how do you get the crap off the plastic ground cloth every morning ?
It stays in the air above the tent/bike, so doesn't really pick up that much crap. The only time it gets dirty is when I roll it up on the ground. If I'm careful I can keep it rather clean. It does get wet, but with any luck it's not raining in the morning and I can hang it up to dry for a few minutes. If the wind is blowing (which unfortunately always seems to be the case with me), the plastic sheet dries out really quickly.
It works so well I don't bring a fly for the tent. The tarp works as the fly; it also keeps the bike dry and gives me a dry place to sit outside the tent during the inevitable rain storm.
I was the nervous the first time I tried this system, but the plastic sheet is surprisingly durable. They cost about $1.50 and you can find them in any hardware store. On the ride home from Alaska I replaced the first one in Cranbrook, BC (2500 miles) and the second one made it all the way home to Colorado. I did borrow a piece of duct tape to patch a hole in Montana and another piece in Jackson, WY.
The photo below is the last campsite of the trip; Buena Vista, CO.
If you use a rear dry bag across the top of your panniers how do you secure it? This year I bought some Parachute buckles and used lengths of old inner tubes to make elastic straps. We used nylon straps with buckles while touring for the month of July in Denmark but I found these a bit tedious to use.
What do you use?
I keep my daytime needs in an Arkel Tailrider and a small handlbar bag (added since this picture). Everything else for the night goes in four dry bags. Sure, a little tedious to mount each morning with straps, but maybe two minutes longer. DSC04423 (3).jpg