Sleeping mats and Tents

Discussion in 'Australia' started by FatBoyCrash, Feb 7, 2007.

  1. FatBoyCrash

    FatBoyCrash Buckle up SpankY!!

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    Gudday,
    Rightio then, what are you blokes using for tents and sleeping mats? Yes, I own a swag but she's too big for the bike. Plus when they get wet swags are a bastard. So I'm looking for a lightweight tent and sleeping mat.
    What's the consensus out there? I know that the septics have a million suggestions on the other forums but I'd like to source it locally. The one that catches my eye so far is the coleman epsilon 2 tent. Anyone used one? It appears that there is a about a thousand variations out there ranging from 40 bucks to stupid.
    As for self inflating mats, any suggestions? I'm thinking small hole at 0200 might be a bit painfull.
    I'm happy to spend money if the thing is worth it and lasts. There just seems to be so much cheap crap out there.
    Thanks
    FatBoy
    #1
  2. rosscoact

    rosscoact need constant supervision

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    Do a search for thermarest. The best thing about a SIM is that if they do puncture at least you have something between you and the ground.

    I was having alook in Allmart the other day and they have 2 man tent for 50 bucks which is lighter and probably a bit more compact than my cheap 2 man hiking tent at three times the price. As Davo once said, a tent is a consumable.
    #2
  3. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

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    I've used a Therma-rest copy, called an "Earthmat". It's a "3/4 light".

    It's cheaper than a Therma-rest and I've had mine for about 8-9 years.
    It's had a lot of use from back packing in Tasmania, kayaking to bike use.
    I've never had a puncture, ever. But I'm careful where I put it.

    I did buy a new matt in Hobart a few years agao for Mrs Beak. Got it from a Mountain Designs shop. We used it on the South Coast Track for 10 days and it blew out a cell on the last night. It was a Chinese copy they were selling. They replaced it for free. It wasn't cheap, but less than a genuine Therma-rest.

    Tents ? There's plenty. My main one is a "Hobbit" from Eureka. Again over 10 years use. Two person, gives me more room for my gear in bad weather.
    I've recently bought another single man tent, can't recall the name. It's just a little lighter by maybe less than a kilo. (I was going through a light is better faze for using with the KLR.

    One trick I got off backpackers. If you are worried about the floor wearing, use a piece of shade cloth under it. Not a fly tarp, as if it rains, the tarp will leave you sitting in water.

    Andrew Linton
    #3
  4. Hay Ewe

    Hay Ewe Just a Wannabe

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    Tents,
    Get a tent where the outer goes up first, then the inner. This way, when the weather is crap (raining) the outer gets wet but the inner doesnt, you can put the outer up first, get all kit inside under cover then sort it out.
    This way the inner stays dry all the time (except condensation).

    Get a tent that is big enough. I have a Black Shrimp from Robens I think, German, brought it in the UK a few years ago, sure its big but it actuall rolls up smaller than a smaller two man tent I have. It has a HUGE vestibule that we can put bike kit, boots, panniers and tank bag and still have space in side. Its full length so we put our helmets at the bottom of the tent and still can strch out.

    Self inflating matresses, dunno, We use a closed cell foam but most liklely be getting puncture resistant thermarests later in the year.

    Hay Ewe - Nice shack
    #4
  5. Trevor S

    Trevor S Cap'n Flatulence !

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    Neither. I find thermarests uncomfortable as hell and bad for my back, yes I have one and have tried plenty, this is the only thing I have found where I can sleep the entire night through. Tents on the whole are too cumbersome and take up too much space unless you ride around on big arse bike with multiple metal panniers etc and space is not a consideration. After much research I am a huge convert to

    http://www.hennessyhammock.com/

    this thing takes up the space of a 3/4 thermarest and does the job of a tent, fly, thermarest all in one and can be up and down much more quickly then a tent, when it's raining and muddy it does not get covered in crap as you pack it away off the ground...

    These are probably no good if you are the sort that rides to big campgrounds, as they are often cleared of trees. For me it was perfect, keeps you out of the weather, away from vermin, away from insects and off the ground, I used mine all through the Simpson Desert

    [​IMG]

    and I would argue they allow you to camp more places then a tent. Try camping in a tent over the top of a rocky creek. The only down side is if you are with others with tents or swags, they need to find cleared places while you can set up over cactus if you have to :)
    #5
  6. rosscoact

    rosscoact need constant supervision

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    Trev,
    did you have any trouble setting up anywhere on your Simpson Desert trip?

    What model do you have?

    Did you need extra insulation under you when you went?

    What temp rated sleeping bag did you use?

    Also, is the 640 stable/heavy enough to use as a fastening point if need be?

    rossco
    #6
  7. JamesLaugesen

    JamesLaugesen Been here awhile

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    Cool to see another camping hammock :D
    I have an older Hennesy standard camping one. I use a light 10+ deg bag, inside a -10 deg (celcious) bag when it gets cold. Both goose down. I use one of those car windscreen sun reflecter things as an under-mat if it's windy or very cold. The reflective backing does a good job keeping body heat in, and it seems 100% wind-proof, as opposed to most inflatable camping mats.

    The only down-side for me is finding somewhere good to set up, which I can also ride the Uly close to... often I have to camp a little bit away from the bike.
    I also find it less 'homey' than a tent, so not my cup-of-tea for long trips, and things would get interesting if you were camping with a partner :lol3.
    #7
  8. rosscoact

    rosscoact need constant supervision

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    I agree that a tent is the go for 2 up camping. The thing with the tent was that it took a good half hour in the morning to pack up and it was so bulky.

    We once had to escape a fire and packing up in a hurry meant bits flapping everywhere.:eek1

    That being said I was quite happy with the setup when I was on the 1150 but on the DR the tent and thermarest takes up a heap of space. Althought I guess it must be a bitch in a thunderstorm.

    I love the idea of the car reflector, the wife will never notice.:evil

    I'm planning on taking my +5 Bug ultralite and a polar fleece liner on my winter trip. I assume the hammock needs a warmer rated bag?
    #8
  9. sleepywombat

    sleepywombat the DR650 pig

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    i have a cheap arse oztrail tent that cost $50 and a cheap arse self inflatable mat that cost $20 ... it keeps me dry and comfortable they pack up small which is what i was after when i bought them .. they do a basic job
    #9
  10. Eaglebeak

    Eaglebeak All roads rider, West Oz.

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    I always use a reflective sheet inside on the floor of my tent. Keeps the cold from the ground where it belongs, below me.
    #10
  11. Oldfatbeerman

    Oldfatbeerman Enroute to a PUB

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    Last week I bought a new Roman brand thermarest It`s 8 cm thick when inflated and is super comfy. It is not at all compact but I`ll wear that due to the fact i am a comfort critter. The model is the Super Deluxe Moon Mat. Also has 2 air nozzles for faster filling and rolling up.

    Alan
    :freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky:freaky
    #11
  12. JamesLaugesen

    JamesLaugesen Been here awhile

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    I've had the hammock in two thunderstorms, one with hail :lol3, in the blue mountains (mountain biking, not on moto) and I loved it... maybe not everyone's cup of tea. Physically a good hammock will handle anything easily (thinner than a tent, can't really "blow down", etc), but it obviously does move around a lot which some people might not like. The only worry for me in a storm is lightening hitting the trees, or nearby trees. But just like any camping you need to choose the site wisely :lol3.
    Most important thing (I find) in a storm is to keep the fly tight. Because a hammock fly is usually just a flat sheet it 'flaps' more violently than a typical tent (think back to the old traditional A-frame tents).
    The trick I use to keep the fly tight is to hang a bottle from it in a strategic place, so-as to pull the fly tight with a channel running towards the bottle. When rain falls, some of it runs into the bottle :) When it doesn't rain I just fill the bottle with rocks.

    I've never done a side-by-side temp comparison, but I use the same gear whether in the hammock or tent (Ultra light summer bag + thicker winter bag for really cold nights and the car reflecter underneath).
    A clever hammock set up can be tweaked a lot more than a tent; such as pegging a fly down to the ground to reduce wind underneath the hammock, and fully enclosing the sleeping area to get the body-warmth effect of a tent.
    #12
  13. FatBoyCrash

    FatBoyCrash Buckle up SpankY!!

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    Thanks everyone for the input.
    Where did you guys get the Hennesy Hammocks from? And are they comfy? I'm a sleep on my stomach kinda guy. Plus a big unit as well at 98kilo's and 6'1' Would they handle it?
    I like the advice about buying a tent that you can set the fly up first. Makes a lot of sense.
    Any other tent reccomendations anyone?
    FatBoy
    #13
  14. JamesLaugesen

    JamesLaugesen Been here awhile

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    I got mine from Hennesy directions years ago.
    They are very comfy, I sleep on my back or sometimes side... stomach might be difficult :lol3. With some clever setting up, a virtually flat sleeping area can be acheived (lying diagonally across the hammock... sounds weird I know), which is made easier with some "flat sleeping" specific hammocks. I'm not sure if Hennesy do those now... but I think it'd still be awkward to sleeping on your stomach.
    Size wont be a problem, just get a bigger hammock... and bigger trees.

    And yeah the fly tents are great.
    My tent has velcro fastners for the fly, so I leave the fly attached over the main tent before putting the pole in and pegging it down. Keeps the rain out but it's still a bitch, esspecially at night.
    #14
  15. Andrew2

    Andrew2 Long timer

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    Ain't life funny.I've always had tents (still do) and have just discovered the joys of owning a swag.I've pulled the foam crap out of mine and now roll the whole thing up with a defalated thermorest,sleeping bag and deflated pillow inside the swag.I take a tarp just in case it rains which takes up little room.I use the bag that I carry the swag in to hold my clothes,helmet,boots etc.I love how quick it packs and unpacks plus I get a great nights sleep due to it being darker than the tent.It looks bulky on the bike but does'nt weigh any more than my tent setup.
    Andrew

    [​IMG]
    #15
  16. tunaranch

    tunaranch Hairy Biker

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    I have a 'basecamp' thermarest that I got from a disposals store; It got ocky straped to my pillion seat. The thermarest was more comfy than my bed. (I like hard surfaces, mt bed has a vinyl foam mattress)

    My tent's a 3 (or was it two? I forget) man oztrail dome, also from disposals store. What I don't like about it is that it doesn't have a vestibule. it's not two heavy.. sat ok on top of my soft panniers.
    #16
  17. FatBoyCrash

    FatBoyCrash Buckle up SpankY!!

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    Gudday Andrew,
    What brand/type/size is that swag?
    FatBoy
    #17
  18. sidetrack one

    sidetrack one Chief Tiddler Supporter

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    Yeah' I'll back you on the joys of a swag, Andrew.
    Helps to have a big bike though.

    Attached Files:

    #18
  19. Adventcha UnCut

    Adventcha UnCut Wannabe

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    FB,

    For Hennesy Hammocks check out your local Intertrek Bushwalking shop, K2 Base Camp in the Valley and Torre Mountain Craft in Taringa, Intertrek are the Australian distributor for HH (not Helly Hansen). I used to work for Bogong Equipment in Melbourne which is also affiliated with Intertrek.

    Thermarests are expensive but in 25 years of Bushwalking, rafting, MTBing and Ski Touring I've never been "let down" by one.

    For lightweight tents that pitch fly first (or Integral Pitch as Macpac call it) try the aforesaid Macpac and Wilderness Equipment tents. Depending on the model these will cost from $400 upwards but again, should last at least 10-15 years of continual use. If fly first is not an issue, check out Salewa tents as these offer strong designs with usually massive vestibules.

    I no longer work in the outdoor industry so none of the above is sales pitch but rather 25 years of experience using this stuff in the activities previously mentioned. I'm looking forward to taking delivery of a 990 Adventure in the next couple of weeks and using all this stuff in a new "arena".

    Cheers,

    UnCut
    #19
  20. FatBoyCrash

    FatBoyCrash Buckle up SpankY!!

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    Outstanding UnCut,
    Thanks. I drive past K2 and Torre almost every day.
    FatBoy
    #20