Author Topic: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?  (Read 8741 times)

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Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #15 on: May 10, 2021, 08:22:59 am »
Look at it this way - start with the gear, if you do not use it over a few weeks ship it back. The extra weight will help get you in better shape.  ;D That is a lot better then trying to assemble a camping kit on the road once you decide you need one.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline staehpj1

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #16 on: May 10, 2021, 09:03:17 am »
That is a lot better then trying to assemble a camping kit on the road once you decide you need one.
It depends on how likely you figure you are to need it.  If I was pretty sure I wouldn't need to have it along I might leave it home.

That question isn't likely to come up in my case since I generally camp, but if I decided to go on an all credit card tour maybe.  If needing it is unlikely it isn't impossible to have gear sent to you.

I have gear that is light enough that I could take sleeping bag, bivy, pad, and tarp and be under two and a half pounds so taking it along would be more tempting, but taking 20 pounds of stuff mentioned earlier in the thread would be a non starter for me if I wasn't planning to use it.  I'd already be second guessing myself for taking it at 2.5 pounds if I didn't think there was a fair chance I'd use it.

Having the gear gathered and ready at home (or someone who can do that on the fly) is an option if you have someone who can ship it to you.  It could be boxed up and ready to go.  I know that I have both sent and received stuff from home via the USPS when on tour and it worked out fine.  Using General Delivery worked well if I chose a town with only one post office to avoid confusion about where the package would be.  If timing didn't work for pickup, I just requested the package be sent to a post office further down the road on my route.

Some middle ground is also possible.  If you don't own UL gear, some minimal means of surviving the night without full camping gear might be possible.  Having a sleeping bag and a small tarp (a poncho?) might suffice.  Adding a sleeping pad would add a lot of comfort.  Any way you could survive a night or a couple nights out side while waiting for the package to catch up to you if you needed to.

I pretty often cowboy camp even when I have my gear along and have just pulled the tarp over myself and my gear when there was unexpected rain.  It wasn't the end of the world.  So going with just a small subset of the typical camping gear may be an option for some.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #17 on: May 10, 2021, 10:22:49 am »
Maybe I am too much of a Boy Scout  ;D but I typically don't go off into the woods without a flashlight and enough clothing to survive a night out if injured. We also do a lot of rail trails and gravel and it is a long stretch between towns. Touring on roads does over a much higher level of service and if stuck out in an emergency, particularly in the East, you can usually flag down a motorist or knock on a door.

A lot of long distance hikers use a technique called bounce boxes. You basically send yourself stuff ahead to a Post Office down the road in a flat rate box. Great for that pack of batteries that you bought or some hard to get items that you do not want to carry. I found them to be a pain when I used them. I also had a stack of prepackage flat rate boxes at home numbered with a shipping schedule that my wife sent me in the more remote parts of my trip. Just remember that Post Offices typically close at noon on Saturday and are closed Sunday with the more rural ones sometimes having more limited hours.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline staehpj1

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #18 on: May 10, 2021, 11:06:50 am »
Maybe I am too much of a Boy Scout  ;D but I typically don't go off into the woods without a flashlight and enough clothing to survive a night out if injured.
I agree that you need enough to survive.  I think we both probably want a bit more than being alive in the morning, but really couldn't you (using the literal definition of survive) survive the night with the clothes on your back and what you have on most day rides?  What you have along on a tour would be luxury in comparison (warm clothes, a windbreaker, probably some food and water, maybe rain gear).

I never figured a light was an absolute necessity.  Nice to have but not a big deal to do without.  I carry a minimal one when bike touring or backpacking.  It is a little Pico light on a cord around my neck and weighs 0.2 ounces.  I use it little enough that it's 15 hours of battery life lasts me multiple multi month and multi week trips.  I am told that I am a weirdo in that regard.

Quote
We also do a lot of rail trails and gravel and it is a long stretch between towns. Touring on roads does over a much higher level of service and if stuck out in an emergency, particularly in the East, you can usually flag down a motorist or knock on a door.
I only resort to that in the case of a mechanical breakdown that I can't fix, an injury serious enough that I need treatment or can't walk or ride, or something similarly serious.  I have been places where even on pavement the cars could be few and far between.  The good news is that in those cases in an emergency pretty much every car will stop and help.  I am thinking of places where the old route was replaced by a new highway and the old road through the desert has pretty much zero traffic (1 or 2 cars per day) and no houses or other occupied buildings.  I don't think I'd personally be credit card touring in those places, but someone doing the Southern Tier and using alternate routes rather than following the official ACA route might.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2021, 11:08:53 am by staehpj1 »

Offline GrnMtns

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #19 on: May 10, 2021, 02:23:30 pm »
Sounds like you have a plan, have fun and good luck!  Post back once you're out on the road and let us know how it's working out.


Offline driftlessregion

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #20 on: May 10, 2021, 03:29:46 pm »
" I love to stop for a diner breakfast after 10-30 miles if there is a diner"
We call that second breakfast, and often a highlight of the day; if the coffee is  good.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #21 on: May 12, 2021, 09:47:04 am »
I love to camp, so a resounding "Yes" from me.

Offline rmball28

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #22 on: May 13, 2021, 03:10:14 pm »
One advantage of camping is the people you meet.  Not so much in the trailer/RV dominated spaces but hiker/biker sites and walk in campsites tend to collect an interesting group of people many of whom share outdoor interests and like to socialize.  It's also a good place to share information and perhaps form temporary travel groups.

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #23 on: May 13, 2021, 05:04:41 pm »
One advantage of camping is the people you meet.  Not so much in the trailer/RV dominated spaces but hiker/biker sites and walk in campsites tend to collect an interesting group of people many of whom share outdoor interests and like to socialize.  It's also a good place to share information and perhaps form temporary travel groups.

Mos’ def’. In 2014 I was riding a loop from/to Missoula. Started out on the Trans Am and camped in Jackson the second night. There were close to a dozen other people there. Most were riding the TA east to west. I’ve also spent a total of 5 nights at the Bike Camp in Twin Bridges, also on the TA, during 3 separate trips. Met lots of people there as well.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #24 on: May 14, 2021, 01:16:20 pm »
We're all at different positons as far as finances are concerned. Frankly, for most of us, spending a night in a motet every night on an extended tour - 2 to 3 months is cost prohibitive. I love to camp but can afford to spend an occasional night in a motel/hotel. I only do it ocasionally when I feel I realy need to - whether from weather, exhaustion, the need to cleanup or just from feeling the need for a little decadence.  So, I guess I'll continue my regular routine of camping most nights and every 10 days or so, maybe longer, getting a motel.  A guy's just got to see how it rolls out.  Nice to have the option of not camping when the need arises, though.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 10:46:46 pm by hikerjer »

Offline John Nelson

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #25 on: May 14, 2021, 02:01:01 pm »
If a motel and a campground were next door to each other, and cost was exactly the same, and the weather was good, in most cases, I'd choose the campground.

Offline LouMelini

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #26 on: May 14, 2021, 02:06:46 pm »
I concur with John

Offline hikerjer

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #27 on: May 14, 2021, 03:22:15 pm »
Guess, I'm in disagreement here. If the price were the same and and they were in the same area, I'd opt for the motel.  I like a nice hot shower whenever I can snag one. Even if it's a nice campground, it'll probably not be as comfrotable and clean as a motel. I've spent enough time backpacking and canoeing that I do't mind foregoing a tent at all when the opportunit arises. And then, maybe I'm just older than you guys. Nothing like takeing a long hot shower after a long ride.  I will say, though, on sevral occasions, I've stayed at hostels and the like with communal rooms and showers but I've elected to set up my tent in the back yard - once in downtown Toronto - just because it's quiter there and you still had access to the communal room and the showers/bathrooms.  Best of both worlds.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2021, 03:23:48 pm by hikerjer »

Offline staehpj1

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #28 on: May 14, 2021, 05:05:24 pm »
If a motel and a campground were next door to each other, and cost was exactly the same, and the weather was good, in most cases, I'd choose the campground.
I enjoy a room now and then, but much prefer to camp most of the time.  I do tend to avoid the expensive campgrounds and stay for cheap or free where possible. 

Hikerjer mentioned age.  I am 70, but I don't think that factors very much other than I can probably afford to get a room more often than when I was young.  I still don't do it much but can if I choose to.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Camping or not? Is the weight worth it?
« Reply #29 on: May 14, 2021, 10:48:21 pm »
"Hikerjer mentioned age.  I am 70 -- Glad to see I'm not the only old geezer on these boards.