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Ohio to Erie Trail - elevation, grades, daily mileage, and stealth camping?

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Ohio to Erie Trail - elevation, grades, daily mileage, and stealth camping?

Old 03-31-20, 08:50 AM
  #26  
Miele Man
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I have a 3-people rectangular dome tent that's my preferred tent for camping. I bought it because it is big enough for me to bring my bicycle inside at night if I'm camping near others. I don't take a chance on my bicycle being stolen or vandalized at night whilst I'm sleeping. I just wish t hat the fly for my dome tent was big enough to reach the ground. Again, if I think inclement weather is highly likely on my trip, I'll bring my tarp too. There's been many a time when I've pitched the tarp first, because it was raining heavily, and then pitched my tent under the tarp. Ditto for breaking camp if it's raining = pack up the tent first and then the tarp. The tarp keeps the tent nice and dry.

Cheers
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Old 03-31-20, 08:53 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
For KC8QVO again.

See how that tent is pitched? That's how i pitch my tent but then I used a separate line above the tent to put the tarp over. That keeps the tarp from touching the tent.

Cheers
So you use 2 ridge lines?

Do you do anything to the tent to pull tension in the roof?

My tent doesn't have a way to pass a ridge line through unless I make holes. It has webbing tabs with grommets in the top corners. If I pass a ridge line through those holes the center of the roof would still sag as the grommets would slide along the ridge line.

In fact, even with the webbing tie-outs (black straps holding up the tent to the trekking poles) I used in the picture of the tent alone with no tarp fly the center of the tent roof is still sagging.It almost needs another webbing tab in the top center of the roof. Though, the tent wasn't originally designed to be set up with a ridge line - it only had 2 poles, one on each end.
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Old 03-31-20, 09:36 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
So you use 2 ridge lines?

Do you do anything to the tent to pull tension in the roof?

My tent doesn't have a way to pass a ridge line through unless I make holes. It has webbing tabs with grommets in the top corners. If I pass a ridge line through those holes the center of the roof would still sag as the grommets would slide along the ridge line.

In fact, even with the webbing tie-outs (black straps holding up the tent to the trekking poles) I used in the picture of the tent alone with no tarp fly the center of the tent roof is still sagging.It almost needs another webbing tab in the top center of the roof. Though, the tent wasn't originally designed to be set up with a ridge line - it only had 2 poles, one on each end.
My A-frame 2-man pup-tent has a tab at the top of each end of the tent. I tie a length of cord to each of those tabs. Those tabs have a grommet in them for the tent pole to go into. However I don't use those poles.

That tent has a tab on the side of the roof in the middle of the tent to which a line is tied to then pull the side of the tent out. All my lines are covered by my tarp and thus do not pose a tripping hazard.

Here's an image I found on the web of a tant much like my pup tent. You can see where the cords attach. I do NOT use the center poles.




Then I run a full length line from one tree to the other tree and that line is about six inches above the tent and I drape my tarp over it.

Cheers

Last edited by Miele Man; 03-31-20 at 09:37 AM. Reason: Added comment
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Old 03-31-20, 11:58 AM
  #29  
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Miele Man - That is the exact same tent design as mine then. Perfect. Good stuff!
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Old 03-31-20, 12:35 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
You've got some balls if you're camped right next to a parking lot like that. I hope people left you alone.
No problems. Onida is a small town of ~650 people. I came to the hotel and learned they were full. The next town with a likely hotel was another 30 miles away. I had both time and energy to do that ride, but had already ridden 87 miles that day - so asked the hotel proprietor if I could camp out back. Another alternative would have been the town park, but here I wasn't far from the restaurant in town and while it was open, a bathroom. So I camped out back and wasn't trying to be particularly stealthy. Even though I was in middle of this town, it was pretty quiet overall.

Overall this was a ~three week trip in July from Abilene, TX to the Canadian border. I was taking things day by day. Even my return was open-ended until close to arrival since I went back from there via Amtrak. My general preference was to stay in a motel/hotel if I could find it with a bed and shower and further south, air conditioning. So I brought the tube tent, a light summer sleeping bag and a thermarest so I had some flexibility. None were particularly bulky or heavy.

As a college student a tube tent was my standard lodging and I would more often just stop beside the road as it got dark, get away from traffic.and get into the tube tent. I had some nights of wet rain, one with snow (hiking in canyon country in Utah) and it generally served well with inclement weather. As I've gotten older, my preference and ability to pay for a motel has grown compared to when I was a college student. I still have trips where I frequently plan to camp, but in those cases I have a more standard REI quarterdome2 two person tent. A little heavier but roomier and more comfortable. So a tube tent comes with me when it is a backup option on a trip I don't expect to use most nights.
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Old 03-31-20, 04:17 PM
  #31  
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mev Do you ever use the SOL emergency bivys with the tube tent by chance?

I tried one of the non-breathable SOL bivy's a couple summers ago when I was at my cabins as an additional layer. That was a mistake - the condensation left my sleeping bag uncomfortably damp, so much so that I ditched that night and crawled in bed in the early hours of the AM. It seems to me I tried one of the breathable bivy's also, it worked better but still had some condensation from what I recall - not to the extent the non-breathable one did.

In any event, I am thinking if there was any wind-blown rain one of those bivy's might work as some extra water protection - but I suppose if theres dampness from the inside out from condensation there may not be much benefit.
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Old 03-31-20, 06:49 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by KC8QVO View Post
mev Do you ever use the SOL emergency bivys with the tube tent by chance?
No, not an SOL bivy, but I do have a regular bivy. I haven't really end up using it much. I get more condensation and it is a bit more claustrophobic to get all the way in. If I was either in an area that was a lot colder or one with a lot more bugs, I could see using it, though my travels through very bug infested areas (Siberia and to lesser extent Alaska/Yukon) I have more of a real tent since if the bugs are that bad, I stayed inside unless actively cycling.

Bugs between inner tent and rainfly in Siberia


Western Siberia between the Ural Mountains and Lake Baikal is mostly flat and marsh grounds. Our protocol when going to camp at end of the day was to (1) don full rain gear and mosquito nets (2) set up our tents moderately quickly (3) hop inside and smoosh any bugs that snuck inside during the setup process (4) stay in the tent until morning - where the reverse was done in quick sequence. Sometime even taking a bathroom break was a kilometer or two down the road.

A bivy or tube tent would not be good in such situations...
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Old 03-31-20, 07:23 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by mev View Post
A bivy or tube tent would not be good in such situations...
HAHA! Not to make fun of your bug pains... but I got a good laugh out of that. Yes, I concur - a bivy wouldn't work well in that scenario.

My girlfriend and I were riding last week and when we were closing in on the end of our ride there were swarms of bugs. I happened to hit one of the swarms at the same time I breathed in. As to how many bugs I inhaled - no idea. I always ride with safety glasses - either clear in low light or sunglasses if its bright. That is something I dont ever deviate from. That ride was one of those very surprise cases as to why. The glasses kept the bugs out of my eyes. Been there done that - bugs in my eyeballs is a bigger problem than in my mouth.

To that point - I have one of those head nets that is shown in your last picture. In fact, I have multiples - tucked in my tackle box, in my camping gear, and in my handlebar bag. I used to ride a lot through central IL and it was frequently buggy. When in those swarms the net is the only help.

One thought I have had is the bug issue without a netted tent - like the tarp bivy I set up on the side of the trail (picture earlier in the thread). Would a head net do much? Or since it isn't attached/zipped on to the sleeping bag or bivy it likely won't do much?

In the case of the tarp bivy I set up - I rolled out my pads and sleeping bag on one part of the tarp inside then just folded the tarp over the ridge line - no netting. It was cold enough that the condensation inside the tarp froze so that held the bugs down. As we work in to Spring that is very likely not to be the case.

Both tents (A pictured above - the yellow/tan tent - and my dome tent) have bug netting so as long as I'm in one of them I should be OK.
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Old 04-01-20, 02:40 AM
  #34  
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While a head net would be better than nothing, seems like it is better when mostly moving around than as a good solution overnight in a tarp.

Some bugs seem to find the smallest of gaps or bite through netting that has fallen flat against the skin. So I could see failures trying to do an overnight with just a head net.
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Old 04-13-20, 10:11 AM
  #35  
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I'm in the process of building my legs up. It's going OK but I am realizing I need to improve quite a bit more before attempting a multi-day trip. I see both sides of the coin on my initial 40mi/day pace:

A. That is a really slow pace. On a ride recently with about 1000ft of elevation gain with just under 40 miles distance and a head wind most of the ride I was right at 4 hours. There were some places on level ground I was cruising at 17-20mph. With a heavy cross wind I was still 13-14mph and with a head wind I was as low as 6. For the record, I went from 55psi rear, 50psi front, to 70psi front/rear as an experiment (max on the tires is 85psi). The rolling resistance was noticeably less, but my guts didn't like the stiffer ride. Tackling a usual 40mi run (not a whole lot of difficult terrain, able to ride a good pace) would allow for a significant amount of sight-seeing time - which is part of my goal, but I also don't want to cut myself short on the sections of the trip that are conducive to a faster pace. On those segments it is possibly a better idea to cover more ground and bank that time/distance for portions that are slower.

B. By holding back quite a bit even though I can do more my legs would have less to recover from. The opposite would be really bad - if I over-do it at any point. I've been there, done that. When I did my 2 day run last November it took a couple weeks to get over the soreness. To be fair, I did not train very hard but didn't think I'd have an opportunity in the near future at that point so I did it anyway. In my current training my goal is to get in to a more built-up zone. However, to the point here - if I train to ride fairly hard and am able to do the trip while riding "lighter" each day then I feel I can stay under the "too much" threshold. What I don't know is, if I do a slow 40mi/day, on day 3 what am I going to feel like? 4? 5?

With the way the weather is right now we're in one of those "in between" periods. That means a lot of precip and a lot of wind.

One of my ideas is to leave from home and do the route n to Cleveland and back. That would be a 400 mile run, and at 40mi/day that would be 10 days. Theres no way with the weather pattern right now that would be remotely close to possible. A couple rounds of showers/storms in that period would be manageable, but a couple days of possible riding followed by 4 days of a front moving through, rain, and a lot of wind is not my idea of good weather for a trip.
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