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Old 06-26-17, 12:44 PM   #26
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Sorry, carbon fiber. It is a very light road bike.
Just kidding. Anyway, probably not the ideal touring bike material, but you can make it work for lighter loads. If you want to try fully loaded touring, metal is a better frame material.
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Old 06-26-17, 12:49 PM   #27
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Just kidding. Anyway, probably not the ideal touring bike material, but you can make it work for lighter loads. If you want to try fully loaded touring, metal is a better frame material.
I kinda figured, I'm stressing this thing enough with my clydesdale body. Not sure if I can talk the wife into letting me buy a third bike.
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Old 06-26-17, 01:48 PM   #28
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I'm doing some hammock bikepacking in the Green Mt forest of VT this summer. Forest service roads and some other trails. Hammock, bug net, tarp, 55F bag, sleeping pads, trangia stove. Paper maps and a big sense of adventure. Start there. Bug spray, a light tent ( maybe borrow or rent) plus a good sleeping pad will be a good start for you.
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Old 06-26-17, 02:14 PM   #29
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I can take a pretty good bath with a full water bottle and a wash rag. I'm 54, retired, and hope to do some serious touring next year. I think it will take a year to get my fat butt back in shape.

But what about my bike? I'm riding a Motobecane Le Chapion carbon fider, would it hold up with all the gear and extra weight?
The dealio with your bike is not so much the carbon fiber frame, but the road tires/wheels that come with it. Harsh riding. Touring does not have to be a torturous ordeal that many make it out to be. Use your roadie for workouts and get yourself a more-relaxed frame with the ability to run some wider tires. My wife can ride for miles on her bike, which is a converted Trek 930, with 1.75 Continentals on it. Our backroads here in western NH are absolutely brutal on my road bike with a 700x23 setup. I pretty much have to ride out of the saddle for about 4.5 miles just to get to the main road, which then smooths out like glass.

FWIW, your carbon bike will work. Get yourself bikepacking bags and set it up that way, and you'll never have to bolt anything to the frame. Boom!
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Old 06-26-17, 02:28 PM   #30
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The dealio with your bike is not so much the carbon fiber frame, but the road tires/wheels that come with it. Harsh riding. Touring does not have to be a torturous ordeal that many make it out to be. Use your roadie for workouts and get yourself a more-relaxed frame with the ability to run some wider tires. My wife can ride for miles on her bike, which is a converted Trek 930, with 1.75 Continentals on it. Our backroads here in western NH are absolutely brutal on my road bike with a 700x23 setup. I pretty much have to ride out of the saddle for about 4.5 miles just to get to the main road, which then smooths out like glass.

FWIW, your carbon bike will work. Get yourself bikepacking bags and set it up that way, and you'll never have to bolt anything to the frame. Boom!
Yes the wheels/tires beat me up pretty bad. Our backroads are like yours, sometimes I think I would be more comfortable on my mtn bike
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Old 06-28-17, 12:14 AM   #31
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If you're a magnet for bugs, my Grandma used to tell me "Irish Spring bar soap is the best soap to use as a bug repellant." Might be an "Ol' Wives Tale", but I never had a problem with mosquito's and bugs in the Summertime with an occasional spritz of bug repellant throughout the day...As for showers, a pair of flip flops will suffice as shower shoes...I would use a public shower without them, thats for sure...
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Old 06-28-17, 05:19 AM   #32
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I've been threatening for years to forgo a hotel room on a bike trip, buy a really cheap tent
That could be a mistake. A really cheap tent is bulky and heavy. You can't have cheap and light. If you really plan on using it one time only, it might be OK. What if you end up enjoying your night in a tent?

This is what I use:

https://www.tarptent.com/motrail.html

It's not cheap but it's lightweight (little over 2 pounds) and compact when in the stuff sack. Simple to setup.

If you bought this and really hated it, you could sell it and get most of your money back.
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Old 06-28-17, 05:19 AM   #33
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I've been threatening for years to forgo a hotel room on a bike trip, buy a really cheap tent, and rough it at a campground just ONCE before my time is up. This feels like the year to do it.
If you use a really cheap tent, it probably will be "just ONCE". If you don't want to invest in a decent and lightweight tent, see if you can borrow one from a friend. The difference between an 8-lb tent on your bike vs a 3-lb tent is pretty significant.
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Old 06-28-17, 05:21 AM   #34
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If you use a really cheap tent, it probably will be "just ONCE". If you don't want to invest in a decent and lightweight tent, see if you can borrow one from a friend. The difference between an 8-lb tent on your bike vs a 3-lb tent is pretty significant.
Exactly! Looks like we posted at the same time!
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Old 06-28-17, 05:58 AM   #35
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Exactly! Looks like we posted at the same time!
LOL, great minds.
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Old 06-28-17, 10:10 AM   #36
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https://www.sixmoondesigns.com/colle...skyscape-scout
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Old 06-28-17, 07:30 PM   #37
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OK, time for the OP to step back in!

I really appreciate all your suggestions about tents, etc., but I guess I didn't really express myself well in the opening post.

When and if I do decide to camp this summer, I'm not really concerned about what type of tent, etc. I was just wondering if there's some major potential trip-crusher I should consider before pulling the trigger. The bugs were one of those, but I was wondering if there's anything else a first-time camper (at 54) should know about.
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Old 06-28-17, 07:50 PM   #38
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OK, time for the OP to step back in!

I really appreciate all your suggestions about tents, etc., but I guess I didn't really express myself well in the opening post.

When and if I do decide to camp this summer, I'm not really concerned about what type of tent, etc. I was just wondering if there's some major potential trip-crusher I should consider before pulling the trigger. The bugs were one of those, but I was wondering if there's anything else a first-time camper (at 54) should know about.

Being stuck in your tent when it is pouring down rain.

Having to climb of your your tent to pee in the middle of the night.

Having to climb of your your tent to pee in the middle of the night in the pouring rain.
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Old 06-28-17, 08:08 PM   #39
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Being stuck in your tent when it is pouring down rain.

Having to climb of your your tent to pee in the middle of the night.

Having to climb of your your tent to pee in the middle of the night in the pouring rain.
^^This^^

Always carry a pee-bottle. A wide-mouth type of bottle, such as a Gatorade bottle seems to work best for me when I'm sleepy and grouchy because I've awakened due to a full bladder. The wide-mouth bottle keeps the inside of the tent cleaner...

Bugs: I spend between 15-20 hours a week on my property; mowing, gardening, tree maintenance, house and yard. Skeeters, blackflies, deerflies and horseflies are a menace. I hate putting DEET-based products on my skin. It makes me feel gross right from the first application.

The best method that I have ever used is to use the Sawyer wash-in permethrin products. I have an old raggedy desert hat with the back flaps, and an old long sleeve orvis fishing shirt that I treat with the Sawyers every spring. I touch it up with spray often. When I wear the hat and the long sleeved shirt, its like the bugs arent even there unless I suck one down my throat while inhaling. Hate that.

If I were to take a set of hat/shirt with me cycling I'd surely look for a lighter hat. The shirt is light linen, so quite nice. I'd like to try some of the SPF-type of sun hats and shirts next though.
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Old 06-28-17, 09:02 PM   #40
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OK, time for the OP to step back in!

I really appreciate all your suggestions about tents, etc., but I guess I didn't really express myself well in the opening post.

When and if I do decide to camp this summer, I'm not really concerned about what type of tent, etc. I was just wondering if there's some major potential trip-crusher I should consider before pulling the trigger. The bugs were one of those, but I was wondering if there's anything else a first-time camper (at 54) should know about.
I would think that age has very little to do with this as long as your healthy. If you plan on going with some type of inflatable pad, I would try it out first at home. In fact, I would try out your whole setup even if it requires you to drive to a park to do it. Take the bike out of the equation and just see how it goes with the tent. If it sucks, you can get in your vehicle and drive home. A trip crusher would be going on a bike trip with gear you have never used before. Try out some bug stuff mentioned while you do this.
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Old 06-28-17, 09:41 PM   #41
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I would think that age has very little to do with this as long as your healthy. If you plan on going with some type of inflatable pad, I would try it out first at home. In fact, I would try out your whole setup even if it requires you to drive to a park to do it. Take the bike out of the equation and just see how it goes with the tent. If it sucks, you can get in your vehicle and drive home. A trip crusher would be going on a bike trip with gear you have never used before. Try out some bug stuff mentioned while you do this.
Very good advice.

We used a similar approach the first time we took our kids (3 and 5 years old) snow camping. We only skied about 100 yards from the car and set up camp. That way if things went sour we could have them warm and dry in about 15 minutes. They adapted to winter camping very well, and we never had to bail.
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Old 06-28-17, 10:38 PM   #42
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OK, time for the OP to step back in!

I really appreciate all your suggestions about tents, etc., but I guess I didn't really express myself well in the opening post.

When and if I do decide to camp this summer, I'm not really concerned about what type of tent, etc. I was just wondering if there's some major potential trip-crusher I should consider before pulling the trigger. The bugs were one of those, but I was wondering if there's anything else a first-time camper (at 54) should know about.
Camping can be surprisingly easy & quick (other than toting weight of tent) vs motel. State parks etc usually have nice flat camping areas w/o too many bugs. Main thing I'd consider is location--in east coast USA there can be surprisingly few designated campgrounds so one would probably need to follow a fixed itinerary.
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Old 06-28-17, 11:07 PM   #43
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Papa Tom, the road is calling you. We expect a "FULL" report in a couple weeks and nothing less. The time is now. Just go borrow some stuff and do it. Wing it. Worked for Lewis and Clark.

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Old 06-28-17, 11:52 PM   #44
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Given that this is (for now) a one shot deal so you can decide whether you like it, there's no need to go far.

There are plenty of nice sites fairly close to home, which you could do with a short drive to a jumping off point, or even using rail. Here's a link to a map of campgrounds in southern NYS. You could likewise search Connecticut.

Buy bug repellent, and a decent foam ground pad, and you should be fine. As someone mentioned, bring something to make coffee. I've done plenty of bike camping, always traveling light, and rarely eating dinner at the site, but always making coffee in the AM.

AM coffee when camping is one reason I started drinking it black, no sugar 50 years back and it stuck.

BTW - if you want a specific recommendation for your 1st try, consider the campground in Copake. The central valley between the Hudson and the CT/MA border features some beautiful low traffic cycling on a network of roads. I can't say anything about proximity to the site, but there are plenty of restaurants in the area. Another good shot would be someplace close to Lenox, MA. Good riding, and more restaurants than you could ever imagine in the middle of no place.
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Old 06-29-17, 09:30 PM   #45
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Being stuck in your tent when it is pouring down rain.

Having to climb of your your tent to pee in the middle of the night.

Having to climb of your your tent to pee in the middle of the night in the pouring rain.
Bring a rain poncho.
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Old 06-29-17, 09:36 PM   #46
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Bring a rain poncho.
Males with good pressure can pee a safe distance without leaving the tent. One more reason to always orient the opening downhill.

Either that, or find a jar when you make camp.

Actually, you can sleep in the buff, make the mad dash to pee, and come back and dry off. At least your clothes don't get wet.

Yes, I have camped in the rain and had to make the dash.
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Old 06-29-17, 09:39 PM   #47
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Males with good pressure can pee a safe distance without leaving the tent. One more reason to always orient the opening downhill.

Either that, or find a jar when you make camp.

Actually, you can sleep in the buff, make the mad dash to pee, and come back and dry off. At least your clothes don't get wet.

Yes, I have camped in the rain and had to make the dash.
Lucky males!

I just pop the poncho over my head and off I go to the facilities.
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Old 06-29-17, 09:41 PM   #48
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Gatorade bottle in the tent. Not proud of it, but it beats the alternatives.
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Old 06-30-17, 05:11 AM   #49
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I think, before I do anything, I'm going to try treating my clothes with some of that bug repellent mentioned above and go hang out in a park at night. I don't mind peeing in a bottle, so the only real issue I think I'd have would be getting chomped on by skeeters.
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Old 06-30-17, 12:02 PM   #50
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Gatorade bottle in the tent. Not proud of it, but it beats the alternatives.
No bottle peeing for me. The 32 oz Gatorade bottle makes an excellent canteen however.

I rarely need to leave the tent at night. But when I do, I sometimes meet interesting "fellow campers".
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