Here is quite an extensive thread on bike camping, tents and equipment Link It's 103 pages long right now and growing.
I am wondering what people use as tents when camping on the TW. I have an ultra-light SpinTarp that I use hiking. I figure it is so light it is easy to take even if I have another tent.
I'll be riding & camping solo, probably in all types of weather except for snow.
Any ideas or recommendations?
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There are lots of tents out there that would be just fine for what you're looking for.
Here is what I use on occasion. I used this recently.
It is really nice for a shorter trip or occasional use, but after a week it would start to get a little tiresome.
It definitely is a bit more of a specialty type of a "tent", plus you have to have something to tie it to.
If done up properly, it will keep you high and dry, even in a rather nasty storm. The only bad part about it is there is really no room for anything other than you and a book in there. you'll have to do something else with your gear, whereas in a tent, even a smaller one, you can still fit quite a bit of gear in there with you in the event of weather moving in. Hence the reason I had to cover up everything I had with some plastic on my bike.
I just use one I bought at WalMart. I got the "backpack" size. It's fine for just me and some gear. I down-sized from a 4 man tent I had when I was riding a larger street bike with tour bags & full fairing. Now my tent bag is smaller than the chair I pile on top of it.
Out here in the mid-west a bad thunderstorm is gonna get through even the most expensive tent. So I don't sweat about getting the good gear the magazines push.
I lean towards backpack gear for the bike, (even though I could carry larger (less expensive) stuff), just so I have room to take the little comforts, like a full size pillow.
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If size is an issue,check with Bike Nashbar or Performance. They carry bicycle camping gear that takes up little room but will still protect you from the elements.
I have done all sorts of camping using 2-man Eureka Timberline tents for the last 30 years. I'm on my second one now. They are easy to set up, simple in design, comparatively cheap to buy, hold up well, self standing and just plain work. Any time I've done group tours that involve camping, other Timberline tents are always in the mix.
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This is what I bought recently, specifically for bike camping...
The single-pole design means that it sets up really quickly and it is big enough to fit a queen-size mattress inside...although I don't have a Queenie mattress to pack along! Lots of room for your gear, vestibule has enough room for your boots, nothing more!
Another one I bought two years ago:
This one doesn't have quite as much floor space, and takes a bit longer to setup but it has TWO doors and TWO vestibules, so you don't have to step over your partner to get in and out...
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My long time favorite is the REI Half Dome. A good 2.5 to 3 season tent. Doesn't take up much room but is fairly roomy inside. When its hot you can remove the fly.
This one has gone up to Alaska with me several times and on many other longer trips. Works well for me I have lived in this tent for up to one month and it held up well.
The tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, cook set, etc all fit into a large Northface Duffle that sits nicely on the back of the TW (I have the CycleRack) and does not crowd me when riding
REI now makes a Half Dome Plus (little more room)-I would probably consider that one if I was buying a new tent today.
There are lots of good tents out their today-good luck with your choice.
Here is my new tent that I ordered. I will use this for a base camp set up on longer trips when using my utility trailer.
I have a Hennessey hammock and like it alot. i also have a North Face starlight extreme that has stood up to years of use. I'm going to add a silnylon tarp to my camping kit to put up over the bike when i start camping with it.
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