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Advice for light touring

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Advice for light touring

Old 07-08-10, 11:20 AM
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mosquito
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Advice for light touring

Hello all,

I would like some advice on some light touring. It will be 60 miles for an overnight camp. Can someone suggest a light tent? Is packing a tent doable w/o a rack? I plan on bringing a saddle bag but can use a rack if needed.
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Old 07-08-10, 11:28 AM
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A hammock or tent tarp is probably a better idea for ultralight summer jaunts. The major disadvantage of tarps is lack of privacy in campgrounds.
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Old 07-08-10, 12:53 PM
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If you're trying to pack light, as michaelw said, a tarp (with the know-how to pitch it well) is going to pack small and light. Get a coated nylon tarp, not poly. Also, in many areas, mosquito netting is a blessing. You can get a setup that hangs by rope, or have it sewn along the edge of your tarp (you must pitch the tarp low for the latter to work).

If you want a tent, you will need a rack to carry it on. For a good-quality, decently lightweight tent, I would look at the REI house brand, specifically their half dome. You can go lighter weight than REI makes, but you will pay more. It's a balance of weight vs space vs cost.
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Old 07-08-10, 01:39 PM
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THis is problem a stupid question even coming from a city kid, but what is the point of a tarp? It seems to provide shade and shelter from the rain, but what about the cold? A tent seems to provide shelter from all that of a tarp including protection from bugs and cold?
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Old 07-08-10, 02:01 PM
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You are right that a tarp holds little warmth. For another month or 2 that is a positive attribute for me in Wisconsin. In mid autumn through mid spring, you probably want a tent. Additionally, if you want minimal hassle, a tent requires less practice to pitch. However, tarps are cooler for the summer months, weigh less, pack smaller, and are cheaper. I personally have a tent and not a tarp simply because I camp year-round and don't wish to own more. That said, I have used tarps successfully on several trips. As a self-proclaimed city kid, you may do well to stay with a tent for now. It's up to you to weigh the benefits.
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Old 07-08-10, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by mosquito View Post
THis is problem a stupid question even coming from a city kid, but what is the point of a tarp? It seems to provide shade and shelter from the rain, but what about the cold? A tent seems to provide shelter from all that of a tarp including protection from bugs and cold?
Although I have yet to tour, I do camp and backpack a lot.
When I camp, the clothes I wear and the insulation over and under me keep me warm and I rely on the tarp or tent to block the wind and or rain. It is generally 3 to 5 degrees warmer inside my tarp then it is outside.
A tarp can be set up in a number of ways: hung up high for shade but still allowing air movement, pitched as an a-shaped tunnel (easy to close off ends with net to keep bugs at bay, or pitched with two sides and an end tight to the ground for a snug bad weather shelter, just to name 3.
I also enjoy not having to fuss with zipper or ties or clips in order to get OUT of my shelter when I want OUT.

Many small tents are free standing, however, with poles in sleeves providing the shape of the tent without needing any ropes sticking off in random directions or trees to tie off to. Freestanding is nice since you do not have to necessarily worry about sticking tent stakes into hard ground. Floor and bugnet are provided and built in.

A compromise is the "tarp tent" as found here. Or other similar products from Gossamer Gear, Mountain Laurel Designs, or other manufacturers of ultralightweight backpacking equipment.

A bivy bag is another option, just a weatherproof outer cover for your sleeping bag at the most minimal. Changing clothes in a bivy sack is possible but requires some flexibility and not minding looking like an inchworm undergoing electrocution.

Last edited by eay; 07-08-10 at 04:49 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 07-08-10, 03:11 PM
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I use a 4 lb REI quarter dome 2 man tent with a piece of Tyvek for a ground sheet/emergency rain/hail shelter. It's heavier than a tarp or bivvy, but not by a lot and on rainy days when I'm stuck inside for hours - and when I need to change clothes, I'm always grateful for the extra room. It rides on a front rack, below my handlebar bag. Kitchen, clothes, sleeping gear, water bladder and sundries ride in 2 medium sized panniers on the rear rack. I keep the top of the rear rack open for anything I might need to pick up, but the tent would ride back there with no issues.
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Old 07-08-10, 07:24 PM
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a sleeping bag bivvy is also an idea for you. you just slide you sleeping bag into a weather proof liner and go to sleep. they have them at REI and there really really light (like a pound or less depending on what kind you get)
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Old 07-09-10, 07:20 AM
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I use the Eureka 2XT Apex, REALLY cheap and has turned out to be a frigging fantastic tent that is very light, sets up quick, comfortable and reliable...

http://www.dickssportinggoods.com/pr...eProductSearch
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Old 07-09-10, 10:30 AM
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Look at this tarp tent. And it provides 'privacy'.


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Old 07-09-10, 10:37 AM
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In my world, the main issue is mosquitos, any kind of lightweight tent is a good solution, as long as it has a tarp. I use a variety of tents for camping, but for touring, I like a smalll 2 person tent. The added weight is trivial compared to the comfort, though it can add up at the upper end.
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Old 07-09-10, 11:04 AM
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Originally Posted by mijome07 View Post
Look at this tarp tent. And it provides 'privacy'.
While intriguing, there are better solo tents out there for only slightly more money that have real frames and are double walled...single walled tents can be drippy. The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 is about the same weight but would be far more stable, easier to move around when set up (if needed) and has better venting.
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Old 07-09-10, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
While intriguing, there are better solo tents out there for only slightly more money that have real frames and are double walled...single walled tents can be drippy. The Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1 is about the same weight but would be far more stable, easier to move around when set up (if needed) and has better venting.
I agree. BA makes some nice tents.
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Old 07-09-10, 11:46 AM
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It really depends on the type of conditions you expect to encounter during your camp. Along the coast, I have to plan on cold, wet, low-clouds no matter how nice it is during the day. Your area may have predictable warm and dry conditions. As far as whether to have a rack or not, I think I would. You could probably get everything you need in a day-pack, but I've never tried riding with anything heavier than a hydration pack.
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Old 07-09-10, 12:24 PM
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How big is your saddle bag?

you don't state where this is at but on a recent tour in Ohio with day temps in the high 80's the night temps were cold enough to need a sleeping bag or blanket. do you plan to do anything when camping, like cook?

I use a Mountain Hardware Lightpath3 (I like excess room) for myself. This tent weighs around 5 lbs and needs a rack to haul it around. I also use a couple of panniers for other camping stuff. but for an overnighter you don't really need a lot of stuff, especially if you plan to eat meals at resturants.
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Old 07-09-10, 03:45 PM
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Act fast. Helluva deal here: http://www.steepandcheap.com/?avad=5641

ALPS Mountaineering Zephyr 1.0 1-Person 3-Season Tent 69.99 - 53% off.
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Old 07-09-10, 10:25 PM
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This will be some where north of New York City. I have an Acorn Saddle bag (large). I believe at night it will drop as low as 55. I'm awfully frightened of mosquitos, I did something like this last year with only a tshirt and long sleeve. I had over 80 bites....

Seems like there are so many options. If only Grant Petersen would just tell me what to do!
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Old 07-09-10, 11:41 PM
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I always plug Eureka Spitfire, either 1 or 2, $85/$125, 3.5/5 lbs. I use both, depending on where I'm going and my mood. They've proved themselves to be very durable. Great value for the price. I especially like their peak height, side entry, and stealth color. The SF 1 is ok if you're not over about 5'10".

That being said, if I were starting over, I'd look very closely at the REI Quarter/Half Dome series and Big Agnes.
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Old 07-10-10, 07:53 AM
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For one night out in the woods? Just grovel. Dawn always breaks.

what tents and tarps do you already own, and do you own a two hundred dollar hatchet?
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Old 07-10-10, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Cyclebum View Post
That being said, if I were starting over, I'd look very closely at the REI Quarter/Half Dome series and Big Agnes.
Fyi, at 6 foot, 1, I'm a couple inches too long for total comfort on the quarter dome UL2
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Old 07-10-10, 06:44 PM
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For one night?

http://www.rei.com/product/768984?pr...:referralID=NA

and bug wipes.

It depends on where - on a one month trip in Oregon/Idaho/Montana, I used a tent exactly two nights and slept on a groundcloth the rest.

But I agree - a Bivy is a great lightweight investment. The less you need the better.
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Old 07-10-10, 06:52 PM
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I've never tried either, but I've often thought if all I was wanting was bug protection in fair weather, I might try one of these.
http://www.rei.com/product/777772
http://www.rei.com/product/777771
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Old 07-11-10, 09:25 AM
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Originally Posted by nancyj View Post
For one night?

http://www.rei.com/product/768984?pr...:referralID=NA

and bug wipes.

It depends on where - on a one month trip in Oregon/Idaho/Montana, I used a tent exactly two nights and slept on a groundcloth the rest.

But I agree - a Bivy is a great lightweight investment. The less you need the better.
Nothing quite builds memories of a vacation like encephalitis, West Nile fever, Dengue fever, malaria or yellow fever
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Old 07-12-10, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by mijome07 View Post
Look at this tarp tent. And it provides 'privacy'.


+1 for the Contrail. I went on an overnight trip recently and the Contrail is light and short
enough when packed to strap comfortably underneath the saddle. The Contrail will give you
protection from bugs and is good in 3 seasons.

www.wheelsofchance.org

Last edited by nun; 07-12-10 at 01:47 PM.
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Old 07-12-10, 01:48 PM
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Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
Nothing quite builds memories of a vacation like encephalitis, West Nile fever, Dengue fever, malaria or yellow fever
The bugs will get to you regardless of whether or not you are in your tent. [Like before you go to bed] prime time for biting is really around dusk and dawn. Don't be near stagnant water if you can avoid it. Mosquitos don't like breezy places either. IF it is really 55 at night there won't be much activity anyway.

And we are talking, what, upstate NY? Use DEET wipes and pre-spray your clothes with a spray meant for clothing. Wear long pants and a lightweight long sleeved shirt. Better than bug bites. Being on a search and rescue team the standard for our packs is a lightweight plastic or nylon tarp and an emergency blanket (no bag-no tent) "just in case" we get stuck overnight. I have spent plenty of muggy SC nights in the woods and bug spray works. This is not exactly an expedition; if you are not used to sleeping outside you will probably only doze all night anyway.
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