I shelled out for a Thermarest NeoAir full-length and I use that with my Hennessey Hammock. Down to about 40 degrees, I use an ALPS Mountaineering Razor Sleeping Bag Liner and a Sea to Summit Reactor Extreme Thermolite Liner. If I feel cold, I put on some wool. I have slept comfortably to 45 without the ALPS Razor, so I expect this to be just fine.
When it gets colder, I use an EMS Mummy Bag, the Solstice 20. I have slept down to 10 degrees in this bag. With the liners, I suspect I can approach 0.
The hammock stays significantly warmer if I tie the rain fly really low, leaving a small space so condensation doesn't form. Wind has not been an issue- Hennessey's asymmetrical design means rocking is minimal. I also try to pitch it with windbreaks. Either other trees, a hill, or a house- whatever. Same with a regular tent.
Hotel toothbrushes are a very good tool for cleaning the grease out from under your fingernails after maintenance.
Other campgrounds we have stayed in on the Rhine River also don't have many trees, and if there are any, often they are singular, and the areas around them are occupied by RVs.
I've also toured in regions of Australia where there are no trees on the plains. And maybe your 1% of the US doesn't include the vast prairie plains, either.
You need to be careful in extolling the virtues of hammocks for all-round touring when there are more situations than you suggest where they might not be able to be hung.
Speaking of spokes, I know of a good trick: Take couple of spare spokes and thrust them through a cork, heads up. Then cut the cork to fit your seat pole and stick it in. Then put the seat back on the bike. That way your spokes won't bend, don't take any room in your luggage and they are always there to replace them if you got broken spokes.
Your 1% guess is way off, because actually more than half of the "lower 48" area is essentially treeless:
As of 1997, 33% of USA land area was forest land - you need a bivy, tarp or tent in the other 67% of the country (and mosquito netting everywhere):
I disagree. Most area of the US have trees, you don't need a forest to use a hammock.
Warp Brothers Bananna bags (clear yellow see through plastic) are abour $3 each at amazon, the CB 45 size (45x96 inches) will cover my bike. 2 mil thick. The package outer shows a bicycle my first clue these were the correct size banana bag to get. Better than trashcan liners because one fits over the whole bike with no seams.
Always carry a swiss army knife with you. Once while hiking back to my campsite, I slipped off the wet, slippery trail and grabbed the nearest vine. Unfortunately it had little thorns which was embedded in my palms... The kinfe blade allowed me to cut thru the top layer of skin and the tweezers was able to pull them out. You never know when you might need one.
3M Vet Wrap (it cost around $1-2 a roll)
It is non-adhesive self sticking.
When touring pick it up at any Veterinarian.
Extremely cheap handlebar tape (it will adsorb shock well)
First aid it works great as a tourniquet or medical/compression tape (which is what it is meant for on livestock)
It also is a great duct tape alternative.
And once you use it for the first time you will be able to add 20 other uses to this list.[/QUOTE]
It is made by 3M and you can buy it in any drugstore or medical supply. The brand name is COBAN. It works just like the old ACE bandage for sprained ankles except that it will stick to itself so there is no need for clips. It ain't cheap but it does work great.
Small addition to JimBean83's excellent post:
- a drop or two of superglue smeared onto the end of a cable will keep it from fraying, also better than the little aluminum nipple because you can pass the cable easily back out of holes and the cable housing. If you use thick CA then you will have to smear it. Instead, use thin CA and it will wick between the wire strands. It only takes 1-2 drops to fix the last 1" (2.54 cm). Then I cover that with heat shrink insulation used in electronics. You can buy a lifetime supply in a small pack at Radio Shack or any bigbox home improvement store. I usually cut it about 1 cm longer than the length of cable I want to cover. See pic.Attachment 287983 Works equally well for shifter or brake cables.
I strip my bike down to the smallest components every winter and rebuild it, checking everything for wear and cleaning and lubing everything. With this method, if the cable has no wear along it's length, I can reuse it without tearing up the inside of the housings (as when you try to shove a cable with a couple of bent strands through it.). Never reuse frayed cables!
Recently learned on a tour with broken derailleur for several days (removed) :
- carrying a half link compatible with your chain can really help you find a suitable gear ratio for your non-horizontal dropout frame if you have a derailleur or hanger problem. This 3 grams could save you hours.
- when field replacing a derailleur that might have damaged your hanger, thread it from the inside first [if possible - sometimes your bolt may be removable to do such or try inverting the derailleur ] to chase the threads prior to trying on the outside of frame. The stiff bolt (often steel) will give you a much better chance of being able to thread the new derailleur on instead of never being able to get it attached again. You're glad you brought an adjustable wrench now to straighten that hanger? Needless to say, if your hanger was aluminum, hopefully you brought an extra, or one of the "emergency" hangers that can be clamped onto with your axle quick release.
My situation : mudded trail destroyed rear derailleur, thrown into wheel. So removed it and went single speed. However, couldn't find a suitable gear where chain wasn't bouncing everywhere. Quite often the chain could sit in a "rough combination" (best chain length for that combination, but not tight enough tension to not jump over cassette cog teeth), but any bounce, change in tension, speed, out of seat climbing, etc. would cause it to fall. Falling could go to lower or higher gear, going to lower gear was very hard to get chain out of because of super chain tension that could have eventually caused BB/rear hub bearing failure (which I thought would happen but didn't). The half-link would probably allowed me to sit in the gear I wanted to be in without bounce, or at least less. I ended up pedaling about 100k over 2 days on single track before being able to replace derailleur.
Need for this is dependent on your gear ratios/chain stay length. Might be a good idea to think about this for planning - look for "Magic Chain" or Magic Ratio links as some frame setups are ideally suited for this, or to understand where your "emergency single speed" gearing will put your chain tension compared to normal chain elongation.
- nail clippers will probably be able to cut a cable - if you go strand by strand and try to bend and wiggle. Not quick, but proper cable cutters aren't travel friendly, and you probably have nail clippers already in your touring kit.
Here are three things I discovered for touring with kids; (1) they are always too hot or too cold and stopping for them to change all of the time takes a while, so I started putting my arm warmers on their legs to start off in the AM. When they get warm they can slip them down or up a little to get comfortable and when they finally get really warm they are very easy to slip off and tuck in a pannier pocket. When they get cold again (10 minutes?) they are easy to slip back on. This has completely eliminated lengthy stops to change from long pants to shorts, etc. (2) On a stop on our last tour my littlest (6 years old) decided to slide down a thistle covered hill in his bike shorts. When he finally made it to me, he had maybe 500 little thorns embedded in his shorts and another hundred in his butt and thighs. We started picking them out with tweezers and found it was taking forever. One of the other parents suggested duct tape as the universal cure-all, so we used it like a super tacky lint brush to grab the thorns en-masse and pull them out of both his Lycra shorts and his butt. That got 99% in about 5 minutes and a few quick grabs with the tweezers finished it off. This saved having to ride on with a pair of shorts filled with tiny thorns! (3) good quality bike gear is really hard to find for younger kids so I started buying women's extra small jackets and jerseys on closeout. These are usually hard to sell as the demand for them is so small, but they fit great for my kids and I get great gear for really cheap. Ebay is the best place to look. I got a brand new Showers Pass Elite 2.0 jacket for my 9 year old for $75.00!
But that's where attitude comes in. Give me lemons..........
Don't let your trip be written in stone. Be flexible and you will have a great time anyway.
We didn't see & do some of the things we wanted but we ended up doing other things that were fun too.
Couldn't agree more! My 7 year old daughter and I were biking one morning, came around a sharp corner and went right through a whole lot of glass some kids thought would be fun to smash their beer bottles into. Not fun! We blew both our front tires, and it was obviously beyond conventional help we had with us. So we continued, just walking anyway. We ended up finding a great little BBQ place while taking a short cut back home, and ended up eating along the river and watching the boats. She still talks about that little ride.
Don't carry TP. Buy a roll of paper towels, and saw them into half- or third-length. These will meet one's sanitary needs as well as being useful for kitchen and general cleanup service.
You can use the wrong size tube in a pinch. Especially one too small. It will usually work fine. However it often won't hold a patch if you later go to patch it.
Tubes easily expand to fill the area of the tire. So a 700x23 tube will work OK in a 7x32 tire. However patches are not elastic (or not very elastic). So what happens if you patch a 700x23 tube and stick it back in a 700-32 tire is that the tube readily stretches to expand and fill the tire but the patch will not. This puts tremendous sheer stress on the patch adhesive and it will persist as you ride until the patch adhesive fails. The old Rema Tip Top style patch kits that vulcanize onto the tube will probably do best. I'm suspicious about the holding ability of the newer self-adhesive patches.
Bottom line, borrow the wrong size tube for a field repair no problem if it is a new tube but be cautious if the borrowed tube already has patches and don't count on being able to successfully patch it later if it is dramatically smaller than the tire you are riding.