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Old 09-07-12, 12:20 AM   #1
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First Overnighter...

I didn't sleep much at all, but it was a wonderful experience. A hiker-biker campground is about 13 miles from my home, part of a common route I use to go into Monterey, only this time I was pulling a trailer with camping equipment, and I had to make a mile and a half of uphill that got rather steep in places. Fortunately it was a very short climb, and I made it up there in good shape.
Everything else went very well, other than the mattress being too bulky yet not supportive enough for my creaky bones, so I was in a bit of pain and listened to music on my iPod and heard other bikers coming in late.
It was also a great experience to meet other cycling tourists who were on much longer journeys, a lot of them were going down the length of the Pacific coast from Canada to Mexico.
One older couple who had come from Scotland to make the trip had a mishap that laid them up at the campsite for over a week. They couldn't pedal their tandem until they healed so they had to resort to taking the bus to do their shopping around, and to look for a good bike shop to replace their lowest front gear with a smaller one. I wish I could have helped them but my car wasn't running at the time, otherwise when I went home I would have driven back up there and offered to take them around to where they needed to go. That is the downside of traveling by bicycle I suppose, but they took it in stride.
On the way home I stopped at REI and got another mattress, a Thermarest NeoAir Trekker. another bike tourist came in right after I did and we both bought the same mattress when he said he had a similar experience as I did the night before. He was going on an ultralight camping tour without racks on his mountain bike.
When I tried the mattress out at home, it was so comfortable I fell immediately asleep for a few hours. LOL


On the way home, a stop at Del Monte Beach.




Campsite.

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Old 09-07-12, 07:32 AM   #2
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WPeabody, Reads like a very good overnighter!

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Old 09-07-12, 03:07 PM   #3
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Thank you! It was beginner's luck, maybe? Ha. I plan to go over there again for round two, soon, to see how this new mattress works out. I've been bitten by the bike touring bug a while back, now it is finally coming to fruition.
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Old 09-07-12, 03:35 PM   #4
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Glad you had a good time.
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Old 09-07-12, 05:55 PM   #5
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Sounds like you hit all the stuff I like about touring: A little physical challenge, fiddling with your gear, nice views in a nice place, and meeting other cyclists and campers. Way to go!
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Old 09-08-12, 08:01 PM   #6
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Thank you!

Planning another overnighter tomorrow to test out the mattress. I can minimize most other things but not my sleeping arrangements. No skimping there.
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Old 09-08-12, 09:02 PM   #7
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Sounds like you stayed at Vet's memoral park. I remember the hill climb to the camp site very well.

I have found the air matteress or thermarest to use really depents if you are a side sleeper or a back sleeper. I have heard very good things about the Neo air treker. I am happy with my big agnes insulated air matress set up since I am a side sleeper.
Short trips are a great way to see if you like touring and what you want to change to make it easier. I have been doing a few from my house in Marin to the Napa wine country. I have found its a great way to really evaluate what you need and don't need to lighten the load. Its just fun to get out there and do it without a lot of planning.
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Old 09-08-12, 09:24 PM   #8
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Sounds like a good experience. I like how your trailer doubles as a table.
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Old 09-09-12, 09:18 AM   #9
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I am really glad that you could see past the discomforts and have fond memories of this trip.

One of the things that stands out is your interaction with other cycle tourists. While we are travelling around the world I am almost jealous of you, because one of the things we are missing is this interaction. We aren't seeing many bike tourers in campgrounds... and if we do, they don't speak English, or seem to make a strong point of keeping to themselves (this more than the language).

Kudos to you, also, for the thoughts about helping out the stranded couple. Don't sweat it, though, in that you weren't able to help. It's the thought that counts, and it's something that will likely stick with you throughout all the cycle-touring you do.

And, finally, practice really does help for those longer trips. It helps iron the kinks (in the back as well as well as the planning)
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Old 09-09-12, 10:16 AM   #10
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I didn't sleep much at all, but it was a wonderful experience.
That trip looks pretty interesting, especially that stop at the beach. Tent looks interesting too. What is it?

My first couple of overnights were difficult to sleep through. I bought bulky self-inflating 1.5 inch mattress that seemed comfortable enough, but maybe a trifle too thin and not very wide.

However, after sticking with it, I make sure to pitch in spots with no lumps under the mattress and, I suppose, I've become accustomed to the narrow bed.

Nowadays, I have no problem sleeping through the night. My last trip was a little bit of excitement. I was sleeping in a river valley and there were no other campers within a half-mile. Lots of critters around.. bugs,owls, coyotes howling at the moon. But I still managed to do a lot of sleeping.
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Old 09-10-12, 09:55 PM   #11
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Just got back from my second trip up to Vet's Memorial Park. There was a dearth of bike travelers this time around, other than
the Scottish couple on the tandem who were still there. But his knee was looking a lot better and he said, "We're leaving, come what may, on Tuesday, at first light!" They've been in one place long enough, almost 10 days, while he was seeing the doctor.

The mattress worked great, except I still had trouble sleeping anyway, because I tripped and fell while on a short hike up Huckleberry Hill that evening, went down on my left knee, right wrist and head. I was sore, but took my time riding home and was in good spirits. A couple days recovery and hopefully I'll be off riding again. If I'm going to tour, I have to deal with a little discomfort, it's part of the experience, isn't it? If I wanted convenience, I'll drive. Meh, convenience is dull and boring.

Trying to be as minimal as possible because if there's too much to remember, I spend a lot of energy fussing about at camp setup. The whole load is pretty light, though, I have to be able to lift the trailer (its probably about 40 lbs total loaded weight) if I end up in a situation where I have to turn around in a tight spot. I've had to lift my trike sideways here and there to get though bike sized gates, and was able to do it with the panniers on, so I think I have the weight figured out.

Gerv, the tent is a Marmot Titan 2 that I got for half price on closeout. The only drawback is that they didn't make a footprint for that model. It's roomy, light, quite sturdy, while car camping at La Push, WA a few years back, a pacific storm came through that night and it poured, not a drop of water got inside.
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Old 09-10-12, 09:59 PM   #12
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Nowadays, I have no problem sleeping through the night. My last trip was a little bit of excitement. I was sleeping in a river valley and there were no other campers within a half-mile. Lots of critters around.. bugs,owls, coyotes howling at the moon. But I still managed to do a lot of sleeping.
That is what I love about camping...
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Old 09-11-12, 07:21 PM   #13
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Gerv, the tent is a Marmot Titan 2 that I got for half price on closeout. The only drawback is that they didn't make a footprint for that model. It's roomy, light, quite sturdy, while car camping at La Push, WA a few years back, a pacific storm came through that night and it poured, not a drop of water got inside.
I always wonder about those footprints. I have been using a 2 mill plastic sheet to keep the grime and condensation off the bottom of the tent. Why do you need a footprint?
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Old 09-12-12, 02:05 PM   #14
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I always wonder about those footprints. I have been using a 2 mill plastic sheet to keep the grime and condensation off the bottom of the tent. Why do you need a footprint?
For setup in the rain so the interior doesn't get wet. You can put the fly and tent poles up with the footprint, and then attach the interior under cover. I am actually using the intact floor of an old, worn out backpacking tent for an all around lightweight nylon tarp and/or ground cloth. I could cut it down to size and make my own footprint, but it's a bit labor intensive and I've procrastinated...
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Old 09-12-12, 04:35 PM   #15
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For setup in the rain so the interior doesn't get wet. You can put the fly and tent poles up with the footprint, and then attach the interior under cover. I am actually using the intact floor of an old, worn out backpacking tent for an all around lightweight nylon tarp and/or ground cloth. I could cut it down to size and make my own footprint, but it's a bit labor intensive and I've procrastinated...
I agree with you, a footprint is a good solution to the problem of set-up in the rain, but it seems to me just a way of covering a design flaw. There are plenty of shelters that can be set up in the rain without getting the interior wet that also don't require you to carry an extra bit of gear.
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Old 09-12-12, 08:44 PM   #16
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I do like the versatility of the Titan 2, for hot weather, it can be just a mosquito net, since the interior is almost all mesh, yet can be easily covered by the fly if it rains. The drawback would be for places with blowing dust, or sand if camping on the beach, where maybe an extra tarp might help block some of that. So much to experience and learn, yet, but I am enjoying the lessons!
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Old 09-14-12, 10:05 AM   #17
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I always wonder about those footprints. I have been using a 2 mill plastic sheet to keep the grime and condensation off the bottom of the tent. Why do you need a footprint?
A footprint is in most cases, similar material with a specific size and shape to match a particular model of tent. Their primary use is in areas where the tent site is unprepared and may expose the tent floor to sharp rocks or twigs that might perferate it. The more tents have become lightweight - the more easily things are damaged. Using a footprint on a developed camping site is completely unnecessary. If water can run under the tent - it will anyway. It might mean that you clean up the footprint in the morning rather than the tent floor - but something will still need cleaning.

The best 'footprint' I ever found was 12" interlocking foam blocks. A little bulky, but light and doubled as a footprint for a small tent (eliminated the need for a sleeping pad) or alternatively as an eating / sunning area in a field or on the beach. A nylon strap around a stack (strap fits into interlocking slots) produces a foam cube.
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Old 09-14-12, 11:39 AM   #18
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Always good to hear about meeting others along the journey. Sounds like a great over-nighter.
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Old 09-15-12, 02:33 AM   #19
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the best 'footprint' i ever found was 12" interlocking foam blocks. A little bulky, but light and doubled as a footprint for a small tent (eliminated the need for a sleeping pad) or alternatively as an eating / sunning area in a field or on the beach. A nylon strap around a stack (strap fits into interlocking slots) produces a foam cube.
brilliant!
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