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  1. #1
    Neil_B
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    OT Unfortunately: Camping trip in "Alabama", PA

    This is unfortunately off-topic, because I drove to French Creek State Park instead of riding the 16 miles uphill. French Creek SP is about 14 miles past the "Alabama" line, Rt 100. I arrived last night and left this morning, getting in over two miles of hiking both days.

    The purpose of the trip is for me to road-test my camping equipment prior to the 700 mile tour I'm riding in less than three weeks. The new mummy sleeping bag was too small for me - I should have considered it wasn't clyde-sized. I can get it zipped around my middle and chest, but I can't do it with my arms in the bag. I also need to get a sleeping pad. But otherwise everything worked out well.

    Some photos:

    A swan takes off from Hopewell Lake this morning:



    My tent last night:



    The woods at 7:30 PM last night:



    Scott's Run Lake this morning, from atop the stone dam.



    A discharge/runoff pool from Scott's Run Lake. My poor photo doesn't do justice to the coffee-color of the water:



    And Bob, a fisherman I spent about 15 minutes talking to. Or rather, I spent 15 minutes listening to. Unfortunately, he didn't have with him the enormous crappie he'd landed yesterday.


  2. #2
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
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    Thanks for the torture test report.

    Sleeping Pad: Don't skimp, it makes all the difference. Go "Thermarest". I love mine so much, that for the last year, I have inflated mine and have slid it under the mattress cover and sheet on our bed. I like my pallet a bit more firm and this has worked great (except for the hump in the bed).

    Bob: Yes, it is amazing how much some people like to hear themselves talk. For the past 5 years I have been camping regularly with two other people. A lady friend from AR and buddy from IL. The three of us can sit for hours sometimes and not say a word and yet it seems like we have been communicating (very satisfying), and then "Bob" will enter the camp and not shut up for an hour and we are exhausted.

    Keep us tuned on your trip.

    Jay
    http://www.homeairdirect.com Hey! It's What I Do

  3. #3
    New Meat
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    Try out a Big Agnes "Park" bag (there are different fills and temp. ratings in the range), which works great for gentlemen of dimension. They also make a couple of variants on an air mattress that can be slipped into a sleeve in the bag, allowing you to stuff them together.

  4. #4
    Senior Moment Member jagraham's Avatar
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    Shall I bring an assortment of sleeping pads to the Bike2Pike ride so that you can test them out?

    Judy

  5. #5
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by jagraham View Post
    Shall I bring an assortment of sleeping pads to the Bike2Pike ride so that you can test them out?

    Judy
    Sure, thanks!

  6. #6
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by jboyd View Post
    Bob: Yes, it is amazing how much some people like to hear themselves talk. For the past 5 years I have been camping regularly with two other people. A lady friend from AR and buddy from IL. The three of us can sit for hours sometimes and not say a word and yet it seems like we have been communicating (very satisfying), and then "Bob" will enter the camp and not shut up for an hour and we are exhausted.

    Keep us tuned on your trip.

    Jay
    I will do. I'm generally a very good listener, and I didn't find Bob at all boring. However, his idea of camping is bringing a house on wheels with you, so he didn't understand bike touring at all.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    I will do. I'm generally a very good listener, and I didn't find Bob at all boring. However, his idea of camping is bringing a house on wheels with you, so he didn't understand bike touring at all.

    My fiancee loves camping and likes riding, so I might be able to talk her into some light bike touring in the fall. The camground we're staying at this weekend (Wompatuck State Park) is about 15 miles outside of Boston, and is probably a place we can ride to next year for some bike camping (I think fall will be too busy). We'll need a trailer first, but thats on my list.

  8. #8
    Neil_B
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    My clyde-sized tent, Columbia Lost Lake:




  9. #9
    Downtown Spanky Brown bautieri's Avatar
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    So when you camp out do you bring your bicycle in with you or do you leave it outside? Do you cover it up with someting or leave it exposed? I've been pondering a bicycle trip sometime this year and what exactly to do with the bike at night has remained somewhat of a mystery to me.

  10. #10
    What is a jsharr?
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    Man, that looked like a fantastic time man. Also, isn't it kind of funny about fisherman and being named Bob?

    Couch
    This thread needs more Chipcom!

  11. #11
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    So when you camp out do you bring your bicycle in with you or do you leave it outside? Do you cover it up with someting or leave it exposed? I've been pondering a bicycle trip sometime this year and what exactly to do with the bike at night has remained somewhat of a mystery to me.
    I lock mine up outside, and if the weather looks truly nasty, I cover it up with a small tarp (or if I'm stealth camping, I cover it up with a tarp to hide the shiney bits.).
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  12. #12
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Historian View Post
    I will do. I'm generally a very good listener, and I didn't find Bob at all boring. However, his idea of camping is bringing a house on wheels with you, so he didn't understand bike touring at all.
    Some people camp to get away from it all.....
    others like to take it all with them.

    I like to get away from it all, problem is I need about $1,000 for camping gear, if our lotto group at work wins ......

  13. #13
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    Some people camp to get away from it all.....
    others like to take it all with them.

    I like to get away from it all, problem is I need about $1,000 for camping gear, if our lotto group at work wins ......
    My dome tent is a $50.00 Walmart tent, and it works well enough. Decent pad, decent sleeping bag, and seal the seams on the inexpensive tent, and there ya go!
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  14. #14
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    My dome tent is a $50.00 Walmart tent, and it works well enough. Decent pad, decent sleeping bag, and seal the seams on the inexpensive tent, and there ya go!
    I find that inexpensive tents are like many other products, they either weigh 25lbs, or they are maybe large enough for a 98lbs weakling or they are made so poorly that they fall apart on the first trip. I see that Crappy Tire has a few cheap ones, that might be worth a half a look, I have a warm weather sleeping bag already, but it's a little bulky, do need to get a good sleeping pad though, and they are not cheap. I've had cheap ones before, the key word there is had, they have all gone to landfill a long time ago. Of course the other thing that you need to spend well on is a stove, especially in a country where cold and wet seem to be common.

    I decided a long time ago, the load limit is 140kg, my weight is around 100kg, the bike fully set out is 15kg, so that leaves about 25kg for gear. I also need a front rack, and that means swapping the fork, for one that is suspension corrected and has rack mounts on it, not sure if there even is such a thing.....

  15. #15
    Senior Member jboyd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    I find that inexpensive tents are like many other products, they either weigh 25lbs, or they are maybe large enough for a 98lbs weakling or they are made so poorly that they fall apart on the first trip. I see that Crappy Tire has a few cheap ones, that might be worth a half a look, I have a warm weather sleeping bag already, but it's a little bulky, do need to get a good sleeping pad though, and they are not cheap. I've had cheap ones before, the key word there is had, they have all gone to landfill a long time ago. Of course the other thing that you need to spend well on is a stove, especially in a country where cold and wet seem to be common.

    I decided a long time ago, the load limit is 140kg, my weight is around 100kg, the bike fully set out is 15kg, so that leaves about 25kg for gear. I also need a front rack, and that means swapping the fork, for one that is suspension corrected and has rack mounts on it, not sure if there even is such a thing.....

    I have had a pretty serious camping gear fetish for about the last ten years (second childhood after my divorce). I have at least two of everything. When I go to REI or NOC, I am like a monkey in a banana truck. I have spent $50, $150, $300 on tents. All will do the same thing, but on the wrong night, I will take the $300 house. One of the best nights of my life was laying in my tent in NW Arkansas while the wind blew about 30-40mph and it rained about 4 inches. I was dry and the temp was perfect. I had just started reading about a 500 page book. It was one of the most peaceful nights of my life
    http://www.homeairdirect.com Hey! It's What I Do

  16. #16
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by bautieri View Post
    So when you camp out do you bring your bicycle in with you or do you leave it outside? Do you cover it up with someting or leave it exposed? I've been pondering a bicycle trip sometime this year and what exactly to do with the bike at night has remained somewhat of a mystery to me.
    I leave the bike and trailer locked up to a tree.

  17. #17
    Senior Moment Member jagraham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    My dome tent is a $50.00 Walmart tent, and it works well enough.
    Hi Tom -

    I bought a couple of those identical tents for my GS troop, and got 4 good seasons of hard use out of them. Lib and I used one for our first 2 summers of bike camping. They aren't the lighest tents, about 8 pounds if I recall, but they are spacious, easy to set up and reasonably weatherproof. And inexpensive.

    I've since gone to lighter weight shelters... tents, hammock, bivy, though sometimes I get nostalgic and miss that dome tent.

    Judy

  18. #18
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    My fiancee bought me a nice tent for Christmas (this was her hint that she wanted to camp more, but I love the present anyways LOL). We'll be using it this weekend on our trip to MA. It's a Greatland hexdome I believe.
    Last edited by TechKnowGN; 05-28-09 at 07:18 AM.

  19. #19
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Agreed, it is a bit heavy and yeah, it's ~8 pounds, and I really only use it now when both the wife and I go out. i have a Wenzel Backpacking tent I'll be using solo, supposedly 2 person, but really a large bivvy. It weighs ~2 pounds.
    Quote Originally Posted by jagraham View Post
    Hi Tom -

    I bought a couple of those identical tents for my GS troop, and got 4 good seasons of hard use out of them. Lib and I used one for our first 2 summers of bike camping. They aren't the lighest tents, about 8 pounds if I recall, but they are spacious, easy to set up and reasonably weatherproof. And inexpensive.

    I've since gone to lighter weight shelters... tents, hammock, bivy, though sometimes I get nostalgic and miss that dome tent.

    Judy
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  20. #20
    The Site Administrator: Currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes,please contact my assistnt admins for forum issues Tom Stormcrowe's Avatar
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    Here's a good solution to bike loading issues.



    My Allez actually has a carbon fork, and short chainstays, since it has Criterium Geometry, but it pulls a trailer very nicely and once in motion, I literally cannot feel the trailer behind me. This is a Nashbar BOB clone, and it does pretty well, so far.

    Quote Originally Posted by Wogsterca View Post
    I find that inexpensive tents are like many other products, they either weigh 25lbs, or they are maybe large enough for a 98lbs weakling or they are made so poorly that they fall apart on the first trip. I see that Crappy Tire has a few cheap ones, that might be worth a half a look, I have a warm weather sleeping bag already, but it's a little bulky, do need to get a good sleeping pad though, and they are not cheap. I've had cheap ones before, the key word there is had, they have all gone to landfill a long time ago. Of course the other thing that you need to spend well on is a stove, especially in a country where cold and wet seem to be common.

    I decided a long time ago, the load limit is 140kg, my weight is around 100kg, the bike fully set out is 15kg, so that leaves about 25kg for gear. I also need a front rack, and that means swapping the fork, for one that is suspension corrected and has rack mounts on it, not sure if there even is such a thing.....
    on light duty due to illness; please contact my assistants for forum issues. They are Siu Blue Wind, or CbadRider or the other 3 star folk. I am currently at home recovering from a couple of strokes. I am making good progress, happily.


    . “He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.”- Fredrick Nietzsche

    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." - Immanuel Kant

  21. #21
    Senior Member Wogster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Stormcrowe View Post
    Here's a good solution to bike loading issues.



    My Allez actually has a carbon fork, and short chainstays, since it has Criterium Geometry, but it pulls a trailer very nicely and once in motion, I literally cannot feel the trailer behind me. This is a Nashbar BOB clone, and it does pretty well, so far.
    I actually want a trailer as well, but for other things, like groceries. One thing I decided though on trailers, it's too easy to have a load shift with a single wheel trailer and pull the whole thing over. Currently I have a suspension fork, and I am surprised with the load, that's it's lasted as long as it has (3 years), but when it was new, it would remain fairly solid now I notice it's moving more, so I think the springs or elastomers that are inside are starting to get weak, so it will need to be replaced at the end of the season anyway. It will be replaced with a solid suspension corrected fork, if I can get one with low rider mounts that would be an advantage given my riding style.
    Last edited by Wogster; 05-28-09 at 03:26 PM. Reason: Typing while still trying to wake up....

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