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Four season shelter

Old 02-16-20, 06:09 AM
  #1  
Mark Hoaglund
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Four season shelter

Any suggestions for a portable folding compact unit with high R Value thus low U Value for summer cooling and winter heating while cycle touring.
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Old 02-16-20, 08:21 AM
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It seems that a tent designed to keep heat in isn't going to work that well in the summer.

It's only going to be useful if it happens to be warmer outside than 98.6 degrees.

If the outside temperature is cooler than your body temperature, keeping your body heat inside might not be what you want.

Also, the higher-R tent doesn't prevent the flow of heat (it just slows it a bit). That means it might keep you cooler in the summer for a a rather short time (if it really does anything at all).

What is most likely able to keep you cool in the summer is air movement, which winter tents seem to be designed to minimize.

Plus, winter tents are heavier.

It seems really unusual for people to use winter tents in the summer. Maybe, because they don't work very well for use then.

Last edited by njkayaker; 02-16-20 at 08:33 AM.
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Old 02-16-20, 08:52 AM
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If you found a tent with a high amount of insulation rating, it would weigh a LOT more than the sleeping bag that you use in a non-insulated tent. And such a tent would be a lot bigger than your pannier could hold.

Decades ago it was common for good tents for winter use to also work well in summer because they had windows that could be zipped open or closed to adjust the amount of ventilation you get in the tent. But now most tents are designed to be much lighter weight and are more specialized for the season that they were designed for. The older tents that worked well in both winter and summer weighed a lot more than modern summer tents.
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Old 02-16-20, 09:37 AM
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Perhaps this 6mm fabric YT video has the solution search: Aero Gel - Fabric presentation
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Old 02-16-20, 10:34 AM
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For some fun how about a Ozark Trail or Guide Gear teepee tepee tipi or bivy sack with aerogel fabric?
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Old 02-16-20, 11:49 AM
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You'd be better off getting a basic double-walled three season tent to use year-round (something that could be 'closed up' in storms/ opened up for ventilation on warm sun-shiney days), and adjusting your sleeping bag system. Either have two sleeping bags (winter-weight and a summer bag), or one sleeping bag that has enough room in it so you can wear your insulated clothes while in it at night in the winter. I used to camp quite a bit in both winter and summer, and both sleeping bag systems worked well for me. Just my two-cents worth of experience.
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Old 02-16-20, 12:52 PM
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When dome tents first came out for climbing (well, when I became aware of them in the 80's) the better ones had a fly with a reflective silver coating. Faced inside for winter to reflect heat back in and out for summer to deflect sun rays. I don't know about winter but it seemed to help in the summer.
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Old 02-16-20, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
You'd be better off getting a basic double-walled three season tent to use year-round (something that could be 'closed up' in storms/ opened up for ventilation on warm sun-shiney days), and adjusting your sleeping bag system. Either have two sleeping bags (winter-weight and a summer bag), or one sleeping bag that has enough room in it so you can wear your insulated clothes while in it at night in the winter. I used to camp quite a bit in both winter and summer, and both sleeping bag systems worked well for me. Just my two-cents worth of experience.
I've used the system you outlined, and it works well for balancing weight of tent and bag with the expected conditions. Any time you are carrying your gear, whether on a bike or your back, weight is important. IMO the most important variable is the sleeping bag.

I have 4 bags: 45F (7C), 25F (4C), 0F (-18C), and -20F (-29C). We have a good 4-season tent. We also have a couple of of 3-season tents: a lightweight roomy 2-person, , and an ultra light 2-person that is pretty cozy. The warmest we have experienced while bike touring is above 100 F (38C); and the coldest while climbing and winter camping was -16F (-27C). We just matched the tent and bag to the worst expected conditions. I must admit, we did not always guess correctly. The coldest we have expeienced on long bike tours between May and October was a little below freezing. The only reason I can think of where a 4 season tent/ shelter might be desirable is if your tour includes summer and winter conditions.

This is our old 4-season "expedition" tent , which weighed in at almost 8 lbs, and with the addition vestibule, only rarely used, it weighed about 10 pounds. Our newer 4-season tent is just a little over 6 lbs. The wind was so strong that day we had to use some of our anchor webbing to hold the tent down.



Much nicer day


Our "lightweingt" 3-season tent (4 lbs) has been used in temps over 100 F down to below 0F


The same tent in southern Portugal with temps in the 90s.

Last edited by Doug64; 02-18-20 at 12:40 AM.
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Old 02-16-20, 07:02 PM
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I was thinking about the basic Cooling & Heating Loss Formula (Square Foot Area) x (U-Value) x (F. Temperature Difference) = BTU's per Hour. Every kWh contains 3,413 BTU's of heating energy and one pound of wood is 8600 BTU's.

Used a simple swamp cooler the last few years. I like Paul Elkins video of designs
with coroplast and foam sheets.

As for aerogel clothing I'll have to read up on it https://www.orosapparel.com The mens XL parka I glanced at was $210 USD.

This year I'm going to try Mylar emergency blankets to increase R-Value.
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Old 02-17-20, 03:05 PM
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Aerogel video
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Old 02-18-20, 12:05 AM
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Originally Posted by skidder View Post
You'd be better off getting a basic double-walled three season tent to use year-round (something that could be 'closed up' in storms/ opened up for ventilation on warm sun-shiney days), and adjusting your sleeping bag system. Either have two sleeping bags (winter-weight and a summer bag), or one sleeping bag that has enough room in it so you can wear your insulated clothes while in it at night in the winter. I used to camp quite a bit in both winter and summer, and both sleeping bag systems worked well for me. Just my two-cents worth of experience.
This is what I do. I use a 3 season tent, all year round., A minus 5 Celcius sleeping bag, a S2S liner and an insulated 3cm self inflating mat. And it works for both warm and cold conditions. A 3 season tent would suit you best., I use the liner on it's own if it is a warm night.
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Old 02-18-20, 04:51 AM
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My tent version is a little simpler & smaller:
Homemade Evap./Swamp Air Cooler - DIY AC (air cooler) - Low tech. Very Effective
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Old 02-18-20, 05:35 AM
  #13  
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I was going to type my little essay on shelter systems, but in a flash I saw where the OP was heading towards.



Sounds like your spitballing abunch of solutions looking for a problem. Could you indulge us with your bicycle touring plans that require such a 12 month out kind of shelter?
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Old 02-18-20, 08:15 PM
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This home utility grid swamp cooler is replaced with my smaller tent run 6Wh solar panel charging a 44Wh battery using a 0.4Wh USB fan.

Another camper variation is:
Solar Bicycle Camper - The Pedal-Powered Motorhome
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Old 02-19-20, 01:35 AM
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Aerogel clothing update which I find impressive:

Oros Orion Series Kickstarter
Using NASA space suit technology, OROS brings you awesome performance outerwear. Thin and warm. No compromises.
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Old 02-19-20, 03:29 AM
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Where you sleep is much more important than what you sleep in. I've spent quite a few nights at around 60 degrees with nothing more than the rainfly from my tent covering me -- no sleeping bag, no nothing else at all. Pretty much anything above 60 degrees I need nothing else -- if I choose a wise campsite location where the bugs are not a factor. Anytime the temp is above 60 degrees, My 32 degree down bag is too much for me. Once the overnight lows start to get up toward 70 degrees than being inside a tent is too darn humid. Granted if the overnight low is around 70 than it means you have high humidity -- low humidity equals a big temperature drop off while high humidity means the temperature fluctuates very little throughout a 24 hour cycle.

Simply instead of looking for something with a lot of U value try to look at how and where you sleep and adjust it to the weather conditions. You can carry far less gear and enjoy the trip a lot more if you learn to wisen up and make smarter choices. I never spend a night in a campground. I pretty much always spend the night underneath an overhang of some type so I don't have to worry about needing rain cover, the overhang provides the cover so even when it rains most of the time I don't bother to set up the tent and I still stay high and dry. Choose your campsite wisely and save money and save the hassle of needing a 4-season elephant to carry in your panniers.
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Old 02-19-20, 10:00 AM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
Where you sleep is much more important than what you sleep in. I've spent quite a few nights at around 60 degrees with nothing more than the rainfly from my tent covering me -- no sleeping bag, no nothing else at all. Pretty much anything above 60 degrees I need nothing else -- if I choose a wise campsite location where the bugs are not a factor. Anytime the temp is above 60 degrees, My 32 degree down bag is too much for me. Once the overnight lows start to get up toward 70 degrees than being inside a tent is too darn humid. Granted if the overnight low is around 70 than it means you have high humidity -- low humidity equals a big temperature drop off while high humidity means the temperature fluctuates very little throughout a 24 hour cycle.

Simply instead of looking for something with a lot of U value try to look at how and where you sleep and adjust it to the weather conditions. You can carry far less gear and enjoy the trip a lot more if you learn to wisen up and make smarter choices. I never spend a night in a campground. I pretty much always spend the night underneath an overhang of some type so I don't have to worry about needing rain cover, the overhang provides the cover so even when it rains most of the time I don't bother to set up the tent and I still stay high and dry. Choose your campsite wisely and save money and save the hassle of needing a 4-season elephant to carry in your panniers.
That sounds great.. except when it isn't.

So, you can only tour in areas that are bug free, around 60 degrees or warmer, have overhangs, places to sleep other than campgrounds...

Your idea precludes most of Western Europe, Canada in the summer and spring and fall, Iceland all the time, Southeast Asia... and stealth camping is not allowed in most National and Provincial/State parks.

And in my experience truly rain protecting overhangs are few and far between in more isolated areas so you will be compromising your ride based on the need to stop at those that are available. Good luck along the major mountain pass tour routes in my region. Good luck on the Prairies. It sounds like you are primarily describing a narrow strip of the US during summer in urban areas where you can sleep under alcoves, doorways and under bridges... Why limit yourself to such a narrow range and live like a hobo all for want of carrying a tent and sleeping bag? It's supposed to be a vacation.

There are times when one can get away with very little. We have about a 6 week window in late July August when warm weather is stable and I can use a bivy sac and over bag when not in the mountains. But that's about it. After that you take a risk going too light. A prairie storm comes up quick and soaks you and there is not recourse to shelter if you aren't near a town. I got hit by snow in May last year on what was supposed to be a warm week. It snowed in Jasper in July last year, dumping 20cm of snow on the Icefield Parkway the day I was supposed to cross the summit with 700c slicks (but circumstance changed my plans).
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Old 02-19-20, 10:50 AM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
. I pretty much always spend the night underneath an overhang of some type so I don't have to worry about needing rain cover, the overhang provides the cover so even when it rains most of the time I don't bother to set up the tent and I still stay high and dry.
I thought I was being smart. The rain was definitely coming later that night so I found a bridge under a Kansas state highway to stay dry. Unfortunately, there was some sort of tunnel effect under the bridge where the rain came in sideways and the wind was so high that it pulled all my tent stakes out of the ground. I was left floundering around in the dark trying to get out of my tent to locate the tent stakes. So yes, pick your spots wisely.
p.s. In the midwest, if you don't use a tent you will likely be eaten alive by bugs during the summer.
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Old 02-19-20, 03:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
That sounds great.. except when it isn't.

So, you can only tour in areas that are bug free, around 60 degrees or warmer, have overhangs, places to sleep other than campgrounds...

Your idea precludes most of Western Europe, Canada in the summer and spring and fall, Iceland all the time, Southeast Asia... and stealth camping is not allowed in most National and Provincial/State parks.

And in my experience truly rain protecting overhangs are few and far between in more isolated areas so you will be compromising your ride based on the need to stop at those that are available. Good luck along the major mountain pass tour routes in my region. Good luck on the Prairies. It sounds like you are primarily describing a narrow strip of the US during summer in urban areas where you can sleep under alcoves, doorways and under bridges... Why limit yourself to such a narrow range and live like a hobo all for want of carrying a tent and sleeping bag? It's supposed to be a vacation.

There are times when one can get away with very little. We have about a 6 week window in late July August when warm weather is stable and I can use a bivy sac and over bag when not in the mountains. But that's about it. After that you take a risk going too light. A prairie storm comes up quick and soaks you and there is not recourse to shelter if you aren't near a town. I got hit by snow in May last year on what was supposed to be a warm week. It snowed in Jasper in July last year, dumping 20cm of snow on the Icefield Parkway the day I was supposed to cross the summit with 700c slicks (but circumstance changed my plans).
I don't have a passport so I don't have to worry about traveling anywhere but the USA. I have never slept under a bridge. Typically I spend the night at churches, fairgrounds, town parks, baseball dugouts, store fronts/backs, pretty much anywhere I can find a decent overhang out of the way of the people. I go to bed late and get up nice and early. I spend time at a campsite sleeping, not wasting time. The amount of time I spend at a campsite not sleeping is measure in mere minutes, long enough to setup and tear down camp and that is about it. The rest of the day I spend riding or planning out the next day. I never have a trip planned out ahead of time. I plan from one day to the next.

In 2015 I rode all states east of the Rockies, and was in 20 state capitals during the 8200 mile bike trip. My set up works quite well. I did have a 32 degree down bag with me but I used it only a couple of times toward the end of the trip.

The mosquitoes in the midwest are not bad, at least not from what I have seen thus far. You stay away from water and stay away from grass and then bugs will stay away from you. Hence why I had a free standing tent with me and I always camped out on blacktop or concrete. I wanted to keep me away from grassy surfaces which give off dew overnight and make everything nice and wet. I never had to dry anything out, it always stayed dry since I always stayed off the grass.

Remember if no one knows your at the campsite then more than likely you will be left alone overnight and not have to deal with the cops or anybody else. Out of 75 nights out in 2015 I only had 3 nights where I saw the cops, the first one was because I was at a place I didn't want to be but I had no other decent choices around New Orleans other the river trial, national park property. The second time because I spent the night at another not first choice location thanks to the rain around the area making me move to a second rate location so I could have an overhang. The third time I was at the desired location, a church, on a Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. First time I ever had cleaning crew show up at 3:30AM. I only had the rain fly draped over me and the woman thought I was a dead body laying there I didn't move when she pulled up either time and the cops and I had one heck of a good laugh over it. Other than New Orleans I didn't get kicked out of either of the other two spots, they checked my ID and left me head back to sleep.

Yeah, I have a tendency to plan my ride around the weather not around anything else. In 2015 I could have headed to my mom's house when I left Annapolis but since she was dealing with flooding which I knew meant plenty of rain was falling I instead looked at the weather maps and headed to where it looked like it would stay dry. I knew I would need to give it a month for the weather pattern to change and for things to dry out around her place so I spent 5+ weeks on the road before I ever made it her house, when in reality it should have only taken me 4-5 days to make it to her house.

When you have freedom, you have the freedom to change to your plans and not ride on a fixed schedule, no matter what happens. I enjoy the freedom because I know freedom IS free, slavery costs money. I spend very little money, so I can enjoy the freedom. Hence why the next big trip I do will not be by bike. Bikes costs too much money. Their is a cheaper, much sweeter way of traveling, which I have already did in the past, just not as extreme as what I will do it this time. I won't put up with the hassles of all the things which can go wrong by getting rid of all the things which can go wrong. Since I won't be doing 'big mile' days, even though they will be big mile days only in totally different context of what a big mile day is.

If you want a nice vacation why are you riding a bicycle? I thought cycling was work. If you are on a vacation you aren't suppose to work, you are suppose to be relaxing. Enjoying the hot tub in the hotel room, not hanging out at some stupid old campground in the rain.
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Old 02-19-20, 04:46 PM
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^^^^
We all look at life and what is enjoyable differently, and that is a good thing

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Old 02-19-20, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by bikenh View Post
I don't have a passport so I don't have to worry about traveling anywhere but the USA. I have never slept under a bridge. Typically I spend the night at churches, fairgrounds, town parks, baseball dugouts, store fronts/backs, pretty much anywhere I can find a decent overhang out of the way of the people. I go to bed late and get up nice and early. I spend time at a campsite sleeping, not wasting time. The amount of time I spend at a campsite not sleeping is measure in mere minutes, long enough to setup and tear down camp and that is about it. The rest of the day I spend riding or planning out the next day. I never have a trip planned out ahead of time. I plan from one day to the next.

In 2015 I rode all states east of the Rockies, and was in 20 state capitals during the 8200 mile bike trip. My set up works quite well. I did have a 32 degree down bag with me but I used it only a couple of times toward the end of the trip.

The mosquitoes in the midwest are not bad, at least not from what I have seen thus far. You stay away from water and stay away from grass and then bugs will stay away from you. Hence why I had a free standing tent with me and I always camped out on blacktop or concrete. I wanted to keep me away from grassy surfaces which give off dew overnight and make everything nice and wet. I never had to dry anything out, it always stayed dry since I always stayed off the grass.

Remember if no one knows your at the campsite then more than likely you will be left alone overnight and not have to deal with the cops or anybody else. Out of 75 nights out in 2015 I only had 3 nights where I saw the cops, the first one was because I was at a place I didn't want to be but I had no other decent choices around New Orleans other the river trial, national park property. The second time because I spent the night at another not first choice location thanks to the rain around the area making me move to a second rate location so I could have an overhang. The third time I was at the desired location, a church, on a Tuesday night/Wednesday morning. First time I ever had cleaning crew show up at 3:30AM. I only had the rain fly draped over me and the woman thought I was a dead body laying there I didn't move when she pulled up either time and the cops and I had one heck of a good laugh over it. Other than New Orleans I didn't get kicked out of either of the other two spots, they checked my ID and left me head back to sleep.

Yeah, I have a tendency to plan my ride around the weather not around anything else. In 2015 I could have headed to my mom's house when I left Annapolis but since she was dealing with flooding which I knew meant plenty of rain was falling I instead looked at the weather maps and headed to where it looked like it would stay dry. I knew I would need to give it a month for the weather pattern to change and for things to dry out around her place so I spent 5+ weeks on the road before I ever made it her house, when in reality it should have only taken me 4-5 days to make it to her house.

When you have freedom, you have the freedom to change to your plans and not ride on a fixed schedule, no matter what happens. I enjoy the freedom because I know freedom IS free, slavery costs money. I spend very little money, so I can enjoy the freedom. Hence why the next big trip I do will not be by bike. Bikes costs too much money. Their is a cheaper, much sweeter way of traveling, which I have already did in the past, just not as extreme as what I will do it this time. I won't put up with the hassles of all the things which can go wrong by getting rid of all the things which can go wrong. Since I won't be doing 'big mile' days, even though they will be big mile days only in totally different context of what a big mile day is.

If you want a nice vacation why are you riding a bicycle? I thought cycling was work. If you are on a vacation you aren't suppose to work, you are suppose to be relaxing. Enjoying the hot tub in the hotel room, not hanging out at some stupid old campground in the rain.
Ok.. I guess.

Freedom to me means having a passport and being able to travel anywhere in the world that I want and not having to arrive late and leave early everyday so other people won't detect my presence. Different strokes for different folks.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 02-19-20 at 04:57 PM.
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Old 02-19-20, 06:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Mark Hoaglund View Post
Aerogel clothing update which I find impressive:

Oros Orion Series Kickstarter
Using NASA space suit technology, OROS brings you awesome performance outerwear. Thin and warm. No compromises. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiqs55IMdiI
Are you looking for advice/answers or promoting Aerogel?

In winter I use two lightweight sleeping bags one inside the other. With that setup I can use one of the sleeping bags in warmer weather thereby cutting down on needing space to store multiple season dedicated sleeping bags. I often winter camp with just a tent fly set up on about a 45 degree angle over the area I'm sleeping on. I can see the stars and critters that way.

Cheers
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Old 02-19-20, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Ok.. I guess.

Freedom to me means having a passport and being able to travel anywhere in the world that I want and not having to arrive late and leave early everyday so other people won't detect my presence. Different strokes for different folks.
I guess you have to want to travel the world before a passport has any desire to it. I guess I prefer to sleep when it is nice and comfortable not still blazing hot. I guess I prefer to set up the camp as much as possible outside of the stormy weather which normally occurs in the early evening hours, generally by the time I go to bed the storms have moved out. I guess I enjoy not having to feel guilty about making noise when I wake up early in the morning so I can spend at least part of the day riding while the temperatures are still nice and cool. I guess I enjoy riding not having to waste time during the day drying out wet gear due to sleeping on dewy grass. I guess I enjoy not spending money on campgrounds so I have more free time to go on longer trips thanks to not having to get back to a dead end job. I guess enjoy not having drunk/party-hardy campers set up around me making noise all night long(in 75 nights out in 2015, I never shared a campsite location with anyone, I enjoyed peace and quiet instead). As you say, different strokes for different folks.
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Old 02-19-20, 07:18 PM
  #24  
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I'm not against how you choose to tour, it sounds like a page right out of unsupported bikepack racing like the Trans Am - but in your initial post you made it sound like the OP and other participants here should spend less time trying to discuss comprehensive options for shelter and warmth in favor of traveling minimally light instead. Yet for all of that you also admit to seeking overhangs while carrying a free standing tent and hauled a sleeping bag over 8000 miles only to use it a couple of times. So, in the grand scheme of things, who's really carrying a lot of stuff they rarely use?

It's cool to do what you want to do as this is a hobby and not an occupation or contest but you seem to really have a negative attitude for those who don't see things from your narrow perspective. There are lots of worthwhile options for touring, socializing and employment other than staying in limited geographic locales, camping alone and choosing dead end jobs to return to. It's fine if that's what you truly choose, but if that's what you choose because that's all you can do it's not really freedom.
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Old 02-19-20, 08:07 PM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Are you looking for advice/answers or promoting Aerogel?

In winter I use two lightweight sleeping bags one inside the other. With that setup I can use one of the sleeping bags in warmer weather thereby cutting down on needing space to store multiple season dedicated sleeping bags. I often winter camp with just a tent fly set up on about a 45 degree angle over the area I'm sleeping on. I can see the stars and critters that way.

Cheers
Like this and some others I use a layer system. Years ago when climbing I invested in a gortex bivi sac, at the time good quality quallofil bag and Chouinard thinsulate over bag. By adding or subtracting I can go from summer to winter. The quallofil bag has some tears along the zipper but the rest are all going strong nearly 40 years later.. Boy, did I just feel old

My first serious bag system was a Canadian army surplus double down sleeping bag. Very warm but way to heavy and bulky.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 02-19-20 at 08:13 PM.
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