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considering touring -- Need Help!

Old 03-20-08, 10:24 AM
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ok, so I'm looking at gear for some local touring this summer and for hopefully longer, more intense, tours once I get more experience a year or so down the road.
What do you guys think of this sleeping bag/tent combo for solo touring? I won't be doing any winter camping, but I'm not sure if the sleeping bag will be enough... (rated to -10C)
sleeping bag
https://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1206029984243

tent
https://www.mec.ca/Products/product_d...=1206029967195


thanks

PS. My LBS (it's the only place in the GTA that sells SUrly...) hasn't gotten any LHTs in my size yet, so I'm still waiting to test drive one.
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Old 03-20-08, 10:50 AM
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The sleeping bag looks like overkill for where I tour. Will you be going somewhere that is cold or touring in cold weather? For most summer touring in the US I would think that a 20 or 30 degree bag would be plenty.
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Old 03-20-08, 03:44 PM
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I might do some fall and/or spring touring so I want a sleeping bag that is more versatile. Plus, the tall version (fits up to 6'6"-I'm 6'2") is only like 950 grams (sounds light to me...).

About the tent: do you think it's too heavy for touring? It apparently weighs 2.8kg (6.1lbs). The good news is that it's been reviewed as a sturdy, reliable, and weather-resistant tent. Do you think it's a good buy?
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Old 03-20-08, 04:36 PM
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search this forum for american tent's v europian tents
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Old 03-21-08, 09:36 AM
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Originally Posted by staehpj1
The sleeping bag looks like overkill for where I tour. Will you be going somewhere that is cold or touring in cold weather? For most summer touring in the US I would think that a 20 or 30 degree bag would be plenty.
I agree. I bought my sleeping bag rated at 20, and you can easily purchase inner linings that add an extra 10+ degrees to your bag.

Something else to consider: Down bags can't get wet. They lose all of their warmth and comfort. If you plan correctly there should be no reason that this happens, but... it is one thing to keep in mind. My sister swears by her down bag, I go synthetic.

As for the tent, it looks good. Think about how much stuff you want to bring and where it will go. For me, I also wanted to be able to use it in the future, so I bought a "Three Person Tent" that, realistically, is quite comfy for two. It added another 1-2 pounds to my weight, but training for my tour I have already lost about 10 pounds of 'padding' from my midsection anyway! This one looks to be a "Two Person Tent" suitable for one, so check the reviews and make sure it is what you want.

Height: In my experience you cannot buy a sleeping bag or a tent that is too long. I'm 6'4" and I bought a tent with another pound of weight, but with about eight extra inches of length. Camping with my head/feat/arms/hands touching one of the walls, especially when it is cold or rainy, is really uncomfortable. I'll take the extra weight along with a better night's sleep, thank you.

This forum site is LOADED with great info and very knowledgeable people. Take advantage of it; read old threads, keep asking questions. The only reason I feel ready for my tour (gaa! three weeks!) is because of BikeForums.

Hope it helps!
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Old 03-21-08, 09:59 AM
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Originally Posted by cupcrazy4
I might do some fall and/or spring touring so I want a sleeping bag that is more versatile. Plus, the tall version (fits up to 6'6"-I'm 6'2") is only like 950 grams (sounds light to me...).

About the tent: do you think it's too heavy for touring? It apparently weighs 2.8kg (6.1lbs). The good news is that it's been reviewed as a sturdy, reliable, and weather-resistant tent. Do you think it's a good buy?
I am not familiar with that specific model. It looks like a fairly nice tent. It is a bit on the heavy side, but very roomy for one. I can see it working, but would probably look for something a bit lighter myself if I was shopping. If I already had it I would probably just use it.
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Old 03-22-08, 08:02 AM
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Man, this thread reminds me of my first (and so far only) tour.... I was at summer camp and we toured the San Juan Islands of WA state. Beautifull.... I just realy wish I hadn't been such a fat kid....I want to do a bunch of weekend (2-3 day) trips locally.... Man, you just had to get my juices going, didnt you!

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Old 03-28-08, 05:50 PM
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You should think of buying a down sleeping bag with a higher temp. rating (0 Cel.; cheaper) and an insulated liner, that way you can bring the bag only or both, when you expect cold temp.'s. The tent looks fine but you'll probably be sleeping diagonally considering you're height. Maybe MEC will have one set up so you can try one out. Try also MEC's swap section on their website; you may find a good deal on a tent and bag. They should be having a swap gear day coming up very soon; it's held in their underground parking garage. Also there's an outing store in T.O. (Europe Bound?) that sell's off their rental equipment from time to time.
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Old 03-29-08, 03:59 PM
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I'm going to agree with those who recommend a high quality synthetic bag over down. It's true that down really cannot get wet. If you tour long enough, you will eventually get soaked. You will get into a situation where you have no choice but to ride thirty miles through a monsoon, and no matter what you do, you can't keep things dry. Maybe you can keep the most important valuables dry in a special bag, but the main storage area in your panniers doesn't stay dry.

Since I am a somewhat older bike tour guy who has a credit card with him and can afford a hotel, I do trips without sleeping gear. I have a tiny synthetic bag good only to 55F (about 13C) that I can take with me, and I have two lightweight tent options I can take with me, including one that is called a bivvy sac, made of gortex. However, for a longer trip, I am going to take something minimal with me, but I am not going to try to cook on the trip.

Synthetic is not quite as light or compact as down, but the difference isn't that great. I think of down as being for the more extreme expeditions, like the 3- or 4-season mountain expeditions. Bike touring just isn't that. You can afford to carry some more luxuries on a bike. There are people that overdo it, of course, but for those making it a lifestyle, they are not that worried about getting there fast, and they want to have a few comforts.

Many bike touring folks love the mobility of a bike, but are not necessarily trying to cover huge distances. It is travel, not a stunt. A travel pattern I like is to find a base and stay there for a few days, taking side trips. For example, if you cross a region in Europe, you can stay in a hostel, hotel, or campground that you like and do all the nearby day trips for a few days, then move onto the next city. For your day trips, you ride the bicycle unloaded.

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Old 03-29-08, 04:22 PM
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Originally Posted by cupcrazy4
After a lot of online research, planning with my friends, and introspection I've decided I'm not going on the trip.
Oh FFS! The youth of today. I'd kill for the opportunity to do something like that. Lack of planning = freedom to do as you choose. Wind = challenge. Bunch of mates on tour = life changing experience.

You only get one life mate. Make the most of it. Say yes. Go to Iceland, because before you know it you'll be stuck behind a desk wondering why it all went wrong.
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Old 03-29-08, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by caldini
Oh FFS! The youth of today. I'd kill for the opportunity to do something like that. Lack of planning = freedom to do as you choose. Wind = challenge. Bunch of mates on tour = life changing experience.

You only get one life mate. Make the most of it. Say yes. Go to Iceland, because before you know it you'll be stuck behind a desk wondering why it all went wrong.
This is true. If you don't go to Iceland, do a good, long tour. Where are you located?
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Old 03-29-08, 06:51 PM
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Wear Wool
Sit on leather
Ride lugged steel

Please check out the articles on: https://www.rivbike.com/

I would go with the used steel road/touring bike route. Use downtube or bar-end shifters, you don't need lightning-fast shifts and they're cheaper to replace if ever have an issue. Get a leather Brooks saddle and break it in well, you can wear almost anything and be comfortable.
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Old 03-30-08, 06:59 AM
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Originally Posted by TeamRoundBoys
Please check out the articles on: https://www.rivbike.com/
I advise taking what you read there with a grain of salt. There is some good info there but it is mostly very pompous opinionated BS.

Personally I think that journals at crazyguyonabike are a much better resource. You will get a more balanced view of many different things that worked for a variety riders on a variety of tours.

On the Rivendell site you will get very slanted opinions aimed at selling you a lot of retro dodads.
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