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Discussion Starter #41
Thanks again for all the tips and suggestions, guys.

I probably will not be cooking my meals because it seems to add a lot more complexity. Besides, I like to sample the local cuisine.

In terms of camping gear, I'm currently leaning towards buying a tent that's a one-person tent that can be packaged up into as small a size as possible. Also, will probably be looking for an air mattress and sleeping bag...same priorities apply to them (small size packaging). I'm not so worried about weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #42
If you don't want the camping gear to get in the way when you are travelling, then high end lightweight backpacking gear is the best. Plan on spending around $500 if you have nothing.

Here is my bike loaded up for 4 weeks on the road.


and my buddy's ZZR


My tent, self inflating mattress, and sleeping bag is in the big yellow dry bag. My buddy's tent, self inflating mattress and sleeping bag is in the little yellow dry bag. Big difference in size and price.

We both have the Jetboil system. Great for heating water for oatmeal and coffee in the morning and water for freeze dried meals at the campsite. We eat a good lunch while out on the road.
There's definitely a huge difference in size.
That's what I'm aiming for really. Small compact packaging....not so much worried about the weight.
 

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Go with a small 2 person so you have room in the tent for your gear. Heck even room to breathe, change, etc. Air mattresses take up a lot of room and you have to carry a pump. Not carrying cooking gear will cut down on the space you need quite a bit!
 

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+1 on the fact the air mattress will likely take up the most space, but unless you like sleeping on cold plywood it's important.

There is a difference between camping pads and mattresses, both in size and comfort.

Men's Sleeping Pad Reviews - OutdoorGearLab
Camping Pads & Mattress Reviews - OutdoorGearLab

And if you go the blow up route, get the HVLP (high volume low pressure) bellows foot pump. Your lungs and lack of dizzy spells & blackouts will love you for it.
 

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My buddy's tent is the MSR Hubba. He said he might get a Hubba 2 person for cycle camping so he can put his gear in the tent.

MSR Hubba Hubba 2P Tent - Free Shipping at REI.com

If you buy a Walmart tent, be prepared to seal all the seams, and spray the tent with camp dry to make it waterproof.

His sleeping bag is a down bag because they compress more than synthetic bags.

His sleeping pad is Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad at REI.com or this depending on time of year. Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad - Free Shipping at REI.com
 

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His sleeping bag is a down bag because they compress more than synthetic bags.
I always try to limit my compression of sleeping bags as I feel it could damage the insulation loft over time. It may just take longer to puff back up though.
Down does give superior warmth for less over synthetics, but they perform poorer if they get wet.
Sleeping bags alone can be a whole topic for debate, as can stoves and tents :)
 

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What kind of weather temp wise are you going to be in?
Where are you headed?

If your headed to a place with trees and you ask nicely I may load you a hammock to try out.
 

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I always try to limit my compression of sleeping bags as I feel it could damage the insulation loft over time. It may just take longer to puff back up though.
Down does give superior warmth for less over synthetics, but they perform poorer if they get wet.
Sleeping bags alone can be a whole topic for debate, as can stoves and tents :)
My gear is stored loosely. Only compressed when travelling. First thing we do when we get to a campsite is set up tent, open sleeping bags to let them loft.
 

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Discussion Starter #49
My buddy's tent is the MSR Hubba. He said he might get a Hubba 2 person for cycle camping so he can put his gear in the tent.

MSR Hubba Hubba 2P Tent - Free Shipping at REI.com

If you buy a Walmart tent, be prepared to seal all the seams, and spray the tent with camp dry to make it waterproof.

His sleeping bag is a down bag because they compress more than synthetic bags.

His sleeping pad is Therm-a-Rest Z Lite Sol Sleeping Pad at REI.com or this depending on time of year. Therm-a-Rest ProLite Sleeping Pad - Free Shipping at REI.com
The Hubba looks like a great tent. But at $329, it is pricey....
 

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Discussion Starter #50
What kind of weather temp wise are you going to be in?
Where are you headed?

If your headed to a place with trees and you ask nicely I may load you a hammock to try out.
I'm planning to ride out west, spend a week or so in Oregon and California, and ride back.
 

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Discussion Starter #51
+1 on the fact the air mattress will likely take up the most space, but unless you like sleeping on cold plywood it's important.

There is a difference between camping pads and mattresses, both in size and comfort.

Men's Sleeping Pad Reviews - OutdoorGearLab
Camping Pads & Mattress Reviews - OutdoorGearLab

And if you go the blow up route, get the HVLP (high volume low pressure) bellows foot pump. Your lungs and lack of dizzy spells & blackouts will love you for it.
I do have a small air compressor in my tire repair kit if I need it
Can't tell for now but I think I should be able to blow up a small air mattress without getting dizzy...lol
 

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Discussion Starter #52
Camping gear will depend on how much you plan on roughing it. :)

Just camping is relatively easy. All you really need is a tent or tarp, a sleeping mat and a sleeping bag rated for the temperatures you'd expect.

Add in food and or cooking items and it gets a bit more bulky but not any more complex.

Add in the canoe and well, that's a bit extreme.

I'm not aware of any motorcycle specific camping gear unless you talk about tent trailers for bikes. I'm sure though someone makes some but any old camping gear will do.

Compression (stuff) sacs are a great way to get more articles that will compress into a smaller format and dry bags (think of the kind kayakers use) help too.
But any way you pack your regular gear for a bike trip to maximize space and keep it dry will work. Think of camping on your bike as a regular trip with the accommodations in the backwoods hotel.

As well, how many people you are taking plays a deciding role on what you need. 1 person needs less stuff and a smaller tent than 2.

For cooking Jetboils are indeed great small cooking systems, as are many of the other LP(gas) and canister(gas) cook stoves you can get. If you want to really get adventurous take a peek at a Kelly Kettle. It's a bit bigger & only boils water but runs off sticks, twigs etc. If you really want to keep it down in weight and size there are lots of minimalistic stoves that run off alcohol or wood. Some you can even make yourself. Here's a great stove site: Zen Backpacking Stoves - How to Choose a Stove

I usually do an alcohol stove insert (penny stove made from soda cans) in a small stove that also burns hexamine or wood.
View attachment 66699
My cooking "pot" is an army surplus canteen cup. Fit's right on top.

You can find lots or good stuff at an army surplus store, usually at a fair price (not to knock Craig's list)

Food (assuming you are not eating out) can be either prepackaged stuff made for camping (think Mountainhouse) or even Ramen noodles and canned Spam. Or you can take dried soup mix, rice, etc. Just boil your water, mix, wait while it simmers, and enjoy.
Whatever you take to eat though make sure you try it in advance. Nothing worse than getting intestinal distress when you are trying to enjoy yourself.

Now for the accommodations bit. You can go with a variety of small tents. They usually don't compact much more from how they come from the store, and you'll likely want some sort of pad and sleeping bag system. The sleeping bag will usually compress in a stuff sack quite nicely.

My favorite way to camp though is in a hammock. More specifically a hammock tent. The only catch here is you need two trees (or suitable points) to hang from. These compress nicely and negate the need for a pad unless you want one. They are usually comparable to a new tent in price, but the comfort level is much nicer (in my opinion) There are a variety of companies that make them (look up Hennessy Hammock, Blackbird warbonnet, Jacks R Better etc.) I originally had a Eureka Chrysalis which was nice, but the Hennessy models are much better at keeping out bugs and compress very small.

Lastly, don't forget the necessities: water, toilet paper, bug spray, hand sanitizer & flash light

Funny thing about it is, I camp lots, and bike lots, but have never mixed the two. Bike trips = hotel, motel, B&B, friends homes etc. Camping is drive the cage and park it, then head out into the wilds on foot, unless you are doing car camping which is quite a bit different. :)

As for how to locate campsites, hmmm. I'm with Smash on staying for free places, but if not national/state parks campgrounds are usually good. If you are not roughing it too bad check for ones with flushing toilets & running water vs pit toilets and tent specific sites. Nothing worse than tenting on a gravelly spot made for a 5th wheeler. Water at the site is nice, power isn't really needed and sewage would be (pardon the pun) a waste.
Great info. Thanks!
 

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Weill if you have the space about the size of a football and 1 lb of spare weight you can carry I will send a henessy hammock to try out.
 

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I've backpacked and camped for almost 40 years. If you are going solo, I recommend a Eureka Spitfire 1, if you can't sleep in a hammock, I can't found out the hard way,
For a mattress I have an REI air mattress very light and very compact, packs down to the side of a 1L nalgene bottle. It is a bit on the pricey side but where space is an issue it will be worth it. For summer camping I use a Lafuma extreme 800 long summer bag, packs down really really small and is fairly inexpensive. I agree the Jet boil system is great, I use a GSI dualist cookset, and MSR dragonfly stove. It all fits in into the pot with the cup and bowl. Outdoor products makes a good and inexpensive tarp. They are all I use. Compression sacks for everything i.e. tent, clothes tarp all go in compressor sacks. Granite gear and sea to summit make them in a variety of sizes. An inexpensive pack cover goes over my motorcycle backpack.

To save yourself some money over time is to get an REI membership. My air mattress runs close to a hundred dollars, I got it with my dividend and a member's only discount down to 41.50. Amazon is can be a good source too, my solo tent was less than $100 bucks. They offer member's only sales, and you get about 10% back on all your purchases over the course of a year, to be used for more gear.

A couple of suggestions for comfort, take a pair of tennis shoes or sandals, get a flannel sheet and make a mattress cover, you won't slide around as you sleep. Take a flannel pillow case, and add a draw cord and fill it with your clothes to make a nice pillow.

For food I use oatmeal packets for breakfast, along with coffee bags, and hot chocolate, lunch is usually crackers and peanut butter, and supper is boil in bag meal. I also take gatorade powder. A hot breakfast is very nice even when it is warm. The boil in bag dinners run about 7 bucks a meal. Make sure you add salt and pepper they are a big help.
 

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Discussion Starter #55
I've backpacked and camped for almost 40 years. If you are going solo, I recommend a Eureka Spitfire 1, if you can't sleep in a hammock, I can't found out the hard way,
For a mattress I have an REI air mattress very light and very compact, packs down to the side of a 1L nalgene bottle. It is a bit on the pricey side but where space is an issue it will be worth it. For summer camping I use a Lafuma extreme 800 long summer bag, packs down really really small and is fairly inexpensive. I agree the Jet boil system is great, I use a GSI dualist cookset, and MSR dragonfly stove. It all fits in into the pot with the cup and bowl. Outdoor products makes a good and inexpensive tarp. They are all I use. Compression sacks for everything i.e. tent, clothes tarp all go in compressor sacks. Granite gear and sea to summit make them in a variety of sizes. An inexpensive pack cover goes over my motorcycle backpack.

To save yourself some money over time is to get an REI membership. My air mattress runs close to a hundred dollars, I got it with my dividend and a member's only discount down to 41.50. Amazon is can be a good source too, my solo tent was less than $100 bucks. They offer member's only sales, and you get about 10% back on all your purchases over the course of a year, to be used for more gear.

A couple of suggestions for comfort, take a pair of tennis shoes or sandals, get a flannel sheet and make a mattress cover, you won't slide around as you sleep. Take a flannel pillow case, and add a draw cord and fill it with your clothes to make a nice pillow.

For food I use oatmeal packets for breakfast, along with coffee bags, and hot chocolate, lunch is usually crackers and peanut butter, and supper is boil in bag meal. I also take gatorade powder. A hot breakfast is very nice even when it is warm. The boil in bag dinners run about 7 bucks a meal. Make sure you add salt and pepper they are a big help.
Thanks for the great suggestions.
I've actually been looking at the Eureka! one-person tents on Amazon. They seem like a reasonably priced, well-respected brand. Additionally, looked at the REI Half Dome (as suggested by Smash).
 

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Discussion Starter #56
Oh, here's our gear list:

Solo camping:
  • Hennesy hammock OR el cheapo non freestanding tiny 2 person tent with a full rainfly if it's going to be too cold/wet for the hammock
  • Cheapo "buy 2 for the price of 1" summer bag I got on woot or something years ago. Add a cheap Coleman fleece sleeping bag liner if it'll be below 60 at night. If colder than that we have a myriad of cold weather bags from CL (we love snow camping)
  • Exped Synmat pad, picked up a pair earlier this year on closeout from REI. Holy smokes, makes our Thermarest Basecamp pads feel like sleeping on cardboard. I should've spent the big bucks to buy a nice pad in the first place!
  • Coleman microfleece pillow thing, it's really just a super soft bag you can put stuff in to make a pillow. It takes up zero room, cost like $5 at an outlet sale and I love it.
  • MSR Whisperlight shaker jet stove, runs on almost anything and uses the two fuel canisters I carry for spare gas for the bike
  • Nesting set of a pot and bowls, myriad of lights (love the cheap UFO style LED ones for the tent), bug spray (those little smoking coil things work great!), etc etc.

For 2 person camping it's pretty much all the same but we have an REI Half Dome 2 Plus tent. I love REI tents, I've had terrible luck with other, similarly priced ones. We came back to the Half Dome after getting frustrated with 2 other tents. My original Half Dome was an ex-rental tent and never leaked a drop even though I never treated it. Gave it to a friend in need back in 2008. So glad we went back to an REI tent!


My advice? Buy used. If you can find a used REI tent go for it. Don't skimp too much on the camping pad. The cheap ones are huge and heavy and not that comfortable. Knowing what I know now I would've saved up and bought an Exped in the first place. The cheap sleeping bags are fine, easy to add a fleece liner if need be. I don't like the penny/alcohol stoves. The white gas stoves cook better, but it's a pain to carry different fuel containers.
Thanks for the list. Very helpful.

How small can the Exped Synmat pad be packed?
 

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Discussion Starter #57
Weill if you have the space about the size of a football and 1 lb of spare weight you can carry I will send a henessy hammock to try out.
Thanks stormy....I think one of my buddies here has a henessy hammock. I'll borrow his to try out. I'd feel bad if I damage yours...lol
 

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So you are taking a long leave of absence and heading west on a motorcycle solo. Wow that's the pioneering spirit. I'd go with you if my schedule allows this.
 

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Thanks for the list. Very helpful.

How small can the Exped Synmat pad be packed?
You can get that Exped really small. I'm sure there are smaller ones out there though. I would say the size of 2 nalgene bottles side by side, maybe a little smaller especially if you put it in a compression sack.

I had a Eureka tent. It leaked the third time out. Recoated it and resealed the seams, was good for another 2 trips before it leaked again. Never had to reseal my REI tents, even the one I bought very used. YMMV of course. REI also has a lifetime warranty.
 

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I have had good luck with Eureka tents over the years. I can't speak to REI tents, never had one. Sierra Designs also makes good tents.

Interloper are you planning on using a tailbag or saddlebags?
 
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