Monday, June 4, 2012

Gear List 2, Camping

Being an employee of REI gives me access to some pretty great camping gear.  When I selected the gear I had two major criteria, comfortable and convenient.

The tent is an Exped Venus lll which is a bit of overkill for the ride.  It is a three person tent with a large vestibule within which I can fit my bike.  The reason for this particular tent is that it sets up easily using poles inserted in sleeves in the flysheet and is freestanding.  This keeps the tent canopy underneath totally dry when I have to set it up in the rain.  So fast setup, and superior installation in the rain.  Also it is high enough inside to be able to change clothes without sitting down, and I don't have to crawl in and out of the tent when my body is already thrashed from riding. The disadvantage besides cost, is that it is a four season tent which means it will not vent well when it gets hot and humid.  That is the reason for the next item on this list.

A goal zero battery and portable fan will provide the venting for the tent.  The battery charges by solar panels which now that I know we will have electricity at every stop will stay home.  The fan will run off the battery for more than eight hours.

The sleeping pad is Exped Megamat which is a beast of a pad. Super comfortable but bulky, it still fits in my NorthFace Base Camp duffel bags (waterproof).  I will be using several drybags in the duffel bag to sort gear and keep it dry.

The sleeping bag is by Western Mountaineering and is the Lets Move model.  I was fortunate to tour the factory and this bag which is for European sales happened to be available for purchase.  It is a down 30 degree bag and is egg shaped for comfort.  It can be opened flat for a comforter and you can move the down from one side to another to lessen the warmth of the bag.  I am also taking sheets to sleep on and under when it gets really hot.

I am taking a Westcomb Apoc raincoat for both the campside and will wear it on rainy days on the bike.  The fabric is Neoshell which supposedly breathes much better than Goretex fabrics.  I am also taking rainpants for the camp but I will not ride with them.

One fun thing I am bringing is an Eagles Nest hammock which is very light and packs small.  After a ride, I just might never get out of it.

Lastly, don't forget the chamois cream for putting on the sensitive bits before riding off into each days adventure.

I will report back on the success and failure of the gear on my last post.

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