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  1. #1
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    a spinner's tour

    On a whim, I checked the mileage to Jefferson County fairgrounds, the home of Wisconsin's Sheep and Wool Festival. It's about 36 miles, which is a distance I can ride in a day, no problems (couldn't have last year, but...). WI Sheep and Wool offers the chance to stay on the grounds, for $15 a day. I have panniers. I have a sleeping bag (45F). I have a tent. I don't have a sleeping pad. I don't have a way to cook. I'm also not an experienced camper, and the festival has a *lot* of attendees, so bailing to a motel would not be an option.

    This is usually my *big* trip to shop for spinning fiber. Mostly wool, tho this year I really could stand to stock up on cotton and silk. No matter what I decide to go for, it will be pretty light and fluffy, so the more space I can leave in my panniers the better. Squishing is not usually good for it, especially the sort of stuff I go to the show for.

    I tend to sleep cold. My bag has been field tested, but it was on a mattress in a platform tent up in the Boundary Waters... so it got plenty cold at night, but I had something like a 4" thick mattress and 3 feet of ground clearance. I am pretty confident I don't need to bring a cot, but I don't know how to pick between the various sleeping pads.

    I'm happy eating lentils and rice, and I really like burritos and pita sandwiches, so I'm not *sure* I need a way to cook. But if it turns out to be 50F in the morning, I will be very very sad if I can't have hot tea. (which says to *me* I should at least have a way to boil water)

    So where should I start in looking for stuff to add to my kit?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Cyclebum's Avatar
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    My first thought is 'she's going to be at a fairgrounds, presumably in/near a town. Food should not be a problem.'

    The simplest, most inexpensive way to boil a few cups of water is with fuel tabs. 2 will boil a cup in about 8 minutes, shielded from wind.

    As for the sleeping bag, you could shape a flannel sheet to fit as a liner. Would take the rating down a few more degrees. Or, just sleep in a set of warm, soft clothes if it gets cold enough.

    Currently, the lightest comfortable sleeping pad that I know of is the Thermarest Neoair. You do have to blow it up completely as it's design allows for no self inflating. It's not insulated like the self-inflating version, but should be ok down to the 40's.
    The bicycle is one of the great inventions of mankind. Delights children, challenges young men to feats of daring, and turns old men into boys again.--Me

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
    My first thought is 'she's going to be at a fairgrounds, presumably in/near a town. Food should not be a problem.'
    Food won't be . But Jefferson is a pretty typical small Midwestern farm town, so if I want tea for my tea-snob self I'd better have a way to make it. If I liked coffee, I probably would not want any cooking gear at all for this trip. Sadly, I cannot make myself like coffee. I've tried .

    The simplest, most inexpensive way to boil a few cups of water is with fuel tabs. 2 will boil a cup in about 8 minutes, shielded from wind.
    Hrm. I'd looked at those, but I wasn't clear on how well they'd do for mass tea production. It has to be over about 80F in the morning before I'm likely to keep my tea intake below 1L per day. The colder I feel when I get up, the faster I head straight for the teakettle. I just got back from a week of campfire cooking in the Boundary Waters, and having to wait an hour or two for my morning tea was definitely up there for torture.

    Sounds like I should stuff my panniers with the tent, my sleeping bag and bike down to the super close county park that allows camping to see if I am happy with my bag without a pad. Then I can whine in a more informed way. Thanks .

  4. #4
    Working on Not Dying Chimera21's Avatar
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    Are there any vendors there you know who might have electricity/a water hookup? Every time I've been to a sheep & wool, vendors had all sorts of coffee delivery devices and such near their booths, as the fairgrounds had electricity for fans and cc machines and so forth. Also, sometimes guilds will lease out some space for demonstrations, etc - maybe they'll bring along something for hot water?

    Also, I'm terribly jealous! The last wool festival I got to go to was in Maine, and while I still have some goodies I've yet to spin up, I really miss local cashmere and hand dyed fleece and so forth. Florida doesn't exactly have a lot of sheep and wool opportunities. =(

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