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  1. #1
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Where/How do you Carry Your Tent?

    We've always strapped our tent on to one of our rear racks and that's been fine. Most likely, that's what we'll do now, but I thought I would explore options. We've been carrying just one tent for the four of us since Alaska, but Eddie Bauer/First Ascent just sent us two brand new, heavy duty mountaineering tents which will hold up great in the Patagonian winds. However, they are both big and heavy - essentially doubling our tent weight.

    All along, my husband has carried our tent on his rear rack, but we don't really want to put both of these tents on that rack (alothough we could if we needed to). We want to put one on my son's bike. I can strap it to his rear rack, and move the stuff that is currently there, but thought I'd see if anybody here has come up with some other, creative way of carrying a tent.

    so - how and where to you stash your tent?
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  2. #2
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    I wrap my tent, my Thermarest, and my sleeping bag, all in individual stuff sacks, into my groundsheet tarp, then strap that bundle to the top of my rear rack, behind the seatpost. This strategy has kept all that stuff dry, even in some extremely heavy rain.

  3. #3
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    Mine goes in a front pannier,sleeping bag in the other.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  4. #4
    Senior Member Cyril's Avatar
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    poles can be strapped to the downtube.

    the fly can go in one pannier and the tent itself in another.

    these three places can be on three separate bikes.


    Cyril

  5. #5
    Senior Member cyclezealot's Avatar
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    I bought a tent at REI designed for cyclists in mind.. It's a two person tent and it takes up less space than my blow up mattress by far.. It fits into my rear pannier and takes up only about 1/3 of that pannier's capacity..
    Pray for the Dead and Fight like Hell for the Living






    ^ Since January 1, 2012

  6. #6
    Senior Member Cyril's Avatar
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    My Tent, on the other hand, is a hammock.
    I put it in the space dedicated for a thermarest in my Arkel GT 54,s.....

    my first post, I think, is of greater help to you.


    Cyril

  7. #7
    Senior Member lucille's Avatar
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    The tent is strapped to the back rack. I keep fly in a bigger waterproof stuff sack, and the tent in a smaller one that fits in the bigger one. That way if the fly is wet, it won't make the tent itself wet as well. The pole break apart and fold into small packages.

  8. #8
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    I'm amazed that people carry their tent in their pannier! We've got panniers stuffed with other stuff that needs to be contained - it's easy to strap the tent on somewhere as it's one big item rather than a bunch of smaller pieces. I'll get creative and see what I come up with.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  9. #9
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    my tent is a http://www.blackdiamondequipment.com...ers/mega-light , with the optional floor. The tent, floor and pegs go in the rear panniers, and the pole is lashed onto the rear rack lengthwise. Much as I love this tent, I wouldn't put 4 people in it, no matter what the manufacturer says. I also wouldn't give it much of a chance in those Patagonian winds you mentioned.

    For something as bulky and heavy as a mountaineering tent, I would break it up into smaller loads, with tent, rainfly, pegs and poles being distributed in a few different panniers. Poles can be lashed to the bicycle frame or to the rear rack if they are too big to go into a pannier.

  10. #10
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    Mine goes in the rear left pannier without stuff sack, including poles. Everything rain related goes in there because I put a tripod on top of that pannier and a rain cover doesn't fit well.

    For a trip and big tent like yours, it would probably go on top of the rack.
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  11. #11
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    We use the same approach whether biking, mountaineering or backpacking. The tent and rainfly go into a compression sack. While the picture below is our three season tent used for bike trips. The same approach is used on our four season tent--just a little bigger compression sack. It does not make them any lighter, but it sure reduces bulk.



    The green compression sack is the sleeping bag, the blue is tent and rainfly, the orange is the Thermarest. All fit easily into an Ortlieb medium Rack Pack with room for stuffable pillow, sil-nylon ground cloth/tarp, and my running shoes. The water bottle is for scale. It all goes on the rack.

    The same tent used for mild weather ski mountaineering. It is a good tent, but it would not be "Patagonia proof". Sometimes you just need the right tool for the job!

  12. #12
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    stuffed in a dry sack and strapped to my rear rack

  13. #13
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    yup, unfortunately my big agnes' tent poles are 21+" long folded, hence i stuff the entire tent (rolled up, of course) into the medium rack pack from ortlieb. can't figure out how to minimize it though...

  14. #14
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I put mine transversely across the top of the rear rack, along with my sleeping bag. Why wouldn't I?

  15. #15
    Senior Member dogontour's Avatar
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    I've tried three different ways...a different way for each tour. I had it strapped to the rear rack, then I had it strapped to the ceiling of my dog's trailer when I took her on a weekend tour (Snake River Gorge in Kuna) and then on this last tour, I had it in one of my panniers.

  16. #16
    www.Click-Stand.com tomn's Avatar
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    Hi Nancy,

    My tent, ground tarp, and rain fly are in a compression sack on the front rack. My sleeping bag is in a compression sack on the top of the rear rack, and the poles and Big Agness air mattress is in the tube on the side of the Arkel pannier. I like it.

    Tom



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  17. #17
    Lentement mais sûrement Erick L's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
    The green compression sack is the sleeping bag, the blue is tent and rainfly, the orange is the Thermarest. All fit easily into an Ortlieb medium Rack Pack with room for stuffable pillow, sil-nylon ground cloth/tarp, and my running shoes. The water bottle is for scale. It all goes on the rack.
    That's strange, I use water bottles for drinking.

    Since you put the "big three" and more on the rack, I can't help wondering what's in the four panniers?
    Erick - www.borealphoto.com/velo

  18. #18
    Cycled on all continents JohnyW's Avatar
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    Hi Nancy,

    I have normally on the rear rack. Sometimes when I travel lighter I put in the pannier, but I don't prefer that. I'd recommend that you split the poles and tents. The tents are for your husband the poles for your son.

    Thomas
    My Travelogues: http://thomasontour.de (currently only in German)

  19. #19
    It's true, man.
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    I keep my 1/4 Dome 2 man tent in a pannier until I need room in a pannier for groceries or extra water, then it goes on the rear rack.

    I'd like packing the tent much better if the pole sections were 2-3 inches shorter.

  20. #20
    Senior Member badger_biker's Avatar
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    My rear panniers pop up above the rack so my REI half dome has always been strapped lengthwise down the rack. I'm thinking about splitting it up and getting some of the weight down into the panniers since I have had shimmy issues and thing the top weight may be part of the cause. I like the ideas from other posters about segregating the fly into its own bag and may try that.
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  21. #21
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! I'll be packing up the bikes in the next couple days and will experiment with various positions.
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

  22. #22
    Senior Member cyclist2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nancy sv View Post
    I'm amazed that people carry their tent in their pannier! We've got panniers stuffed with other stuff that needs to be contained - it's easy to strap the tent on somewhere as it's one big item rather than a bunch of smaller pieces. I'll get creative and see what I come up with.
    but your tour is a little longer than anything I everdreamed about. Since my tours are only a week long I think that I can rough it with a real minimalist tent that can fit in the panniers (only the poles won't fit in the panniers) and I probably don't carry as much stuff for a week long trip as I would for a 3 year tour.
    I don't do vintage, I bought them new, rode them, kept them. Now they are just old bikes
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/bustercrb/sets/72157623483647522/

  23. #23
    Senior Member Doug64's Avatar
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    Erick L
    That's strange, I use water bottles for drinking.

    Since you put the "big three" and more on the rack, I can't help wondering what's in the four panniers?

    Left front is insulated used for cold drinks food and misc. Seldom very heavy
    Right front has folding spare tire, extra tube (s), platypus 2 litre folding water bottle.small tool kit, lexon bowls, cups, and eating utinsels, stove and fuel, small container of dish soap, and 1 titanium pot (stuffed with small microfiber dish cloth/towel, stove, lighter, 2-25' pieces of parachute cord). Seldom very heavy, but might shift things to balance load on front.
    Left rear has off-the-bike clothes/items: uderwear, swim suit, cell, camera, netbook chargers, insulated vest, pants w/zip-off legs, lightweight fleece top, long johns, 1 good t-shirt or polo shirt, emergency freeze dried dinner (if caught out or don't go by store)Toilet kit, and microfiber towel. I also carry a paper back book, maps and my harmonica. Lots of room left.
    Right rear has on-the-bike clothes: pair of long tights, arm warmers, 2-synthetic or cotton t-shirts (cotton is cooler in really hot weather), extra pair of riding shorts, 3 pairs of lightweight wool socks, helmet rain cover, pair of glove liners, lightweight stocking cap, 1 long-sleeved jersey, 1 short-sleeve jersey, 1 synthetic long sleeve t-shirt, rain pants, rain jacket, cable and lock, first aid kit. Lots of room left.
    Handlebar bag: camera, cell phone, wallet, passport (if needed), maps ferry schedules etc., and anything else I don't want to leave on the bike while in a store or cafe.
    Seat bag: pair of rubber gloves, patchkit, set of 3 tire levers, multi tool, 1-2 extra tubes.

    There is quite a bit of room left over. The room in the front usually accomidates an extra bottle or two of Power Aid, and the day's groceries. This set-up, including panniers, weighs between 30-40 lbs.

    I'm probably missing something , but that is the general organization. We do use a packing list -listing each item's weight. Some things are adjusted depending on the season and length of trip. This would be typical for anything from a couple of weeks to a couple months.

    Not minimalist, but not extravagent either. My wife carries the netbook

  24. #24
    family on bikes nancy sv's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyclist2000 View Post
    but your tour is a little longer than anything I everdreamed about. Since my tours are only a week long I think that I can rough it with a real minimalist tent that can fit in the panniers (only the poles won't fit in the panniers) and I probably don't carry as much stuff for a week long trip as I would for a 3 year tour.
    that's true. Plus we have kids that we are roadschooling, so we have the school stuff. And we have four people on only three bikes (and we try to keep my son's bike pretty light) so have to put all that stuff on basically two bikes. It works!
    WE DID IT! Our little family of four cycled 17,300 miles from Alaska to Argentina! The trip of a lifetime for sure. www.familyonbikes.org

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