Until this year, me and my riding buddies were planning our off-road rides so we end every day in some hotel, motel or apartment. Year after year, we push limits of our rides. We are going deeper into forests, higher into mountains and far from gas stations and civilization. And accommodation planning became very hard, since we often don't know if we will pass planned tracks or not. More then once night caught us in the middle of nowhere, so we had to ride through dark to get to accommodation.
So, we decided to start camping. Primarily, because we wont be limited by accommodation - we could sleep wherever night finds us. And because we ride through really beautiful scenery, so its a shame we cant witness sunset or sun rising on those places.
I don't have much experience in camping. Actually, I have never slept outdoor. Except when I ran away from home when I was 15. But I am not sure that counts in 'camping'. But I plan to improve my camping knowledge fast. In this post, I will present how I set my bike for camping, from my very first camping ride onward. I will try to update it after every ride.
Camping will require more luggage space, but I plan to make that space by dropping out all unnecessary things I was carrying till now. Of course, gear needs to be well suited for the purpose. So, I browsed internet for few days, looking at lightweight, compact gear suited for temperature range between 0 and 20 Celsius. We will be camping mostly in late spring, summer and early fall, but we mostly ride on mountains, where nights can be cold even in August. My choices were limited by what I can found around here, but surprisingly, I found almost all that was ranked first on my wishlists.
So, here it is.
Ferrino Nemesi 2 tent, Millet Alpine LTK 800 sleeping bag, Therm-a-rest NeoAir All season sleeping mat, Ferrino Cotton liner for sleeping bag, Primus LiTech Trek kettle and Primus Express stove and small, 100 g Power Gas can.
My goal was to pack all I need for camping (camping gear, clothes, food, water, some spares and tools and extra gas) in a way that my riding isn't compromised. I also like 'clean' look, without things flopping around.
It will definitely take some time to figure out best setup, and I will do my best to document it here.
I. So, my first camping setup - July 2015.
I was very surprised that all my camping gear from above fits in one Wolfman Expedition Dry Saddlebag. There was some space left for two HD inner tubes. Above my expectations. Bag opening is rolled 4 times, so it should be enough to keep water out. Just in case, I put sleeping bag in one thin dry bag, before putting it into Wolfman.
Food (5 tuna cans, 4 bags of Uncle Ben's rice, 5 express oat meals, 6 bags of protein shake) and clothes (3 sets of active long johns and long sleeved shirts, 3 x underwear, 1 fleece, 3 x wool socks, 2 x thin knee long socks, 1 x Sealskinz sock) went in other Wolfman bag. Water (4 x 0.75l), knife, head lamp, small ax, lighter and that kind of stuff was in US-10 Kriega. Extra gas was in 1 gallon Rotopax. More water was in Kriega R-15 on my back. Rope and 8 Isostar gel's in Kriega R3 waistpack. Thats about it.
And this is how it looked on the bike.
And on Stara Planina mountain.
Overall, it was OK. Wolfman's were very solid and secure. Kriega US-10 was not interfering with my rear on steep downhills. But, I was not too happy with how I was using Kriega US-10 - it is great bag, but this is not best way to use it - when it is full, it is very secure, but when bottles are empty it can't be tightened well. It is not bags fault, it is not meant to be used empty.
Also, it seems like I need more room for water.
I have few ideas for improved setup, so this post will be updated soon.