Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

I'm looking to kit out for long-distance touring

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

I'm looking to kit out for long-distance touring

Old 09-20-15, 01:55 PM
  #1  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 141
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I'm looking to kit out for long-distance touring

I am looking to do some weekend or 5 day touring this Fall and a longer tour next summer, can I get feedback on my equipment list.

I am looking at a reasonably priced back panniers at this point, thinking of buying front panniers in the future, will these do for someone on a budget or is there a better suggestion: Axiom Seymour DLX 45 Pannier Set.

Could someone suggest a good pannier rain fly.

For a tent, I'm considering either the Eureka Spitfire 1 tent or the Eureka Spitfire 2 tent, I would like feedback on this choice or other makes. Especially whether the Eureka Spitfire 1 tent will fit my considerations that includes comfort.

If I am going to buy the Eureka Spitfire should I also consider the Eureka Spitfire Footprint?

Could someone suggest a good light weight 3 to 4 season sleeping bag.

For a sleeping pad I am looking at: ALPS Mountaineering Comfort Series Air Pad, is there any other option I should look at?

For a camping stove I am looking at: Etekcity E-gear Portable Collapsible Outdoor Windproof Camping Stove Butane Propane Burner, same question, is there any other option I should look at?

Should I get a dedicated GPS, if so, which make / model. I have an android phone, should I get a water proof case and the GPS app for it, if so which case and which app?

Thanks

Last edited by sprocketss; 09-20-15 at 02:45 PM.
sprocketss is offline  
Old 09-20-15, 04:18 PM
  #2  
Senior Member
 
gregjones's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: West Georgia
Posts: 2,828

Bikes: K2 Mod 5.0 Roadie, Fuji Commuter

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by sprocketss
I am looking to do some weekend or 5 day touring this Fall and a longer tour next summer, can I get feedback on my equipment list.

I am looking at a reasonably priced back panniers at this point, thinking of buying front panniers in the future, will these do for someone on a budget or is there a better suggestion: Axiom Seymour DLX 45 Pannier Set.

Could someone suggest a good pannier rain fly.

For a tent, I'm considering either the Eureka Spitfire 1 tent or the Eureka Spitfire 2 tent, I would like feedback on this choice or other makes. Especially whether the Eureka Spitfire 1 tent will fit my considerations that includes comfort.

If I am going to buy the Eureka Spitfire should I also consider the Eureka Spitfire Footprint?

Look here....Pete has a very good article.

Could someone suggest a good light weight 3 to 4 season sleeping bag.

I use a Big Agnes sleep system. No insulation on the bottom of the bag. It ihas a pocket for the pad to slide into. That's where the insulation comes from. Never cold from below with Thermarest. Less fill, less weight and space. It's an "overbag" so a three season bag should be fine in winter. I have a roll of Reflectix to make a thin thermo pad on the way. More insulation underneath, fits in the pocket, doesn't weigh much at all and I'll use about 2/3 of a fifteen buck roll.

For a sleeping pad I am looking at: ALPS Mountaineering Comfort Series Air Pad, is there any other option I should look at?

I looked at ALPS, nice stuff at good prices. Apparently the founder is a former Kelty employee. I ended up with a Thermarest Pro-Light Plus off of eBarf. $40 with shipping (used).....it came in--perfect. No difference than a hundred bucks at REI.

For a camping stove I am looking at: Etekcity E-gear Portable Collapsible Outdoor Windproof Camping Stove Butane Propane Burner, same question, is there any other option I should look at?

Should I get a dedicated GPS, if so, which make / model. I have an android phone, should I get a water proof case and the GPS app for it, if so which case and which app?

I have an Android Smart thing......I do well with "Velodroid" and "Ride with GPS". Both inexpensive apps. You can't call with a Garmin anything. Not that they don't have advantages, but nothing that I miss.

Thanks
Comments in quote.

Last edited by gregjones; 09-20-15 at 04:25 PM.
gregjones is offline  
Old 09-20-15, 05:50 PM
  #3  
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 16,697

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11044 Post(s)
Liked 7,593 Times in 4,234 Posts
I have a set of Axiom Seymour 45s and love em. I use them for around town and weekend rides. Haven't used them for more than 3 day rides though. Only mention that since I haven't gone thru rain with them.
They attach really well, detach quickly, are easy to pack, rugged, etc. The company sells rain covers for $20 or so.
Bring garbage bags and grocery bags. You can use the garbage bags as a liner for the panniers. And the grocery bags are always useful for separating wet from dry stuff.

As for a sleep pad, I have used the ALPS comfort pad you mention and it's good, but too large and heavy for my taste when packed on a bike.
I need a long sized mat and it comes in at 4pounds and 26" in length. That's too heavy and big when packed for me.
ALPS makes an ultralight self inflating pad which weighs only 2 pounds but is still just as wide when packed.

I currently use a couple of mats.
-ALPS Feather liter air mat. Weighs 1.5pounds and is 12 long when packed. That's for the long version. I love it. 25 puffs and it's filled, it's plenty thick, and the seams go across the body instead of the long way.
The only downside is an r value of 1. I'm OK with that as I don't camp or tour when it's below freezing.
-Thermarest NeoAir Venture. It too is a long, so its also 25" wide. It has an r value of 2, which is low, but again it doesn't apply for me.
Between the two, I like the ALPS more. They are pretty identical though.
Make sure to get a pad that is wide enough for you. My size- I'd hate a pad that's 20" wide.
My family has self inflating pads and air pads. I like the air pads more because they pack smaller.


As for a sleeping bag, the Teton Journey 40deg bag is really light and packs small.
It's a glorified blanket with zippers to control airflow.
I have used it with a bag liner and been comfortable at 40deg I wouldn't use just the bag at that temp, but each person is different.
Buy a generic stuff sack for it. It comes with kne but you will rub your fingers raw trying to fit the bag back in that sack. The original sack can be used for packing random stuff though.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 09-20-15, 05:57 PM
  #4  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO and Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,848

Bikes: 2012 Specialized Elite Disc, 1983 Trek 520

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 679 Post(s)
Liked 754 Times in 434 Posts
Consider letting your packs get wet, and put all the stuff you want to keep dry in a plastic bag (a trash compactor bag works very well) inside the packs. You might find, as I did, that only one pack really needs to stay dry.

A recent excellent gear purchase I made was a down quilt from enLightened Equipment (there are others). And a real good tent for bike touring is a Tarptent--I have the Contrail.

I use a cheap RidgeRest closed cell foam pad, but I tend to camp in undeveloped sites with soft grass. If you plan on sleeping on concrete or plank floors, you'll want something softer.

A stove is not really needed for bike touring in the developed world. Inexpensive cooked meals can be purchased easily. I started carrying camping food that does not need to be cooked--muesli, tortillas, cheese, crackers, dried fruit, nuts, cookies. It can be as simple or as complicated as you want. A lot depends on what style of travel you develop. If it's all about the cycling, everything you pack should only support the cycling. If it's more about the camping, then pack for a camping trip.

I'm not a fan of electronics on bike tours (one of my greatest joys on a bike tour is getting away from the phone). But again, it can be as simple or as complicated as you want. Sorry, no help there.

Good luck getting going. It's unlikely you'll get it all right the first time. With time and patience, your kit will reflect your traveling style.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 09-20-15, 08:05 PM
  #5  
Senior Member
 
rawklobster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2015
Location: Toronto, ON
Posts: 290

Bikes: Brompton M6R Raw, Pashley Roadster Sovereign, ICE Trike with Rohloff (SOLD) - Pacific Coast Highway

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by sprocketss
I am looking at a reasonably priced back panniers at this point, thinking of buying front panniers in the future, will these do for someone on a budget or is there a better suggestion: Axiom Seymour DLX 45 Pannier Set.
I might be selling my Axiom 60s from 2013. Cosmetically different from the newest ones on their website, and it seems they max out at 45. Only used for a ~35 day tour. Waterproof. PM me if you're interested. If you prefer new, definitely get them. They are great!!!
rawklobster is offline  
Old 09-20-15, 08:43 PM
  #6  
Miles to Go
 
timdow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 711

Bikes: 2022 Juiced Crosscurrent X, 2022 Fuji Touring, 1998 Schwinn Moab (drop bar conversion), 2010 LHT (Stolen)

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 151 Post(s)
Liked 145 Times in 95 Posts
Eureka Spitfire seems like an excellent choice. If you aren't going to have return privilege, you may want to look at the dimensions carefully before ordering. I like the Big Agnes tents, but I'm a big guy.

For the sleeping bag, you are going to have to figure out what the lowest temperature you will be encountering, then go 10 degrees below that. Even a 20 degree bag is usually called a 3-season bag, but bicycle camping can be much different than backpacking. There are just too many really good bags available to recommend one. I would recommend Dri-down, and whatever is on sale. I got this one: The North Face Cat's Meow Sleeping Bag - REI.com for cold, and this one for warm temps: Kelty Cosmic Down 41 Sleeping Bag - REI.com . I bought them because they are light and both were around $100 on sale.

I used to carry a MSR Pocket Rocket stove, but I tour in fairly populated places and did not really use it so I now leave the cooking kit behind.

I have the predecessor to this pad: Big Agnes Air Core Insulated Sleeping Pad - REI.com and it is the most comfortable pad I have ever used.
timdow is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 03:38 AM
  #7  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 141
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use a Big Agnes sleep system. I have a roll of Reflectix to make a thin thermo pad on the way. More insulation underneath, fits in the pocket, doesn't weigh much at all and I'll use about 2/3 of a fifteen buck roll.
Thanks for the suggestions I will look into them!

Look here....Pete has a very good article.t
Good article, lots of good tips!

I looked at ALPS, nice stuff at good prices.
I agree, have a couple of Alps products in my shopping cart right now.

I have a set of Axiom Seymour 45s and love em.
Thanks for the feedback, they're in my shopping cart.

ALPS Feather lite air mat
Thanks for the tip. I'm buying it!

the Teton Journey 40deg bag
Yeah, I'm buying a Teton sleeping bag.

down quilt from enLightened Equipment
Check it out thanks, for the tip.

Eureka Spitfire seems like an excellent choice.
Thanks for the confirmation, it seems a popular choice.

MSR Pocket Rocket stove, but I tour in fairly populated places and did not really use it so I now leave the cooking kit behind.
I think I'll be biking my food in, as I'm on a modified Palio diet with no grains. It's difficult with the typical menu offered in restaurants. I also like hot coffee early in the morning.

Last edited by sprocketss; 09-21-15 at 07:20 AM.
sprocketss is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 05:26 AM
  #8  
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 39,450
Mentioned: 211 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 18502 Post(s)
Liked 15,815 Times in 7,426 Posts
I'm disappointed. I thought this thread was going to be about touring while wearing a matching or pro kit.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 07:22 AM
  #9  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 141
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz
I'm disappointed. I thought this thread was going to be about touring while wearing a matching or pro kit.

sprocketss is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 08:10 AM
  #10  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,428

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 153 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6252 Post(s)
Liked 4,278 Times in 2,396 Posts
Originally Posted by sprocketss
I am looking to do some weekend or 5 day touring this Fall and a longer tour next summer, can I get feedback on my equipment list.

I am looking at a reasonably priced back panniers at this point, thinking of buying front panniers in the future, will these do for someone on a budget or is there a better suggestion: Axiom Seymour DLX 45 Pannier Set.

Could someone suggest a good pannier rain fly.

For a tent, I'm considering either the Eureka Spitfire 1 tent or the Eureka Spitfire 2 tent, I would like feedback on this choice or other makes. Especially whether the Eureka Spitfire 1 tent will fit my considerations that includes comfort.

If I am going to buy the Eureka Spitfire should I also consider the Eureka Spitfire Footprint?

Could someone suggest a good light weight 3 to 4 season sleeping bag.

For a sleeping pad I am looking at: ALPS Mountaineering Comfort Series Air Pad, is there any other option I should look at?

For a camping stove I am looking at: Etekcity E-gear Portable Collapsible Outdoor Windproof Camping Stove Butane Propane Burner, same question, is there any other option I should look at?

Should I get a dedicated GPS, if so, which make / model. I have an android phone, should I get a water proof case and the GPS app for it, if so which case and which app?

Thanks
Panniers: It usually doesn't matter which brand. They all have their pluses and minuses. The Axiom looks like a good pannier although there are others that have better mounting systems. I would steer you away from buying a rain cover because it's just an added cost that you don't really need to pay. Organize all of your stuff inside the bags in ziplock bags and the contents of the bag will be dry enough. It also helps with daily packing...so much so that I still use ziplocks with water-proof Ortliebs.

I would suggest, however, that you steer towards smaller panniers and towards front ones first. Heavy overloaded rear panniers make riding challenging. They can have a pretty severe effect on steering, especially on downhills. Front bags with about 60% of your touring load dampen the steering and make the bike much more manageable. If you are on a budget, you could buy front and rear panniers from Nashbar for slightly more than the rear Axiom. Or buy the 30 L rear Axiom and the Nashbar fronts. I hate the color, however.

Tents: I have used Eurekas in the past for many years. They make good tents but weighty for what you get. You can save a pound by going to, for example, the Big Agnes Fly Creek but you'd have to pay more then twice as much. The biggest difference is that the Big Agnes Tents use a freestanding frame that is much easier to set up. The two hoop frame of the Eurekas could be difficult to handle on your own. You get what you pay for.

And, yes, get the foot print, no matter what tent you get. It saves the bottom of your tent.

Sleeping bags/pads: I agree with gregjones. Big Agnes is the way to go. They are make an excellent product. I have a 0°F bag and a 45°F bag both are great for their respective temperature ranges. The 0°F bag is, however, too warm for summer trips outside of Colorado and the 45°F bag can be cold for trips in May. I'm not sure I could use the 45°F bag at any time in Colorado...our nights are just too cold. I would also suggest looking for the Big Agnes pad over just about any other. They are less bulky...they roll up into something the size of a 1 L waterbottle and work very well with the Big Agnes bag. They don't weigh much either. You do have to blow them up but I find the pack size outweighs that inconvenience. And they are a thick pad...up to 4" depending the the model.

Stove: Go with an MSR or a Snow Peak or a Soto or Primius over the Fleabay stove. The Primus Yellowstone isn't the lightest but it is a tough stove that works well from a known company. You can find them from $12 to $20.

Phone: I'll second gregjones again on the phone. I used Ride with GPS to track my tours and it works very well. I never felt the need for any other electronic device.
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 08:11 AM
  #11  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,357 Times in 863 Posts
I attached a piece of plastic sheet to the bottom of my tent rather than buy a fancy "footprint".
Cheap and easily replaced and kept ground dampness outside of the tent-floor.

plastic bags can be a pannier rain cover.

with a decent map I got along fine , Before it existed, & while GPS was still a Classified Military Program

Last edited by fietsbob; 09-21-15 at 08:17 AM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 08:30 AM
  #12  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 141
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Everyone, thanks for all great suggestions, they're gold, especially the conflicting opinions, experiences and point of view. I really appreciate that, as I am forced to consider other options instead of my working from my assumptions. Looks like I am not ready to checkout.
sprocketss is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 08:31 AM
  #13  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Posts: 2,441
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 33 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 3 Posts
Footprints are bogus, just an expensive add on that has little practical value. A built in floor is already fine, I have never worn one out and I have tents that are older than 30 years. If one did wear a hole in a floor it is an easy fix anyway. I am assuming reasonable ground conditions, like grass or flat rock, if one always camped on granite or something it might make a difference. Occasional camping on such surfaces is not a problem.
MassiveD is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 10:40 AM
  #14  
Mad bike riding scientist
 
cyccommute's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 27,428

Bikes: Some silver ones, a red one, a black and orange one, and a few titanium ones

Mentioned: 153 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6252 Post(s)
Liked 4,278 Times in 2,396 Posts
Originally Posted by MassiveD
Footprints are bogus, just an expensive add on that has little practical value. A built in floor is already fine, I have never worn one out and I have tents that are older than 30 years. If one did wear a hole in a floor it is an easy fix anyway. I am assuming reasonable ground conditions, like grass or flat rock, if one always camped on granite or something it might make a difference. Occasional camping on such surfaces is not a problem.
I have no idea where you or sprocketss pitch tents, but I have found footprints to be invaluable nearly everywhere I've had to pitch a tent. Yes, they are of little use when pitching a tent in grass but seldom do I get that luxury, especially when pitching one here in the west. If the campsite has been prepared at all, the surface is usually a unweathered crushed gravel that will easily poke several dozen holes in the bottom of the tent in a single night. Fixing one hole may be easy but fixing dozens becomes a chore.

Even when pitching on grass, the footprint traps some of the water and keeps the bottom of the tent drier. I've been able to fold the rest of the tent up and pack it away without getting the all of the tent wet because I can pack the wet footprint separately.
__________________
Stuart Black
Plan Epsilon Around Lake Michigan in the era of Covid
Old School…When It Wasn’t Ancient bikepacking
Gold Fever Three days of dirt in Colorado
Pokin' around the Poconos A cold ride around Lake Erie
Dinosaurs in Colorado A mountain bike guide to the Purgatory Canyon dinosaur trackway
Solo Without Pie. The search for pie in the Midwest.
Picking the Scablands. Washington and Oregon, 2005. Pie and spiders on the Columbia River!



cyccommute is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 01:50 PM
  #15  
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 16,697

Bikes: '18 class built steel roadbike, '19 Fairlight Secan, '88 Schwinn Premis , Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara Trionfo

Mentioned: 124 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 11044 Post(s)
Liked 7,593 Times in 4,234 Posts
Originally Posted by sprocketss
Everyone, thanks for all great suggestions, they're gold, especially the conflicting opinions, experiences and point of view. I really appreciate that, as I am forced to consider other options instead of my working from my assumptions. Looks like I am not ready to checkout.
Do your homework and consider everything carefully as wasting money or mis-purchasing gear is never fun.
With that said, there are a seemingly limitless number of camping and touring products on the market. It is very easy to struggle to decide when there are so many choices and each is slightly different from the others. At some point, you just need to buy and try.

A great thing about Amazon Prime is itll arrive in 2 days and you can send it back for free if it isn't what you like. I tried a few air pads this way the last time I bought one.
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 01:59 PM
  #16  
Miles to Go
 
timdow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: San Diego
Posts: 711

Bikes: 2022 Juiced Crosscurrent X, 2022 Fuji Touring, 1998 Schwinn Moab (drop bar conversion), 2010 LHT (Stolen)

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 151 Post(s)
Liked 145 Times in 95 Posts
Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Do your homework and consider everything carefully as wasting money or mis-purchasing gear is never fun.
With that said, there are a seemingly limitless number of camping and touring products on the market. It is very easy to struggle to decide when there are so many choices and each is slightly different from the others. At some point, you just need to buy and try.

A great thing about Amazon Prime is itll arrive in 2 days and you can send it back for free if it isn't what you like. I tried a few air pads this way the last time I bought one.
Ditto for purchasing at REI/REI.com. One year RETURN PRIVILEGE... and competitively priced if on sale/clearance.
timdow is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 04:15 PM
  #17  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,878
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1253 Post(s)
Liked 764 Times in 567 Posts
Thanks for the mention and complements on my article.

On the Spitfire tents... I love the Spitfire 1. It is inexpensive and very light especially for the price. If you ditch the heavy stakes that come with it and use the minimum number of MSR needle stakes the weight gets down to 2 pounds 9 ounces and is competitive with much more expensive tents. Some taller people find it confining. The space inside is pretty long if you don't mind your head and feet being in the narrow tapering ends. I personally find it roomy enough and have even backpacked sharing it with a 55 pound dog. I don't tend to take much gear inside though.

The Spitfire 2 is much longer and roomier, but heavier as well. People who need extra space and/or length may prefer it. I prefer the smaller lighter solo one.

I have actually gone a step further and use a bivy or bug bivy and tarp on most trips.

Personally I skip the footprints. I see no reason to buy an expensive footprint. I used to use a piece of plastic or tyvek for a ground sheet, but decided that even they were not necessary. I have toured and backpacked over a good portion of the US in many different locales and conditions with no ground sheet and have not been sorry I left it home.

On the sleeping bags with no insulation on the bottom. I did not find that they work especially well for me. The ones I have seen or tried wind up actually being colder and heavier than a slimmer cut bag with insulation all around. If there is no insulation on the bottom either you have to stay on your back or the bag needs to stay put and you need to roll inside it. That may work well for some, but I found that I much prefer a bag that rolls with me. It can be slimmer cut and thus weigh less IME. My approach isn't for everyone though.

Last edited by staehpj1; 09-21-15 at 04:21 PM.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 05:32 PM
  #18  
Senior Member
 
Doug64's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Oregon
Posts: 6,495
Mentioned: 31 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1185 Post(s)
Liked 842 Times in 438 Posts
Originally Posted by MassiveD
Footprints are bogus, just an expensive add on that has little practical value. A built in floor is already fine, I have never worn one out and I have tents that are older than 30 years. If one did wear a hole in a floor it is an easy fix anyway. I am assuming reasonable ground conditions, like grass or flat rock, if one always camped on granite or something it might make a difference. Occasional camping on such surfaces is not a problem.
I use a very light sil-nylon ground cloth.
Doug64 is offline  
Old 09-21-15, 07:12 PM
  #19  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 208
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 29 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I like the Spitfire tents and have used both the 1 and the 2When I was 240lbs, I found the 1 a bit small for me at 5'10" when I wanted all my gear inside with me. The Spitfire 2 feels cavernous in comparison - even when I was "trapped inside by weather" for a full day with 4 panniers.

For me, a ground cloth is a necessary "evil". I bought what was available for the Spitfire 1. Unfortunately, there is no commercially available, custom made ground cloth for the Spitfire 2. Like others, I made my own from Tyvek. Works great, though a bit heavier than I would prefer.

So, what do I use? I switch back and forth between the two tents depending on the trip length and the weather. On short trips, I use the single person tent; on longer trips, I take the bigger tent. Either way, I always take the ground cloths.

The ONLY disadvantage I have have found with both is they are not free-standing. But I have never not been able to pitch them - even on a rock. Just find a way to put weight on the guy line ends or tie them to something.

YMMV

Last edited by dual650c; 09-21-15 at 07:15 PM.
dual650c is offline  
Old 09-22-15, 06:39 AM
  #20  
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2012
Location: Golden, CO and Tucson, AZ
Posts: 2,848

Bikes: 2012 Specialized Elite Disc, 1983 Trek 520

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 679 Post(s)
Liked 754 Times in 434 Posts
Contributing to the thread drift, I no longer use a ground sheet either. I hiked the Appalachian Trail, the Continental Divide Trail and the Arizona Trail (the last two have very challenging rocky desert and tundra terrain for tenting), hundreds of nights in one silnylon-floored Tarptent. The tent eventually failed (on the last night of a Northern Tier bike tour) when a guy line ripped at a corner. The floor was the least-worn part of the tent!

Why bring another sheet and have to pack up two wet dirty things in the morning? My tenting got better as I learned to select well-drained sites and I left the ground sheet at home.
andrewclaus is offline  
Old 09-22-15, 08:36 AM
  #21  
Senior Member
 
tarwheel's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 8,896

Bikes: Waterford RST-22, Bob Jackson World Tour, Ritchey Breakaway Cross, Soma Saga, De Bernardi SL, Specialized Sequoia

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 196 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 6 Times in 4 Posts
I have Ortlieb Roller Classic panniers, both front and rear, and I am very pleased with them. They are waterproof, so no need for rain covers. Altho more expensive than the Axioms, you can get reasonable prices for Ortliebs if you shop on line. They are very easy to install and remove. They do not have separate compartments, but you can organize gear with stuff sacks or ziplock bags.

My tent is an REI Quarter Dome, which I bought on sale for a great price. If my budget were higher, I would have gotten a Big Agnes Copper Spur 2, which is extremely light weight and compact. My REI tent weighs about 1 lb more than the Big Agnes, but cost about half as much.

For bike touring, I think it's worth paying more for gear that is lighter weight and compact, if you can afford it. My first attempt at loaded touring was a fail because my camping gear was too heavy and bulky. So far, I have refrained by buying expensive cooking gear. I prefer to eat out at restaurants or eat simple food that does not require cooking.
tarwheel is offline  
Old 09-22-15, 10:04 AM
  #22  
Senior Member
 
staehpj1's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Tallahassee, FL
Posts: 11,878
Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1253 Post(s)
Liked 764 Times in 567 Posts
Originally Posted by dual650c
When I was 240lbs, I found the 1 a bit small for me at 5'10" when I wanted all my gear inside with me. The Spitfire 2 feels cavernous in comparison - even when I was "trapped inside by weather" for a full day with 4 panniers.
Yeah, I can see where that could be an issue. When I use panniers I leave them on the bike with most of my gear in them. When I don't use panniers I am carrying little enough gear that it takes up very little room. So space in the 1 isn't a problem for me.

Originally Posted by dual650c
The ONLY disadvantage I have have found with both is they are not free-standing. But I have never not been able to pitch them - even on a rock. Just find a way to put weight on the guy line ends or tie them to something.
Yeah, not fully freestanding, but as you say it isn't a problem. It even pitches fine on concrete under a pavilion roof, you just need to stake out the two end points. You can always find to places to tie it out between.
staehpj1 is offline  
Old 09-22-15, 10:27 AM
  #23  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 43,598

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 197 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7607 Post(s)
Liked 1,357 Times in 863 Posts
Originally Posted by Doug64
I use a very light sil-nylon ground cloth.
I cut a piece of plastic Vapor barrier , and it is smaller than the bottom of the tent
so rainwater does not flow under, on top of the groundcloth to Puddle under the tent ,

[with the exception of when the stream I Camped near which Flooded out my campsite , overnight.]
fietsbob is offline  
Old 09-22-15, 10:32 AM
  #24  
Senior Member
 
bikemig's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Middle Earth (aka IA)
Posts: 20,441

Bikes: A bunch of old bikes and a few new ones

Mentioned: 178 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5893 Post(s)
Liked 3,480 Times in 2,081 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz
I'm disappointed. I thought this thread was going to be about touring while wearing a matching or pro kit.
There's still time to derail this thread,

To the OP: it would be great to see a ride report once you pick up your touring kit and go on a tour to see what worked and what didn't work.
bikemig is offline  
Old 09-23-15, 04:04 AM
  #25  
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 141
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Originally Posted by bikemig
There's still time to derail this thread,

To the OP: it would be great to see a ride report once you pick up your touring kit and go on a tour to see what worked and what didn't work.
The Gear is on it's way and I hope to do some fall / late fall touring in Nova Scotia and report.
sprocketss is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service -

Copyright © 2024 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.