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Instant Camp Setup

Old 09-16-13, 11:01 AM
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Instant Camp Setup

For me the most tedious part of camping on tour is breaking camp in the morning.
The tedium and effort required to deflate, disassemble, roll up, stuff and compress makes me break out in a sweat and become borderline overheated, even before throwing one leg over Old Paint.
It is a relief to finally get on the road.
So, I was wondering: has anyone ever attempted to leave the sleeping bag on top of the deflated mattress,
inside the tent, then collapse and fold the tent over them and roll up as one and stow in a suitable gear bag?

That might serve to simplify things; might not. Dunno.
Anybody tried it??
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Old 09-16-13, 11:16 AM
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Probably not a good idea.

Here's what I do - it also lets me set up camp in two minutes in case of incoming storms.
I don't roll my deflated pad, I fold it accordion style into quarters.
I carry a lightweight daypack for hiking - and use it for tent and sleeping bag.
a. I put the tent poles into their sack and into the backpack first
b. Then I just stuff in my sleeping bag - adding a trash bag layer in case tent is wet
c. Finally, I top it off with the tent and fly - damp or not
Plus, it's really easy to pull out my tent mid-morning to dry in the sun.

I put the folded pad on my rack over both rear panniers.
Then I strap down the backpack on top.
It may look a little bigger - but it's lightweight.
And, as I said, it's really easy to get to if a storm is approaching.

Not the finest aerodynamics, but I'm not in the Tour de France, either.
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Old 09-16-13, 11:18 AM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6
For me the most tedious part of camping on tour is breaking camp in the morning.
The tedium and effort required to deflate, disassemble, roll up, stuff and compress makes me break out in a sweat and become borderline overheated, even before throwing one leg over Old Paint.
It is a relief to finally get on the road.
So, I was wondering: has anyone ever attempted to leave the sleeping bag on top of the deflated mattress,
inside the tent, then collapse and fold the tent over them and roll up as one and stow in a suitable gear bag?


That might serve to simplify things; might not. Dunno.
Anybody tried it??
Only when I was told to move at three in the morning, when communications between those that told me it was ok to set up there and the local police was not in sync. Cannot remember the towns name, but it was in a ball field.

I suppose it would work better with a bivy, or a hammock, but I was in a hurry and stuffed it all into a pannier. Later I took it all apart and it was a damp mess.

The best times have been when I just slept on the ground with only a ground cloth and bag, but still, as a total non morning guy I need the staggering around time breaking camp offers...
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Old 09-16-13, 11:20 AM
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sure, I do it with my Tardis all the time, I can get all kinds of bulky stuff in there.
(for those of you who do not know Dr. Who, disregard that statement)

seriously, it all comes down to bulk. Try your method, it may work for you. Then you get into condensation issues, but there's only one way for you to find out.
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Old 09-16-13, 12:19 PM
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It is interesting to note that, even after 70+ miles in the fall heat of Florida, I had no problems setting up the tent, mattress and bag.
Yet even in the relatively cool fall mornings, packing up got me sweating feverishly.
I'll practice different camp-breaking strategies prior to my next tour in December.
I have an Ortlieb gear bag that will hold a bulky roll, leaving the panniers open for everything else.
We'll see........
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Old 09-16-13, 02:08 PM
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might be able to get away with that with a Bike trailer ,
where the combined bulk of the whole kit wont be so much of an issue..

hammock rather than a tent, & a super skinny down-bag?
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Old 09-16-13, 02:52 PM
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I don't think you're really saving a lot of time or effort.

Packing up a sleeping bag should take you all of 1 minute. If it takes too long to fold up your air mattress, you could get a foam or closed-cell pad.
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Old 09-16-13, 02:56 PM
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Why would you need a sleeping bag in Florida?
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Old 09-16-13, 03:20 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Why would you need a sleeping bag in Florida?
Believe it or not,in Florida the winter temps can drop into the teens at night. Typical average low temp
is somewhere in the high 40's to low 50's. Even I need a bag then...
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Old 09-16-13, 08:43 PM
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Shoving the sleeping bag in the stuff sack shouldn't take any time at all. My down bag packs down real quick, but my synthetic bags take a little longer. A slightly larger stuff sack might help if your bag takes a long time to force into the stuff sack. I have packed my bivy and sleeping bag into the same stuff sack if there wasn't dew on the bivy.

If you're tent has to be folded and rolled "just so" to fit in it's stuff sack, get a little larger stuff sack for the tent and pack the poles separately in a separate stuff sack.

Other than getting a closed cell foam pad, the sleeping pad takes the most time. I usually deflate my Big Agnes pad while I'm still laying on it and then combine some light stretching as I fold then roll it up.

I like to sleep without a tent on a ground cloth when it is practical. A buddy of mine can be packed and ready in less 5 mins when we're not using a tent. I usually lollygag around a bit.
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Old 09-16-13, 09:07 PM
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One possible solution is to do away with stuff sacks. I travel with two panniers: one I allow to get wet and it holds my single-wall tent (just shoved in), tools, and food (in my only stuff sack). The other I keep dry with a trash compactor bag liner and it holds my sleeping bag and clothes. My CCF pad goes on top of the rack. It takes a few minutes to strike camp and I can swallow a few bites of breakfast while doing it. Simplify.
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Old 09-17-13, 04:49 AM
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Originally Posted by jamawani
Probably not a good idea.

Here's what I do - it also lets me set up camp in two minutes in case of incoming storms.
I don't roll my deflated pad, I fold it accordion style into quarters.
I carry a lightweight daypack for hiking - and use it for tent and sleeping bag.
a. I put the tent poles into their sack and into the backpack first
b. Then I just stuff in my sleeping bag - adding a trash bag layer in case tent is wet
c. Finally, I top it off with the tent and fly - damp or not
Plus, it's really easy to pull out my tent mid-morning to dry in the sun.

I put the folded pad on my rack over both rear panniers.
Then I strap down the backpack on top.
It may look a little bigger - but it's lightweight.
And, as I said, it's really easy to get to if a storm is approaching.

Not the finest aerodynamics, but I'm not in the Tour de France, either.
What brand are your panniers, they look larger than others.
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Old 09-17-13, 09:13 AM
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They are Arkels - kinda pricey - really too much.
They are sturdy and attach securely - but are heavy.
Front panniers are perfect - rear have all these extra pockets, etc.
While the handlebar bag - where you need pockets - has none.
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Old 09-17-13, 09:25 AM
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Hello, fellow Florida-tourer.

My solution to this was hammock camping. Takes minutes to set up and break down, and the condensation/rain issue is totally mitigated even in a down pour. I built my entire setup for under $150, and even built a 2 person hammock for the lady and I. She loves it!
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Old 09-17-13, 09:34 AM
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Instant Camp Setup

If it ain't raining just a groundsheet and sleeping bag do me fine
Takes seconds to stuff back in a pannier.

Even if it's raining you can wrap yourself in the groundsheet.
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Old 09-17-13, 06:19 PM
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I use a variant of this. I have 2 very large kitty litter panniers I use on the front rack. Stuff the tent in one and sleeping bags (we have 3 usually) and air mattress in the other. Great for fast packing bulky stuff. I deflate air mattress by just pulling the plug and letting the weight if the sleepingbag push most of the air out. The litter pails are really big but light because I just have bulky stuff in them.
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Old 09-17-13, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
might be able to get away with that with a Bike trailer ,
where the combined bulk of the whole kit wont be so much of an issue..

hammock rather than a tent, & a super skinny down-bag?
I met a cycle-tourist on the road once and he did just that. He rolled up his hammock with the sleeping bag inside and stuffed it into his trailer's duffle-bag. It was summer in Florida I don't think he used a pad though.

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Old 09-18-13, 12:13 PM
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Originally Posted by BigAura
I met a cycle-tourist on the road once and he did just that. He rolled up his hammock with the sleeping bag inside and stuffed it into his trailer's duffle-bag. It was summer in Florida I don't think he used a pad though.
Geez......summer in Florida I'd WANT A/C !!
This time of year it cools off a bit at about 0400. Til then it's too darn hot !!
And skeeters.........................
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Old 09-18-13, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Ronno6
Geez......summer in Florida I'd WANT A/C !!
This time of year it cools off a bit at about 0400. Til then it's too darn hot !!
And skeeters.........................
You're right I just checked the event date and it was May 27...but it FELT like summer. Even then I had to consume HUGE amounts of water/liquids --> up to 2 1/2 gallons a day. High temps were 95-100 degrees. That was my tour South Carolina to Key West and back. The other guy was doing Maine to Key West and we rode together a couple of days. Great tour!
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Old 09-19-13, 10:23 PM
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I don't know what part of fl you are in but I've lived here my whole life and that is pretty ludicrous. Perhaps in very small pockets but 95% of the time a sheet will suffice.
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Old 09-20-13, 03:11 PM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus
... do away with stuff sacks. I travel with two panniers: one I allow to get wet and it holds my single-wall tent (just shoved in), tools, and food (in my only stuff sack). The other I keep dry with a trash compactor bag liner and it holds my sleeping bag and clothes. My CCF pad goes on top of the rack....
That scheme sounds great. I am going to have to book-mark this.
If I wanted to extend the concept to ultralightweight, I would make the wet pannier out of lightweight cloth or mesh. Too bad I don't know how to sew.


For Ronno6, I would advise that you do get quicker at this stuff. It used to take my wife and I an hour to break camp and eat, but not any more!
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Old 09-20-13, 04:27 PM
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Used to be a spring loaded tent , its frame was one big steel spring circle,
you coiled it up into a smaller flat circle , and set up was just letting it spring back
into a 'pringle like' shape..
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Old 09-20-13, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by fietsbob
Used to be a spring loaded tent , its frame was one big steel spring circle,
you coiled it up into a smaller flat circle , and set up was just letting it spring back
into a 'pringle like' shape..
they still make them, but certainly wouldn't hold up to bad weather very well.

The easiest solution to the problem would just be packing up slower. It's no race.
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Old 09-20-13, 05:26 PM
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Speed is not really the issue; but rather, effort.
I don't believe that I rush to pack up; I just get really hot and sweaty doing it.
I may just start making and breaking camp at home on a routine basis in order to gain
familiarity with the procedures.
At the rate I'm going, my wife may kick me out so I'll need to sleep outside anyway!
Maybe practice will make perfect!
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Old 09-21-13, 11:52 AM
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I try to tell my friends that they can tour, and they don't believe me. They say they aren't in shape enough, they would die, etc. etc. ... Now I have a thread to show them that biking across a continent is not so inconvenient as packing up camping equipment, so clearly they CAN come tour with me! : )

Tourers are funny people, but I can't say much. I'm one of them.
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