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Packing a tent

Old 12-19-19, 12:35 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
If the poles continue to be a problem, many good quality camping stores can custom make poles that would fold up shorter. Or as noted by someone above that used some brass tubing, he did that as a DIY project. I have cut my own poles for a couple tents, but those poles were I poles, not flexible for a hoop shape.
You can order custom tent poles from Quest Outfitters. You can choose the diameter and length and then install elastic cords and the end hardware. The stock pole that came with my Tarptent Contrail was a little flimsy and itís 2 sections were too long to fit inside my saddle bag. I got a 3 piece pole of greater diameter and it works fantastically; I donít like strapping things to the outside of my bag as itís tidier and easier when traveling to have everything inside.
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Old 12-19-19, 03:27 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by berner
So far most responders have indicated where on the bike they have carried a tent. In another look at the issue, imagine it has begun to rain, maybe heavily, toward the end of the day's ride. When you reach the intended campsite you would like to set up the tent as quickly as possible so that you and your stuff remain as dry as possible during the setup. A key to a quick tent setup is to prepare the tent in advance from the previous days setup. If the tent is folded up to an appropriate size for where it is to be carried, then rolled up from front to back with rain fly still in place but with poles removed, then for the current setup, the tent can first be staked at the back end so it can't be carried away by strong winds. At This point the poles are inserted and staking out completed. If you have tried to set up a tent in a downpour, then this procedure will keep everything dry over multiple days of rain.
the vast majority, 95%, of tents sold in North America, have a separate inner body with water proof floor and non water proof upper with mesh, the top section called a "fly" is waterproof. The poles go into the main body and the fly generally lays on top, attached at corners to main body. Great for ventilation in hot muggy weather, but not great for setting up in rain-- hence some folks setting up a light tarp first.

if I've ever set up in pouring rain in 30 yrs bike touring, I don't recall. Generally wait out summer storms, same for take down, as with set up.
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Old 12-19-19, 03:52 PM
  #28  
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Miele Man makes a good point about quickly pitching the tent to keep things as dry as possible. Particularly an issue with a double wall tent if the inner tent is largely mesh. Packing so it comes out logically is a good idea, so is practice. The day, or rather night, will come when you must pitch it in the dark. At that time preparation and practice will be worth their weight in titanium.
An inflatable mattress has the advantage that it elevates one above any water that has gotten in.
Good luck
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Old 12-21-19, 09:12 AM
  #29  
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Pitching an single walled tent in the rain has the advantage that the inside does not get wet. It's also quick and simple. But I try to avoid that and
if it's raining my default action is to wait for it to stop in whatever building is nearest, maybe the shower block...I don't wild camp. I've seen hammock users with large tarps that they can work under and these work well in the treed areas where they camp. But it's just another thing to carry and I don't think I'd ever use it enough to justifying bring one on tour when I can get all my gear and myself into my single walled tent in a few mins.
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Old 12-21-19, 09:37 AM
  #30  
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Thanks all for the information. Quite a lot to process. At the minute, if it looks like heavy rain, I will reschedule the trip. I'm still in my early days of bikepacking/touring, so a week max (mostly long weekends). If weather takes a turn for the worst, I'll find an airbnb or room in a pub. I know if I ever have the chance to do something longer, this attitude will probably change.
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Old 12-21-19, 11:04 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by rivers
Thanks all for the information. Quite a lot to process. At the minute, if it looks like heavy rain, I will reschedule the trip. I'm still in my early days of bikepacking/touring, so a week max (mostly long weekends). If weather takes a turn for the worst, I'll find an airbnb or room in a pub. I know if I ever have the chance to do something longer, this attitude will probably change.
rivers, I dont think you mentioned, but have you camped much in your life?
And where are you and where will you most likely be doing some bike trips--australia, the UK, Spain, somewhere in America? --and in what months?
I ask because generally here in Canada, there are rainy periods in spring and fall, and summers have less rain--or to put it this way, one can plan a bike trip and put the most chances on your side of not having lots of rainy weather by chosing the right time of year, and of course using the internet now to keep an eye on trends etc.
Last summer we rode across France and luckily in the weeks before we started, there had been weeks of rain in early June, unusually so, but after that it was typically nice end of june july weather. A few times of rain, but not a big deal

and as you say, being able to ask or look around for inside lodging is always an option for a real yucky day, but thats just part of the deal--dealing with stuff and finding a solution

as nun already said, if its raining at end of day, I await rain to stop before putting up tent. In summer it generally will stop after a while. Ive generally been lucky in mornings and wait for rain to stop or get very light to have to pack up, so not a real problem in years of camping and bike touring.
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Old 12-21-19, 11:21 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by djb
rivers, I dont think you mentioned, but have you camped much in your life?
And where are you and where will you most likely be doing some bike trips--australia, the UK, Spain, somewhere in America? --and in what months?
I ask because generally here in Canada, there are rainy periods in spring and fall, and summers have less rain--or to put it this way, one can plan a bike trip and put the most chances on your side of not having lots of rainy weather by chosing the right time of year, and of course using the internet now to keep an eye on trends etc.
Last summer we rode across France and luckily in the weeks before we started, there had been weeks of rain in early June, unusually so, but after that it was typically nice end of june july weather. A few times of rain, but not a big deal

and as you say, being able to ask or look around for inside lodging is always an option for a real yucky day, but thats just part of the deal--dealing with stuff and finding a solution

as nun already said, if its raining at end of day, I await rain to stop before putting up tent. In summer it generally will stop after a while. Ive generally been lucky in mornings and wait for rain to stop or get very light to have to pack up, so not a real problem in years of camping and bike touring.
yes I have spent a lot of time camping, although last year we upgraded from a tent to a converted ford transit because we got a dog. It will be in the UK, mostly in late spring-early fall, which tend to be our drier months.
I'm not adverse to a bit of rain, I get stuck in the rain on occasion. Hell, I think I've had 1 dry commute since mid October. But, if my mates and I have a long weekend trip planned and the forecast says it's going to rain for 3 days straight, we will just reschedule. We are mostly going to be using the trips to explore places a bit further afield than we can get to in a day, and have a good time.
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Old 12-21-19, 12:01 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by rivers
yes I have spent a lot of time camping, although last year we upgraded from a tent to a converted ford transit because we got a dog. It will be in the UK, mostly in late spring-early fall, which tend to be our drier months.
I'm not adverse to a bit of rain, I get stuck in the rain on occasion. Hell, I think I've had 1 dry commute since mid October. But, if my mates and I have a long weekend trip planned and the forecast says it's going to rain for 3 days straight, we will just reschedule. We are mostly going to be using the trips to explore places a bit further afield than we can get to in a day, and have a good time.
I have no experience with the rain in UK, but I can say in USA that usually a drizzly rain can last quite a while but not get anything too wet too fast. Thus, i try to set up the tent quick in light rain and sprinkes. But heavy rain often is over in less than a half hour, maybe 45 minutes. Or, if it is still raining, it is much lighter. Thus in heavy rain, I would try to find a dry spot indoors to sit it out. But watching the forecast is quite useful to try to time things.

In the first photo below, I knew there would be a heavy downpour from the forecast, so I was VERY careful to pitch my tent on the highest ground in this flat area where there was virtually no high spots.



The forecast:




But this photo is after most of the rain had fallen, my tent stayed dry because I was careful where to site my tent. Much of the green grass was taller than the standing water so much of what looks like dry grassy ground actually had a half inch of standing water.


But, like you say, if it looks like the whole time will be wet, stay indoors instead. On that same trip, later I saw this forecast and decided to stay in a Hostel for three nights. We ended up having five days of rain.


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Old 12-21-19, 12:11 PM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by Miele Man
That's why I've started carrying a tarp with me. It's a lightweight one and I pitch it before I put up the tent which goes under the tarp. That way the tent itself stays dry during both setup and takedown.

Cheers
In the past I've also carried a small tarp, 6' x 8', for the same reason or for a lunch break during rain. This has been during backpacking outings.
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Old 12-21-19, 12:26 PM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
I have no experience with the rain in UK, but I can say in USA that usually a drizzly rain can last quite a while but not get anything too wet too fast. Thus, i try to set up the tent quick in light rain and sprinkes. But heavy rain often is over in less than a half hour, maybe 45 minutes. Or, if it is still raining, it is much lighter. Thus in heavy rain, I would try to find a dry spot indoors to sit it out. But watching the forecast is quite useful to try to time things.


But, like you say, if it looks like the whole time will be wet, stay indoors instead. On that same trip, later I saw this forecast and decided to stay in a Hostel for three nights. We ended up having five days of rain.

it depends....currently we are getting several hours of heavy rain, most days, accompanied by very high winds a lot of the time. In the summer, it might be drizzly for most of the day, which is fine. Or you might get a small downpour. The summer does not see the heavy rainfall we seem to get in the winter, although this winter is particularly bad.
this is a photo I took this morning walking my dog. It wasn't like it Thursday, and the fields further along were worse


Needless to say, if it's been raining like it has been, a trip I'm talking about wouldn't happen. We would book accommodation. A lot of our campsites are on farms and in fields similar to this.
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Old 12-21-19, 01:49 PM
  #36  
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Rivers, re your description of rainy Blighty. I've done a fair amount of bike touring, and don't mind biking in mountains or in challenging places or in great heat, but I readily admit that I'm just not that keen on riding regularly in rain.
I've got family in the UK, and have thought many times to fly to London and bike to Wales, or now, up to Scotland--but the expectation of regular rain riding has always put me off. Plus the narrow roads and traffic, but mostly the rain....
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Old 12-21-19, 02:03 PM
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Originally Posted by djb
Rivers, re your description of rainy Blighty. I've done a fair amount of bike touring, and don't mind biking in mountains or in challenging places or in great heat, but I readily admit that I'm just not that keen on riding regularly in rain.
I've got family in the UK, and have thought many times to fly to London and bike to Wales, or now, up to Scotland--but the expectation of regular rain riding has always put me off. Plus the narrow roads and traffic, but mostly the rain....
Our summers have been lovely, if not a bit too hot, the past 3-4 years. We spent 16 days in the Highlands in our van last summer, and it only rained twice I think. Wales is about 15 miles from me, so it's a fairly regular long day out (60-100 miles), and it's our plan for our trip this summer (out to the Brecon Beacons).
Before mid-October, we had normal amount of rain. It's just been non-stop since then, but it is winter.
the ultimate goal would be the North coast 500 in the Highlands or LEJOG. It's just convincing the wife to let me go out cycling for 2-4 weeks (I have the available holiday, but she likes it when we go away together and this doesn't interest her)

So come to the UK, before Scotland buggers off. Just wait until June

Last edited by rivers; 12-21-19 at 02:11 PM.
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Old 12-21-19, 02:13 PM
  #38  
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Neat.yes trying to plan trip ideas with family partner realities isn't always easy. I have adult niece and nephew in London, so could fly there and visit, and then bike up to northern Scotland and see sister and mother. Or reverse, fly to Scotland and bike down. Always a juggle of work and like you, to do things as a couple. Convinced wife to bike just us in France along eurovelo 6 route 2018, was fun. So want to do a similar one in France again with her maybe next summer.
so many trip ideas, not easy to become reality always...
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Old 12-21-19, 02:24 PM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by djb
Neat.yes trying to plan trip ideas with family partner realities isn't always easy. I have adult niece and nephew in London, so could fly there and visit, and then bike up to northern Scotland and see sister and mother. Or reverse, fly to Scotland and bike down. Always a juggle of work and like you, to do things as a couple. Convinced wife to bike just us in France along eurovelo 6 route 2018, was fun. So want to do a similar one in France again with her maybe next summer.
so many trip ideas, not easy to become reality always...
With regards to roads, steer clear of major A roads (so A9 in the Highlands), and you should be okay. You get used to the narrow roads, it was quite a shock when I moved out from the US. Car drivers aren't as aggressive as in the states, but they aren't great. Country lanes are great though.
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Old 12-21-19, 02:27 PM
  #40  
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Before Scotland buggers off.... Chuckle
who knows who knows.

Ya, that 500 looks neat. I once looked at the distances between towns, and not being on a road bike I figured I might have to wild camp in places. The lejog could be fun too, but again, I know my speeds and reasonable distances with up and downs, so would not be that fast.... Who knows, maybe one day...
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Old 12-21-19, 02:31 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by rivers
With regards to roads, steer clear of major A roads (so A9 in the Highlands), and you should be okay. You get used to the narrow roads, it was quite a shock when I moved out from the US. Car drivers aren't as aggressive as in the states, but they aren't great. Country lanes are great though.
Thanks. If I ever get serious about this, I'll do some serious research. I'm ok with traffic generally, have lots of experience in other countries and commuting in Montreal.
Really comes down to juggling couple stuff. Next summer is a big anniversary so would be nice to do another France/continent trip going... Will see
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Old 12-21-19, 02:41 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by djb
Before Scotland buggers off.... Chuckle
who knows who knows.

Ya, that 500 looks neat. I once looked at the distances between towns, and not being on a road bike I figured I might have to wild camp in places. The lejog could be fun too, but again, I know my speeds and reasonable distances with up and downs, so would not be that fast.... Who knows, maybe one day...
wild camping is legal in Scotland, so that's not a problem. On my first bikepacking trip down to Cornwall, we came across a woman cycling LEJOG unsupported. I think she took about 6 or 7 weeks in the end to make the trip. She was using a mix of camping and accommodation, and was covering 30ish miles a day. We learnt our 90-100 miles a day was ambitious. While we made the mileage each day, we underestimated how much climbing on "loaded" (our bikes still weighed only around 15kgs) would slow us down. Devon and Cornwall are hilly, and I had a 34-28 (my gravel bike has much lower gearing, and is about to get lower). It was a fun trip, and we had a blast. But we learnt a lot about what to do and not to do (our Wales trip will have half the mileage. We're going to stop and enjoy the scenery, do some exploring, etc)
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Old 12-21-19, 02:53 PM
  #43  
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Yup, total bike weight and how many accumulative climbing meters per day, plus rider fitness and age, are all factors that you've got to take into account for daily mileage..
For me, my camping gear summerish load is always going to around 40lbs, with water food, on my study tourer. I've done a fair amount of mountainy riding so can judge days estimates for a rough amount of climbing expected. Would try to reduce load weight a bit, but in the end it will be similar to my recent Latin America trips, a bit less but I know it would be cool in Scotland and I'm a skinny old bugger, so need proper clothes. Plus I reckon stores are far between, so would have to carry more food.
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Old 12-21-19, 03:03 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by djb
Yup, total bike weight and how many accumulative climbing meters per day, plus rider fitness and age, are all factors that you've got to take into account for daily mileage..
For me, my camping gear summerish load is always going to around 40lbs, with water food, on my study tourer. I've done a fair amount of mountainy riding so can judge days estimates for a rough amount of climbing expected. Would try to reduce load weight a bit, but in the end it will be similar to my recent Latin America trips, a bit less but I know it would be cool in Scotland and I'm a skinny old bugger, so need proper clothes. Plus I reckon stores are far between, so would have to carry more food.
potentially, yeah. Villages/towns can be few and far between. If you ever do decide to tour Scotland/UK in general, do not blindly follow NCN (national cycle routes) some are proper roads, others old railway or tow paths, but others are fields, bridleways, and deep sand pits only suitable for fat bikes. That was another lesson we learnt, actual route planning
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Old 12-21-19, 03:04 PM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by djb
Yup, total bike weight and how many accumulative climbing meters per day, plus rider fitness and age, are all factors that you've got to take into account for daily mileage..
For me, my camping gear summerish load is always going to around 40lbs, with water food, on my study tourer. I've done a fair amount of mountainy riding so can judge days estimates for a rough amount of climbing expected. Would try to reduce load weight a bit, but in the end it will be similar to my recent Latin America trips, a bit less but I know it would be cool in Scotland and I'm a skinny old bugger, so need proper clothes. Plus I reckon stores are far between, so would have to carry more food.
potentially, yeah. Villages/towns can be few and far between. If you ever do decide to tour Scotland/UK in general, do not blindly follow NCN (national cycle routes) some are proper roads, others old railway or tow paths, but others are fields, bridleways, and deep sand pits only suitable for fat bikes. That was another lesson we learnt, actual route planning
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Old 12-21-19, 10:26 PM
  #46  
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Originally Posted by rivers
potentially, yeah. Villages/towns can be few and far between. If you ever do decide to tour Scotland/UK in general, do not blindly follow NCN (national cycle routes) some are proper roads, others old railway or tow paths, but others are fields, bridleways, and deep sand pits only suitable for fat bikes. That was another lesson we learnt, actual route planning
Thanks for the NCN heads up. A few times in the past I've read up on that network and read some accounts of the wide variation of types of "routes" including muddy cow paths.... So I've already gotten the impression that things must be taken with a grain of salt.
I always reckoned I'd ask more detailed route questions on some Brit cycling forums when I get serious about it.
but thanks again, appreciated
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Old 12-22-19, 10:26 AM
  #47  
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My touring days are in the future. 'Convinced, though, that tarps are the way! One of many youtube fare:

In anticipation, have acquired a 3m x 3m tarp, hammock, and one man bivy tent with fly. All lightweight equipment. Stakes are plastic for ground, and metal "fish hook" for decks and fences. I will eventually make my own myomar bed roll. Hoping it is a versatile, light system.
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Old 12-22-19, 01:31 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman
My touring days are in the future. 'Convinced, though, that tarps are the way! One of many youtube fare:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FAwB9VGCfKc

In anticipation, have acquired a 3m x 3m tarp, hammock, and one man bivy tent with fly. All lightweight equipment. Stakes are plastic for ground, and metal "fish hook" for decks and fences. I will eventually make my own myomar bed roll. Hoping it is a versatile, light system.
dont forget that a good shelter isnít just protection against the rain, it should also keep bugs at bay, they can be far worse than rain.
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Old 12-22-19, 01:37 PM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by djb
Thanks for the NCN heads up. A few times in the past I've read up on that network and read some accounts of the wide variation of types of "routes" including muddy cow paths.... So I've already gotten the impression that things must be taken with a grain of salt.
I always reckoned I'd ask more detailed route questions on some Brit cycling forums when I get serious about it.
but thanks again, appreciated

Muddy routes are often given by Google maps too. Iíve spent quite some time on dirt tracks in northern New England when following a Google bike route.

Might do LEJOG next summer as my family want me to visit the UK and it would be nice to combine that with a bike trip. I rode in the UK when I was young and also rode from London to North Yorkshire a few years ago. The roads are fine, just do what youíd usually do an avoid main roads with fast traffic. I stayed in motels, but for LEJOG Iíll probably combine hotels, hostels and camping.
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Old 12-22-19, 05:11 PM
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Originally Posted by nun
Muddy routes are often given by Google maps too. Iíve spent quite some time on dirt tracks in northern New England when following a Google bike route.

Might do LEJOG next summer as my family want me to visit the UK and it would be nice to combine that with a bike trip. I rode in the UK when I was young and also rode from London to North Yorkshire a few years ago. The roads are fine, just do what youíd usually do an avoid main roads with fast traffic. I stayed in motels, but for LEJOG Iíll probably combine hotels, hostels and camping.
Yes and Google Maps will divert you many kilometers/miles out of your way in order to put you onto some bicycle path or MUP that takes you even further out of your way. LOL

Cheers
Miele Man is offline  

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