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Old 05-16-2015, 01:53 PM   #1
gone fishing OP
Joined: Aug 2010
Location: Clifton Forge VA
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Camping gear for newbie?

Looking for some advice on some light weight, packable gear. Would like to try some motorcycle camping this year. What tent for two and bags would y'all recommend for a fair weather 3 or 4 time a year camper?
Thanks, Fred
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Old 05-16-2015, 02:08 PM   #2
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'12 Yamaha Super Tenere (Current)
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:21 PM   #3
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One of the best things about this site is seeing what works for those who are really out there doing it. For two up camping this equipment layout from Dave6253 sticks in my mind.

In general, buy the lightest, smallest packing stuff you can justify the price of. The best size/weight ratio tents I've found are the BigAgnes Copper Spur series, for two people get the 3 or 4 man tent. The Lost Ranger Downtek bags are solid choices, there's also a womans version. For packed size/weight/comfort, the inflatable pads from BA or Exped are arguably the best option.

Get your email on Campsaver, Campmor, Backcountry, REI and watch for discounts. In the last week I've gotten 20% off codes from all them.

The flip side is, you can go to Walmart and spend $150 to see if you're really interested in camping.

Good luck!

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DYNOBOB screwed with this post 05-16-2015 at 03:44 PM
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:35 PM   #4
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Plenty of threads on here, dig away and enjoy.
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Old 05-16-2015, 03:38 PM   #5
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Rei is having a sale right now. This is a good price on this tent. It's big, but I love mine.
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Old 05-16-2015, 04:11 PM   #6
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I'm a fan of the MSR Hubba Hubba NX two-person tent (well, like most, it's a one person very comfortable with gear or two person a little snug). This is just one great tent...there's tons of them out there. Eureka is great quality at a very low price point. BA makes good tents. So does REI and a half dozen other brands.

Heck, the above is the same for sleeping bags and pads too (I'm a big fan of Nemo for bags/pads).

Do some research on some of the retail sites that have already been referenced. Every piece of gear has it's positives and negatives. There's literally thousands of postings on this site about gear you can search for.

If you have a chance, go to REI or Dick's Sporting Goods or Cabela's or wherever and look at the gear in person. I like REI for this stuff...they will take back any of the gear that you don't like when used in real life for up to a year after purchase. You simply cannot beat that warranty. And their sales staff are pretty good and will help you look at different models of stuff...without any sales pressure.
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:05 PM   #7
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Marmot Limelight 3p

Good for two. Two doors. Two vestibules. Free standing. Includes footprint. Poles probably too long for most boxes.

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Old 05-16-2015, 11:24 PM   #8
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If you are anywhere close to a big city,
Try renting a tent and sleeping bag for the first couple of trips,

Then you can wrap your head around what works and what doesn't. What you need and what you don't.

It might cost you a little extra, but you will make it up when you buy the right thing the first time, rather then buying a couple of different tents, bags, pads and all the other stuff that goes with camping.
On vacation for a spell
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Old 05-17-2015, 04:21 AM   #9
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Go to a place that sells camping gear and just start messing with things and check things out. Maybe measure the dimensions of your bike luggage first.

Think a bit like a backpacker and look at backpacking gear, but keep in mind that compactness is more important to a motocamper than weight.

Have fun.
"You wouldn't be riding a motorcycle if you weren't an optimist."
- Matthew Crawford
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Old 05-17-2015, 05:22 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by ts3doug View Post
Rei is having a sale right now. This is a good price on this tent. It's big, but I love mine.
+1 on this tent, especially for the price and warranty.
IBA #50489
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Old 05-17-2015, 08:27 PM   #11
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Target, WalMart, etc... $30 tent, $20 bag, and some $5 straps... flashlight from home... can o' beans, pack o' hot dogs, 6 pack o' beer. Bug spray. Trash bags for rain gear. Go somewhere warm so you don't freeze your 'nads off.

If you like it, buy better gear, flea market on this site is FULL of nice gear. Interweb deals are everywhere. Even WM sells some fairly good stuff. Local CL has down bags and nice tents cheap. Or dump a bundle at REI.

If you don't like it, dump the gear on CL for $25 and you are out next to nothing.

You don't need much gear at all for some basic 1-2 night outings. Bed and food and light. Cook on fire. Instant coffee. Not much else. You will see soon what works for you. And see a lot of other people with gear to make yourself mental notes.
"I spent half my money on gambling, alcohol, and wild women. The other half I wasted." ~W.C. Fields
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Old 05-18-2015, 04:03 PM   #12
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Have you ever camped before? If not you need to try it out first, then decide if you want to try it with the limits of what you will carry on the motorcycle.

One person, two person and such ratings for tents are a joke to me. I use a 4 person tent just for me. I like someplace I can comfortably change clothes and sit in a chair when it is raining outside. I also want to put my gear in there. A one person tent has room for one sleeping bag, that's it.

Now, there are folks who are used to backpacking who like living the minimal thing and will slide into a one person tent. Try it and see if you like it. Then think about doing that while it is raining.

I still remember seeing someone buying a 4 person tent and then TWO queen mattresses. They should fit right? 4 people fit in 2 queen air beds. Yes, I did point out that they should look at the measurements of the tent and mattresses. :)
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Old 05-22-2015, 09:21 PM   #13
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Camping in Texas I like a tent large enough for me and all my clothes, gear, helmet, etc. Lessens the chance of bugs, ants, scorpions, surprising me 5 min into the next days ride.

Do the most research trying out sleeping pads.

Camp sleeping comfort can make or break your trip.

I started with a $14 Academy "scout tent" but quickly found I need more ventilation.
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Old 05-22-2015, 10:23 PM   #14
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Bags for 2? Definitely buy 2 bags that can be zipped together. You can still use them separated but you also have the convenience (and heat).
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Old 05-23-2015, 03:18 PM   #15
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PS if you have been camping before, just not on the bike, then go to REI. They have a great return policy. So, you can get some equipment and if it isn't quite right then take it back and get what you want.

Good way to 'try out' sleeping bags, tents and air mattresses/pads.
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