Bicycle Touring Camping Archives
This campsite in the photo was a welcome one. I had just climbed up and out of the desert from Phoenix and into the mountains near Payson, Arizona. The day started in a beautiful ‘cactus forest’ desert at an elevation of 1,140 feet and ended in a much cooler piney mountain landscape at 5000 feet. Located at the base of the Mongolian Rim and well inside the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. Free Dispersed Camping near Pine, Arizona.
Stealth camping is finding a free, usually illegal, always inconspicuous campsite, spending the night and leaving without being noticed. Questions on forums abound on the practice of finding a free camping spot. It’s usually called stealth, ninja, hobo, guerrilla, urban, vagabond, whatever camping. People talk about it’s morality, legality, practise, and execution. I have successfully stealth camped 100’s of times in many different conditions. I’m fairly adept at it because I am usually very prepared with equipment on a bike trip. There are people who make a life out of stealth camping and spend every night for years this way.
I saw mpowerd.com's Luci solar powered light on a gadget site and instantly made the purchase. Small pack size and internal solar power would make for the perfect tent light. After purchasing I saw someone had commented on LuminAid's entry into the same market and I also had to have it….ok…here it is: Luci vs Luminaid.
I purchased the REI Minimalist Bivy Sack in Boulder Colorado mid tour on my last cross country ride. It was one of those sales at REI and my sleeping bag needed replacing badly. I picked up a cheap summer bag and noticed the bivy marked down from $89 to $59. I don't know why it was marked down. I gave it a quick once over and it seemed to be in perfect condition. MINE!
I am in need of Thermarest mattress repair. My prolite has sprung a leak. I searched around and found several guides on how to affect the repair myself but also saw that I could send the mattress back to Thermarest for repair. I have never had a Thermarest leak before and am a big believer in the Prolite model and the Thermarest brand. I promote the Thermarest brand throughout this site. This was a good opportunity to see if a company I go out of my way to use and promote would get behind me the customer.
I give you the Kamp-Rite Midget Bushtrekka Bicycle Camper Trailer with Oversize Tent Cot complete in its lunacy and available for purchase at Amazon.com. This is the worst bicycle touring product ever conceived because of its weight, complexity, and inability to solve any problems.
The Eureka Backcountry 1 is a freestanding, 1 person, double wall, tent that assembles in minutes, and boasts a roomy interior. When I say freestanding I do mean “truly freestanding”. You can completely erect this tent without using any stakes or guidelines.
Thermarest Old School vs New School was a difficult decision for me. I spend a good deal of time lusting after new equipment online. When I saw that Cascade Designs, maker of Thermarest sleeping pads, modified their Neo Air line, trimming the corners, to fit into a mummy shaped bivy, I penciled it in as a goto piece of gear for my next trip; however, I'm not so sure anymore.
How much does it cost to bicycle tour? On all the 'Bicycle Touring' sites I visit there is always a question about the costs associated with bicycle touring. What is the cost? What is your daily budget? How do you get the time?
Lately I am seeing a lot of questions that revolve around sites like 'kickstarter' where people are actually attempting to have others 'fund' their tour. This post is not about that. I am simply breaking down the costs of touring into three verticals that I can then plan around and price out.
How much does it cost to bicycle tour?
On my last tour I employed a Brunton Explorer foldable compact solar panel charger and back up battery to keep my smartphone, camera, and hardrive charged. I was able to stay powered up throughout my trip and never once was without power for my media kit. The downfall was that T-Mobile seemingly had no service from Phoenix, AZ until I neared Denver, CO, perhaps the best part of my trip. I was able to capture media but had to rely on wifi to publish in many places throughout my trip.
Every since I was a young boy I have slept with the covers pulled up and over my head. Completely covered by the blanket. When I am unable to do this I often position a pillow so it covers the top of my head all the way to the tip of my nose so that just my nose and mouth are exposed. I have no explanation for this and have been derided by every single girlfriend who was witness to this behavior. Sleeping in a bivy sack comes quite naturally to me.
This is how I wash up after a day of bicycle touring at a stealth campsite. This should give you 12 complete ‘sponge’ baths when away from facilities or in the wild. It’s basically a reusable baby wipe, cleaning solution, and a shaker for getting everything sudsy.