ADV Camping Gear "Comfortable Minimalist" Style

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by wbedient, Feb 2, 2012.

  1. VStromTom

    VStromTom Long timer

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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.
    #41
  2. wbedient

    wbedient MoTard

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    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.
    #42
  3. Sparrowhawk

    Sparrowhawk Long timer

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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.

    [​IMG]
    #43
  4. _cy_

    _cy_ Long timer

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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.
    #44
  5. wbedient

    wbedient MoTard

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    I thought I'd share what I use for flashlights.

    All my gear takes AA batteries, radios, GPS, flashlight etc. This way I only have to take one kind of battery, and if I run out of batteries I can rob peter to pay paul (steal from my flashlight to feed my GPS).

    I use the Gerber Infinity Ultra Handy Torch.

    [​IMG]

    I got mine for 20 bucks in 2005, and it still works great. You can pick up these kind of cheap flashlights at gas stations too. They're barely bigger than a AA and give you enough light to get around in the dark.

    Around Christmas I was at home depot and they had aluminum single LED flashlights that work on a single AA battery for A DOLLAR each. :eek1 I bought fifteen. Should have got 20.


    Also, I think what people don't carry is pretty interesting. I used to carry a hatchet or folding saw, but I don't any more. They are too much of a PITA for getting wood (just look further away from camp). They could be useful for clearing trail but I've found I can usually ride around whatever is blocking the road/trail. So it gets left at home.
    #45
  6. BoerSchoeman

    BoerSchoeman Stealth Camper Tent

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    You can cross brace the bike on the opposite side of the tent using a single peg and paracord. Used best if pegged on the same side as the sidestand. Almost impossible to pull a bike over to tent's side if it's on the sidestand AND crossbraced with paracord. Plus you have to take into account that all tension on the tent (whether human or wind/weather) is first absorbed by the bungy cords. Even without any crossbracing it takes quite a bit of strain to pull the bike onto the tent.

    If conditions doesn't allow (to soggy of uneven ground surfaces), the tent can still be pitched on a single attachment point, like a walking stick, at tree or a garden bench.

    Adapt or die :D
    #46
  7. BoerSchoeman

    BoerSchoeman Stealth Camper Tent

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    You clearly debate a point and think it through. I like that. :1drink

    I give lightweight camping workshops/training in South Africa for newbie adventure riders. Like a previous inmate said: Nowadays, camping gear can be cheap, but buying the right one..... We try and advise them as to what they should and shouldn't buy as a startup point.

    One of the things we teach the guys is, There is NO correct camping gear for ALL trips. You have to diversify your packing setup based on the expected conditions whether it be weather/season, road surfaces, rider's ability on the bike etc. As well as the number of days spent in the same spot. That being said, you have to buy smart so you can use the same gear on multiple kinds of trips, too.

    eg. If I go away to the river and I know I will camp there for 3-5days, I take a 3 person dome tent compared to when I tour. I mostly do long distance gravel touring. 8-10 days of 500 - 800 Miles per day. Than I use the smallest tent I have. And it sets up fast.Because at the end of 450 miles of touring, the last thing I want to do is spend 5 minutes pitching a huge 3 person tent. All I want is to roll out my sleeping setup, hook it to my bike, and grab a beer. :freaky

    My point is, even though we all have various levels of comfort that we seek from our camping setup, my individual comfort and needs will differ based on conditions of the trip that I expect to encounter.

    Those unexpected conditions, is in my opinion, part of the adventure.
    #47
  8. Jud

    Jud Long timer

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    Good post.:1drink
    #48
  9. Medic

    Medic Window licker

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    Best post of the thread, and good enough for me to break my usual "no quote" rule.
    #49
  10. John Smallberries

    John Smallberries Long timer

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    Boer;
    Thanks!! How's my red tent coming along?
    #50
  11. Ceri JC

    Ceri JC UK GSer

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    Yep. For me, multi-purpose devices are great and much easier to justify. My Lumix FT-3 is a video camera, a still camera and a backup GPS as well as an altimeter. I carry a Glock shovel (many uses: digging bikes out, as a giant ground anchor for the tent, digging holes to crap in, water trenches, etc.) one of the benefits is that it has a saw in it. I can justify that as it serves so many purposes. No way I'd bother with a dedicated saw though. I can honestly say I have never needed a saw in hundreds of nights camping. It can make fire or shelter building easier/quicker, but it has never enabled either when they would otherwise have been impossible. In the time it takes to saw through anything big enough that I can't ride over, I could usually have found another way around.

    I always take a pillow these days. I used to leave it at home on very lightweight trips. Nowadays I always carry the exped inflatable pillow. It's the only inflatable pillow I've seen that is truly comfortable and yet packs so small that I never feel compelled to leave it at home. It fits in my fist and ensures I sleep properly. Even if I only got a crick in the neck from sleeping without a pillow 10% of the time (and it was a lot more often than that) it'd be worth taking.
    #51
  12. wbedient

    wbedient MoTard

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    You've got that right! My kit changes every time I go on a trip, even when they're very similar trips. I try to learn something new on every trip, adapting my kit, packing style etc. every time I go out.

    Can you tell us a couple companies with affordable gear that we should look at and some that we should avoid? It would be fun to go to your class, but South Africa is a LONG way to go.
    #52
  13. BoerSchoeman

    BoerSchoeman Stealth Camper Tent

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    You don't need a class. You got it all sorted. :clap At least you diversify and learn from each trip. Some of the okes go over the top on the packing dept.

    We don't have half of the number of quality suppliers you guys have in the states, So me giving you advice is actually funny, cause I learned something from your post.

    And when you do come to South Africa, we wont be taking classes, we will go riding.
    #53
  14. BoerSchoeman

    BoerSchoeman Stealth Camper Tent

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    I Made my own tarp recently, and on Saturday it started pouring in Pretoria, so I quickly setup shop to test my new tarp.

    Couple of things I learned:

    My tarp material will be replaced with Sil Nylon, who cares about noisy in the wind. It's lighter and it doesn't absorb water (which mine did). And my drinking buddies makes more noise anyway. :freaky

    The two sections of my tarp will be stitched together that they run from pole to pole, and not across the centre of the tarp. This will help to "lift" the centre of the tarp when you pull the guy ropes tighter.

    I will use seamsealer on the stitching. Eventually it started dripping slightly at the lowest point, but it could be from material saturation.

    On a previous test I found no dew forms under the tarp, so it works well in conjuction with my small tent.

    Big Plus: In heavy downpour, My tent's inside remained completely dry, and I could sit outside my tent under the tarp and cook.

    I will do a proper outcamp/outride tonite with full gear and report back. :lol3

    [​IMG]
    #54
  15. Mambo Dave

    Mambo Dave Backyard Adventurer

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    Any chance you could write up an exact run-down of the parts you have plus the tarp you're gonna get? (i.e. pole make / model / size, tarp make / model / size, etc.)

    I'm looking to buy a set-up, but every time I check on the links provided for one form or another of a reported Kelty knock-off tarp the inventory is zero, and, hell, I'm getting tired of trying to figure out what to buy. I might as well just buy exactly what looks to work that some other member tested and go with it, and your camp, there, looks like what I'd want.

    ---

    Edit: Aw, shucks, skip it - you're in south Africa. LOL, just saw that.
    #55
  16. BoerSchoeman

    BoerSchoeman Stealth Camper Tent

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    Don't worry too much. Our camp out tonite will involve a photo shoot which will serve as the promo materials for my post in the Vendor section. Keep any eye out for Stealth Camper in the Vendor's next week.

    And tarps are easy to make mate. Gotta give the lady of the house some work some time, hey?
    #56
  17. mouthfulloflake

    mouthfulloflake Not afraid

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    Boer, did you treat the tarp fabric with anything?

    ive made a few, I normally spray them with this stuff, really good like 2 coats on the top side.

    [​IMG]

    it makes them perfectly usable.
    #57
  18. wbedient

    wbedient MoTard

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    What do you make your tarps out of? You got a write up or thread?
    #58
  19. BoerSchoeman

    BoerSchoeman Stealth Camper Tent

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    I have used a similiar product on some of the Campmaster tent's seams and it has worked well. Tx for the reminder, I think it could work well.

    Regarding the tarp, I think the way to go is silNylon, Just because it's water repellent, and not just waterproof. I will still spray the seams with this stuff though.

    Tx.
    #59
  20. mazman808

    mazman808 Been here awhile

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    Boer,
    any measurements of your lightest tent packed in its bag?
    Trying to see/compare it to my 2 person tent and see how much smaller it is.
    Looks very nice and i would be interested in one asap if its that much more compact/smaller.
    PM with price/shipping if you can?

    cheers
    #60