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  1. #1
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Lightweight gear? What the ....? Is stuff getting heavier?

    I packed up my stuff recently for a tour and noticed how heavy and bulky it seemed.

    I remembered hiking the continental divide with my friend as a teen and carrying nearly a month's worth of gear and food on my back. I looked at all the stuff I was loading for a weekend tour and wondered how I could fit it all onto the bike.

    How could this be? Well, first of all, there seems to be a lot more junk that we can't live without. That is a given.

    However, I noticed that camping and touring gear has gotten a lot fancier and a lot heavier. For example, my old two-man pup tent only weighed 2.5 lbs including poles. Maybe it wasn't as spacious as some of today's dome tents, and maybe it wasn't quite as dry, but it sure did the trick in some very difficult circumstance. Heck, I dusted it off recently and brought in on a tour and two grown adults slept comfortably. I have to think twice now about bringing my seven-pound dome tent and why I made the switch in the first place.

    Stoves are heavier too. My old SVEA 123 stove weighed less than 22 ounces WITH FUEL and built-in wind-block. That is less than many rigs today that require and external fuel canister and are naked to the wind.

    Down sleeping bags still rule for weight/size/comfort. No real improvements there, other than affordability (thanks to our Chinese cousins).

    Pots, pans? Food? I wonder.... I suppose there might be some new convenient foods that would work well for camping, but I never made it through my old backpacking recipe book yet anyway.

    Is it just me or all in all, doesn't it seem like we are freighting around a lot more stuff and stuff is heavier than before?

    We are either turning into techie weenies or we are getting stronger and tougher to shlep all this stuff around.
    Last edited by mike; 09-03-07 at 08:06 PM.
    Mike

  2. #2
    Senior Member ricohman's Avatar
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    I have been noticing the same thing as I am also buying gear as I have been out of touring for a while.
    But there is lots more selection and the sleeping bag I bought (North Face Fission for $125) is lighter and cheaper than the one I bought in the 80's.

  3. #3
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricohman View Post
    I have been noticing the same thing as I am also buying gear as I have been out of touring for a while.
    But there is lots more selection and the sleeping bag I bought (North Face Fission for $125) is lighter and cheaper than the one I bought in the 80's.
    I am guessing that synthetic bags have gotten better/lighter/warmer/smaller, but haven't tried enough of them to know for sure. The reviews are promising.

    IMO, down still rules for weight and space. Of course there are other considerations of down vs. synthetic, but for maximum weight and space, not much has changed.
    Mike

  4. #4
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    A silnylon tarp tent that sleeps two comfortably can weigh less than your old pup tent.

    A soda can alcohol stove weighs much less than your old SVEA 123. There are titanium pots that are very light.

    Down is still down and still the best thing out there for warmth vs weight or warmth vs compressibility. synthetics are getting closer, but aren't there yet.

    Sleeping pads have gotten lighter and more packable.

    There is a lot of good ultralight camping gear available. There's plenty of heavy stuff out there as well. Like most things, you need to do your research.

  5. #5
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    I was thinking about that too when I was typing up a reply in the other thread...My first bike tour was on a single speed Western Flyer, probably about 12 miles one way to where we camped. Camping gear was a wool army surplus blanket, army surplus poncho, flannel sided canteen, loaf of bread, jar of PB, can of sardines and a sleeve of crackers IIRC everything was rolled up in the blanket and it was slung across my back with a piece of rope And we did that trip more than once. I did trans continental in 1977 with a bit more equipment on a $35 basket case 10 speed Motobecane Mirage that I had rebuilt. Bags were home sewn from a Frostline kit (remember them?) Still managed to survive quite well, budget was about $3-$5 a day. Slept in a lot of cemeteries. Still have the small pup tent I used for that trip.

    Some improvements in equipment...the MSR stoves are an improvement over the Svea 123/Optimus 8R. I know the new synthetic bags are an improvement. Don't see much in the line of tents unless you get into the Silnylon super expensive ones. Bikes...not really, more gears, indexed shifting (I can take or leave that one) possibly better racks. I used a Pletscher for my cross country trip. Also the lexan water bottles are better than the old aluminum canteens. Dromedary bags and filtration systems are an improvement.

    I guess the older we get the more we want our creature comforts

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

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  6. #6
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom View Post
    A silnylon tarp tent that sleeps two comfortably can weigh less than your old pup tent.

    A soda can alcohol stove weighs much less than your old SVEA 123. There are titanium pots that are very light.

    Down is still down and still the best thing out there for warmth vs weight or warmth vs compressibility. synthetics are getting closer, but aren't there yet.

    Sleeping pads have gotten lighter and more packable.

    There is a lot of good ultralight camping gear available. There's plenty of heavy stuff out there as well. Like most things, you need to do your research.
    Well, OK. Tarps are tarps. Tents are tents. Yes, Tarps are lightweight, but tarps aren't at all new. They might be one of the oldest man-made shelters of all time.

    Soda pop can stoves aren't new either. They are just home-made alcohol stoves like the ones that have been around since the 1940's. I dunno, ounce for ounce, BTU for BTU, I don't think the SVEA has been beat yet, in reality. I have used a lot of the newer stoves, but after the burp, you have to ask yourself if it is really all that great.

    Keep thinking. I like the way you think.
    Mike

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    I was recently shopping for a cheap sleeping bag and if your budget is limited, down is not better than synthetic. From what I saw, you need to shell out at least 250$ to get a good down bag, as for synthetic, good ones can be found under 100$.

    My criterion were the following:
    - I won't use it in the winter or near winter, so 0ºc is fine.
    - I want to spend as little as possible, as long as the bad is well constructed
    - As light as possible, without being anal (i.e.: spending 3 times as much to save 1lb)
    - Packs small.

    I ended up getting an 89$ synthetic one (-5ºc), which is plenty, that is pretty light (sorry don't have a scale and I can't find the papers relative to that) and packs pretty small (fits in a Arkel Dauphin 48 pannier (24L) along with a Thermarest 4L prolite and a decent sized compressible pillow, with a little room to spare).

    My old sleeping bag couldn't do that, was much heavier and wasn't as warm (or well constructed).

    I do, however lug around a few more things than I would have some years ago: headlight, cell phone, digital camera, GPS (if I had one, which I don't - yet).

    When you compare your old tent and your new one, you need to compare them fairly. If your old "center picket" triangle tent from the 70s gets you wet every time it rains, you need to consider that in the equation. I'll bet that today you could buy a lighter tent than that, that will let water in too.

    I think stuff is getting lighter, it's just that we have more of it: they keep inventing stuff, and if you're gear-inclined (I know I am), you end up carrying more. But for the bare basic stuff, I believe that it's getting lighter, with the use of new materials, and iterative ameliorations of their design.

  8. #8
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I was thinking about that too when I was typing up a reply in the other thread...My first bike tour was on a single speed Western Flyer, probably about 12 miles one way to where we camped. Camping gear was a wool army surplus blanket, army surplus poncho, flannel sided canteen, loaf of bread, jar of PB, can of sardines and a sleeve of crackers IIRC everything was rolled up in the blanket and it was slung across my back with a piece of rope And we did that trip more than once. I did trans continental in 1977 with a bit more equipment on a $35 basket case 10 speed Motobecane Mirage that I had rebuilt. Bags were home sewn from a Frostline kit (remember them?) Still managed to survive quite well, budget was about $3-$5 a day. Slept in a lot of cemeteries. Still have the small pup tent I used for that trip.

    Some improvements in equipment...the MSR stoves are an improvement over the Svea 123/Optimus 8R. I know the new synthetic bags are an improvement. Don't see much in the line of tents unless you get into the Silnylon super expensive ones. Bikes...not really, more gears, indexed shifting (I can take or leave that one) possibly better racks. I used a Pletscher for my cross country trip. Also the lexan water bottles are better than the old aluminum canteens. Dromedary bags and filtration systems are an improvement.

    I guess the older we get the more we want our creature comforts

    Aaron

    Ya, wow, Frostline kits. If you hadn't mentioned it, that would have been lost in deep memory past.

    I think that some of the new stoves like the MSR are a little better at controlling the flame and maybe making you feel safer when using them. The SVEA was testy and the flare-ups could leave you without eyebrows for a couple of months. I am not convinced that the MSR stoves are that much easier to use or lighter weight after all the components are put together.

    Now, I use a Coleman single burner liquid gas fuel stove. It weighs a lot more than the SVEA 123, but it is more reliable and you can control the flame MUCH better.

    Still, if we are talking about minimalism and travelling light, you know what - the SVEA 123 still wins. It stil cooked enough oatmeal to feed four hungry guys on tour on chilly mornings. Cough cough, sputter sputter, VOOOM, hiss hiss TORCH ON, and then you could cook your oatmeal and tea. Funny with the SVEA, the cook always fired it up and the others stood a safe distance away. That old greasy brass stove would sometimes want to stay sleeping, but with the right fireman, always sparked up to the task.
    Mike

  9. #9
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jpmartineau View Post
    I was recently shopping for a cheap sleeping bag and if your budget is limited, down is not better than synthetic. From what I saw, you need to shell out at least 250$ to get a good down bag, as for synthetic, good ones can be found under 100$.

    My criterion were the following:
    - I won't use it in the winter or near winter, so 0ºc is fine.
    - I want to spend as little as possible, as long as the bad is well constructed
    - As light as possible, without being anal (i.e.: spending 3 times as much to save 1lb)
    - Packs small.

    I ended up getting an 89$ synthetic one (-5ºc), which is plenty, that is pretty light (sorry don't have a scale and I can't find the papers relative to that) and packs pretty small (fits in a Arkel Dauphin 48 pannier (24L) along with a Thermarest 4L prolite and a decent sized compressible pillow, with a little room to spare).

    My old sleeping bag couldn't do that, was much heavier and wasn't as warm (or well constructed).

    I do, however lug around a few more things than I would have some years ago: headlight, cell phone, digital camera, GPS (if I had one, which I don't - yet).

    When you compare your old tent and your new one, you need to compare them fairly. If your old "center picket" triangle tent from the 70s gets you wet every time it rains, you need to consider that in the equation. I'll bet that today you could buy a lighter tent than that, that will let water in too.

    I think stuff is getting lighter, it's just that we have more of it: they keep inventing stuff, and if you're gear-inclined (I know I am), you end up carrying more. But for the bare basic stuff, I believe that it's getting lighter, with the use of new materials, and iterative ameliorations of their design.
    I agree that we are carrying more stuff than ever - like you said, cell phones, etc.

    Hey tell us more about your synthetic sleeping bag. Where did you get it? What brand model, etc? Sounds good. How small does it pack? I like synthetics for the reasons you mention above, but they are so bulky and weighty in most cases.
    Mike

  10. #10
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    I bought it at Sail/Le Baron, which is a chain of outdoors stuff (they have camping gear, fishing rods, guns, etc.). I bought it in the non camouflaged side of the store

    The bag is only sold there though, so unless you live near a store, you might be out of luck.

    Here's the info off the label:

    www.sailpleinair.com
    Mont Albert - Mod. 79002
    Tapered with hood
    Approx Finished Size: 88"x33/26" (it's trapezoidal, a bit narrower in the bottom, but not as much as a mummy)
    Weight: 2.5lb (1.2 kg)
    Shell: Polyester Ripstop
    Lining: Polyester Ripstop
    Insulated Filling: 150gm/m^2 Thermolite HL
    Min temperature Range: 32ºF -> 23ºF (0ºC -> -5ºC)

    Price: 89.99 CAD

    They have it on their website, but mine doesn't look like that. It's blue and black. Specs seem to be the same though.

    It has a few nice finishing touches, like a flap that prevent you from having the zipper touch your leg (you know the feeling), an interior pocket to hold your passport/wallet/ipod or whatever you want to put in it, and it has a hood that you can use in the colder temperatures. Since the lining is polyester, I use a silk liner. Helps keep the bag clean too.

    It comes with a cylindric compression bag that measures, when when reasonably well compressed, 12 inches high and about 8 inches of diameter.

    Here's a couple of pics of the bag inside and outside of the pannier (the orange thing is my Thermarest Prolite 4L):

    DSC01104.jpgDSC01105.jpg

    It's not the best bag out there, not by any stretch, but I found it to be much more interesting and better made than MEC's (Canadian REI-like store) similarly priced/specced model.

    I haven't toured with it yet (leaving for a 4 day ride on thursday morning), but I have used it while camping during my vacation a few weeks ago, and I can say that it was a welcome change from my old bag, which was, well, crappy.

  11. #11
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Mike,
    I dearly loved my Svea 123, it did yeoman's duty for almost 15 years before someone "liberated" it. To me the major advantage of the MSR is the separate fuel bottle, I can carry it out side the bags to keep the fuel smell away from everything else. I still have an Optimus 8R that I acquired somewhere along the way, along with at least 5 other stoves. I accumulate camping equipment...just like I do bicycles

    As far as the synthetic bags are concerned, for 99% of my camping they are the way to go. I managed to get my down bag wet on my transcontinental trip and it took a week to get the thing dry again. I bought a very nice North Face Cat's Meow on clearance sale in 1996, added a silk liner and have been good to go ever since. Mine is one of the ones with the brushed polyester lining...beats the crap out of the slippery cold nylon ones IIRC the weight is in the 3# range, but I need the extra long bag, so I pay the weight penalty.

    I have never purchased the latest and the greatest of equipment when it is first introduced. I usually wait a year or two for the harebrained stuff to settle out then buy good solid stuff on clearance. I could care less if the color is the most current or not

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
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  12. #12
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Mike,
    I dearly loved my Svea 123, it did yeoman's duty for almost 15 years before someone "liberated" it. To me the major advantage of the MSR is the separate fuel bottle, I can carry it out side the bags to keep the fuel smell away from everything else. I still have an Optimus 8R that I acquired somewhere along the way, along with at least 5 other stoves. I accumulate camping equipment...just like I do bicycles

    Aaron
    You might be interested to know that they are still making the SVEA 123. It sells for about $99.98 new. That is pretty pricey. The original SVEA 123 were always pretty precious. I remember the copycat Taiwan SVEA when it was like $15.00 (note: my Taiwan SVEA blew up with a huge 10 ft high torch-like flame and got an immediate burial at sea).

    I have used an MSR stove. They are pretty nice too. Mine is a little testy - spitting and complaining at first, then roaring like a jet engine.
    Mike

  13. #13
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Mike,
    I hate to admit it... But I actually have 4 MSR stoves at the moment two of them actually belong to my son and daughter. But I was overhauling hers and his is here for storage. We have the Whisperlite International (blowtorch style) the Simmerlite, the Dragonfly and a Windpro (butane cartridges) The Whisperlite was purchased as a replacement for the liberated Svea, but it is mostly good for boiling a lot of water in a hurry. It can be made to simmer by reducing the pressure on the tank, but then you lose the blow torch effect I like both the Simmerlite and the Dragonfly for general purpose cooking, with the nod to the Dragonfly. I bought the Simmerlite because I was familiar with the Whisperlite. DD bought the Dragonfly when it first came out and I have to say it makes an excellent pack stove if you aren't super weight conscious. Just to add to the mix for cycling I also use and have a Kelly Kettle, a Coleman one burner dual fuel (the one on the lantern tank) an Optimus 8R and an older military version of the Coleman 442...like I said I accumulate camping equipment. I may buy a Svea if the opportunity arises and the price is right.

    Aaron
    Last edited by wahoonc; 09-04-07 at 07:50 AM.
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  14. #14
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Mike,
    I hate to admit it... But I actually have 4 MSR stoves at the moment two of them actually belong to my son and daughter. But I was overhauling hers and his is here for storage. We have the Whisperlite International (blowtorch style) the Simmerlite, the Dragonfly and a Windpro (butane cartridges) The Whisperlite was purchased as a replacement for the liberated Svea, but it is mostly good for boiling a lot of water in a hurry. It can be made to simmer by reducing the pressure on the tank, but then you lose the blow torch effect I like both the Simmerlite and the Dragonfly for general purpose cooking, with the nod to the Dragonfly. I bought the Simmerlite because I was familiar with the Whisperlite. DD bought the Dragonfly when it first came out and I have to say it makes an excellent pack stove if you aren't super weight conscious. Just to add to the mix for cycling I also use and have a Kelly Kettle, a Coleman one burner dual fuel (the one on the lantern tank) an Optimus 8R and an older military version of the Coleman 442...like I said I accumulate camping equipment. I may buy a Svea if the opportunity arises and the price is right.

    Aaron
    Aaron, you are RICH with stuff!
    Mike

  15. #15
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    Aaron, you are RICH with stuff!
    Yup and I won't tell you what my wife thinks... I am fortunate to have enough room on my property for a 40' storage container that doubles as my bike storage/shop. I finally bought her one and got her stuff out of MY container

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
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    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  16. #16
    Senior Member mike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    Yup and I won't tell you what my wife thinks... I am fortunate to have enough room on my property for a 40' storage container that doubles as my bike storage/shop. I finally bought her one and got her stuff out of MY container

    Aaron
    HA! OK, now I am going to tell you how to turn your storage facility into a maintanance-free money maker.

    Call your local sign company and rent the space on the sides of the 40' containers to them to use for advertising.
    Mike

  17. #17
    Grumbly Goat Bushman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    I packed up my stuff recently for a tour and noticed how heavy and bulky it seemed.

    I remembered hiking the continental divide with my friend as a teen and carrying nearly a month's worth of gear and food on my back. I looked at all the stuff I was loading for a weekend tour and wondered how I could fit it all onto the bike.

    How could this be? Well, first of all, there seems to be a lot more junk that we can't live without. That is a given.

    However, I noticed that camping and touring gear has gotten a lot fancier and a lot heavier. For example, my old two-man pup tent only weighed 2.5 lbs including poles. Maybe it wasn't as spacious as some of today's dome tents, and maybe it wasn't quite as dry, but it sure did the trick in some very difficult circumstance. Heck, I dusted it off recently and brought in on a tour and two grown adults slept comfortably. I have to think twice now about bringing my seven-pound dome tent and why I made the switch in the first place.

    Stoves are heavier too. My old SVEA 123 stove weighed less than 22 ounces WITH FUEL and built-in wind-block. That is less than many rigs today that require and external fuel canister and are naked to the wind.

    Down sleeping bags still rule for weight/size/comfort. No real improvements there, other than affordability (thanks to our Chinese cousins).

    Pots, pans? Food? I wonder.... I suppose there might be some new convenient foods that would work well for camping, but I never made it through my old backpacking recipe book yet anyway.

    Is it just me or all in all, doesn't it seem like we are freighting around a lot more stuff and stuff is heavier than before?

    We are either turning into techie weenies or we are getting stronger and tougher to shlep all this stuff around.
    I keep it REAL simple:

    - 1 wool blanket
    - Pepsican alchohol stove (5 grams)
    - 1 liter methyl hydrate
    - lightweight nylone rain tarp
    - thick garbage bag for ground sheet
    - Sharpened (one side) spoon (SPORK thingy), made form Ti , and now drilled out. 5 grams
    - freeze dried foods
    - minimal tool kit.
    - one tube, one patch kit, mini pump
    - cash
    - i wear the same clothes day in day out, but ash them every night, dry by morning.
    - one military surplus rain poncho (doubles as shelter)


    thats it.
    You ride a bike, we GET IT, no need to rant about it or look down on others....its JUST A BIKE...get over yourselves.

  18. #18
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    This is not a new phenom, as I guess we all know. When I was in the backpacking biz around 1980. goretex was coming in, (heavier than coated to start with) the best jackets by North Face, Sierra designs, had a kimono cut, and virtually no pockets. But that doesn't give you anywhere much to go, so zippers, pockets, improvements in the styling of the cut etc... started pouring in, all heavier. Sythetic sleeping bags vs. down. as has been said a frame tents vs, domes. Cordura packs, vs. packcloth, etc... And all the stupid gadgets like expresso makers, GPS, seats. One big change was the throwing off of heavy hiking boots for shoes, that was progress.

    It is precisely because of this kind of nonsense that Ray Jardine wrote about ultralite backpacking for through hikers. Mountaineering had always been hyper weight conscious, and at the same time the gear was getting stupid heavy, Reinhold Messner was doing a string of ultralite ascents from the first one day ascent of the Eiger, to the first actual ascent of Everest (Oxygen not having been an accepted technique anywhere else, it's basically doping). Many others were doing similar things. At the time the lightest tents and bags were normally cycling models.

    If one wants lightweight gear this is the best time both to buy it from brands, and to make it. There is a huge amount of info out there. There isn't anything wrong with heavy gear either, as long as one is aware of the options, and not just dazzled by the lattest hype, or at least happy to be dazzled.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Newspaperguy's Avatar
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    Over the last number of years, I've slowly been getting better quality camping and touring gear. In some cases it's heavier than what I've had before, in other cases it's lighter. The experience of camping and cycle touring is much more pleasant now than it's ever been before.

    • After some of my gear got soaked in my panniers, I switched to waterproof panniers. They're heavier but I know my gear will stay dry every time.

    • I used to use a small cheap Wal-Mart tent which was okay on dry nights and a wreched thing in the rain. My tent now is a small, light Eureka Moonshadow Duo. It packs a little larger and it's probably a bit heavier but I wouldn't want to go without it.

    • I recently switched to an inexpensive down bag after years of using a bulky synthetic bag. It's lighter and it packs smaller.

    • My stove and cookware is quite light, but then I don't feel the need for a complete camp kitchen. I have one pot, a frying pan which sometimes stays home, a Whisperlight stove, dishes for myself and some dried beans and rice. I can't go too much lighter than that.

    • I've been packing carefully to avoid anything I won't need on a trip. This is where most of the weight savings will come. Every piece of equipment must be justified.
    Life is good.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushman View Post
    I keep it REAL simple:

    - 1 wool blanket
    - Pepsican alchohol stove (5 grams)
    - 1 liter methyl hydrate
    - lightweight nylone rain tarp
    - thick garbage bag for ground sheet
    - Sharpened (one side) spoon (SPORK thingy), made form Ti , and now drilled out. 5 grams
    - freeze dried foods
    - minimal tool kit.
    - one tube, one patch kit, mini pump
    - cash
    - i wear the same clothes day in day out, but ash them every night, dry by morning.
    - one military surplus rain poncho (doubles as shelter)

    thats it.
    I was going to be all critical of your decadent pop can stove and liter of alcohol, not to mention your redundant tarp/poncho/garbage bag excesses. But then got to the rubbing of ashes into your clothes every night and realized that you are truly hardcore.

  21. #21
    Senior Member wahoonc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post
    HA! OK, now I am going to tell you how to turn your storage facility into a maintanance-free money maker.

    Call your local sign company and rent the space on the sides of the 40' containers to them to use for advertising.
    Only people that will see it are the inbound C130's headed for the local airbase....they already use our red barn roof as a turn point...

    Aaron
    Webshots is bailing out, if you find any of my posts with corrupt picture files and want to see them corrected please let me know. :(

    ISO: A late 1980's Giant Iguana MTB frameset (or complete bike) 23" Red with yellow graphics.

    "Cycling should be a way of life, not a hobby.
    RIDE, YOU FOOL, RIDE!"
    _Nicodemus

    "Steel: nearly a thousand years of metallurgical development
    Aluminum: barely a hundred
    Which one would you rather have under your butt at 30mph?"
    _krazygluon

  22. #22
    Senior Member gregw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom View Post
    A silnylon tarp tent that sleeps two comfortably can weigh less than your old pup tent.

    A soda can alcohol stove weighs much less than your old SVEA 123. There are titanium pots that are very light.

    Down is still down and still the best thing out there for warmth vs weight or warmth vs compressibility. synthetics are getting closer, but aren't there yet.

    Sleeping pads have gotten lighter and more packable.

    There is a lot of good ultralight camping gear available. There's plenty of heavy stuff out there as well. Like most things, you need to do your research.
    I agree with this summary, I think everything has gotten better and lighter, if you know what to get. Sure most things are just updates of old ideas, but bike touring is still bike touring. I had a Svea 123 for years, used it on my cross country, but now I use a cat stove with pot cozy that is infinitely simpler, safer, faster, and weighs a fraction of the old brass blast furnace. Bikes are still bikes and you still have to pedal them, but the gearing is better, brakes are better and there are many more options for panniers and trailers. (Brooks saddles still rule) Bike computers really help with distances and many more map sources are available on the Internet. GPS if your into that. The 21st century is a great time to cycle tour!!!

  23. #23
    bificurated RiotBoi's Avatar
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    Don't forget the patented Franzia refreshment/pillow
    Split Tongue Drunk Hammer Weilding Death Merchant

  24. #24
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mike View Post

    .... The SVEA was testy and the flare-ups could leave you without eyebrows for a couple of months.

    .....Still, if we are talking about minimalism and travelling light, you know what - the SVEA 123 still wins. It stil cooked enough oatmeal to feed four hungry guys on tour on chilly mornings. Cough cough, sputter sputter, VOOOM, hiss hiss TORCH ON, and then you could cook your oatmeal and tea. Funny with the SVEA, the cook always fired it up and the others stood a safe distance away. That old greasy brass stove would sometimes want to stay sleeping, but with the right fireman, always sparked up to the task.
    THAT is absolutely beautiful!

    Having used a SVEA "Climber" 123 for over 25 years, I still use the SVEA on occasion and definetly in the winter... you make me inclined to leave the Trangia mini at home next weekend, and break out the SVEA 123 for the BRAPP-BRAPP-BRAPP-BRAPP roar of a pressurized SVEA at full run.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  25. #25
    new to touring
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahoonc View Post
    I guess the older we get the more we want our creature comforts

    Aaron
    I totally agree with your statement. I have noticed even on small trips that I pack more stuff than I used to own when I was in my early twenties. Funny how things change...
    I even bring my camp pillow instead of using my clean laundry bag.

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