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

Stupid tent/sleeping bag questions

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.

Stupid tent/sleeping bag questions

Old 03-07-09, 01:09 PM
  #1  
cccorlew
Erect member since 1953
Thread Starter
 
cccorlew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Antioch, CA (SF Bay Area)
Posts: 6,943

Bikes: Roubaix Expert, Motobecane Ti Century Elite turned commuter, Cannondale F500 Mtn bike, Some old French thing gone fixie

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Stupid tent/sleeping bag questions

I've never been a camper, yet I will be doing an 8 day cycling trip in Washington State this July.
I don't have to carry stuff, the Adventure Cycling trip is supported. But we will camp.

I just ordered a tent, but not a "footprint." Those things cost $30. Arn't they just plastic? I was thinking about taking my space blanket and saving a few bucks. Good idea?

I am clueless on sleeping bags. It's a summer trip, so it shouldn't be cold at all.
I'm looking at these bargain bags on eBay
http://cgi.ebay.com/PAIR-SQUARE-BOTT...3%3A1|294%3A50

I like the square bottom and that they zip together (my wife and I are going together)

Being as the weather should be almost hot, am I going down a reasonable path?
cccorlew is offline  
Old 03-07-09, 01:22 PM
  #2  
Erick L
Lentement mais sûrement
 
Erick L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Montréal
Posts: 2,240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 72 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I've never used a tent footprint in 1001 nights. It protects the bottom of the tent. Since you're not carrying, you can use a polythene sheet cut to the tent's footprint.

That sleeping bag should do the job. It's even a bit too much but I've never been too hot in a bag (just unzip). Make sure there's a two-way zipper so you can vent the feet independantly. Again, if you're not carrying, you might as well use a few blankets.
Erick L is offline  
Old 03-07-09, 01:31 PM
  #3  
X-LinkedRider
Flying Under the Radar
 
X-LinkedRider's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2007
Location: Northeast PA
Posts: 4,116

Bikes: 10' SuperiorLite SL Club | 06' Giant FCR3 | 2010 GT Avalanche 3.0 Disc

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I camp probably 80 days a year. I never use a footprint. Buy a tarp if you are worried about underground critters. The sleeping bag is an easy choice as you don't need anything lower than 30 degrees. Just get something cheap and easy. I did my entire tour last year on a 20 dollar eddie baur sleeping back and an additional small fleece blanket for the cold nights. Summer nights can get cold.
X-LinkedRider is offline  
Old 03-07-09, 03:27 PM
  #4  
kegoguinness
These go to eleven
 
kegoguinness's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Distrito de Columbia
Posts: 414

Bikes: BF Pocket Crusoe; B Tikit; dust-gathering MTB

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Sheet of plastic used for covering furnishings before painting--cut to just slightly smaller than the underside of the tent. You do NOT want any tarp/groundcover sticking out from under the tent. What you get then is a collection plate for water to run right under your tent.

Get a cheap synthetic bag rated to 20 degrees, rather than say 30 or 40, as the cheap bags will compress more quickly (and permanently) and lose some of their temp rating. Get a thermarest or cut some closed-cell foam pad for under the sleeping bag. Greatly increases comfort factor and warmth factor. A sleeping bag can still get cold even on a mild night with no insulation from the ground.
kegoguinness is offline  
Old 03-07-09, 03:39 PM
  #5  
kayakdiver
ah.... sure.
 
kayakdiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Whidbey Island WA
Posts: 4,107

Bikes: Specialized.... schwinn..... enough to fill my needs..

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If your getting a double bag for you and the miss you will not need a very heavy bag. The added warmth of a double bag will keep you toasty warm. Are you doing the Washington parks route? If so you will be passing my way. You will have a great time!!

Would not bother with a footprint. Since it's supported touring.... Get a super comfy sleeping pad. Early July in Wa can be anything from sunny and warm to cool and wet. Summer officially starts in Western Wa on July 5th....... trust me on this one .
kayakdiver is offline  
Old 03-07-09, 03:49 PM
  #6  
valygrl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Posts: 8,546
Mentioned: 83 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 163 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Good quality cheap gear can often be acquired at www.rei-outlet.com. if you don't like it, it's an easy return, unlike ebay.

Here's their summer bag page.
valygrl is offline  
Old 03-07-09, 03:54 PM
  #7  
Cyclebum
Senior Member
 
Cyclebum's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: NE Tx
Posts: 2,766

Bikes: Tour Easy, Linear USS, Lightening Thunderbolt, custom DF, Raleigh hybrid, Felt time trial

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Pretty reasonable I'd say. I just carry a flannel sheet when summer touring here in Texas. Space blanket oughter work fine for ground cloth. Pretty tough material. Just remember not to let any of it protrude past the rain fly, otherwise you'll probably end up with a wet tent floor. I use a fitted light weight tarp.
Cyclebum is offline  
Old 03-07-09, 04:57 PM
  #8  
hodadmike
Senior Member
 
hodadmike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Wenatchee, WA
Posts: 172
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
I use a piece of TYVEK building wrap cut the same size of the tent floor. It's cheap, light, available off the roll at any lumber store (or free if you know someone building a house), and tougher than a steel belted condom.
hodadmike is offline  
Old 03-07-09, 05:48 PM
  #9  
cccorlew
Erect member since 1953
Thread Starter
 
cccorlew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Antioch, CA (SF Bay Area)
Posts: 6,943

Bikes: Roubaix Expert, Motobecane Ti Century Elite turned commuter, Cannondale F500 Mtn bike, Some old French thing gone fixie

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanks for all the good info. I do have a pair of ThremaRest pads. I'm too old (or maybe wimpy) to sleep on the hard ground and then ride the next day.


Love the TYVEK idea! but..
tougher than a steel belted condom.
OUCH!

You do NOT want any tarp/groundcover sticking out from under the tent. What you get then is a collection plate for water to run right under your tent.
I would have made this error. Thanks!

Are you doing the Washington parks route?
We're doing Adventure Cycling's Cycle Washington, July 11-18
http://adventurecycling.org/tours/to...d=140&t=EV&p=3
cccorlew is offline  
Old 03-08-09, 10:57 AM
  #10  
BigBlueToe
Senior Member
 
BigBlueToe's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Central Coast, CA
Posts: 3,392

Bikes: Surly LHT, Specialized Rockhopper, Nashbar Touring (old), Specialized Stumpjumper (older), Nishiki Tourer (model unknown)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Greetings 50+ friend. I have camped close to 1001 nights and never used a footprint. I never noticed a problem. I always prepare the ground by sweeping it with the side of my shoe. I get all the rocks and sticks out of the way. Have you ever slept with a rock under you? Not good. I think this also helps protect the tent floor against damage.

+1 on the not having the ground tarp stick out past the bottom of the tent. We went camping with another family on a spring break when it poured. They had a dome tent set up on a brand new green poly tarp that hung out about a foot all around. When the rain started, the water ran down the side of the tent, onto the tarp, and under the tent. They ended up with major puddle in the middle of their tent.

In big rain storms I use the old fashioned "trench" method to prevent the same sort of thing happening - water coming down the side of the tent, then going underneath. I dig a small trench around the perimeter of the tent - basically directly under the edge. When I car camp I bring a small gardening trowel, but I've done it with a stick many times. If the trench undermines the edge of the tent by an inch or two, no big deal; you don't really put any weight on that part of the tent anyway. When the water drips down the side of the tent it drips into the trench and stays there - usually to spread out along the trench or sink down into the ground. If there are any places where water seems to funnel, make the trench larger below it because it will get a larger volume of water.

Going to the trouble of digging trenches has kept my tent floor dry many, many times.

In real severe rainstorms on surfaces where the water can puddle up and over the trench and under the tent you have to dig an "escape trench" that leads to lower ground. I can remember three camping trips in the last 20 years where this became necessary.

Lastly, picking a good site for your tent is important. I learned this on my first Boy Scout backpacking trip (my first camping trip without my dad setting up the tents.) We slept on a tarp (with another tarp strung over us) and put it in a bowl. I slept in the middle. It rained and snowed. I slept in a puddle all night. Miserable!
BigBlueToe is offline  
Old 03-08-09, 11:11 AM
  #11  
kayakdiver
ah.... sure.
 
kayakdiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Whidbey Island WA
Posts: 4,107

Bikes: Specialized.... schwinn..... enough to fill my needs..

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Eat your Weaties for day 5 That's going to be a big day. That is an amazing stretch of riding with amazing views. Sounds like a very nice trip. Have a blast!
kayakdiver is offline  
Old 03-08-09, 04:57 PM
  #12  
DuckFat
Senior Member
 
DuckFat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: Leesburg, VA
Posts: 252

Bikes: Cannondale Killer-V 900 (Mountain), Jamis Aurora (Touring)

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The tent footprints are pretty much a waste of money. I just got a lightweight tarp from the local Tractor Supply store ($7). I lay that down and then put up the tent then I fold the edges of tarp that are showing making sure they are at least 2 or 3 inches under the tent (not just the rainfly). When setting up look at the elevation of the site and make sure you aren't in a place where water will run. If you have no choice then dig out some little trenches to divert the water around the tent.
DuckFat is offline  
Old 03-08-09, 05:13 PM
  #13  
kayakdiver
ah.... sure.
 
kayakdiver's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Whidbey Island WA
Posts: 4,107

Bikes: Specialized.... schwinn..... enough to fill my needs..

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
You are going to be passing many places along the way that carry camping gear and such if you decide you need something. Your first day looks like it places you in Leavenworth. You can purchase just about any camping type gear you could need or want. Then onto Winthrop and you will be able to find more stuff. Your going to have a great ride but if you find yourself lacking something you will be able to pick it up along the way. You will have a great time and see some amazing sights along the way. You'll be camping at Deception Pass on Whidbey.... Just a 10 mile ride from my home.
kayakdiver is offline  
Old 03-08-09, 08:30 PM
  #14  
Wanderer
aka Phil Jungels
 
Wanderer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: North Aurora, IL
Posts: 8,000

Bikes: 08 Specialized Crosstrail Sport, 05 Sirrus Comp

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 139 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
If you are near anywhere that ships things on pallets, try to talk them out of a large pallet bag. Cut off the bottom, and slice up one seam, and you have a really tough piece of plastic to use as a floot liner. This stuff is really tough.
Wanderer is offline  
Old 03-08-09, 08:32 PM
  #15  
Camel
Caffeinated.
 
Camel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Waltham, MA
Posts: 1,541

Bikes: Waterford 1900, Quintana Roo Borrego, Trek 8700zx, Bianchi Pista Concept

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Seeing as it sounds you all haven't camped much, and you are going with your wife...

I recommend getting a bit of a warmer bag than you think you might need. Just a bit, like an extra 5 or 10 degree rating, not a winter bag. If you all are too warm you can vent easily too cool down. If you all are too cold, there isn't too much you can do after you've bundled up in all the clothes you've brought along (not much fun that). -And perhaps bring a full sized sheet in case its too warm for any bag.

Sleeping warmer can also help relieve some muscle strain (it does for me anyways).

As it's a supported tour, bring along some comfy camp chairs which support your backs. Very handy indeed after a day in the saddle.

A couple camp chairs, your tent and double bag (or 2 singles) will easliy fit into a mid to large sized duffle bag. A large sized duffle bag should leave you enough space for your clothes as well.
Camel is offline  
Old 03-09-09, 08:53 PM
  #16  
cccorlew
Erect member since 1953
Thread Starter
 
cccorlew's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Antioch, CA (SF Bay Area)
Posts: 6,943

Bikes: Roubaix Expert, Motobecane Ti Century Elite turned commuter, Cannondale F500 Mtn bike, Some old French thing gone fixie

Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 84 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Thanks to all of you.
Chairs! I'll have to see if we can bring them. I want to be sensitive to the fact that someone is hauling our junk about and not overburden them.
cccorlew is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

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

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.