Archive | September, 2012

Great Outdoors

12 Sep

Something like two and a half years ago, I went to REI and bought a backpacking tent, not to go backpacking but to use when traveling by motorcycle. I set it up was in my living room just to see how it worked. Second time I set it up…was last weekend.

Obviously the moto-camping plan didn’t pan out like I thought. But last weekend I finally had some unallocated time and figured on heading out after work on Friday. Picked out a campground a couple hours west of the cities, but by the time I got home, only had 90 minutes of daylight so I picked a place just 30 min away instead. The idea was just to do a test run, anyway. Camping, like travel in general, is a skill, and skills need practice. So here’s what I learned:

1. You can’t fit all that much on a motorcycle. I knew this in abstract, but it became clearer. Tent plus sleeping bag plus clothes plus food/cooking adds up to more than conveniently stores in topbox plus bungeeing onto saddle. And I didnt even have a sleeping pad. Could bungee more on though if I could amalgamate into one big duffel.

2. Need a thermarest pad. Nuff said.

3. Scaled down cookset is fine, but some things are pretty essential. If there is no spoon, Neo, there is no dinner.

4. Light is at a premium. Those goofy looking headlamps look pretty good as the sun goes down.

Some things went well. The tent was pretty foolproof, and the bag kept me warm even as the nighttime temp plummetted. Hatchet wasnt essential for making fire but helped with driving stakes.  And my little dual fuel stove, while not sexy, works great especially given how neglected it has been.