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Old 04-27-12, 02:40 AM   #1
MightyLegnano
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No tent

I've been touring a lot the last years and especially on the mountains but in the cities as well. I have a 5 years old tent but I 've only used it once, when I went touring with my sister and she didn't like the idea sleeping without a roof. I sleep on a z-lite matress with a sleeping bag and a inflatable pillow. It's so much more than just sleep when you do it like this. You have the stars above you, smells, and a very soft breeze (or a very strong wind-depends).

I've slept besides rivers, mountain peaks (lots with crazy winds and crazy cold), city ports, abandoned houses, house gardens, city squares, stables, historic forests, castles, ghost towns, ruins etc. Everywhere. I do encourage you to try it, you will remember my name!
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Old 04-27-12, 03:24 AM   #2
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You must camp in an area without mosquitoes.
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Old 04-27-12, 03:39 AM   #3
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And no rain?

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Old 04-27-12, 03:57 AM   #4
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i get the same effect in my bivouac bag, but if it rains or the mosquitoes are out i pull the top part over my head. bottom is waterproof and top is goretex. kinda clammy in hot weather. if so, i sleep on top. if it's hot AND the mosquitoes are out, i suffer . can't have everything, and besides, suffering provides contrast.

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Old 04-27-12, 05:32 AM   #5
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I agree with you that the freshness is delightful. I take advantage of "no tent" when the circumstances are favorable. BUT, suffering by getting wet or tormenting by bugs is the antithesis, so I am careful.
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Old 04-27-12, 05:33 AM   #6
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I've done it a few times, and it's nice getting a little more in touch with nature or whatever, but bugs and rain are my two biggest annoyances while camping, and a tent solves both. Plus I had a bobcat creep by my camp, even with a fire, last time I camped au naturale in southern illinois... which made me pretty wary since I still hear the horror story of how my cousin was attacked and badly injured by one several years back. If you saw his back you would think he was attacked by a bear.
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Old 04-27-12, 05:34 AM   #7
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i get the same effect in my bivouac bag, but if it rains or the mosquitoes are out i pull the top part over my head. bottom is waterproof and top is goretex. kinda clammy in hot weather. if so, i sleep on top. if it's hot AND the mosquitoes are out, i suffer . can't have everything, and besides, suffering provides contrast.
I went that route last trip and it was great until I got to the Gulf Coast. At that point the extra pound and a half of difference between the bivy and the tent would have been well worth it. Actually the difference is even smaller since I am likely to be carrying a little 5'x5' tarp if using the bivy.

It is great to sleep out in the open, but on any tour I have taken there was usually at least some rain and always mosquitoes at some point in the trip if not all of it.
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Old 04-27-12, 08:22 AM   #8
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I rock one of these. Also have a Golite 4+ in case I want to go in luxury or deal with rough weather, or I could bring a tarp for tours where I expect a little rain.
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Old 04-27-12, 08:38 AM   #9
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That looks nice! I just remembered that my army pup tent has a mosquito net that could be a life saver for anyone who just uses a tarp and/or sleeping bag. Something to look into if you like going au naturale but have a problem with bugs. It weighs maybe a pound and takes up as much room as a large burrito. I got the whole kit for like $25 at a gun show; 3 shelter halves(one to use for a tarp or floor,) 2 sleeping mats, poles, stakes, and the net. I wish I could just use the whole thing, but the stakes and canvas probably weigh in excess of 20 pounds.

http://www.amazon.com/8032-G-I-PLUS-...d_rhf_cr_p_t_1
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Old 04-27-12, 10:29 AM   #10
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Some years ago when I was living near our nations capitol and working inside the beltway, I used to walk the AT trail with my house on my back, usually for long weekends and the like. I NEVER carried a tent. I had a ground cloth, a poncho and a bivvy sack for the sleeping bag. Weathered some awful thunderstorms, high winds and a few nights of darn cold temps with that rig. Never saw the need for a tent with poles, or the weight of the darn thing. If the night was clear, slept in the bivvy with the poncho nearby in case of a shower. It's a choice you have to make and decide if you like it. If I get a chance to tour with my bike sometime soon, I may try that way again...all depends on how I manage with the mosquitoes. The bugs down here in Florida tend to be bad, when I was walking the AT, I did much of it in the early spring and late fall after when there weren't many bugs around.

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Old 04-27-12, 10:36 AM   #11
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Greece did turn it's ancient forests into ships , that went to the bottom of the Med,
a couple millennia ago. changed the Microclimate a bit.
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Old 04-27-12, 10:40 AM   #12
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For those places where you can use one, a hammock can fit the bill. Some have removable or at least partially unzippable bug nets, and the tarp is almost always an optional piece, so you can have that open sky experience when you want it, and bug/rain protection when you need it.

Of course you need trees. BigAura's picture does not show a promising hammock situation.

Personally I find the view from my hammock to be a little distracting, sometimes unnerving even with the net and tarp. I like the idea of sleeping under the stars, but the reality is that that tiny piece of fabric that blocks my view, also creates an imagined sense of my own space and greater security. The first few times I opened my eyes to a full view of the woods, it was a little weird. It gets cooler the more I do it, but it's still a much more exposed feeling than what I'm used to.
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Old 04-27-12, 11:00 AM   #13
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I don't mind sleeping in the open when I can,but that doesn't happen enough for me to leave some kind of protection at home.

I ride in the desert alot,shine a blacklight at night in the desert sometime,you'll know why I use a tent.There are 1000's of scorpions.....

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Old 04-27-12, 01:12 PM   #14
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shine a blacklight at night in the desert sometime,you'll know why I use a tent.There are 1000's of scorpions.....
Nature is full of things that might harm you but usually don't. A good practice is: don't look under rocks, use night vision goggles, blacklights, or take microbiology.
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Old 04-27-12, 02:57 PM   #15
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I rock one of these. Also have a Golite 4+ in case I want to go in luxury or deal with rough weather, or I could bring a tarp for tours where I expect a little rain.
i love those kind of tents. and marmot is quality stuff. i wish i still had that nice marmot down bag SOMEBODY stole from me at the Big Sur campground in Dec of '95.
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Old 04-27-12, 04:21 PM   #16
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I use a similar tent design, it carried well on my rig,
although mine wasn't free standing like the one I use now
plenty of room with small vestibule
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Old 04-27-12, 04:27 PM   #17
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And no rain?

Aaron
Truth! This would have been one (much more) sorry night without a tent



As it was I spent a couple of hours in the bathroom. When the crash precedes the flash of lightning, I go looking for a harder structure.
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Old 04-27-12, 06:21 PM   #18
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Truth! This would have been one (much more) sorry night without a tent



As it was I spent a couple of hours in the bathroom. When the crash precedes the flash of lightning, I go looking for a harder structure.
I have spent more than one night sleeping on picnic tables under hard shelters during storms. My single biggest concern is thunderstorms. I got caught hiking one weekend using my large piece of poly as my only shelter. Had a monster set of storms roll through late at night, had to get off the ridge I was on, not an experience that I want to repeat. The other was camping in a pine forest during an ice storm.

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Old 04-27-12, 07:28 PM   #19
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I've slept outside with nothing more than a foil blanket on randonnees, but I like to be a bit more sheltered on a tour.

And speaking of rain, in the week or so before the 2007 PBP, and during the PBP, there was a lot of rain in the St. Quentin area, and further afield. The campground where many of the riders were staying turned into a muddy bog. Our tent was pitched on an ever-so-slightly higher bit of ground so it wasn't quite as boggy as some of the surrounding areas, and we discovered that our tent does quite well in the rain.

Very, very glad we had that tent then!


But I seem to attract rain when I travel. It is the rare tour where it hasn't rained at least once. And most places I've camped have had mosquitoes.
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Old 04-27-12, 08:55 PM   #20
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There are times when a bivy sack will work;


and then there are times when a tent is nice.
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Old 04-27-12, 10:56 PM   #21
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Sounds nice, but I don't think I'd want to do without my tent here in the Pacific Northwest.
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Old 04-27-12, 11:07 PM   #22
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Ray Jardine has been writting about tarp camping for a long time, and it sounds delightful, but then even he got Lyme disease, and immediately added a bug tent to his offerings...
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Old 04-28-12, 09:52 AM   #23
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Ray Jardine has been writting about tarp camping for a long time, and it sounds delightful, but then even he got Lyme disease, and immediately added a bug tent to his offerings...
Rain and mosquitoes don't worry me in the least, but Lyme disease doesn't sound nice...I haven't thought of ticks to tell you the truth

And bytheway I've no idea about this guy, very interesting character!

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Old 04-28-12, 10:07 AM   #24
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That looks nice! I just remembered that my army pup tent has a mosquito net that could be a life saver for anyone who just uses a tarp and/or sleeping bag. .............. snip....... I wish I could just use the whole thing, but the stakes and canvas probably weigh in excess of 20 pounds....
I used a Hennessy Hammock on my last two long tours in Australia. Great protection and shelter, light, dry and bug-proof. Packs easily BUT needs 2 supports - steel posts or trees. BUt, it can be used on the ground if you can find a couple of sticks to keep the fly and screen off your face and body..
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Old 04-28-12, 10:18 AM   #25
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That bivy sack solution is very interesting...
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