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Old 05-06-12, 06:10 AM   #1
Tandem Tom
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Covering your bike @ night?

Do you cover your bike at night while camping? If so what do you bring along to use?
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Old 05-06-12, 06:12 AM   #2
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take it in tent, when wild camping lay it on floor or may use may army poncho to cover it.
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Old 05-06-12, 06:19 AM   #3
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Was pondering this my self recently. My tent (Vaude Hogan II) is not nearly big enough for one, let alone the pair of bikes that my girlfriend and I take touring. Do bike covers make bikes more inconspicuous or tempting?
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Old 05-06-12, 06:35 AM   #4
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It has never even crossed my mind that I might want to cover my bike when on tour. It is out in the weather all day, how much difference does it make that it is out at night as well?

I guess if you stealth camp you might cover it to make it less visible. While I do wild camp fairly often, I almost never bother with stealth. In the rare case that I would, I'd just lay the bike in a low spot out of sight.

BTW. there is no way I'd take a tent big enough to take the bike in with me and even if I did have a big enough tent I wouldn't bother.
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Old 05-06-12, 06:39 AM   #5
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BTW. there is no way I'd take a tent big enough to take the bike in with me and even if I did have a big enough tent I wouldn't bother.
At 2.3 kilos (approx 4.7 pounds) for my tent it is not a problem.
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Old 05-06-12, 06:53 AM   #6
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At 2.3 kilos (approx 4.7 pounds) for my tent it is not a problem.
That is your choice and I am not knocking it if it makes you happy. Me, I much prefer to stick with lighter tents. 2.3 kilos (more like 5 pounds btw) is just more tent than I want to be burdened with. Where the terrain suits it, I sometimes even am inclined to skip the tent and take a bivy. I did take a 4 pound tent on one tour and might have been able to squeeze the bike in, but I didn't see any reason to do so. My bike stays outside with any gear that doesn't need to be in the tent (or in the bear box or bag) still packed in the panniers.
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Old 05-06-12, 07:06 AM   #7
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I like a bike that isn't dewy or wet in the morning.

cold, wet handlebar tape and saddle makes for a gooshy morning.

For trad, 4 pannier touring I bring an 8 ounce siltarp that doubles as a cooking shelter when its raining as well as a bike tarp.

When UL touring, i will cover the saddle (Brooks) with a plastic bag to keep the saddle dry overnight.
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Old 05-06-12, 07:22 AM   #8
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Do you cover your bike at night while camping? If so what do you bring along to use?
Nope. Bikes are meant to be used outside, not protected like fine works of art. :-)

My only concession to weather is covering my leather saddle with a bag if it looks like it might rain.
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Old 05-06-12, 07:38 AM   #9
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Yup , I've just covered seat with plastic bag. It would be nice to cover more maybe, but have always had enough crap to begin with anyway so more never appealed.
Dew on bars does dry off and if its raining, well, the bike's going to be wet anyway.
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Old 05-06-12, 07:48 AM   #10
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I cover the saddle, sometimes the handlebars as well. One reason I cover the saddle is to (hopefully) prevent animals from munching on the leather.
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Old 05-06-12, 07:53 AM   #11
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Do you cover your bike at night while camping? If so what do you bring along to use?
I took a tarp with me. Since the tent was strapped to the top of the rack, I just rolled the tent up in the tarp for each day's ride.

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Old 05-06-12, 08:08 AM   #12
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For trad, 4 pannier touring I bring an 8 ounce siltarp that doubles as a cooking shelter when its raining as well as a bike tarp.
that makes complete sense for the cooking shelter, and at 250 grams, certainly not a burden for weight. I will have to see what these siltarps feel like in real life, to get an idea of the durability etc--is this the same material used in those lightweight wet/dry bags and light knapsacks? I will do a search right now to see, but that is nice and light.
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Old 05-06-12, 08:53 AM   #13
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That is your choice and I am not knocking it if it makes you happy. Me, I much prefer to stick with lighter tents. 2.3 kilos (more like 5 pounds btw) is just more tent than I want to be burdened with. Where the terrain suits it, I sometimes even am inclined to skip the tent and take a bivy. I did take a 4 pound tent on one tour and might have been able to squeeze the bike in, but I didn't see any reason to do so. My bike stays outside with any gear that doesn't need to be in the tent (or in the bear box or bag) still packed in the panniers.
I'd leave it outside as well, but here in the UK there is always the danger of it getting stolen. When I leave my campsite for the day it is hidden, so if no one knows its there it can't get stolen. That is why I protect her, my dawes super galaxy is my pride and joy. If I could leave outside with no change of getting stolen then I would.
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Old 05-06-12, 08:54 AM   #14
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Not as good as physically locking it I know, but stealth is a weapon as well!
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Old 05-06-12, 09:08 AM   #15
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Since we ride a tandem it might be abit crowded in the tent. Saying this though the bike might be inside with my wife and I would be out in the cold!
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Old 05-06-12, 09:36 AM   #16
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In addition to locking the bike to something, I Tended to cover the saddle,
then leave the rain covers on the panniers, on the bike..
I made up a thin but long cable to go around trees and picnic table bases.
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Old 05-06-12, 01:59 PM   #17
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interesting that some of you leave your panniers on the bike, Ive always had them in the tent with me, having my things with me for the main reason, but also I dont see the time saved not taking them off (literally seconds) worth worrying about them being taken by some jerk, even if the bike is locked. I guess if your tents are that small, but usually there is some kind of vestibule.

anyway, just an observation.
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Old 05-06-12, 03:31 PM   #18
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interesting that some of you leave your panniers on the bike, Ive always had them in the tent with me, having my things with me for the main reason, but also I dont see the time saved not taking them off (literally seconds) worth worrying about them being taken by some jerk, even if the bike is locked. I guess if your tents are that small, but usually there is some kind of vestibule.
Everyone is different. For me the reason for leaving the stuff on the bike was never the lack of space or the effort of bringing them in. I just don't have any need for most of my stuff in the tent at night. The theft worthy stuff is mostly in the handlebar bag and that does go inside the tent. The remaining stuff I am not all that worried about and in a pannier on the bike is better than laying scattered on the ground.

On my last tour I stopped using panniers and instead used ultralight dry bags. The complicated the choice because it was extra effort to put the stuff back on the bike and I have to take it back off in the morning to pack the dry bags any way. Still nothing went in the tent because I didn't take a tent. So the stuff laid on the ground next to my bivy, under a tiny 5'x5' tarp if I pitched it. With 14 pounds of gear I probably could fit it in the bivy with me, but never have.
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Old 05-06-12, 03:32 PM   #19
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I use two large black garbage bags to cover my seat, handlebars, and most of the rest of the bike. Beside keeping the seat and handlebars dry, they provide camo cover while stealth camping. When at a campground they make the bike less visible and/or appealing to a would-be thief...I think. Total weight is 3.6 ounces.
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Old 05-06-12, 05:03 PM   #20
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Silnylon tarp. IIRC mine is a larger one and comes in around 13 ounces. I use it as a foul weather cooking fly too.

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Old 05-06-12, 05:07 PM   #21
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I cover my seat and handlebars
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Old 05-06-12, 05:39 PM   #22
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I use my 6' x 8' sil-nylon tarp as a light weight ground cloth for my tent. I'd rather keep my tent floor clean and dry than use it as a bike cover. However I keep it handy, because it is a good cover for ducking under in a thunderstorm. It also acts a a porch under the vestibule keeping the tent clean and shoes and gear dry. We just use a plastic shower cap to cover the saddles at night.



We always lock our bikes to something immovable at night if we can. I don't know if covering them will reduce the chance of theft or not. In Switzerland we left our bikes locked to a fence in the campground for a day, walked into town, and hoped a train (actually 3 trains) to visit a city we wanted to see. I believe it is better to leave it in plain sight in a busy place than to try to hide it. However, we had our valuable gear, such as net book and panniers in lockers furnished at the campground. The same during the day. If it is in an out of sight place, and someone happens across it; it may much easier to steal than out in plain sight.

Like staehpj1, We have wild camped quite often, but not stealthily. To me stealth camping denotes that I know I am not supposed to be there, so I have to be sneaky about it. Discretion is good, but I see no reason to be sneaky about it. At least not as my normal operating procedure. I've found that most landowners and public authorities will tolerate an honest "mistake" rather than a blatant attempt at concealment. Yes, I have stealth camped when it was the only option.

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Old 05-06-12, 05:53 PM   #23
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Ihave a lightweight cover from Nashbar (on sale) and use it at night. I only take the panniers off and put in the tent when I'm off touring a town
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Old 05-06-12, 07:40 PM   #24
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You can also follow some of the advice in this thread and use your bike as part of your shelter. In addition to it being covered, it's also pretty darn theft-proof.
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Old 05-06-12, 07:58 PM   #25
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but what do you cover it during the day?
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