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Old 02-05-2012, 05:10 PM   #31
wbedient OP
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Originally Posted by _cy_ View Post
in other words same as backpacking and/or cycling camping gear. difference is motorcycle is capable of carrying every thing but the kitchen sink. so that's what a LOT of folks do.
You're exactly right. I get a lot of my stuff from the backpacking section... seems to work well for motorcycling.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:06 PM   #32
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I use OFF to keep the bugs away. A tent is better than a tarp, no doubt. It is also bigger/heavier... no doubt. To me, weight savings of the tarp make it the right choice.
No its not. You can get a free standing tent that pitches faster than a tarp, very weatherproof and bug proof for around 2 pounds (actually mine weighs 2' 2").
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:38 PM   #33
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another vote for a free standing tent ... mine is 3lb 8oz with ground cloth.. be sure to only get tents with aluminum poles. survived 75+ mph winds in this one with no problems.

best of all purchased for $89 on closeout at REI. ALPS Mountaineering Orion 2 ... full retail is $160, which I would gladly pay if I needed another one. top quality! has survived two Philmont trips and several years of boy scout duties.

wouldn't event consider a tarp .... not enough protection when nasty weather hits.
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Old 02-05-2012, 08:41 PM   #34
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No its not. You can get a free standing tent that pitches faster than a tarp, very weatherproof and bug proof for around 2 pounds (actually mine weighs 2' 2").
I disagree, but we'd have to get together for a tent/tarp drag race to settle this one!

My tarp setup uses 2 pegs, a small nylon tarp and 2 bungee cords (that I already use to strap gear down on my bike)... the tarp and 4 feet of 550 cord on each corner weights 6 ounces or .375 pounds. Since a tarp doesn't have the walls/floor/mesh/zippers/poles of a tent it should weight less.

As for set up time, I'm about done with putting up my lean-to while my fellow tent-toting-travelers are still looking for the best place to set up their tents.

Since I park my bike on flat spots I just unroll the tarp, hook up 2 bungee cords and pound in two pegs. Done!

Tarps suck more than a tent in windy/wet weather, but that is a price I'll pay for a light weight/compact set up. Not saying its wrong to use a tent, its just that I value weight/compactness/simplicity above comfort (it sounds kinda dumb when I say it like that )
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:31 PM   #35
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I disagree, but we'd have to get together for a tent/tarp drag race to settle this one!

My tarp setup uses 2 pegs, a small nylon tarp and 2 bungee cords (that I already use to strap gear down on my bike)... the tarp and 4 feet of 550 cord on each corner weights 6 ounces or .375 pounds. Since a tarp doesn't have the walls/floor/mesh/zippers/poles of a tent it should weight less.

As for set up time, I'm about done with putting up my lean-to while my fellow tent-toting-travelers are still looking for the best place to set up their tents.

Since I park my bike on flat spots I just unroll the tarp, hook up 2 bungee cords and pound in two pegs. Done!

Tarps suck more than a tent in windy/wet weather, but that is a price I'll pay for a light weight/compact set up. Not saying its wrong to use a tent, its just that I value weight/compactness/simplicity above comfort (it sounds kinda dumb when I say it like that )
Have to admit it takes me about five minutes to deploy my Big Agnes Fly Creek but it is weather/bug proof. I've had alot of practice. I slept in in more than a 100 nights last year.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:32 PM   #36
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Anyone brought up the bike falling over bit? Be my concern.
Great idea and implementation. Backpacker for MANY years and still go with a tent. Camp UT and CO mainly and your talking bugs, critters, and other little nasties not wanted inside your bag or boots.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:32 PM   #37
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One of the better ideas for a motorcycle camping shelter I've stolen from a fellow biker is to make the best use of a tent and a tarp. Basically, buy a fairly large, cheap tent for it's bug free protection {black flies don't pay a bit of attention to OFF, hell,,,, I think they drink Deet for noon tea}, immediately chunk the fly and use a large sil-nylon tarp. The sil-nylon tarp will be alot lighter than the cheap tent's fly, will actually make the cheap tent leak free and man, it's nice to actually be able to actually stand up and put your clothes on!

Now, if I'm hiking or on my XR I'll use my B.A. Seedhouse1. At a bit over 2lbs it offers light weight and a bug free haven but enough room for me and my stuff {nice little vestibule}.

But, if I am on the DL or the FJR or if I'm riding with my wife, I think I'll be buying me a cheap 4-6 man WallyWorld special next time I see a good sale and use a 12x12 as a huge fly and vestibule. Then, since the tent is so cheap, who cares if you ruin the floor by not using a ground cloth. Like I said, plenty of room and you can even stand up. Cook just outside the tent in the vestibule area, even throw a chair under there and kick back and relax, heck,,,,, you can even park the bike under there. And man, when the rain does come,,,,, having a large tent and basically a porch to sit under kicks ass as I have been stuck in a 2-3 man {Catoma Marine Combat} for two days of continuous rain and while it was spacious by many standards, it was terrible to be stuck under even if it didn't leak.
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Old 02-05-2012, 09:53 PM   #38
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great thread

Looking to bike camp on my KTM 530, I will use all of these great ideas. After bike camping off the FJR this will be completely different.

Thanks for starting the thread, and look forward to more great ideas.
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Old 02-05-2012, 10:27 PM   #39
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Originally Posted by wbedient View Post
I disagree, but we'd have to get together for a tent/tarp drag race to settle this one!

My tarp setup uses 2 pegs, a small nylon tarp and 2 bungee cords (that I already use to strap gear down on my bike)... the tarp and 4 feet of 550 cord on each corner weights 6 ounces or .375 pounds. Since a tarp doesn't have the walls/floor/mesh/zippers/poles of a tent it should weight less.

As for set up time, I'm about done with putting up my lean-to while my fellow tent-toting-travelers are still looking for the best place to set up their tents.

Since I park my bike on flat spots I just unroll the tarp, hook up 2 bungee cords and pound in two pegs. Done!

Tarps suck more than a tent in windy/wet weather, but that is a price I'll pay for a light weight/compact set up. Not saying its wrong to use a tent, its just that I value weight/compactness/simplicity above comfort (it sounds kinda dumb when I say it like that )
OK.. so you can set your tarp up 2-3 minutes faster than a free standing tent. for fair weather camping that might be acceptable, but my luck must not be good as yours.

been through monsoon type down pours, 95+ mph winds, etc, etc. all while camping. trips may start out nice enough ... then turn downright nasty!

getting caught in a summer storm may be just an inconvenience. in colder conditions hypothermia is not to be trifled with ... on a remote camping trip, NO way I'd go without secure shelter.
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Old 02-05-2012, 11:02 PM   #40
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in colder conditions hypothermia is not to be trifled with ... on a remote camping trip, NO way I'd go without secure shelter.
You are absolutely correct, hypothermia is deadly serious.

I wouldn't just take a tarp if I didn't also have the gortex sleep system. I've spent almost two months with temperatures from the low thirties to single digits with snow, rain and wind with nothing but the gortex bivy/sleeping bag and a pad. I've used it all over the US and in Iraq too. Hypothermia is serious, and that is why I use the gortex bivy with the tarp. Without the gortex cover I'd get a tent.

It would be sweet to have something more substantial to sit under when the weather sucks, we usually just grit our teeth and keep riding, thinking that the sooner we get going the sooner we get out of the storm. If we wait a while I just sit under my lean-to and watch it rain... but its kinda cramped. Our last 5 day trip had 4 days of rain. I'm going to look into a larger tarp or... dare I say... a TENT for trips where I know the weather will suck.

Everyone has different levels of comfort, and a couple of the guys I ride with make fun of me for taking any sleeping pad at all! Other guys bring tents and air pads. Some of the really sissy guys even bring a change of underwear . Point is to camp at your own comfort level and enjoy it. There is no point in being miserable on a bike trip that should be a blast.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:06 AM   #41
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Everyone has different levels of comfort, and a couple of the guys I ride with make fun of me for taking any sleeping pad at all! Other guys bring tents and air pads. Some of the really sissy guys even bring a change of underwear . Point is to camp at your own comfort level and enjoy it. There is no point in being miserable on a bike trip that should be a blast.
I agree completely with this mentality. I think a lot of people never experiment with roughing it and think that they have to take a camping chair, laptop, etc. to enjoy it. An approach that worked well for me was to start off taking a fairly 'normal' amount of stuff*. Then gradually reduce the amount you carry, until it ceases to be enjoyable. Once you discover where that point is for you, you'll be able to take the right amount of stuff that allows the bike to perform as well as possible (and you to go down some more gnarly tracks) and not wind up waking up sore/cold and hacked off.

Nowadays, I can get my pack down to 40L and still be comfortable. Most of the time, I choose to take more, but it's nice to know that when I need to go light for whatever reason, I can. An added perk is that when you take the extra stuff, it seems luxurious by comparison. :)

*Although with a background of many years hiking and camping, this was already nearer the lighter end of the spectrum than the towering kit piles you see on the back of some GSAs.
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Old 02-06-2012, 05:16 AM   #42
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I agree there is not right way! What works for others is great, I really couldn't care less, just like my riding camping buds couldn't care less what I use. I pared my camping set up to make me as comfortable as I like while not overloading my bike(s). I see nothing more manly about sleeping on hard ground sheltered by a tarp than someone sleeping in a full size tent with a bike sheltering vestibule, with a cot, coffee press latte machine, etc. So F'n what to either scenario. We should all use what we like. Same goes for the cost of a tent, $300 or $30, WTF difference does it make to anyone else but the user. But, HEY, that's just me.
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Old 02-06-2012, 06:55 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by dacrazyrn View Post
Anyone brought up the bike falling over bit? Be my concern.
Great idea and implementation. Backpacker for MANY years and still go with a tent. Camp UT and CO mainly and your talking bugs, critters, and other little nasties not wanted inside your bag or boots.
I hadn't really thought about the bike tipping over to tell you the truth. I guess you could tie some cord to your bike and tie it to a tree or pegs.

You make a good point about bugs going into your boots. I throw my clothing into my sleeping bag with me, that way nothing crawls into them and they're toasty warm when you wake up. I put the boots in a waterproof bag to keep them dry and keep out the creepy crawlies.
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Old 02-06-2012, 07:39 AM   #44
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I choose door number three, a bivy bag and a tarp. The bivy keeps the bugs & critters at bay while a tarp provides way more space than any tent when the weather turns wet. I don't put up the tarp unless the weather is threatening.

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Old 02-06-2012, 08:16 AM   #45
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used to be ... ultra light/strong tents and in general light backpacking gear were domain of high end mfg like Patagonia, Serra Designs, MSR, Marmot, Bibler, etc. etc. this meant a substantial $$$ investment in your equipment. which newbie campers either were not willing and/or unable to purchase.

yes those same high end mfg are still around making NICEST state of the art camping gear. but technology has trickled down, prices have come down accordingly. even with high end makers.

Sierra Designs Stretch Prelude at one time was considered one of the best 4 man, 4 season tents available. trouble was it's $650 price tag ... fast forward a few years... it's super stable dome design with exterior clips, aluminum poles and vestibule are now copied by several mfg.

several tents that use above design with great success and super low prices. I've purchased tents very close in function and weight to Stretch Prelude for under $125. in other words ... ultra light/strong tents are down right cheap. catch is knowing which one to buy....

now take above example for tents and apply it to rest of camping gear needed. ultra light weight high performance camping gear is no longer only available from high end mfg. trickle down technology has even reached Walmart. who has some of the best high tech layering available at any price.

costs to setup ultra light camping gear is now quite reasonable ... OK, cheap, compared to a few short years ago. catch is still knowing what/where to purchase.

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