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  1. #1
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Camping on a Brevet

    Ok, just because I am a cheapskate (although admittedly, it is because I REALLY need to be one right now) and can't spring for $100 for a hotel room on the 600k (which I am riding solo a week before as I am helping out on the real deal), is it possible to pack an ultralight sleeping bag and a few sections of zrest along to sleep on halfway through? I am mulling this one over at present. I figure the bag and pad would not add more than 2 - 3 pounds to the overall weight and would also be a good safety net in case of colder than expected temps if one had to stop. I am curious if anyone thinks this would be feasible. I think with a rear rack it wouldn't be hard to do and a tarp tent could be added if a threat of bad weather was around. Much of the land on the brevet is public land so bivouacking near the road is not too naughty and as long as one scouts for ant hills and snake holes it shouldn't be a problem. So, what do ya think?
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    Get a space blanket or emergency bivouac bag.

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    Hate to jack this thread a bit... but I'll be in Arizona Nov 6th to the 26th and was wondering if the AZ randonneurs were planning on a fall series of brevets? Otherwise I'll plan on a Permanent...

    Paul?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L. View Post
    Ok, just because I am a cheapskate (although admittedly, it is because I REALLY need to be one right now) and can't spring for $100 for a hotel room on the 600k (which I am riding solo a week before as I am helping out on the real deal), is it possible to pack an ultralight sleeping bag and a few sections of zrest along to sleep on halfway through? I am mulling this one over at present. I figure the bag and pad would not add more than 2 - 3 pounds to the overall weight and would also be a good safety net in case of colder than expected temps if one had to stop. I am curious if anyone thinks this would be feasible. I think with a rear rack it wouldn't be hard to do and a tarp tent could be added if a threat of bad weather was around. Much of the land on the brevet is public land so bivouacking near the road is not too naughty and as long as one scouts for ant hills and snake holes it shouldn't be a problem. So, what do ya think?
    Yes. This is very feasible. I use a down mummy bag with waterproof/breathable outer material. Plus, something like the lightest thermarest or foam pad is bulk is not a concern. I use the thermarest. If you think is is going to rain augment this with a bivy sack. This should all weigh in at less than 3 pounds total. A small headlamp is worth the extra few onces.

  5. #5
    Ho-Jahm Hocam's Avatar
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    Can you just leave it in your drop bag and wait for a control?
    Race-o-meter:
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SharpT View Post
    Hate to jack this thread a bit... but I'll be in Arizona Nov 6th to the 26th and was wondering if the AZ randonneurs were planning on a fall series of brevets? Otherwise I'll plan on a Permanent...

    Paul?

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    They usually do a ride or two in the fall.

    I am one of the permanent owners down here and there is another one. The November brevet is usually towards the first of the month.
    Last edited by Paul L.; 01-29-08 at 09:38 PM.
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  7. #7
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hocam View Post
    Can you just leave it in your drop bag and wait for a control?
    As I am riding a week early there will be no support at the controls so no drop bag.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Smokester View Post
    Yes. This is very feasible. I use a down mummy bag with waterproof/breathable outer material. Plus, something like the lightest thermarest or foam pad is bulk is not a concern. I use the thermarest. If you think is is going to rain augment this with a bivy sack. This should all weigh in at less than 3 pounds total. A small headlamp is worth the extra few onces.
    I use an eos as my backup light so that is not an issue as far as the headlamp is concerned. I may pack up my old Slumberjack into a compression sack and give this a try. I still won't weigh anymore than I did when I rode my recumbent.
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  9. #9
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    2-3 extra pounds is trivial. Go for it.

  10. #10
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hocam View Post
    Can you just leave it in your drop bag and wait for a control?
    Drop bag??? On a 600K????

    If you come to the Canadian prairies to do a 600K, don't bother packing a drop bag!!

  11. #11
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    On my first 600K, I rode 36 hours straight through. That didn't feel too bad. It was probably one of my better 600Ks. So one option might be to keep riding.

    If you do think you'd like a short nap, there's nothing wrong with the idea of packing something to make sleep more comfortable. I used to carry a rain suit. I figured it would be warm and would keep the mosquitoes out.

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    Inebriated Ninja Hatters BMonei's Avatar
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    A hennessy hammock might work out well. It's light, easy to pack and unpack, and has a quick set up.

  13. #13
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    On my first 600K, I rode 36 hours straight through. That didn't feel too bad. It was probably one of my better 600Ks. So one option might be to keep riding.

    If you do think you'd like a short nap, there's nothing wrong with the idea of packing something to make sleep more comfortable. I used to carry a rain suit. I figured it would be warm and would keep the mosquitoes out.
    We may be softies in Texas, but we make our 600K routes in two loops returning to the motel at the start. No need for drop bags since we have access to our stuff after the first loop.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    On my first 600K, I rode 36 hours straight through. That didn't feel too bad. It was probably one of my better 600Ks. So one option might be to keep riding.

    If you do think you'd like a short nap, there's nothing wrong with the idea of packing something to make sleep more comfortable. I used to carry a rain suit. I figured it would be warm and would keep the mosquitoes out.
    After the turnaround a rest is kind of wise as there are no open stores for 80 miles in the wee hours of the morning. It's doable but if your gonna rest, resting when the stores are closed is a good time.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Paul L.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMonei View Post
    A hennessy hammock might work out well. It's light, easy to pack and unpack, and has a quick set up.
    Those look to be nice. Only problem is the vegetation down here is not strong enough to support a hammock unless you are up in the mountains.
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  16. #16
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom View Post
    We may be softies in Texas, but we make our 600K routes in two loops returning to the motel at the start. No need for drop bags since we have access to our stuff after the first loop.
    My current 600K, the one I designed, is like that. The first loop is about 400 kms, a comfortable distance for Day 1, and the second loop is 200 kms.

    BTW - I believe there is an ACP rule that you can't do two identical loops in the same brevet. Something about not cycling on the same roads in the same direction twice. In fact, I couldn't even use my 400K route as my first loop or my 200K route as my second loop on my 600K either. I had to do something completely different. It's quite a challenge to design routes, not only because of the complete and utter lack of services in many parts of this area, but also because of all the route design rules.

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    Ho-Jahm Hocam's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    Drop bag??? On a 600K????

    If you come to the Canadian prairies to do a 600K, don't bother packing a drop bag!!
    I guess NJRando is just awesome then, they let me leave some stuff with them on a 200 because I took the train.
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  18. #18
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Machka View Post
    My current 600K, the one I designed, is like that. The first loop is about 400 kms, a comfortable distance for Day 1, and the second loop is 200 kms.

    BTW - I believe there is an ACP rule that you can't do two identical loops in the same brevet. Something about not cycling on the same roads in the same direction twice. In fact, I couldn't even use my 400K route as my first loop or my 200K route as my second loop on my 600K either. I had to do something completely different. It's quite a challenge to design routes, not only because of the complete and utter lack of services in many parts of this area, but also because of all the route design rules.
    Yes, you are correct that you must have two separate loops. In fact, I believe the ACP rule is that you cannot ride down a road twice in the same direction. This can be difficult to strictly apply in a multiple loop route since there may some practical limitations to getting in and out of the start area, so there are some allowances made for short segments.

    We like to split the loops into 360/240 Km segments. It makes for nice timing for sleeping in between loops. Most riders head back out about 5-6 AM for the second loop. In North Texas, we have three 600K routes like this, each starting from a different location, on our brevet calendar this year.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul L. View Post
    is it possible to pack an ultralight sleeping bag and a few sections of zrest along to sleep on halfway through?
    This was my plan for PBP and as a part of that, I actually strapped a light sleeping bag, changes of clothes and a small tarp to my Carradice for all of my training during July. The weight was ... there. But, I always assuaged myself by thinking that if I couldn't finish a 1200k because I had an extra pound on my bike, then I had no business being on the ride in the first place.

    One thing I would advise for roadside camping is to be sure to also bring earplugs and an eye shade if you're a relatively light sleeper. Granted, one will usually be so tired on a 600k that sleeping soundly shouldn't be a worry, but the last thing you want is to have a deep REM cycle interrupted by a tractor-trailer roaring past the field or rest area that you're sleeping in.

  20. #20
    Not an internet law-maker Godwin's Avatar
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    The hardest thing I've found about camping on a brevet is not having ground insulation. I have a very small bivy, silk liner, and emergency bivy but no mater how warm it is outside the ground is often cold and can cool your body quickly. I don't mind adding a bit of weight, for me it's more of a space issue, most sleeping pads aren't that compact. I've settled on making ground cover from branches, grass, or whatever I can find but if anyone has found any better solutions I'd be interested to hear some.

    edit: I used to have a jandd wedge III and there was no extra room whatsoever but I just bought a barley so I could squeeze in something small.

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godwin View Post
    I've settled on making ground cover from branches, grass, or whatever I can find but if anyone has found any better solutions I'd be interested to hear some.
    Rowan and I used a large rug/mat outside a church on the Last Chance. It might have worked, but that night was quite chilly (like, see your breath kind of chilly) and we were both frozen solid when we woke up half an hour later.

  22. #22
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BMonei View Post
    A hennessy hammock might work out well. It's light, easy to pack and unpack, and has a quick set up.


    +1

  23. #23
    littlecircles bmike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godwin View Post
    The hardest thing I've found about camping on a brevet is not having ground insulation. I have a very small bivy, silk liner, and emergency bivy but no mater how warm it is outside the ground is often cold and can cool your body quickly. I don't mind adding a bit of weight, for me it's more of a space issue, most sleeping pads aren't that compact. I've settled on making ground cover from branches, grass, or whatever I can find but if anyone has found any better solutions I'd be interested to hear some.

    edit: I used to have a jandd wedge III and there was no extra room whatsoever but I just bought a barley so I could squeeze in something small.
    pick up a pad from GG.... super light - cut it to 3/4 length and just wide enough for your shoulders.

    i carried a small sleeping bag liner and emergency blanket for the 600k i attempted in '06. worked great at the sleep stop - didn't need anything else - and should i have needed to stop on route it would have worked just as well.

    i've since added one of these emergency bivies to my kit. haven't spent the night in it - but it would work well for summer brevet riding.

  24. #24
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    I have a Hennessy Hammock but if there are no trees, it is suboptimal. The bottom's not waterproof. And while it's fairly fast to set up, it is a bit fiddly, and I didn't want to have to fiddle with it on the third night of PBP. In retrospect, there aren't many places on PBP that I could have used the Hennessy.

    So for PBP I bought a silk liner and a Black Diamond Lightsabre bivy,

    http://www.bdel.com/gear/lightsabre.php

    and carried it without the poles. So it'd basically just be a bag with a waterproof bottom and a water resistant top.

    But as it turns out, I never even used the bivy, as I ended up relying on a friend's support car to sleep in, since my bad cold had turned into pneumonia. So at some stage I dumped the bivy to save weight and then the couple of times I slept on the road I just used a space blanket.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Godwin View Post
    The hardest thing I've found about camping on a brevet is not having ground insulation. I have a very small bivy, silk liner, and emergency bivy but no mater how warm it is outside the ground is often cold and can cool your body quickly. I don't mind adding a bit of weight, for me it's more of a space issue, most sleeping pads aren't that compact. I've settled on making ground cover from branches, grass, or whatever I can find but if anyone has found any better solutions I'd be interested to hear some.

    edit: I used to have a jandd wedge III and there was no extra room whatsoever but I just bought a barley so I could squeeze in something small.
    There is a sort of foam insulation used under laminate flooring, it's about 3mm thick. flexible, so it rolls up. I've used a couple of layers of this when ultralight camping.

    I used to have a mat that was like a layer of this + foil. didn't provide much padding, but it was warm and very compact.

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