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Comfort vs Weight

Old 06-24-19, 01:30 PM
  #26  
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If you want a really compact air mattress, here is what I have been using. It packs very small, is quick to inflate, and comfortable. It does not however, give much insulation, but that wasn't an issue for me on the tour I just finished. I love this pad. https://www.amazon.com/Klymit-Static...s%2C146&sr=8-3

I was using a Warbonnet Blackbird hammock for my tour, but my wife came to visit me and camp on her weekend, and I swapped the hammock for this Coleman tent. It was calling for some cold, rainy weather, and I figured the larger tent would be nice to lounge in if I decided to wait our the rain for a day or two. The tent is big, and has a tub floor made of tarp material, so it isn't exactly small or light, but it was really nice to have the room. Because of the floor, I have never gotten wet in that tent, despite many nights camping in torrential downpours. I only had it for the last few days of my tour, but I enjoyed it.




It weighs in at a staggering 11 pounds. To help offset the weight, I had her take home my big U-lock and long cable. That helped, but not having the extra weight would have been nice once I hit the hills in Eastern Ohio.

I love the hammock, but sometimes setting up can be a pain. I can set it up as a bivy, using one tree and the bicycle. I don't like doing that in the rain though. I will be looking for another, lighter tent for future tours, depending on where I will be touring. Overall though, I do like using the hammock, small, light, easy setup, and great in the rain, just no room for gear, although I generally put the gear under the tent and rain tarp.
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Old 06-24-19, 01:56 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
It also depends where you are touring. Currently I spend my time in western Canada which is sparsely populated and with services and attractions far apart. For me it makes sense to do at least 100km's per day if I want to optimize my vacation time and complete routes. To do that I need to go lighter. If I were touring Europe or Japan or the NE US I might be more content to do less mileage because of the dense population and availability of attractions/services. Doing 100km a day in GB (for example) seems counter intuitive as one would miss so many stops of interest.
Agreed. I've said it before, but my personal bike touring the bike is not the main focus, merely one of the central ones. I am doing things I would do without a bike, just including it in the trip. Big mileage isn't any part of my goals, I'm arguably more content with a 35 mile day where I stopped in a few city centers and mingled with locals at cafes as I am on an 80 mile day in which I just rode all day and did nothing besides that. But, that is just my personal style, there are certainly different ways to do it, none of which are better or worse, just different.
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Old 06-24-19, 02:56 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by phughes View Post
I love the hammock, but sometimes setting up can be a pain. I can set it up as a bivy, using one tree and the bicycle. I don't like doing that in the rain though. I will be looking for another, lighter tent for future tours, depending on where I will be touring. Overall though, I do like using the hammock, small, light, easy setup, and great in the rain, just no room for gear, although I generally put the gear under the tent and rain tarp.
Solo stand: https://www.tensaoutdoor.com/product...-carcamp-tele/
Kind of destroys all the weight benefits of a hammock system, but you get to keep the comfort. I just took this thing down the GAP/C&O. I almost didn't bring. It almost wasn't worth it. Especially on that trip. The C&O in particular has so many campsites that if you can't hang at one, you just move on to the next. The one time I used it as a support for the hammock, I was at a site that had two, perfectly-spaced trees, but it wasn't until I got it set up that I realized, by getting stung, that I had disturbed a bee hive in the process. Had I noticed ahead of time, I would have just moved on to the next site. Instead I had to wait until near dark when the bees had quieted down to retrieve my tarp. I was happy to have the option to set up the hammock elsewhere on the site and not have to move on in the dark. The other time I used it to prop up one corner of my tarp because I had a beautiful spot on the river bank and wanted to be able to watch the river from my hammock (but still stay dry if it rained). I would have been able to hang every night without it, but it did come in handy. There's a version that doubles as a hiking pole that is, I believe, lighter, but I felt like the added complication of assembly outweighed (heh) the weight savings, but then if you never actually need it, you never have to assemble it, so maybe that was the wrong decision.
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Old 06-24-19, 08:11 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
Solo stand: https://www.tensaoutdoor.com/product...-carcamp-tele/
Kind of destroys all the weight benefits of a hammock system, but you get to keep the comfort. I just took this thing down the GAP/C&O. I almost didn't bring. It almost wasn't worth it. Especially on that trip. The C&O in particular has so many campsites that if you can't hang at one, you just move on to the next. The one time I used it as a support for the hammock, I was at a site that had two, perfectly-spaced trees, but it wasn't until I got it set up that I realized, by getting stung, that I had disturbed a bee hive in the process. Had I noticed ahead of time, I would have just moved on to the next site. Instead I had to wait until near dark when the bees had quieted down to retrieve my tarp. I was happy to have the option to set up the hammock elsewhere on the site and not have to move on in the dark. The other time I used it to prop up one corner of my tarp because I had a beautiful spot on the river bank and wanted to be able to watch the river from my hammock (but still stay dry if it rained). I would have been able to hang every night without it, but it did come in handy. There's a version that doubles as a hiking pole that is, I believe, lighter, but I felt like the added complication of assembly outweighed (heh) the weight savings, but then if you never actually need it, you never have to assemble it, so maybe that was the wrong decision.
Thanks for the link to the Tensa. I had heard of it but had forgotten the name.

Yes, the GAP and C&O are very hammock friendly. I have done it and used the hammock every night. No issues finding a place to hang it. On night I used a tree and a picnic table though. In Cumberland, Maryland, I camped at the YMCA. They let us set up in their pavilion, so I hung it on the poles there. I didn't set up the tarp since we were under a roof.
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Old 06-24-19, 10:19 PM
  #30  
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Originally Posted by b_young View Post
I hope I didn't mess up. I bought an Alps Chos 3 tent. It is actually a 3 person tent so 2 people comfortably and by myself in a mansion. It weighs about 6lbs. I talked myself into it accepting the extra weight to have a little more comfort. Just kind of curious what other people give up weight to have comfort. I may do the same with the sleep pad. Intex makes a twin mattress with built in foot pump. Its almost 8 inches thick but also weighs about 8lbs. I'm not sure I am ready to do that, but its only $20 so it would probably be worth trying. I guess the worst that could happen is I'd have an extra mattress for the camper.
The tent weight seems fine, the mattress however...
Not only for it's weight, but the fact that 2 people sleeping on the same air mattress is trouble because each time one person moves or rolls over, the other person feels it and more than likely will get woken up.
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Old 06-24-19, 11:10 PM
  #31  
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I went with a Fly Creek UL2 HV tent and that is plenty of space for myself and not terrible with a second person but would draw the line at adding gear with a second person but there are some second people I wouldn't mind having close. My main pad is the Sea To Summit Comfort Plus rectangular regular which isn't terribly weighty considering it is almost like 1.5 mats in 1. I bought it at my old shop before they went out of business and people told me late that we could hoard a few things away so I got the last STS mat which wasn't my first choice but is the most comfortable mat I have used so all in all a great choice. Though sometimes I also sleep in a hammock so no need for a pad so I can cut some weight there. I do have my Aeros Ultralight pillow from STS and that thing is super comfortable, small and lightweight. I also use their liners sometimes just on their own in the summer and then with my UltraLamina 45 degree bag when it gets cold. If it gets really cold sadly I am underequipped because I just never bought a good cold weather set up as I had intended because I so rarely camp in the winter.

Personally I am all for comfort but heavy comfort just ain't worth it because I will be more tired lugging heavy gear at the end of the day and while my sleep might be marginally better my biking won't. If a sleeping pad starts going over 2lbs it is pretty hefty and a tent 4lbs is probably the max I would want to go but lighter is nice especially with a lot of modern stuff being light without losing a lot of comfort. If I was car camping than sure bring out the 10lbs of mattress and 20lb tent that can fit the entire London Philharmonic and a couple of cast iron pans and pots but biking no way.
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Old 06-24-19, 11:48 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
I use a hammock, which is likely lighter and packs smaller than a 3-person tent, and no mattress or sleeping pad is required. I find it very comfortable to sleep in, but not perfect to lounge in. You can just sit on it, but if you're hiding from bugs, you need to be inside and laying down. However, with a decent sized tarp, I can have ample room to move around, and I even bring my bike under the tarp overnight. There are lighter options, but for comfortable sleeping, the hammock is best for me. You can perform some wardrobe changes inside the hammock, but it's far from ideal. I prefer popping into a restroom if there's one handy and there are other people around, otherwise I just make a quick change in the open or standing under the tarp.
I have used a Hennessey Hammock and liked it a lot. I have had 2 occasions that I didn't have trees to hang it and used it as a bivy. I still have a hammock, not as nice as the Hennessey, that I keep in my camper. It seemed more practical to get the tent. Its been a while since I have been in a tent and I may go back to the hammock. The rain fly for this tent would easily work over the hammock. The thing I am looking for now is a good sleep pad. I am a bigger guy and want a wide sleep pad. I have looked at Klymit and they have a couple I like. But mixed reviews as far as how they hold up.
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Old 06-25-19, 12:27 AM
  #33  
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I just spent 3 days in the 2-person "bivvy" 3-season tent I bought in 1975. (I don't think the term "bivvy" existed when I bought it.) ~4 pounds. Forgot how much I love that tent for solo camping/bike tripping. Big enough to sit up to dress. (Plus I figured out the easy way to get pants on and off. Lay on your back and put the sleeping bag roll undr your shoulders or upper back. Arch your back. Dress. Why didn't i figure that out 40 years ago?

My tent is warm (I've slept solo into the low 20s) and very easy to set up. Small with two people though I've done it. 2 nights once with a 6'7" friend and it rained hard! With the flies pulled up, decent but not great for ventilation.

I'd love to get the same tent with the single change of a few overhead loops. Made that well an extra plus. (Fabric is on its last legs and the seams shed their seals a few years ago. 44 years is a long time.) That tent is a bike packing tent that will double as survival gear or allow you to carry less in the way of warm clothes and sleeping bag, especially if you lay a space blanket under it (in no rain) or on the floor.

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Old 06-25-19, 05:06 AM
  #34  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I just spent 3 days in the 2-person "bivvy" 3-season tent I bought in 1975. (I don't think the term "bivvy" existed when I bought it.) ~4 pounds.
Just to be clear... I think folks are referring to entirely different things when they say bivy. Not sure what tent you are referring to, but I am pretty sure I wouldn't call it a bivy. The term bivy seems to get applied WAY too loosely these days.

To my way of thinking a bivy may or may not have a hoop to keep the mesh off your face but when it has multiple hoops and stakes or needs to be pitched or can have terms like "free standing" applied it is a tent, not a bivy. Terms like bivy-tent confuse the issue. They are usually applied to things that are just small tents and not bivys.

A tent typically is pitched and staked down and stays put. A bivy typically is worn and can move with you IME, but I guess that varies with the design.

Bivys I have used typically weigh between 5 ounces and a bit about a pound. They can go a little heavier or lighter depending on the materials and design but i think that is the typical range for backpacking models.
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Old 06-25-19, 06:06 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
I just spent 3 days in the 2-person "bivvy" 3-season tent I bought in 1975. (I don't think the term "bivvy" existed when I bought it.) ,,,
Back then they were called "bivouac sacks." I would see them at the old Army/Navy surplus stores. Soldiers have been bivouacking since the beginning of conflict.

I started hearing the more alliterative term in the 80s.
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Old 06-25-19, 08:36 AM
  #36  
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To "bivouac" is a general term used for setting up a make do campsite ie. "While on the march we bivouaced by the river".

A "bivy sac" is a small bag that fits over, or replaces, a sleeping bag and is used instead of a tent as an emergency shelter while climbing. You don't want to haul a tent, but may get caught out overnight on a route, so you take a bivy sac.

Soldiers usually don't carry bivy sacs. For emergency shelter they have waterproof ponchos that can snap together to make small shelters.

Of course you can use a bivy sac anywhere one wants lightweight shelter and it really doesn't matter in general if someone calls their tent a bivy, except in a discussion where people are talking about the size of shelters related to comfort and weight. In that case it just causes confusion.

Last edited by Happy Feet; 06-25-19 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 06-25-19, 10:47 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by b_young View Post
I have looked at Klymit and they have a couple I like. But mixed reviews as far as how they hold up.
I've used mine for two years now. It has been holding up great.
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Old 06-25-19, 11:27 AM
  #38  
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For my 50th year , I had a down filled air mattress under me , camping .. on that tour..
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Old 06-25-19, 11:33 AM
  #39  
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I'm a multi-modal camper-tourer that uses the same UL/UC kit whether traveling by boot, pedal, paddle, or moto. To put a different perspective on things, weight is really only important when you have to physically wear/carry it (backpacking) - for me it's more about compactness, although compact and lightweight are closely related.

IMHO, additional weight really only matters riding uphill on road touring bicycles, and that impact is proportional to total rolling weight. So for example, 6 incremental lbs on a rolling total weight of 200lbs, is a 3% addition, but since you only riding uphill ~ a third of the time, then the impact of 6lbs to the overall ride is ~1% reduction to your average pace. Actually, the aerodynamics of the incremental bulk might count for more than its weight while bicycle touring - a cyclingabout article estimates pannier rigs to be 6%+ slower/less efficient than bikepacking rigs.

Compactness has other advantages - for me that often enjoys touring around densely populated coastline/urban areas, it provides better: theft security (take inside with me); multi-modal options (carry-on trains, subways, buses, ferries, ubers, certain planes); stealth camping (day-tripper appearance, carry everything deeper into woods); and suspension (option to wear/backpack gear and stand up) over particularly rough sections of road/off-road.

For warm weather (i.e. 40sF lows) my standard self-supported kit is down to a daypack size ~25L which is good for backpacking 4 days/nights. Bicycling, that's a single quick-release pannier/backpack on my folder, or a frame bag + small drybag/backpack on my gravel bike rack.

It's a personal hobby finding products and methods (primarily multi-tasking) to maintain/increase outdoor comfort while reducing weight and bulk - I quite enjoy it. I'm about as comfortable as I've ever been for human-powered camping, still with a double-wall tent, 2.5" mattress + pillow, camp chair, hot meals, evening shower, extra clothes/sandals, 'garage' space (for folder), evening cocktails, and even some 'A/C' (personal heater and fan).

Just my $0.02.
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Old 06-25-19, 01:04 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by reppans View Post
I'm a multi-modal camper-tourer that uses the same UL/UC kit whether traveling by boot, pedal, paddle, or moto. To put a different perspective on things, weight is really only important when you have to physically wear/carry it (backpacking) - for me it's more about compactness, although compact and lightweight are closely related.

IMHO, additional weight really only matters riding uphill on road touring bicycles, and that impact is proportional to total rolling weight. So for example, 6 incremental lbs on a rolling total weight of 200lbs, is a 3% addition, but since you only riding uphill ~ a third of the time, then the impact of 6lbs to the overall ride is ~1% reduction to your average pace. Actually, the aerodynamics of the incremental bulk might count for more than its weight while bicycle touring - a cyclingabout article estimates pannier rigs to be 6%+ slower/less efficient than bikepacking rigs.

Compactness has other advantages - for me that often enjoys touring around densely populated coastline/urban areas, it provides better: theft security (take inside with me); multi-modal options (carry-on trains, subways, buses, ferries, ubers, certain planes); stealth camping (day-tripper appearance, carry everything deeper into woods); and suspension (option to wear/backpack gear and stand up) over particularly rough sections of road/off-road.

For warm weather (i.e. 40sF lows) my standard self-supported kit is down to a daypack size ~25L which is good for backpacking 4 days/nights. Bicycling, that's a single quick-release pannier/backpack on my folder, or a frame bag + small drybag/backpack on my gravel bike rack.

It's a personal hobby finding products and methods (primarily multi-tasking) to maintain/increase outdoor comfort while reducing weight and bulk - I quite enjoy it. I'm about as comfortable as I've ever been for human-powered camping, still with a double-wall tent, 2.5" mattress + pillow, camp chair, hot meals, evening shower, extra clothes/sandals, 'garage' space (for folder), evening cocktails, and even some 'A/C' (personal heater and fan).

Just my $0.02.
all interesting points.
I certainly agree from my 30 years touring and commuting etc with panniers that the more "sail area" you are carrying, it slows you down a bit, especially over 20kph.
As per weight, I dunno, maybe because I'm a slight guy who doesnt put out a lot of power, never have, never will, but I certainly notice the extra 6lbs or whatever, and as someone much smarter than me pointed out rightly so, that there is never in rreal life a flat road. There are always small ups and downs, and I really notice more load weight in slowing me down on slight or not so slight uphills, which sure as heck add up over the day.

I reckon this aspect adds up a lot lot more than aero slow downs, but I guess its realistic to say that both are real factors.

Ive done trips wehre I am carrying a rather heavy load, in hilly terrain, and have done loads and loads of days with average speeds of 12, 14kph, even less at times.

To be able to carry a lot less stuff does also come down to how much money one will spend on stuff, and how one can put up with discomfort in some areas.
A good example is my rain gear--I prefer to carry a rain jacket, rain pants and rain booties. My jacket is heavyish, but it works, and just dont feel like spending 300 bucks or more on a super light rain jacket. My rain pants are light, but my rain booties are old ones and a bit bulky--again, not interested in spending 100 bucks on smaller lighter ones--so just my rain gear stuff takes up more room than if I had $500 to burn on a new jacket and booties.

I also find I carry more toiletries as I get older, and I reckon this is common, but it does take up more space and weight. On some of my trips lately, sun screen was hard to come by, and or very expensive, and as a white , genetically British gringo, I take sun protection seriously and so take extra sun screen bottles.

anyway, all that to say that being aware of the weight of stuff certainly helps, and the more we do diff activities like you do, the more aware we are of bulk and weight (but always in real life, also balancing how much we can spend on gear, especially with other life expenses, house, kids, you name it).
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Old 06-26-19, 09:57 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
all interesting points.
I certainly agree from my 30 years touring and commuting etc with panniers that the more "sail area" you are carrying, it slows you down a bit, especially over 20kph.
As per weight, I dunno, maybe because I'm a slight guy who doesnt put out a lot of power, never have, never will, but I certainly notice the extra 6lbs or whatever, and as someone much smarter than me pointed out rightly so, that there is never in rreal life a flat road. There are always small ups and downs, and I really notice more load weight in slowing me down on slight or not so slight uphills, which sure as heck add up over the day.

I reckon this aspect adds up a lot lot more than aero slow downs, but I guess its realistic to say that both are real factors.

Ive done trips wehre I am carrying a rather heavy load, in hilly terrain, and have done loads and loads of days with average speeds of 12, 14kph, even less at times.

To be able to carry a lot less stuff does also come down to how much money one will spend on stuff, and how one can put up with discomfort in some areas.
A good example is my rain gear--I prefer to carry a rain jacket, rain pants and rain booties. My jacket is heavyish, but it works, and just dont feel like spending 300 bucks or more on a super light rain jacket. My rain pants are light, but my rain booties are old ones and a bit bulky--again, not interested in spending 100 bucks on smaller lighter ones--so just my rain gear stuff takes up more room than if I had $500 to burn on a new jacket and booties.

I also find I carry more toiletries as I get older, and I reckon this is common, but it does take up more space and weight. On some of my trips lately, sun screen was hard to come by, and or very expensive, and as a white , genetically British gringo, I take sun protection seriously and so take extra sun screen bottles.

anyway, all that to say that being aware of the weight of stuff certainly helps, and the more we do diff activities like you do, the more aware we are of bulk and weight (but always in real life, also balancing how much we can spend on gear, especially with other life expenses, house, kids, you name it).

HERE'S an article on the subject, I hadn't seen it before my post, just googled it but it's pretty consistent. YMMV, but I strongly believe in it - the physics are pretty simple.

I have a 9lb EDC bag that I occasionally strap on my rear rack for longer day rides - I personally can't feel (or maybe barely feel) the incremental work to ride it uphill against gravity, and I'm not strong rider - it's a 5% add to my 180lb bike+rider combined weight. I can't speak for you, but what I REALLY notice about the weight is the handling change to the bike. On my folder, it rides low above a 349 wheel so barely impacts the handling, except while climbing where I'm spinning less smoothly or standing - I actually look back frequently to make sure it hasn't dropped off. On my gravel bike it rides high above the 700 wheel, and it's quite noticeable, nearly all the time - don't need to look back on this bike, I know it's there.

I also use the folder for utility runs with a 10lb trailer, and riding empty to Home Depot, it's amazing how it has almost no effect to the handling - if feels more invisible than my bag on the rack. Coming back towing a 50lb bag of lawn fertilizer, however, it's a 60lbs combine addition or 33% over my 180 bike&rider. True to what I believe, it's really noticeable accelerating and uphill, but I still feel like I'm riding uphill with 1/3rd more effort. Maintaining flat ground pace speed, I really don't notice the weight - if anything it's more aero drag. But your point on no flat ground is fair enough so assuming all slight ups/downs, then the 1% impact becomes 1.5% to average pace.

Cost of ultra-light/-compact camping need not be crazy expensive. $500 for an UL rain outfit? - $500 covers my rain outfit, shelter, sleep system, and campsite puffy for cold evenings/mornings (through good multitasking); $100 for my kitchen; $100 for the camp chair/water purification; $100 for camping sundries; and $150/75 for panniers/bags for my folder/gravel bikes. This does not include: electronic gadgetry or spare clothing which I have for regular life anyway, or more importantly, the cost of trial and error and upgrades to get to the ideal (for me) set-up. Everything mentioned above was purchase new, but I take good advantage of holiday sales, coupon offerings, and clearance pricing.

To your specific example of upgrading the rain outfit - I just happened to upgrade my windshirt (spare clothing item) to the latest and greatest GoreTex Shakedry fabric, said to breath as well as a windshirt, but is 100% hydrophobic, permanently waterproof, and can never wet-out (w/permanently beading surface). For the lower half, I'm considering using a rain kilt (I bought a $20/2.5oz one, but think I'd rather just multitask my existing Polycryo or Tyvek sitting groundsheet), and then ride in my camp sandals. This gives me redundant rain outfit options, but both have +/- depending upon which way the wind is blowing, cost $125 (new on clearance), but once again it was really only intended as a windshirt/spare clothing upgrade.

Last edited by reppans; 06-26-19 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 06-26-19, 10:57 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
To "bivouac" is a general term used for setting up a make do campsite ie. "While on the march we bivouaced by the river".

A "bivy sac" is a small bag that fits over, or replaces, a sleeping bag and is used instead of a tent as an emergency shelter while climbing. You don't want to haul a tent, but may get caught out overnight on a route, so you take a bivy sac.

Soldiers usually don't carry bivy sacs. For emergency shelter they have waterproof ponchos that can snap together to make small shelters.

Of course you can use a bivy sac anywhere one wants lightweight shelter and it really doesn't matter in general if someone calls their tent a bivy, except in a discussion where people are talking about the size of shelters related to comfort and weight. In that case it just causes confusion.
This is how I use my bivy sack. It is not usually a planned event


This is my wife crawling into her bivy sack. This was just a demonstration; we were teaching a ski patrol class on building emergency shelters.


Last edited by Doug64; 06-26-19 at 11:06 PM.
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Old 06-27-19, 06:14 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by reppans View Post
HERE'S an article on the subject, I hadn't seen it before my post, just googled it but it's pretty consistent. YMMV, but I strongly believe in it - the physics are pretty simple.

I have a 9lb EDC bag that I occasionally strap on my rear rack for longer day rides - I personally can't feel (or maybe barely feel) the incremental work to ride it uphill against gravity, and I'm not strong rider - it's a 5% add to my 180lb bike+rider combined weight. I can't speak for you, but what I REALLY notice about the weight is the handling change to the bike. On my folder, it rides low above a 349 wheel so barely impacts the handling, except while climbing where I'm spinning less smoothly or standing - I actually look back frequently to make sure it hasn't dropped off. On my gravel bike it rides high above the 700 wheel, and it's quite noticeable, nearly all the time - don't need to look back on this bike, I know it's there.

I also use the folder for utility runs with a 10lb trailer, and riding empty to Home Depot, it's amazing how it has almost no effect to the handling - if feels more invisible than my bag on the rack. Coming back towing a 50lb bag of lawn fertilizer, however, it's a 60lbs combine addition or 33% over my 180 bike&rider. True to what I believe, it's really noticeable accelerating and uphill, but I still feel like I'm riding uphill with 1/3rd more effort. Maintaining flat ground pace speed, I really don't notice the weight - if anything it's more aero drag. But your point on no flat ground is fair enough so assuming all slight ups/downs, then the 1% impact becomes 1.5% to average pace.

Cost of ultra-light/-compact camping need not be crazy expensive. $500 for an UL rain outfit? - $500 covers my rain outfit, shelter, sleep system, and campsite puffy for cold evenings/mornings (through good multitasking); $100 for my kitchen; $100 for the camp chair/water purification; $100 for camping sundries; and $150/75 for panniers/bags for my folder/gravel bikes. This does not include: electronic gadgetry or spare clothing which I have for regular life anyway, or more importantly, the cost of trial and error and upgrades to get to the ideal (for me) set-up. Everything mentioned above was purchase new, but I take good advantage of holiday sales, coupon offerings, and clearance pricing.

To your specific example of upgrading the rain outfit - I just happened to upgrade my windshirt (spare clothing item) to the latest and greatest GoreTex Shakedry fabric, said to breath as well as a windshirt, but is 100% hydrophobic, permanently waterproof, and can never wet-out (w/permanently beading surface). For the lower half, I'm considering using a rain kilt (I bought a $20/2.5oz one, but think I'd rather just multitask my existing Polycryo or Tyvek sitting groundsheet), and then ride in my camp sandals. This gives me redundant rain outfit options, but both have +/- depending upon which way the wind is blowing, cost $125 (new on clearance), but once again it was really only intended as a windshirt/spare clothing upgrade.
hi reppans, I had answered but must have had a problem as it didnt go on as I thought.

re the report, that is specifically about very light setups--a 22lb bike and very little load, so from my experience with 30+ lbs bikes and very specifically with long, expeditiony trips where we end up having more weight than usual, along with mountainy terrain, I really notice the diff of having 10lbs more. (very easy to have 10-15lbs more when carrying extra food and water in an area where there are unknowns of getting stuff)

re the rain gear-in my disappeared response, I had mentinoed that my rain jacket is a tough showers pass one, cost about 150-175, and the lighter models here in Canada tend to be easily 250, and up, to some really eye watering prices for the latest and greatest.
My jacket is great for my commuting use, and in cooler temps, although it does have great ventilation so it works fine in warm weather, but it certainly is heavier and bulkier than others. At the time, I bought it for the cost (100 bucks less than the nicer ones) and as I use it commuting, I liked that it is tougher than the super light ones.

but as you say, there are sales and stuff, and lots of light jackets out there, I just havent checked them out too much. I do have a very light so so rain jacket, and I took it on my Mexico trip last year as I figured I wouldnt be needing it much, and also because the year before when I rode through central america, I took the heavy one and that was a mistake, as I hardly ever used it and it took up space and weight for no real reason--live and learn.

all that said, looking into lighter stuff should be a bit more on my priority, and figuring out where I should concentrate on is always a good exercise.
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Old 06-27-19, 06:53 AM
  #44  
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One of the maxims of packing lighter is packing less stuff. Stuff you don't take weighs nothing, costs nothing, and takes a smaller, lighter and cheaper pack to carry it.

Clothing usually falls into the over-packed category. It's bulky and can be expensive. A good rule of thumb I like is that you should be able to wear all your clothing at once, as part of a coordinated layering system.

Many ignore extra weight of the pack(s) needed to carry extra gear. Lighter packs can make a difference. Bicycle panniers can get heavy even when empty.

The best rain gear I've ever owned was custom made for me by a hiking buddy out of silnylon. Anorak and pants each weigh about 3 oz and pack the size of a fist.

A few light weight things cost more, notably down. But a good down bag is a lifetime investment. Cuben fiber shelters are another. (I haven't been able to justify that expense yet.)

Some lighter weight gear is simpler, cheaper gear. Like single-wall shelters. Homemade alcohol stoves are better than free--you can take a couple of Pepsi cans out of the waste stream and make something useful out of them. And your stove weighs a few grams. Repurposed one-liter soda bottles do the same thing--carry more for less weight and better than free.

Many do well with stoveless travel, especially on bikes. It's pretty easy to find a cooked meal every day when traveling by road. My stove and cook kit used to take up an entire front pannier.

My big dome tent used to take up the other front pannier. By using a cheaper, lighter tent and simplifying my meals, I was able to both save money and eliminate the mass of the front rack and packs. And the bike handles better and it's easier to bring places I want to go.
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Old 06-27-19, 11:08 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
This is how I use my bivy sack. It is not usually a planned event


This is my wife crawling into her bivy sack. This was just a demonstration; we were teaching a ski patrol class on building emergency shelters.

You and your wife are awesome!

Here's my Integral Designs bivy sac from the early 90's. A first or second generation unit that cost a lot back then (I worked at a climbing store and got a big discount on stuff). When I got it I took it and my new Quallofil bag and slept outside in -42 as a test. I can add a Chuoinard thinsulite over bag and get pretty toasty.

I still use all three things as I take a long time to invest in expensive stuff but when I do I usually take care of it. Most gear does not degrade so much from rough use as from poor storage like being put away wet to moulder.

It has a single small FG hoop that holds the mosquito netting off the face. Made of Gortex and good for snow and breath ability but in sustained rain gets wet. For summer cycling where rain is not expected and not too many mossy's it's great. When I sleep I put my shoes inside beside me and my pack in the extra space under my head.
Image pulled from a GP video.



Here my friend and I bivouac'd at 12:30am after a long days ride. He had a hammock and we couldn't find a place for various reasons until we just decided to stop where we were. I slept right where the yellow bivy sac lays. Max is packing his bag from the hammock on the right.


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Old 06-28-19, 03:00 AM
  #46  
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I suppose me and my wife represent the other end of the spectrum. Usually when we do week+ tours we have four panniers each, handlebar bags for the valuables and a rack bags.

For me the weight doesn't matter much. I'm over 100kg myself so adding 25kg to that in gear doesn't really alter the proposition much. Haven't weighed our gear lately so don't know how much I carry but it's usually 4-5kg per pannier.
My wife on the other hand isn't nearly as heavy but she has this crazy old person strength she inherits from both sides of her family. Her fat metabolism is off the friggin charts and she is nothing compared to her parents.
So when I tell her we're going over some mountains we're going over some mountains and I'll be the one who drops first. But we still did good mileage going over the Alps. 50 klicks a day on average if I remember correctly.

As to why we have that much stuff? Well it's just easier.

Having 5 pairs of bibs or shorts means we only have to do laundry once per week. That goes to some extent for other clothes as well but for me, a chronic sufferer of various skin ailments, having clean bibs for every riding day is a priority.

Having a three person massive tunnel tent means we have space to actually live in as a couple, space to sleep in (I'm 6'5" with a EU 47 shoe, I need to sleep diagonally no matter how large a tent we use)

Having our own chairs means we always have a pit stop wherever we want one. We could always sit on the ground but coming from the Finnish archipelago which is probably one of the worst (meaning most dangerous) tick areas on the planet, sitting on the ground just feels wrong, not to mention it's usually uncomfortable. Now I say most dangerous because firstly we have a ungodly amount of ticks in certain areas but also the the lyme disease here is the neural kind which apparently is the most dangerous. Lots of myths involved with lyme disease sure, but it's not a disease to take lightly nonetheless.

Sandals means showering isn't gross in public showers and it's nice to take off the cycling shoes every once in a while even when walking around in a gross campsite. Note, my Crocs sandals weigh next to nothing but do take a lot of space (size 47...)

Proper rain with advanced membranes means we can ride in almost any weather. We don't particularly like sitting out days just because it's raining.
Then again advanced membranes are typically lighter than the less advanced ones, and much more expensive. Ours aren't the best out there but they were the best gore tex had to offer when we bought them.

I’ll admit. My sleeping bag is seriously overrated warmth wise for most summer tours. But we have faced negative celsius on a summer tour so back then it was nice to have.
But I also don’t want to buy a new bag just to save some space and weight. Down bags are friggin expensive and I already have one.

Our kitchen is also pretty bulky. We have a trangia with a multi fuel burner which puts out as much energy as a home gas stove hob. It has been mentioned that finding warm meals is easy, which is true but it’s also sometimes inconvenient, sometimes impossible even in the developed world and often times expensive when compared to self cooked.

And I know this next comment will face some disapproval, but your typical restaurant food in Europe isn’t all that special. Some of it is mind blowing for sure, but the everyday stuff in Italy, France, Germany is just kinda meh… I mean it isn’t bad by any measure but I cook better with our trusty trangia. Just need to get steel pots for it so up the game even further.
And since cooking is a hobby of mine (European stuff especially), I don’t really miss out on anything even if many of our meals are self cooked. And in certain countries there just isn’t good food available.

It all kinda adds up. And while some here surely think we overpack and are doing it wrong, we don’t pack stuff we don’t use or need. At least I can’t think of anything and we go though the stuff pretty judiciously every time we pack up for a trip.

As to roughing it and bivouacing etc. and making an experience of it… Well, I’ve mentioned it here before but I had enough of roughing it during my military service. Nowadays I’m a huge fan of comfy sleeping pads, warmth, enough sleep in general, high tech clothes etc.
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Old 06-28-19, 07:34 AM
  #47  
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hey there senor crux, first of all, can't recall if Ive mentioned, but your written English is excellent, it comes across as if its your first language.

this was good that you chimed in with all of this, as I suspect that the majority of folks here use panniers and carry a similar amount of things-appreciating the creature comforts of stuff, but not overdoing it. As you allude to, when we were younger, we didnt think too much about discomfort, but as we get older, we appreciate how certain things make a difference and are willing to carry the few extra kilos, and the chair example is a good one (and the tick and Lymes disease issue is an increasing situation in my part of Canada also, and as you say, it is serious enough that one really needs to be informed about it and aware of checking for them on our bodies).

I guess the one difference is our body weight, Im only 63kg tops, so like I mentioned earlier, I do notice when I have more weight of extra water or food, but at least my bike has nice low gearing, but still as a light guy, I just dont put out the power and torque as bigger folks.

when you bring up clothes and how much you bring, I figure that in the big scheme of things, a few more layers or bike shorts or whatever, really dont add that much actual weight, especially with modern, quick dry materials. Sure, there will be some bulk and volume, but you can add this and that, and if its within reason and not a pair of jeans or whatever, the actual weight addition is pretty small, and to connect with this whole topic, can mean more comfort or enjoyment.

it goes without saying though, as you stated, that you want to use all your things, and clothing choice can easily be done so that if cold, you just end up wearing all your clothes, and its easy to find stuff that is still lightweight but very utilitarian and can look fine for "off bike" clothes also.

cheers, I hear it is also hot up in your end also, hopefully not as bad as central europe though.
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Old 07-01-19, 06:50 AM
  #48  
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In very cold weather a smaller tent is much warmer. The rest is a matter of personal preference.
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Old 07-01-19, 09:01 AM
  #49  
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8 lb. mattress? No way, Jose. Sea to Summit Comfort Light Insulated for me. Inflates with 10 big puffs. Comfy as all get out. Deflates and rolls up easily.
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Old 07-02-19, 11:41 AM
  #50  
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I don't worry about weight. I feel no difference in my 35 lb. bike with 20+ lb. of water for a day ride vs. loading up with 110+ lb total bike and gear.

I'm not a flatlander though. I climb all the time, every ride. I have no choice. I was amazed one comment I read someone posted a century with less than 200 feet of climbing. I climb 700 feet just the last 4 miles of my daily ride from home. I rarely climb less than 1000 feet on a 10-20 mile ride. I'm not a spinner when I climb, can't do it. I grind. I have way more power to push than I have stamina to spin on a hill. More weight just means I'm a little slower on the hills, that's all. I'm already slow so cutting my 3 mph down to 2 mph on an actual hill doesn't matter much. I do consider anything less than 12% just a slope. Most of my hills are between 12 and 16%. I can sit and grind that all day long, just not very fast.
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