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Recommend a Tent and Sleeping Bag

Discussion in 'Travel' started by Bub, Dec 29, 2017.

  1. Bub

    Bub Active Member

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    I know there are some here who enjoy camping when they ride on trips, something I've never done. I'm planning on an extended trip in the summer in the western US and want to work in camping at least part of the time. I'd appreciate those with experience giving me some recommendations for both a single person tent and a sleeping bag. Light and compact are a top priority, or it won't be worth it to me. It won't be a money is no object situation either. That figures into it. I'm not worried about very cold temperature ratings, those nights if encountered will be indoors. So please tell me what you'd recommend and why, thanks.
     
  2. Lee

    Lee Well-Known Member

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    It's been a long time since I bought any equipment so I can't recommend any models.
    For a tent a dome or modified dome is good for shedding the wind.
    Nothing worse than then trying to sleep as your tent is flapping in the wind.
    I've also seen tents collapse in high winds. Not a good thing if it happens to be raining.
    For sleeping bags I like down because because they pack very small.
    Pick a temperature rating that will work for you.
    Mummy or modified mummy will pack smaller than than a rectangular bag.

    Do you have any backpacking stores near you so you can see the product in person?
     
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  3. Bub

    Bub Active Member

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    Thanks for the ideas Lee, those are the kinds of things I want to know. I do have a good outfitter store about an hour away in Champaign. I think I'll pay them a visit tomorrow. There are also a couple good breweries that might get visited as well.
     
  4. James Bagley

    James Bagley Well-Known Member

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    REI is a great resource. Their products work well, they offer other top brands, and their website has some fantastic shopping guidance. If you're a member, you get a dividend at the end of each year worth ~10% of your purchases.

    That said, I like free standing tents that offer decent headroom and a vestibule. As for sleeping bags, I prefer down or one of the technical synthetics that packs down small. If you are over 5'10", I recommend that you get a tall sleeping bag...the extra footroom is nice. Lastly, don't forget a sleeping mat. Thermarest makes great ones. Opt for a pad at least 1 1/2" thick for best comfort. A multi-fuel stove, a metal cup and a spork are also recommended. A small collapsible chair is nice if you can spare the room, but finding a camping space with a picnic table works, too.

    https://www.rei.com
     
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  5. Lee

    Lee Well-Known Member

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    If they have a tent you like, ask to set it up in the store.
    Forgot to mention sleeping pads. Look at ones that insulate you from the ground temperature.
     
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  6. Bub

    Bub Active Member

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    Thanks James, good idea on REI. I am a member and they’re a great resource. I do have a couple sleeping mats I can use of my sons.
     
  7. Mr. 36654

    Mr. 36654 Well-Known Member

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    Hampton Inn
     
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  8. Aussie Import

    Aussie Import Well-Known Member

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    Quality back pack gear for the bag and tent. The right gear fits inside the bags. In Oz the Rocky Creek Design chair is 1st rate.
     
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  9. saizou

    saizou Member

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    I bought everything in the list below and have them tucked in a Nelson Rigg dry bag, then strapped to the rear seat. Bought a $30 Ozark (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Ozark-Trail-1-Person-Hiker-Tent/22659694) one person backpacking tent and it held up fine throughout the trip I did in California. The best investment was the sleeping pad, don't go without one.

    [​IMG]
     
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  10. PaulB_UK

    PaulB_UK Member

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    I'm glad saizou mentioned a dry bag, because I was going to.

    Being the other side of the pond it would be pointless me recommending makes/models of tents and sleeping bags to you.

    Whatever you buy, however, you need to make sure it will all fit inside a decent dry bag. There's little point on spending money on camping kit, just to arrive to find it all soaking wet. I'd make a further recommendation of Rok straps. They might be called something different your side of the pond, but they are indispensable if you have a large dry bag on the pillion seat.

    I'll also second saizou's recommendation to buy a sleeping pad of some description; unless of course you're used to sleeping in a sleeping bag with nothing underneath.:)

    Cheers

    Paul B.
     
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  11. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Ohhh boy. :D Camping gear is a whole 'nother huge subject, so I will stick to the subject of the thread and the question asked so that I don't get too long winded (as usual). These are my opinions based on my motocamping experience.

    General - Backpacking gear is good for motocamping, as you want light and compact. The only downside is that good backpacking gear can get expensive fast. Certain pieces of gear have to be fit for purpose despite the cost.

    Tent - highly recommend you do not get a one-man tent. You are a rider and have gear that needs to be stowed somewhere overnight and they are best stored "indoors" for many reasons. A 2 man tent is the sweet spot to motocamping. My tent is a Eureka Apex 2XT Tent. Which so far has been brilliant. Easy to erect and take down, stable in wind, great in rain, enough height for me to kneel and change off, and stows fairly compact. Great video reviews here. Don't forget to get a ground sheet for the tent that is suitable for the footprint. No need to go overboard on the cost for this and you can get some decent ones at REI. I got this Weanas 2 person sheet in green off Amazon.

    Sleeping bag - You are camping in summer and not in cold weather so that helps out hugely with the size of the sleeping bag. Mummy-style bags tend to be the most compact and if you can sleep like a mummy you are good to go. If, on the other hand, you have a sprawling style of sleeping and have a mummy bag you may need to unzip it and sleep with it open. My sleeping bag is a Kelty Tuck 22 Degree Sleeping Bag which may be too warm for your purpose. I like to camp in seasons other than the summer as I dislike the heat. Coldest I have been in this bag is mid 40s and I have been comfortable. Warmest I have been is maybe 70 and I have not been comfortable, but that is not the bag's fault. Video reviews here. A good sleeping pad is also a must, and that is as much a topic for discussion as sleeping bags themselves. I have a compact lightweight blow-up Klymit Static V Lightweight Sleeping Pad which, as is the case with any air pad, is adequate only if blown up very slightly; too much and you roll off which is a PITA. A Helinox Cot One transforms the sleeping experience and it fits neatly inside the Eureka tent I have. With the cot, the smoothness of the ground is irrelevant. ;)

    Hope this helps. It you have any other specific questions let me know. Put it this way, there is no other camping gear I need to buy and when I go motocamping it all goes with me. :)

    Day 1 - Photo (2).jpg
     
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  12. Aussie Import

    Aussie Import Well-Known Member

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    Sleeping bag liners silk best, cotton, good, take little space and really improve the bag.
     
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  13. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Damn .... and I just finished saying I have nothing left to buy for camping .... :)

    Kidding aside, I did hear of that and made a mental note (which I apparently subsequently lost) to look into this. My bag does have a sort of silky liner and I can see how silk would help, but I can just imagine me inside of of a silk 'condom' inside of a sleeping bag, and how I might fare. If they moved separately that would drive me nuts and I would not be able to sleep!
     
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  14. Bub

    Bub Active Member

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    Thanks for all the great suggestions guys. Mr 36654, I've got decades of moto experience traveling with your suggested way, it's always worked well! ;) However, my retirement is eminent and I want to explore longer rides than are affordable staying in hotels 100% of the time. Plus it just seems appealing to switch things up a little. I do like hiking/trail running as well, so I can combine those with rides more easily with additional gear.

    It looks like an inflatable sleeping pad is going to be much more compact than the foam roll up or folding ones my son has. I'll look at those.

    Grumpy, I hadn't thought about the 2 man tent to be able to keep riding gear in. Please don't take offense to this, but I really don't want to pack my bike with as much stuff as you've got pictured on your bike. I'm glad to see how it all comes together on the bike though, thanks for the pic. Compact and light, or it's following Mr. 36654's route once again. :)

    It's going to be ridiculously cold here the next few days, as many in the northern US are experiencing now, and I'm going into moto withdrawal. This will keep me occupied trying to come up with a combination of serviceable, necessary and compact gear. Fun project.
     
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  15. Bob Ain't Stoppin'

    Bob Ain't Stoppin' Member

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    Another source for camping gear is Campmor: https://www.campmor.com I agree with the above about Eureka tents They are a good value for decent quality.
    I use a Big Agnes bag. I like their system of inflatable pad as the insulator from the ground. Bag insulation is on top. Remember if you get a 20 degree bag, that means that you will survive the night at 20 degrees if you wear long johns and a hat and don't mind being cold: https://www.bigagnes.com
     
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  16. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Oh no offence possible in this case because my reasons for camping on the motorcycle is probably like no one else's on this forum, or probably in the world. When I am motocamping the bike is transport and is not the focus of the endeavour - camping, hanging out by myself, all while eating proper (non-camping) DIY dehydrated meals, are the focus. :)

    The bonus is, the RS is such an excellent motocamping partner that it adds to the trip immensely. That said, the way I pack I am just as efficient while camping as others who bring only their tent, sleeping bag and a few other things other than clothes. The key is the drybag.

    Otherwise touring and staying in motels is fun too, aside from the eating out all the time.
     
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  17. Grumpy Goat

    Grumpy Goat Well-Known Member Contributor

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    Hmmmm ... thanks for the link. Never heard of them.
     
  18. Bub

    Bub Active Member

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    Yeah, we're approaching this from different vantage points. I want to affect the way the bike performs as little as possible by packing as small and light as I can. The ride is the priority for me. What I'm wanting to do may not be realistic though. We'll see!
     
  19. ray2

    ray2 Well-Known Member Contributor

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    ...always a great button to push. Plenty of philosophy and thought.
    A lot was covered in posts lasts year. http://r1200rsforums.com/threads/camping-hammocks.3296/#post-49219.

    The bikepacking movement (e.g., http://www.bikepacking.com/) has provided a ton of low-weight, packable stuff.

    My tent, pillow, mattress, and sleeping bag come in well less than 10 pounds (the weight of my battery) and packs easily into a small bag inside my BMW dry bag - alongside my usual wardrobe and touring stuff.

    You'll find you already have the rest of the camping stuff (water bottle, toiletries, clothes) unless you want to cook. (When I take a stove, it's a tiny MSR thing that goes with the fuel into the hard bag with the tools.) (And sometimes I break down and take an old cast iron griddle for sentimental reasons...; a reminder that familiarity is comforting.)

    An old guy who needs his comforts, I've upgraded to a 2 pound/2 man Mountain hardware Supermega UL2 tent and (most importantly) NeoAir X-lite mattress from Thermarest with the tiny battery operated pump. A little pricey at the cost of a couple of cheap hotel rooms, but more comfortable than beds in cheap hotel rooms. https://www.thermarest.com/catalog/product/view/id/16498/s/neoair-xlite/category/13/. Prior to that, I used a big rectangular Camprest from the same company, that took up most of the 2-man tent. I use a sheet, and on all but the coldest nights, I use my unzipped sleeping bag more as a down comforter than a sleeping bag to get that great queen-size bed feel.

    And don't forget your pillow. My son recently rode his bicycle from Virginia to Oregon and took my ultralight inflatable pillow. I don't think it's coming back.

    The 3 pound bedroom and bed.
    (add sleeping bag(s) appropriate to season)​
    [​IMG]
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    Last edited: Dec 30, 2017
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  20. Bub

    Bub Active Member

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    Thanks Bob. I've seen several references during searches to recommendations for Big Agnes gear. Must be good stuff. I can't recall what I bought from Campmor in the past, maybe trail shoes, but I have dealt with them. I'm on their mailing list and they carry a ton of items.
     

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