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I think I hate camping, but may have to. Need a way to fix this.

Discussion in 'Camping Toys' started by dddd, Jul 15, 2018.

  1. dddd

    dddd Long timer

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    I just tried motorcycle camping yesterday for the 1st time, less than 200km from home. It was not pleasant.

    I got completely soaked from sweat the 25 minutes it took to setup tent and inflatable mattress, something I practiced before but without the black flies and such...

    Then condensation kicked in, nothing was drying, and nocturnal visit and lightning from a distance kept me up til pass midnight. Then the storm came closer and I was at a high point for the view, which is risky for lightning. I had enough; I pulled my front lamp packed up everything and went home (in 2 hours of thunderstorm on the hazard barely able to see the road lines). I was home by 3h30 am finally. Yes, I was a wuss, that night.

    Problem 1, restless. I can't imagine resting at all on a motorcycling trip if camping. How do you do it (without drugs...)?

    Problem 2, re-planning. My intention was to have a plan B in case all hotels are booked where I want to end up. But rustic camping will obviously not occur near the cities I planned for, it would be in some national forest a fair distance away from my plans. That throws off the breakfast plans too.

    Problem 3, exhaustion. I normally wake up for sunrise and ride early, but I like to be done by 4pm. But with camping, that's a good 3-4h before sunset and cooling of the air, and thus possible sleep. I typically would find dinner and ride further and so it pushes me 3-4h deeper in fatigue, instead of a shower, a meal and some tv.

    I feel I not cut for it. But I really like the idea of not spending 30 minutes on websites to book the next hotel and have to pay 400$ a night because everything else is booked... Or worse, NOT FIND a place.

    What am I doing wrong here? how could people like motorcycle camping at all, rest and not get exhausted and uncomfortable?
    #1
  2. FarmerKeith

    FarmerKeith Anything with wheels...

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    A couple of thoughts here in no random order from a guy who has camped a lot over the years:

    1. Camping sucks when it’s hot and humid out. No way around that unless you have a camper with AC. Not an option on the bike.

    2. Most people start out camping with cheap gear. It’s big, takes a long time to set up, and is generally uncomfortable. I try to compare gear prices to hotel rooms. It’s easier to buy a good tent when you look at it as 3 nights in a hotel buys a nice tent that lasts years.

    3. I’m guessing it took some time for you to get good at riding motorbikes. How to ride competently, what kind of bikes you like, how to pack, etc. Camping is a skill. You won’t be good at it your first try. Give it time.

    4. Best thing you can do is (if possible) camp with guys who have done it a lot. See what they use, try out there stuff etc.

    5. Have fun with it!
    #2
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  3. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority Supporter

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    It ain't for everyone.
    #3
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  4. DittyBag

    DittyBag A bag of dirty stuff

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    It might not be your scene. I hate cheap stinking dirty hotels that cost $100 more than I hate sleeping in a ditch. You have to just decide.

    Camping is not the perfect solution, or everybody would be doing it. I have found that, on any trip, the first 2 nights just get me back into the groove. Always uncomfortable. I can hear anything that moves and nothing really feels right. But by the 3rd, it smooths out and I can enjoy the place I camp.

    I always try to find a place with a view. I always try to set my mind to understand that hardship is part of the ride and what seers the memory in my skull.
    #4
  5. PlainClothesHippy

    PlainClothesHippy Only dimly aware of a certain unease in the air.

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    FarmerKeith gives you good advice.

    I will add this. Setting up your tent in hot humid weather is best done slowly and deliberately to minimize discomfort. Since you like to finish the ride fairly early you have that time. Accept that you will get sweaty. There is no way around that.

    Blackflies...I have no idea how to deal with those. Repellent with deet works okay on mosquitoes.

    It may simply be that camping is not your thing. There is nothing wrong with that, and it doesn't mean it isn't an option for Plan B, even if it isn't enjoyable.

    Edit: Earplugs are helpful when I am trying to fall asleep in a tent.
    #5
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  6. HarveyM

    HarveyM Been here awhile

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    To play devil's advocate, you picked a sucky week to go camping; not as bad as two weeks ago when dozens of Quebecers died from heat, but still pretty bad. It's kinda like you got caught in a hurricane at some resort and decided you hated tropical beach vacations.
    #6
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  7. 9Realms

    9Realms Drawn in by the complex plot

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    If a person is trying to get to know camping, it can take a lot of pressure off if you step into it in the spring or fall, when it's generally cool enough to eliminate BUGS, HEAT and HUMIDITY.

    I feel the same way about traveling north to go fishing..... I just don't put all my cards and money on a trip in JULY or August. Yuk.

    mosquito-drives-motorcycle-bug-bike-comic-kids.png

    I'd rather put on more riding gear and look like I have been snowmobiling, then ride in a safety-yellow tee shirt all day cause of intense heat and then sweat one's sack off in a tent at night. In the spring and fall, the air is lighter, often less traffic, campgrounds a little quieter, etc. It would also go better I think for someone whom was not quite on to the sport yet. In the meantime, I try to ride with another person so as to be able to split the fees of motel rooms. I think if you continue in the warmer, buggy temps, you could get sour on it and not give it a full chance, which would be too bad, cause it can indeed be a good time, and not feel like you are making compromises. Ride safe in any regard. :-)
    #7
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  8. CaptUglyDan

    CaptUglyDan Been here awhile

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    Look up Catoma tents, They set up in about 45 seconds and take about a minute to pack up, Spendy, but will take alot of the stress out of your attitude, not to mention the knees.
    For the air mattress I use a Coleman pump that plugs in the cig lighter to inflate, Then use the reverse section of the pump to deflate. No bending over to squeeze the air out. A good camp chair is another one I'd recommend.
    And Beer.
    #8
  9. DougA

    DougA Been here awhile Supporter

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    I think there is a lot of good advice so far in this thread. I can agree with others, there isn't much that can be done to mitigate the misery of camping in hot weather. I enjoy camping in locations that are far out but there is definitely something to be said for staying at a campground that offers amenities such as bathrooms and showers. I find taking a shower right before going to sleep helps me cool down & stay cool through out the night. I also make an effort to camp on lakes or rivers as they offer a location a more natural location to cool down after a long day's ride.
    #9
  10. Mr.JAJA

    Mr.JAJA Long timer Supporter

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    Don't ask me for going CAMPING. I do this all my live and I am 67.
    1th.
    To get a good night sleep with out to be woken up by a thunderstorm, use ear plugs. Have the tent setup on a high place, not on the top of the hill, but high enough to be safe for a flash flood. Do the setup 1-1/2 hour before sunset.

    2nd.
    Plan B, I never have a plan B. But I have all the stuff to cover for the worst. (Knock on wood)

    3rd.
    Take more breaks during daytime and check out the nice places, have a coffee break, ride the BYWAY not the Highway, and a second coffee break. 350-400 miles max.

    Camping is relay not the style for everyone, all comes from how did you grow up. I get a good lough, watching CITY camper setting up there tent, and all the Gimmicks for ONE night and not thinking of the neighbor. And If I have this open wide screen TV, I don't need more. In the morning, you wake up and some one is watching you.

    I leave here (SAN DIEGO) on Tuesday for a 8000 mile camping ride to Halifax. That's only 4 weeks and I will ride to your woods....

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  11. Retired and lovin it

    Retired and lovin it Been here awhile

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    A good tent that has the rain fly attached to the tent and goes up in ten minutes like the Redverz, and ear plugs for the other campers or rain and thunder. Not much can be done with the heat. I just car camped Friday and stormed all afternoon and night in the 90's down to 75 at night. my dog and I survived dry but not comfortable. It is what it is. The Redverz has a garage so we were able to sit in a chair in that area. For many a motel is the only way. For me it is to expensive.
    #11
  12. dksd39

    dksd39 Been here awhile

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    Very good advice here. i would add if it takes you 25 min to set your tent and air mattress you either have the wrong gear or need WAY more practice. Since my first trip in 2015 i have spent over a year in my Redverz. I can put it up in 5 to 7 minutes depending on wind. I chose the Redverz because it is huge lol. I can't imagine living in a tent that I cannot stand up in and yes i live in my tent more than i am in my bed at home. I left home in Florida May 1st. 2 nights ago i was in Valdez... i couldnt afford to travel long term in hotels not to mention i also wouldnt enjoy being locked up in a room.

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    #12
  13. dddd

    dddd Long timer

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    Thanks all.

    I do not camp for camping. It's not my thing for sure. It's a plan B when I can't find hotel (and I mean, I will spent 300$ if I have to, I know, I'm stupid) but where there is just no room left, it's not about price. I totally like my hotel rooms even the worst ones I had, compared to a tent. I'd buy take-out or even corner store food and eat it in my room if I can, to remain in silence or watching some reruns of sitcoms or a movie, booking the next day over wifi and for the pleasure of not having to go anywhere once I'm done eating.

    But here is the thing. I will end up in places where hotels are few, and very much booked. I'm thinking of booking everything before I go, else not go. It's that much of an issue for me. So I hope it's a lot clearer why I "may have to" do camping. I also dislike carrying an extra 27 lbs bag (the air mattress and its battery pump are quite heavy).

    I think I got my mind set. But I wanted to hear about possible fixes I have not imagined.
    Thanks again.

    Some extra info:

    The tent is a outbound 4 person tent. It has a footprint of 9x7, which I think is perfect. The 3 person tent was too small (I was touching every wall, sleeping in diagonal; that would have been bad with condensation. Funnily, the 4-tent packs almost as small as the 3-tent, that is, about 5x5x26 for only 5 lbs. To be honest I have no issue with it. I think it installs as fast as any staked tent given it's only 7 pegs an 2 flex rods.

    The 20-25 minutes is from getting off the bike to resting on the mattress. Inspect the ground, lay the tarp. The tent alone was perhaps 5-10 minutes and I take my time to stake it well (broke one alu stake too, crap; I'm buying 9"nails!). Then move stuff in, inflate mattress with battery operated pump, position luggage and bags for space, shuffle a bit for clothes (hoping some might dry a bit..), lighting, battery packs to recharge stuff and deploy sleeping bags and that's it. It's just a lot of moving with no wind usually (in evenings) that gets me dripping sweat.
    #13
  14. DittyBag

    DittyBag A bag of dirty stuff

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    I was going to recommend this....:lol2
    [​IMG]

    I think that you have a solid plan with booking everything before you go. Obviously, you will find better deals that way and it will take the worry and wasted time thumbing through that crap on your phone. Even if you cannot stay on schedule, many places won't burn you if you can cancel 24 hrs. in advance. Thanks for bringing it up, you made me think about this option more.
    #14
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  15. Johann

    Johann Commuterous Tankslapperous

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    As a rule of thumb a 1 person tent is designed for a midget double amputee with severe agrophobia issues. A two person tent is ideal for one person with room for gear inside and a three person tent is normally too big/too heavy to be worth carrying for occasional single person use, but saying that 5lbs is pretty good. You can get lightweight stuff that is around the 1kg (28oz) mark but the downside is the cost, and they are often so flimsy you need to use a seperate groundsheet anyway which is a bit self defeating. I don´t know how tall you are but some the lightweight tipi/laavu style tents are very spacious, well vented, pack small and light and go up very quickly. Tunnel tents are really spacious as well and have loads of room for gear. Investigate tents, there are lots around that can be put up (and more importantly taken down) in a couple of minutes.

    Instead of a full blown air mattress a thermarest or similar weighs less, are semi self inflating, don´t need an external pump and pack up small and light. You can shell out and get sleeping bag/thermarest combos designed to work together where the mattress fits in a slot under the one sided bag which stops you moving off the bag at night (Big Agnes?) or I use a cheap bivvy and put the bag in that with the bag inside. Ventilation is important in any tent, the more options you have to open vents and get some air flowing through the better.
    #15
  16. dddd

    dddd Long timer

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    Every pad or self inflating pad/mattress I've come across were bigger than my inflatable 39" wide 8" thick 6 feet long air mattress. The 8" air mattress wins easily for comfort, and folds to nothingness like I couldn't believe.

    It's an intek, from walmart. Surprising, I know! like 15$ and tested 4 nights (in house) for loss. no loss. Yesterday, I only added air after the 30 minute normal stretch. in case of puncture (if no more patches), by another the next day (walmart everywhere, right...?)
    #16
  17. nickguzzi

    nickguzzi Long timer

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    The OP's first paragraph had me thinking of the times I have sat with a beer watching a noob wrestle with a tent and associated equipment. It is like most things practical, organisation and practice. Not hard work. Not sweating and cursing.

    Bad back means I take a cheap air mattress, I have for years. Sounds the same chineesium as the OP's.
    Experience shows a manual blow job will likely give me a heart attack. Simple, I take a pump (electric). After a while I offer it the the folks struggling, they appreciate better what a good idea being prepared is.

    Are you are inept? or just lacking in practice? Hopefully the latter.

    Many of us prefer the freedom of camping, and not the "free ness".
    Here in Europe, France at least, accommodation can be had for less than the US. All the comforts, but it ain't home, nothing like.
    Find a site up in the mountain, away from the summer heat. Put plenty of beer or wine in the office fridge and do some swinging in your hammock. Dozing or thinking of which restaurant to go to for dinner while you sup.
    #17
  18. Turtletownman

    Turtletownman Been here awhile

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    I changed to a hammock a year ago. The first night was a the end of a bad day. The sun had set and I set up in twilight. A bank thermometer on the way in to the campground said 90. By the time I had set up the hammock, gotten registered at the campground I was soaking wet with sweat. i took a cool shower and returned. While I was not in the mountains, the location was far enough into north Georgia and far enough away from asphalt to start cooling after dark. Before daylight I was adding cover to stay warm. I got a good night's sleep. A hammock is always cooler than a tent which is good in summer sometimes.
    I also try to travel to decent locations. Camping has put me at places there are no motels. I think about Lower Economy, Nova Scotia as a good example. Also since the best riding is on twisty mountain roads, I try to ride them and camp in the Blue Ridge, Appalachian, Smoky Mountains. Even summer nights are cool here.
    If camping does not work, then continue with the motel travel.
    #18
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  19. WYO George

    WYO George I have no idea

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    Put me in a tent with a crummy ground pad and a thunderstorm overhead and I’ll sleep like a baby. Put me in a fancy motel with a premium bed, A/C, billion thread count sheets and I’ll toss and turn all night and wake up when someone farts two blocks away.

    We’re all different, it may not be your thing. If you really want to learn it though, do as several have suggested and learn from guys who know what they’re doing
    #19
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  20. FarmerKeith

    FarmerKeith Anything with wheels...

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    E1F2D2F8-0D95-45FD-894B-800DCE67B833.jpeg

    Something to look forward to: when your so comfortable with your setup that it’s more comfortable than the cabin your buddy rented for the night.
    #20
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