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Old 08-14-12, 09:52 PM   #1
gerv 
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Weekend camping

I've been taking overnight camping trips for the last few years. Sometimes these are called S24O trips, although the term seems to me to be more convenient for Google searches.

Seems to be a little different than most touring. For me, it involves riding out on a Saturday, camping out in a state or county park and then coming back on Sunday.

Just wondering if others do this and what's different than multi-day touring? For example, I've settled on 4 small panniers with tent in the front and clothes/food in the back. Weight is 25-30 pounds including pannier weight.

Bike? I use a sport touring bike, a 2006 Bianchi Volpe, that has a truly ancient Zefal rear rack and a low-rider rack up front.

Tent? Use a Eureka Spitfire 2-man tent that I bought off eBay. Under 5 pounds. Great tent < $100.

Stove? I have an alcohol stove -- Trangia -- but often just travel without. Buy some sandwiches or something in an adjacent town.

Mileage? Due to my advanced age (58), I prefer to do 80 miles roundtrips. 40 miles seems like a nice outing. Around here, you get far enough out of town. Yet, my legs don't feel like rubber next day.

What have I learned? It's amazing how I've picked up new spots to camp in. My first experiences were in State parks that were crowded and noisy. But by looking around for more obscure campsites and also changing my pattern to do a Sunday/Monday trip, I've had pretty good success.

Got to say... if you are stuck at a desk job during the week, an overnight bike camping trip is hard to beat.

OK, so tell me... have you done any of these?

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Old 08-15-12, 02:06 AM   #2
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I take a lot of two day trips, though they usually run more along the lines of 30 to 36 hours. No desk for me, but after spending the week doing whatever I have to do, its still a nice break. Although I`ve taken dozens of weekend trips, I`ve never taken a long one- two 6-day rides were the most I`ve managed yet. I dream about it from time to time, but honestly I`m not sure I`d like a month or more on the road. Several years ago I took a 6 week unpaid leave of absense to wander around Mexico on busses. I had a great time, but about the half way point I started feeling like it was enough vacation. By the time the trip was over, I was decidedly homesick and actually looking forward to going back to work!
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Old 08-15-12, 07:47 AM   #3
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I do S24's occasionally. There's a nice campground on a lake 80 miles away. Roads are good and services convenient. I leave early and make it a fairly leisurely all day ride. One city, Texarkana, to pass through, but I've got that whipped. It's a circle tour, mostly rural.

I too am a huge fan of the Eureka Spitfire. Most bang for the buck out there. I'm not very big, so the Spitfire 1 fits me fine. My son uses the 2 on hunting trips.
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Old 08-15-12, 08:20 AM   #4
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I thought the S240 was a Volvo. If I'm taking a vehicle on an overnight camping trip, it will be a massive RV with all the bells and whistles.

All kidding aside, I'll occasionally head out after work on Friday, ride as far as I can along the C&O Towpath, and return the next morning. With campsites every 5-10 miles, no real planning is required. Great way leave work and the city behind.
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Old 08-15-12, 08:40 AM   #5
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Done several long (3-day) weekends from/to the house. Unfortunately, the campground of our favorite state park in the area is currently closed and may never re-open due to tree instability caused by years of river flooding. We would usually leave on Friday, pick up groceries about 10 flat miles from the campground and cook Friday night. During the day Saturday we would do day rides. Saturday night we would ride a trail about 7 miles to a town for dinner at a nice. local restaurant. I love such trips. Favorite weekend to go was Easter weekend. One year we had the entire campground to ourselves Saturday night. I wish there were more places to camp in my area within manageable riding distances.
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Old 08-15-12, 10:14 AM   #6
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I do it all the time.I cheat and take the late Friday metro train out of town and start from there.I've covered all of the areas within a 100 mile radius of my house in the last 35 years....a few times..... Think I'd go nuts if I couldn't get away.

I live in So Cal,so this time of year I just need front panniers,maybe 15 pounds at most.I have to ride 100 miles in all directions to "get away" from people.....Well except west...

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Old 08-15-12, 01:27 PM   #7
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I do it all the time.I cheat and take the late Friday metro train out of town and start from there.I've covered all of the areas within a 100 mile radius of my house in the last 35 years....a few times..... Think I'd go nuts if I couldn't get away.

I live in So Cal,so this time of year I just need front panniers,maybe 15 pounds at most.I have to ride 100 miles in all directions to "get away" from people.....Well except west...
Hi Booger1,
Do you mind posting some of your favorite So-Cal bike camping sites that you have accessed by bike?
Thanks...
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Old 08-15-12, 02:07 PM   #8
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Absolutely. LOVE weekenders. GREAT way to get out of town, gain a greater sense of place in your nearby world. I like getting to know the lay of the land, a good feel for the terrain anyplace I've lived, and weekend bike trips are great for that.
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Old 08-15-12, 03:41 PM   #9
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Weekenders are the only way to stay sane...that and a bicycle.

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Old 08-15-12, 04:17 PM   #10
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Different strokes, but weekend tours don't appeal to me at all. My shortest tours were in more like the 8 or 9 day range and I'd just as soon do day rides as tour if a tour was any shorter than that. In fact those tours seemed too short already. To be fair I will say that I have not tried shorter tours.
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Old 08-15-12, 04:50 PM   #11
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weekenders are the only way to stay sane...that, beer, and a bicycle.

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Old 08-15-12, 05:02 PM   #12
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Old 08-15-12, 05:33 PM   #13
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I too am a huge fan of the Eureka Spitfire. Most bang for the buck out there. I'm not very big, so the Spitfire 1 fits me fine. My son uses the 2 on hunting trips.
Yeah....I know. I picked up this tent on your recommendation a few years ago. It holds warmth pretty well in cold weather, keeps the rain out too. My only complaint was the tent pegs, which I replaced with a set of those MSR aluminum pegs.

I probably only need the solo tent though. Actually a bivy sac would probably work too. You don't need much housing since you are usually planning your trip with good weather.

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Done several long (3-day) weekends from/to the house. Unfortunately, the campground of our favorite state park in the area is currently closed and may never re-open due to tree instability caused by years of river flooding. We would usually leave on Friday, pick up groceries about 10 flat miles from the campground and cook Friday night. During the day Saturday we would do day rides. Saturday night we would ride a trail about 7 miles to a town for dinner at a nice. local restaurant. I love such trips. Favorite weekend to go was Easter weekend. One year we had the entire campground to ourselves Saturday night. I wish there were more places to camp in my area within manageable riding distances.
After my first couple of years of weekenders, I felt a lot like you. I was bothered by the noise in state parks. And at one point I was ejected from a park because there weren't any sites left. Kind of depressing that they didn't have a hiker/biker policy.

However I kept looking. I found some pretty reasonable county parks which let me set up tent even if all the "sites" were taken up. (There's always a spot somewhere...) Also, I've run into wineries who have weekend open houses and offered a spot on their property... I suppose I would have to buy some wine

But the most important thing is to keep asking around. There are undoubtedly camping spots you never imagined existed just a short ride from your house.

Last edited by gerv; 08-15-12 at 05:37 PM.
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Old 08-15-12, 05:35 PM   #14
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No, I don't give a crap about camping, it's the cycling I like. If I'm only have a weekend I ride near home or get a hotel. I've camped way more than enough in my life. I'm over it. Plus that way I get to ride my road bike instead of my tank of a tour bike.

I camp on long tours b/c I can't afford to stay in hotels for a long trip and because I like the security of knowing I won't get stuck with no where to shelter over night.
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Old 08-15-12, 05:51 PM   #15
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Best tent stakes I have found are the Kelty No bendiums

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Old 08-15-12, 05:59 PM   #16
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My first tours were weekenders. We'd ride over the coast range, sleep on the beach and then ride back home. Those were some exhausting weekends.
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Old 08-15-12, 10:49 PM   #17
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For me it's a great excuse to get out of town, get some space, and be alone for a couple of days. I like people, I love my family, etc, but I need a lot of alone time, and weekenders are perfect.
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Old 08-16-12, 06:36 AM   #18
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I love the concept, but there aren't many good places to camp around here within an easy day's ride from my house. If I stretch the distance to 80-90 miles each way, I have quite a few more options but that would make for a long weekend. However, there are several large reservoirs in our area with campgrounds in the 40-60 mile range, but they don't provide the "wilderness experience" that I enjoy from camping. I rode to one of these lakes for a weekender back in May and had a great ride, but the camping was not so enjoyable. The people camping next to me had a loud radio blaring most of the time, a smoky campfire burning and left a generator running all night. My campsite was rocky and uneven, and a park ranger came by and scolded me for not pitching my tent on the "pad," which was not apparent by any stretch of the imagination.

BTW, where does the abbreviation S24 or S240 come from? It doesn't have any obvious references to me.
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Old 08-16-12, 07:06 AM   #19
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S24O = Sub 24hour Overnighter. Pretty sure Grant Peterson coined it, or at least brought it into common useage. He mentions it in one of the articles on the Riv website.

Now my question: why does it hurt my brain to read that term? I like the concept, but hate the name. Anybody else with me, or am I the Lone Jerk here?
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Old 08-16-12, 07:28 AM   #20
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S24O = Sub 24hour Overnighter. Pretty sure Grant Peterson coined it, or at least brought it into common useage. He mentions it in one of the articles on the Riv website.

Now my question: why does it hurt my brain to read that term? I like the concept, but hate the name. Anybody else with me, or am I the Lone Jerk here?
I'm right there. It's dumb.
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Old 08-16-12, 07:49 AM   #21
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It hurts your head because it's an obscure term invented for something that has a common name - an overnight trip. A bit pretentious to give a special name to something like this, as though you came up with the concept.
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Old 08-16-12, 08:41 AM   #22
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Now my question: why does it hurt my brain to read that term? I like the concept, but hate the name. Anybody else with me, or am I the Lone Jerk here?
Just me, but I find most of the content on the Rivendell site to be a bit like fingernails on a chalk board. I hate the name, but maybe it is at least partially due to my disdain for it's source.

FWIW: I am not even that crazy about the concept. Nothing wrong with it for those who enjoy it, but to me it has all of the appeal of camping in the back yard.
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Old 08-16-12, 10:39 AM   #23
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I enjoy weeklong bike trips and take at least one of them every year, but an overnight or long weekend tour is great for getting away when your time and funds are limited. Plus it's easier to rely on the weather when you just have 2-3 days to deal with. I've also been thinking more about taking some overnight tours where I stay in hotels rather than camp, which opens up a lot more possibilities for routes. With camping, you pretty much have to make your destination a park or national forest where there are campgrounds, and then hope you find an open site and have good weather. Around here, we've been having afternoon and evening thunderstorms almost every day for the past month, which makes camping a challenge. Plus, it doesn't cool off much at night and I have trouble sleeping outside when it's hot.

Some friends and I are spending 2 days riding the length of the New River Trail in SW Virginia next weekend. I had initially thought about camping but couldn't talk my friends into that, so we're staying at nearby hotel and riding from the midpoint of the trail to and end and back each day. We'll ride about 50 miles each day, eating lunch at the towns on either end, and have nice cool/dry hotel to stay in at night.
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Old 08-16-12, 10:58 AM   #24
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I have a theory about internet forums in general and the people that post are less than 10% of those that read. I think the vast majority here in touring would love the time to do an extended tour or even the ability to do such if they could find the time, but my guess is most are confined to weekends and long weekends and a once in a while week or two vacation. Those with family’s most likely use the vacation time as a family time and unless the whole family has a passion for bike touring I’m guessing they do something else. I know a young guy that just graduated college and had 3 months before med school and did a Trans American tour. I remember him saying at the age of 23 that he would have this one 3 month window and might not have the chance again until he retired. That’s how most people’s lives are now. The overnighter might be like kissing your sister, but I don’t hold that belief for most. Depending on where you live there can be some really great places not that far away. Everyone’s goal in camping is different I like remote primitive sites but many want to be around a lot of action. That’s part luck (good or bad) and part planning.

I am very envious of anyone that can do the long tours and I totally enjoy reading the journals. But I know you can have some great times within 100 miles of home and as someone posted above getting the mental refresh come Monday morning.
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Old 08-16-12, 11:29 AM   #25
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Your Short Tours

See the 2012 - Your Short Tours thread ...

http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread...ur-Short-Tours

Last edited by Machka; 08-16-12 at 01:53 PM.
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