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Old 04-14-08, 10:16 AM   #1
tourdemexico
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what kind of shelter to carry?

Hi,

I'm planning on touring Seattle to San Francisco over the summer. REI has a 1 pound bivy, and I figured I could carry one of those with a light weight sleeping bag, but thought I'd ask if anyone has differing advice.

Thanks!
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Old 04-14-08, 10:27 AM   #2
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Check out Tarptents. They're light and roomy. Many of the models have a floorless option, which would save even more weight and make the tent very compact. I have the 3-man model, which gives my wife and me plenty of space for all of our panniers, and which packs down into a 6"x11" stuff sack.
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Old 04-14-08, 10:38 AM   #3
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I'm going to try a Hennessy Hamock this summer, touring through southern sweden. I tried setting it up this weekend and it was a lot easier than a tent ;-)

Will try it on a couple of mini-tours before heading out in late June.
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Old 04-14-08, 10:58 AM   #4
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One of the riders on our tour had a Hennessy Hammock, the only issue we had was an overnight where there were no trees. He was able to tie one end to a lantern pole, and the other was staked. he basically slept on the ground, and had the hammock as a bivy.
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Old 04-14-08, 04:00 PM   #5
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I've seen some folks use bivy sacks on that route who survived the experience. It would not be my first choice, though. Main issues:

- bivy is claustrophobic
- very humid in those regions, so the interior will condense and will likely get your sleeping bag wet
- won't offer any cover (and therefore dry access) for your stuff

Also, weight really is not an issue for touring. I'd step up to at least a 1-person tent, like a Seedhouse 1, or spring for the Seedhouse SL1 if shaving off 1 lb is worth spending an extra $80.

I'd also spring for a sleeping pad. What can I say, I hate to suffer needlessly.
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Old 04-14-08, 05:48 PM   #6
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Have you considered a tent that will cover your bike or better yet have room for it inside? I would suspect you will encounter rain. Nice to have the bike covered. Once upon a time I used a tent that I can just barely squeeze my bike into so it was out of sight when I went on a short hike or are otherwise was away from my camp. Don't have it anymore.
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Old 04-14-08, 05:55 PM   #7
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thank you for your help!
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Old 04-14-08, 06:29 PM   #8
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I use the Seedhouse SL1 as suggested earlier. It’s very lightweight and roomy. Use the fastfly option to reduce the weight even more. The ultra-light tarps are also a good option. A bivy is not comfortable when your on an extended trip. Weight does matter when you are carrying something 800 miles. If you can afford it, I highly recommend ultralight equipment.

I cover my bicycle and supplies with a couple of large black plastic bags for protection and they look a lot less desirable casual thieves. The cheap ones are the lightest
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Old 04-14-08, 06:37 PM   #9
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I'm not a fan of bivvy sacks either. I used a Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight on my tour down the Washington/Oregon coast route a few years ago. It was a small two-person tent that I don't believe is made any longer. I'd rather have a little room inside for my stuff than the lightest possible weight. I'll probably use a small 2-person tent on my next tour, even if I'm by myself.
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Old 04-14-08, 06:51 PM   #10
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+1 on the bivvy sack. No space for your gear. Body heat causes condensation. Fine for an emergency night in the snow, pretty much miserable for much else.

Plus, pulling on your bike shorts in the morning would probably cause you to wind up on a YouTube vid

+1 on the SD Clip Flashlight - There is a Flashlight 2 now (http://www.sierradesigns.com/tents.display.php?id=14)
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Old 04-14-08, 07:20 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Turner View Post
I'm not a fan of bivvy sacks either. I used a Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight on my tour down the Washington/Oregon coast route a few years ago. It was a small two-person tent that I don't believe is made any longer. I'd rather have a little room inside for my stuff than the lightest possible weight. I'll probably use a small 2-person tent on my next tour, even if I'm by myself.

I do backpacking and not touring. I would opt for a shelter that you are comfortable in. It is hard to perform well, stay warm, feel good and all if you don't get good sleep for a few days.
I think Sierra Designs will make that Clip Flashlight for the next one hundred years. It is a classic and they are known for it. I just bought a Sierra Designs Iota one person tent that is more compact than the Clip Flashlight but is just as heavy since it is free standing and has a big vestibule. I think I will be happy with it. All my gear is still way less than 15 pounds.
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Old 04-14-08, 08:06 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Turner View Post
I'm not a fan of bivvy sacks either. I used a Sierra Designs Clip Flashlight on my tour down the Washington/Oregon coast route a few years ago. It was a small two-person tent that I don't believe is made any longer. I'd rather have a little room inside for my stuff than the lightest possible weight. I'll probably use a small 2-person tent on my next tour, even if I'm by myself.
Still made and still a far better choice than a bivy. I have a high end Gortex bivy and have to tell you that internal condensation regardless of the temperature is a real problem. If it isn't raining you don't have to worry about your gear, but I always carried a trap to go along with it.

The Clip Flashlight CD is wind tunnel tested, well ventilated and has plenty of headroom at the front. It also has room under the vestibule for your panniers and stuff. I backpacked the Clip Flashlight CD a couple years ago to a camp site at 13,500 feet. That night the wind blew 75 mph (that was what was recorded by the National Weather Service and not just a guess.) and the rain fly sounded like a flag out your car window at 75 mph. The tent held up to the wind and the abuse like a champ.

On top of it all - They can be found for a very reasonable price.

They can also be pitched with just the rain fly and the ground sheet - lighter still.
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Old 04-14-08, 08:25 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by tourdemexico View Post
Hi,

I'm planning on touring Seattle to San Francisco over the summer. REI has a 1 pound bivy, and I figured I could carry one of those with a light weight sleeping bag, but thought I'd ask if anyone has differing advice.

Thanks!
Not a bad idea. The only negative I can think of with a bivy (which I used in the past) is that if bad weather comes along and you are stuck in that bivy all day long on your back. You should probably also carry along a tarp to protect your bike & gear from getting wet.

As far as using a tent big enough to fit your bike in, that's a lot of volume to be carrying around. But of course the advantage is you can keep your bike dry and/or have enough room to sit up.

I've never used one but from what I read, most hammocks owners love their hammocks. But I like to sleep on my belly and a hammock doesn't allow me to do that.

I guess the point is, use a shelter that you are most comfortable using. It's really a matter of personal preference. My preference now is a 2 man tent.
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Old 04-14-08, 10:12 PM   #14
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Bivy's cool if you have a synthetic bag. I used the REI one with a 20 degree Marmot bag in Alaska last May. It got down to 26 degrees the one night. I had a bunch of condensation on the outside of the bag, but I kept warm. I like having less weight...and being able to see the bears sneak up on me. I have a tarp too in case it rains (silnylon). I'll be using the same setup on my trip from Anc to Fairbanks for the Denali Hwy.
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Old 04-15-08, 01:20 AM   #15
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I have, love and recommend Hennessy Hammocks.
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Old 04-15-08, 08:00 AM   #16
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I really like the Eureka Zeus 2 man. Extra space inside, nice if you're weather bound/forcd to hang out and read etc. 3.5 lbs, and freestanding if need be. Packs very small. 130-140$

The downside of this tent is that it's single wall, so has condensation issues (much better than a bivy though!). Takes practice to vent properly, and a small sponge is handy to dry out the inside before packing up.

I'll buy another when I've the chance (sold mine on tour).
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Old 04-15-08, 08:05 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tate65 View Post
One of the riders on our tour had a Hennessy Hammock, the only issue we had was an overnight where there were no trees. He was able to tie one end to a lantern pole, and the other was staked. he basically slept on the ground, and had the hammock as a bivy.
Yah, i thought about that but i think i'll get by this year as I'm going to ride around southern Sweden, should be plenty of trees in most locations, and i can always look into hostels if not. They have a great network of those, usually placed half a days riding apart. If I was going to a moreunknown location or touring through different climates, I'd bring a tent. One of the drawbacks I thought of too was storing bags "outside", I figure a tarp over bike and bags, tied together through the wheels, maybe with a steel wire and padlock should deal with opportunity thieves.

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