: January 25, 2010, 03:04:16 pm »
  • If you are with a group that leaves at sunup, you will be packing your tent while it is still wet with dew and condensation, then riding with it like that all day. Doesn’t it begin to form mildew after a few days of this?
  • What about laundry in the same situation? I can easily wash and wring out the days cloths and put them on a line outside but they won’t be dry at sunup. Should I only do laundry on layover days when it has the time to dry? Or don’t do laundry and live with the smell?

Offline staehpj1

Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #1 on: January 25, 2010, 06:21:02 pm »
  • If you are with a group that leaves at sunup, you will be packing your tent while it is still wet with dew and condensation, then riding with it like that all day. Doesn’t it begin to form mildew after a few days of this?
  • What about laundry in the same situation? I can easily wash and wring out the days cloths and put them on a line outside but they won’t be dry at sunup. Should I only do laundry on layover days when it has the time to dry? Or don’t do laundry and live with the smell?
Not a big problem in either case.  The tent will be fine since it gets aired out every day.  If you stay in a motel you may want to dry it out in the room.

Wet laundry...  I often start the day with freshly washed and wet clothes hanging on my rear rack or if it is raining, under pannier flaps.    Then again I also go a long time between washing them at times.  The world doesn't come to an end in either case, so no worries.

Heck I even start the day fairly often in clothes that are still damp and never found it to be a problem.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #2 on: January 25, 2010, 07:54:06 pm »
I've had the wet tent problem biking and backpacking. If there is a string of wet days, the first time the sun comes out, I unpack the tent and dry it in the sun.  It dries fast, as do most sleeping bags.  For wet clothes, I sometimes ride in them, but carry a plastic bag with dry ones and use them when I get too grossed out.  Then all the wet stuff goes into a plastic bag until I get a chance to do laundry or dry out.  You get used to this stuff after a week or so.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline trout

Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #3 on: January 26, 2010, 10:26:09 am »
All good advice above.

Before I roll up a wet tent I will shake it out and wipe it up with my pack towel. As mentioned above, whenever I pack a wet tent, I try to stop and dry it during the day if the sun comes out. I'll do this at lunch or even during a break. They usually dry in a matter of minutes if there is a breeze.

Once in a while I will have to set up a damp tent, not too often. (I did ride through three days of a tropical storm one year, it got so ridiculous that I just laughed.) If worse comes to worse you may be damp in the tent, but it will eventually dry.

Same thing with the clothes. I thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and went through a six week period of almost daily rain while in New England. I told people that the hardest part was waking up every morning and putting wet, cold clothes on and walking in the rain. My only consolation was that I knew I had dry clothes in my pack that I could put on to sleep in. ;D

I frequently will dry my clothes out, bungied to my rack, while I ride. Believe me, a damp Jersey is no problem to wear, but damp shorts should be avoided if possible.

« Last Edit: January 26, 2010, 12:41:18 pm by trout »

Offline tonythomson

Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #4 on: January 26, 2010, 12:17:37 pm »
I think the main things to keep dry are your sleeping bag and liner the rest can stay damp - just the smell might get to other people!  Depending on what shorts you wear if they are the thick padded type then can get very uncomfortable and chaff if not careful.  Otherwise dry on the road as people have said.

Don't suppose it's cos we smell so bad that the red necks don't like us is it?
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline johnsondasw

Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #5 on: January 26, 2010, 11:20:28 pm »
No, the rednecks don't like us cuz they know we're really gnarlier that they are, and we don't have to put on a tough guy act.  We just are tough enough to grind it out, mile after mile after day after day, up, down, rain and shine.......
May the wind be at your back!

Offline tonythomson

Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #6 on: January 27, 2010, 05:54:05 am »
"No, the rednecks don't like us cuz they know we're really gnarlier that they are, and we don't have to put on a tough guy act.  We just are tough enough to grind it out, mile after mile after day after day, up, down, rain and shine......."

And I thought it was 'cos I couldn't drink as much beer as them............
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline indyfabz

Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #7 on: January 27, 2010, 10:30:43 am »
1.  You will not always have condensation.

2.  As mentioned, wiping it dry before packing helps.  You can also shake out the fly.

3.  Airing it out during, say, a lunch break is also a good idea.

4. If you arrive at your next camp with a wet/damp tent and the weather is dry, pitch it but hang up the fly up separately.  Both should dry faster that way.

5.  Some front panniers (e.g., mine) have out mesh pockets.  I put damp clothing in them and they dry quickly.  Otherwise, strap them to your rear rack as someone suggested.  Just secure them well or you may lose them.

6.  If you don't trust your stuff sacks, use lightweight trash liners to cover your tent and bag before stuffing them.

Offline CraftGeek

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Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #8 on: January 27, 2010, 11:38:58 am »
All good sugguestions. Thank you all!


Now I need to focus on a new tent. But that's another thread.

Offline bogiesan

Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2010, 09:57:04 pm »
  • If you are with a group that leaves at sunup, you will be packing your tent while it is still wet with dew and condensation, then riding with it like that all day. Doesn’t it begin to form mildew after a few days of this?
  • What about laundry in the same situation? I can easily wash and wring out the days cloths and put them on a line outside but they won’t be dry at sunup. Should I only do laundry on layover days when it has the time to dry? Or don’t do laundry and live with the smell?

1. If everyone has this same problem, things will work out. Everyone's tents will be damp and someone will simply have to make the point that mildewy tents are bad tents.
I can see into the future: On a bicycle tour, getting up and hitting the road before dawn every single day is going to become an issue within two weeks. The reasons for an early start turn out to be fantastical misperceptions and the enforcement of this silliness becomes a struggle for power and control. No kidding, bicycle touring is (generally) not about getting there rapidly. However, speed is not a demon for everyone, it's a valid reason to go on a tour. If it is your driving reason for your event, a wet tent will not be on your mind. Much.
2. The smell of dirty bicycle clothing is not the issue although you must eventually interact with other human beings. Bacterial content is the issue. Ride a few days in unclean bike wear and you will be visited by plagues of unspeakable rashes and sores. If speed is your reason to do the tour, wet clothing is not really an issue, it's your life in the saddle. It's not a good way to do a bicycle tour, it's just not. You'd be using the wrong vehicle. You'd be wasting all that energy getting places instead of enjoying the trip.

david boise ID 
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline velo

Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2010, 03:33:51 pm »
For the tent:

I often pull my tent out at lunch to dry and air out, in 30 minutes a tent will mostly dry if it is sunny out. In the morning I try to shake my tent out before packing it up. It rides near the top of pannier so it is easy to get out at lunch time.

For clothes:

Wash them and then strap them on top of panniers, they will dry quickly in the wind.  Make sure to tie or clip everything in so you don't get to the end of the day and realize that you no longer have an article of clothing.

Offline mikedirectory2

Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2010, 12:29:08 am »


For clothes:

Wash them and then strap them on top of panniers, they will dry quickly in the wind.  Make sure to tie or clip everything in so you don't get to the end of the day and realize that you no longer have an article of clothing.

That would suck : )
May the skies be blue and the road be flat... Happy Riding.

Offline robo

Re: A couple of touring questions
« Reply #12 on: February 03, 2010, 12:55:06 am »
A bungie or other cord through a sleeve, pant leg, strap- you get the picture- goes a long way towards making sure your drying clothes don't become items of roadside interest.  Of course, sox are another matter.