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Thread: Tips and Tricks

  1. #401
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jamoni View Post
    It's a hell of a wind break, though.
    It is an awful good wind break.
    Learn what's a platform pedal.

  2. #402
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    Quote Originally Posted by SweetLou View Post
    Nonsense. A quilt is still lighter than a pad and pack smaller. But for a lot of us hammockers, it isn't about weight it is about comfort. And the ground is not an insulator, it will suck the heat out of you, that is why you need a pad to stay warm.
    How cold has it been when you slept in your hammock?

  3. #403
    Senior Member SweetLou's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RWBlue01 View Post
    How cold has it been when you slept in your hammock?
    20's, maybe upper teens. About the same temps I have done when I was a ground dweller.
    Learn what's a platform pedal.

  4. #404
    Senior Member mdilthey's Avatar
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    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.

  5. #405
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    Quote Originally Posted by crotch_rocket View Post
    I biked through South and Central America alone, so here's a handy one for anyone going solo. These are my hard won lessons on the road.



    Hope this helps!
    I'm contemplating doing South/central on my own... Do you speak Spanish or Portuguese? I don't!

  6. #406
    Hot in China azesty's Avatar
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    Hotel toothbrushes are a very good tool for cleaning the grease out from under your fingernails after maintenance.

    z

  7. #407
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    Next time you're out biking, find a place with no trees (that's a challenge by itself, depending on location). Then, see how many miles you have to go to find just two. If you have to go more than 3, you can safely say your area is not hammock friendly. I probably just described about 1% of the United States.
    We are in a campground in Europe that doesn't allow clothes lines to be hung between trees at all, and the bike camping area has no trees anyway, along with the other camp sites that are delineated by hedges.

    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.
    Dream. Dare. Do.

  8. #408
    Junior Member YazzaWatz's Avatar
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    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.
    They say that the taste of vengeance is bittersweet, but I find it to my liking.

  9. #409
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    Quote Originally Posted by mdilthey View Post
    Next time you're out biking, find a place with no trees (that's a challenge by itself, depending on location). Then, see how many miles you have to go to find just two. If you have to go more than 3, you can safely say your area is not hammock friendly. I probably just described about 1% of the United States.
    Hammocks are useless in most of the USA, due to no trees.

    Your 1% guess is way off, because actually more than half of the "lower 48" area is essentially treeless:

    http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/IOTD/view.php?id=76697&src=iotdrss

    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):

    http://fia.fs.fed.us/library/briefin...actsMetric.pdf
    Last edited by seeker333; 09-18-12 at 11:47 PM.

  10. #410
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    My guess would be 67% is way high --- you can almost always find a couple of trees or large boulders or heavy fence posts to lash onto -- even riding in the Great Plains there are trees (look for the shelter belts between fields planted back in the depression years, cottonwoods near streams, trees planted in or near communities, etc.) riding in the plains or desert southwest you may not hit many forests but that doesn't mean there isn't trees --- I've yet to find a place I couldn't use my hammock with a little searching.

  11. #411
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    I disagree. Most area of the US have trees, you don't need a forest to use a hammock.

  12. #412
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeker333 View Post
    It appears that the word "forest" is confusing you to an illogical conclusion. Just because all forests contain trees, it does not follow that an area not considered a forest is barren of trees.

  13. #413
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    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.
    Last edited by Olden Crow; 10-02-12 at 03:19 AM.
    "We unfurled upon an alpenstick the small silk"-Allen and Sachtleben, 4 July 1891 mid-tour atop Ararat.


    Bruce Gordon BLT.
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    Hennessy Hammock Deep Jungle.
    Garmin Legend CX computer/GPS.

  14. #414
    Senior Member TiBikeGuy's Avatar
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    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.

  15. #415
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    The Brand name of this elastic tape

    Tip:
    3M Vet Wrap (it cost around $1-2 a roll)
    It is non-adhesive self sticking.
    When touring pick it up at any Veterinarian.

    Uses:
    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.

    200k

  16. #416
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    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._MG_3361web.jpg 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!

  17. #417
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    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.

  18. #418
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    - 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.

  19. #419
    Senior Member dwmckee's Avatar
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    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!

  20. #420
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    Quote Originally Posted by Newspaperguy View Post
    Something is going to go wrong on every tour. That's part of the joy of touring. It may be a single flat tire, a mechanical failure which develops far from any services, rough weather, fatigue, illness, getting lost or any other mishap. Preparation is important, but there is no way to prepare for every possible problem. That's where attitude comes in. Embrace the entire experience.
    My last tours with a friend had a few mechanical break downs. He got worried that it was going to ruin our tour and was going to stop.
    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.

  21. #421
    Senior Member djyak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by at_hiker59 View Post
    My last tours with a friend had a few mechanical break downs. He got worried that it was going to ruin our tour and was going to stop.
    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.

  22. #422
    Senior Member Western Flyer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by locky63red View Post
    Always empty the last bit of metho back out of your trangia in the bottle before you pack the stove away in your panniers.
    All of the above and then burn the stove dry so you don't have to carry the screw on cap.
    Life is a succession of lessons which must be lived to be understood.
    - Helen Keller

  23. #423
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Super_Socks View Post
    sleep in a hammock with a tarp. among numerous other advantages, you can unzip you sleeping bag in the middle of the night and pee out the side straight onto the ground. expecially good when the ground is wet/muddy/snowy.
    If one makes a habit of this sort of thing (as I do), pay attention to where you put your shoes when you got into the hammock

  24. #424
    Legionayr
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    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.

  25. #425
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    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.

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