Author Topic: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?  (Read 1812 times)

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Offline ZG/ZN Kim

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Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« on: December 31, 2016, 02:51:28 pm »
Roll back the clock. It is  1978, I am 17 years old,  Bob Seger is cranking out the hits. I am riding a Honda CB 500T, out to Yellowstone National Park, from Wisconsin. Doing 75-80 mph on I-80, just so a semi-truck does not run my azz over! My hands still buzz when I think of it. Throwing up a tent  in a field and sleeping on the ground or sleeping on a picnic table was no problem.

Now fast forward to 2016. Owner of  a Concours, member of COG, where most of the rallies are camping. The stock bike is fine for 400+ miles/day. But not upgrading the camping gear was very short-sighted.  Well the tent from 1978 still works, even though it is a pup tent with no fly. Sleeping on the ground with only a sleeping bag does not work anymore. I bought a Thermarest inflatable mattress which helped, but I something more.
I was wondering what everyone thought about the  Thermarest  lightweight cot. Comfort, packability; most of all how does it hold up? Maybe there is a better cot out there, a Thermarest "knock off" or something else? I am not a great fan of air mattresses.  How about the best place to purchase one, and the best price??

Happy New Year everyone and thanks for your input


Offline ron203

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #1 on: December 31, 2016, 03:05:15 pm »
BTDT. I had lots of nights on a thermarest w/my boys in scouting, probably 300+. They're great for insulation  from the cold, not so much for the comfort. Last time I motorcycle camped, I thought I'd break my back. >:(

So, I'm looking at something like this: https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Detail/Helinox/cotlite but would probably keep a foam pad or thermarest on it for the insulation properties. Haven't tried this one, but Big Agnes products seem to be quality stuff and this cot is rated to 265# which I would  need (I'm 250# or so).

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Offline SteveJ.

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #2 on: December 31, 2016, 03:10:26 pm »
Too bad you don't like air mattresses. They really are the answer for comfort, for me. If you make sure that it is not rolled up with or set on dirt, sand, twigs, etc, they seem to last a long time. Frugal, compact, quick to inflate with a blower. All good. Coleman brand seems to have a thicker vinyl than most of the off brands.

Have fun.
Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SiSF)
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Offline MAN OF BLUES

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #3 on: December 31, 2016, 06:16:13 pm »
I have numerous tents, sized accordingly for solo and two up occupancy, when the wife is along the Colman inflatable matress is the bomb... along with their 4 cell battery operated inflator/deflator, which is handy to make it rollable size again.
When going solo, I have a 4" thick foam assisted self inflating single matress, from Sportsmans Guide, and still add a bit of air with the pump, which is awesome for sucking all the air back out so it rolls up small again... best spent money for sure...
Along with good silicone treared nylon tarps for added rain shielding when desired, and a -30f bag, I'm good to go.

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Offline Gumby

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #4 on: December 31, 2016, 06:19:04 pm »
I use the Exped mattress for motorcycle camping, I like it because it is very compact for travel, built in hand pump, and comfortable to sleep on(better than the rocks anyways.)

There are a few different models depending on how much you want to spend. This is the one I have, Exped, prices depend on size as well.

Offline 2fast

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2016, 07:15:01 pm »
Hey Kim,

Pretty impressive that you still have your tent from 78. Might be time for an upgrade.....things have improved. My go to place for gear is REI....great stuff, great warranty. They have their own brand of self inflating pads that are very comfy.....go thick. Look at Big Agnes....plenty to choose from. https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/Pads
Brian in Minnesota

Offline Rev Ryder

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2016, 07:42:43 pm »
While I do some motorcycle camping, I've yet to do any in conjunction with a COG event.  About 12 years ago I bought a tent on eBay for something like $12 and I have spent many a night in it in Colorado and New Mexico and at altitudes of 12k feet (cold).  But on the way to the National at Johnson City she started filling up with water at night (cuz it was raining every night) and I got tired of having to haul my heavy bag to the laundry for drying every day. LOL  I'd love to find something I liked as well.  I use a very heavy bag and carry a sheet in it so I can sleep on top of it or in it whatever the weather demands.  So I don;t need a heavy tent and prefer something that breathes very well.

I too will most likely need to camp at the upcoming Mo Twsties National due to finances and will want an inexpensive solution to staying dry.  So I'm watching this thread too.   :o
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Offline SteveJ.

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2016, 09:25:44 pm »
While I do some motorcycle camping, I've yet to do any in conjunction with a COG event.  About 12 years ago I bought a tent on eBay for something like $12 and I have spent many a night in it in Colorado and New Mexico and at altitudes of 12k feet (cold).  But on the way to the National at Johnson City she started filling up with water at night (cuz it was raining every night) and I got tired of having to haul my heavy bag to the laundry for drying every day. LOL  I'd love to find something I liked as well.  I use a very heavy bag and carry a sheet in it so I can sleep on top of it or in it whatever the weather demands.  So I don;t need a heavy tent and prefer something that breathes very well.

I too will most likely need to camp at the upcoming Mo Twsties National due to finances and will want an inexpensive solution to staying dry.  So I'm watching this thread too.   :o

Hard to go wrong at REI. Having said that, several of us in the SE have had excellent service from Alps Mountaineering tents Replacement parts are sometimes free, I had to get a pole that had snapped for no apparent reason after seven years of use. No charge shipped to my house from a US based support center, I did have to replace the fly after about five years, about $35 shipped.

Ventilation, vestibules, two entry doors, clip to poles(not sleeved), good zippers, after sale support. What's not to like.

Good stuff, good service, good price works for me.

Ask SiSF how he likes his.

They pretty much run from $150 to $200 depending on model for a three man.
Yeah, if you want true ram air tuning, you better be willing to ram some air! (SiSF)
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Offline ron203

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2016, 09:29:14 pm »
Do a search for Eureka Tetragon tents. They come in different sizes. I'm thinking about a new one for me.  I bought 2-3 dozen of them for boy scout to use over the years, so you know they're tough and not really expensive. The biggest thing to look for is "taped seams" on the rain fly, the body, and the floor it (the floor) is not one piece.
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Offline danodemotoman

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2016, 09:37:53 pm »
 Been using the Exped down mat for years. The down insulation works well.

https://www.amazon.com/Exped-DownMat-Sleeping-Black-Medium/dp/B002WXQ3FO/ref=sr_1_4?s=sporting-goods&ie=UTF8&qid=1483223354&sr=1-4&keywords=exped+sleeping+pad

 Using a Eureka 2-3 person tent since about 2001, been around many parts of west N America plus circumnavigating Australia in 2007.

Offline ZG/ZN Kim

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2016, 10:26:35 pm »
I am happy to see there is some interest on this subject , but am a little surprised that no one has commented on the Therma Rest Ultra Light cot, good or bad. I thought it would be a good combo with a lightweight self inflating pad. I would like to know if it is a POS or not.

Yes I do have that 1978 nylon pump tent yet, it packs very good, used it 3 times this year. My wife and I also have a 3 man Kelty tent, seems a bit excessive, I guess I might have to see how it packs on the bike.


Offline NYbiomed

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #11 on: January 01, 2017, 12:18:35 am »
I am happy to see there is some interest on this subject , but am a little surprised that no one has commented on the Therma Rest Ultra Light cot, good or bad. I thought it would be a good combo with a lightweight self inflating pad. I would like to know if it is a POS or not.

Yes I do have that 1978 nylon pump tent yet, it packs very good, used it 3 times this year. My wife and I also have a 3 man Kelty tent, seems a bit excessive, I guess I might have to see how it packs on the bike.

I bought a generic version of this ThermaRest for under 1/2 the price:
https://www.amazon.com/Therm-a-Rest-LuxuryLite-UltraLite-Cot-Large/dp/B00G3PE6FG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483232138&sr=8-1&keywords=ultralite+cot

The above, with an ultralight "Thermarest" self inflating pad and a 20deg down bag with a quality water resistant/breathable shell will last a long time and offer many a comfortable night's sleep. When looking for a tent, it's a good idea to stick with the brand names (Kelty, Sierra Designs, others): taped seams are a given, but go over them with a seamsealer and look for shock corded aluminum poles- fiberglass are heavy and will break one night when you really need it most- guaranteed! Unfortunately the above will not be cheap, likely over $500, but will probably be good for 10 years and add a good lightweight camp chair:
https://www.amazon.com/Moon-Lence-Ultralight-Folding-Camping/dp/B00Y2A6Z12/ref=sr_1_2?s=outdoor-recreation&ie=UTF8&qid=1483233034&sr=1-2&keywords=Helinox+chair

This entire package will likely take up about the same space as a cheap polyester sleeping bag. I used to work as an outfitter during my years in college, I have enough gear to weigh down a pack mule to this day- most of it bought for 0.20 on the dollar, few paychecks ever made it out of that store as a result.
Feel free to PM me for more actual choices of gear and prices/deals that I can dig up at the time.
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Offline Jorge

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #12 on: January 01, 2017, 02:47:51 am »
Hi Kim,
I have a 1.5" Thermarest I've had for about 20 years and it's served me well, but I'm fortunate I can sleep on it quite well.
I also use a 35 degree Slumberjack bag and a 7x7 Eureka tent. Wife and I have spend a never if nights in that tent.
We are also "hotelers" at some rallies, like Rev, and have enjoyed all the COG rallies.
Looks like you're getting some good advice!
Jorge

Offline ZG

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #13 on: January 02, 2017, 03:13:01 pm »
+1 on the Exped mat.  :great: :great:
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Offline bajakirch

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #14 on: January 02, 2017, 04:29:48 pm »
I'm a huge fan of the LuxuryLite cot -- I have one, use it every time I camp and would never go back.

So here's my story. As a Scout leader, I spent a lot of nights sleeping on the ground. Once I hit my mid-40s, I decided I was done sleeping on thin air pads. The LuxuryLite cot was exactly what I was looking for -- it literally packs down to the size of a small loaf of bread. Great for backpacking and motorcycling. The thing is, the darn things were over $200, which was way out of my budget.

A similar topic came up a few years ago on another MC forum and I mentioned how much I wanted one. Well, another member had one he'd only used a few times and said that his 4XL body was just a bit much for it. He offered to sell it to me for $100. This was still way more than I'd ever paid for a piece of camping gear, but it so happened I had a little extra cash burning a hole in my pocket, so I took a leap of faith. Was I ever glad I did.

No foam or air mattress ever gave me near the comfort I get on the LuxuryLite (I should note that my cot is from the original manufacturer; around the time I purchased it, ThermaRest must have bought the design or the company. The ThermaRest is the same, with just a few updated elements).

After a couple of times using it, I was able to set it up and tear it down in about 5 minutes. It supports your body about 3-4 inches above the ground. At around 200 lbs., my butt will sag a bit so that it's just above the ground. This could be rectified with taller 'feet', which I believe are still available as an accessory.

The 'sling' of mine is made with a fabric-mesh-reinforced plastic. I will admit that, in hot weather, it can get a bit swampy. If I was using it a lot more than I do (maybe 2-3x per year) or was traveling to an area that was expected to be really hot, I may invest in the mesh sling. In the cold, it's great because I can stuff the area underneath it with my dirty clothes and they act as an insulator. I've used it in temperatures down to the single digits (winter camping with the Scouts).

One minor issue is that mine is a bit narrow. This can also be handled by purchasing a wide sling, also available as an accessory, I believe.

As you may be able to tell, I'm a bit of a fan-boy.  :)
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Offline NYbiomed

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #15 on: January 02, 2017, 10:26:40 pm »
+1 on the Exped mat.  :great: :great:
The Expedition 2.5-3" self inflating mats are indeed great, but they will likely take up more room than the entire package of camp gear you would need for a comfortable night out- as described above. I own one, I get it, but with 2-up riding, I can't imagine bringing one along, just too large- the ultralight pads take up 1/10 the room and the cot another 1/10- together they can be just as good or better, because the cot raises you above the ground, possibly keeping you DRY during inclement weather and making all the difference. Even experienced hiker/campers can get water in their tents when it gets really bad, I've seen stream of water develop through people's tents from coalescing pools of water during torrential and sudden rainstorms, where minutes before all was completely dry. Tucking a good, waterproof ground tarp under the tent helps immensely, but don't make the mistake of having a ground tarp larger than the tents footprint....
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Offline Max

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2017, 12:29:25 am »
 i had been using a thermarest basecamp XL model  80?"x25"X 2" thickness. did ok but is cumbersome to pack and  takes up a lot of room. then cliff showed me his exped matress at barber one year, game over for the thermarest, i bought a synmat7 xl, at the first REI i could get to and shipped the thermarest home.  its 3" thick,comfy,insulated and packs about the size of my 20oz coffee mug.  i used it the rest of the 2 week trip and its a must have for camping now. 

Offline Just Cliff

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #17 on: January 06, 2017, 02:20:52 am »
i had been using a thermarest basecamp XL model  80?"x25"X 2" thickness. did ok but is cumbersome to pack and  takes up a lot of room. then cliff showed me his exped matress at barber one year, game over for the thermarest, i bought a synmat7 xl, at the first REI i could get to and shipped the thermarest home.  its 3" thick,comfy,insulated and packs about the size of my 20oz coffee mug.  i used it the rest of the 2 week trip and its a must have for camping now.

The xped air mat is amazing to say the least.

Let me help you spend a little more money Mark  :). I've since bought a Big Agnes bag. It has a sleeve in it that the mat fits into. Keeps the bag straight like a made up bed, unzip it & fold the cover back.  Bag doesn't get twisted around you if you when you change positions. Zipper is always in the same spot as when you went to sleep.

Deer Park series I believe is what I have. Happy spending  :rotflmao:!

Cliff   :beerchug:

Offline Max

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #18 on: January 06, 2017, 02:42:03 am »
i had been using a thermarest basecamp XL model  80?"x25"X 2" thickness. did ok but is cumbersome to pack and  takes up a lot of room. then cliff showed me his exped matress at barber one year, game over for the thermarest, i bought a synmat7 xl, at the first REI i could get to and shipped the thermarest home.  its 3" thick,comfy,insulated and packs about the size of my 20oz coffee mug.  i used it the rest of the 2 week trip and its a must have for camping now.

The xped air mat is amazing to say the least.

Let me help you spend a little more money Mark  :). I've since bought a Big Agnes bag. It has a sleeve in it that the mat fits into. Keeps the bag straight like a made up bed, unzip it & fold the cover back.  Bag doesn't get twisted around you if you when you change positions. Zipper is always in the same spot as when you went to sleep.

Deer Park series I believe is what I have. Happy spending  :rotflmao:!

Cliff   :beerchug:

ill have to see if it fits into my hammock, I only have 4 sleeping bags now so whats one more?

Offline Gumby

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2017, 02:55:04 am »
Let me help you spend a little more money Mark  :). I've since bought a Big Agnes bag. It has a sleeve in it that the mat fits into. Keeps the bag straight like a made up bed, unzip it & fold the cover back.  Bag doesn't get twisted around you if you when you change positions. Zipper is always in the same spot as when you went to sleep.

Deer Park series I believe is what I have. Happy spending  :rotflmao:!

Cliff   :beerchug:

I just looked the Big Agnes up, gonna have to open up the wallet, but I think I may go with the Whiskey Park series and save a couple bucks.

Great find Cliff. :beerchug:

Offline Sailor_chic

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2017, 11:39:34 am »
I was on the fence on whether I wanted the Thermostat cot or a pad. I was leaning towards the expensive cot, then read about the Exped mats.
I have decided and I have a Exped synmat 3D-7 mat on its way to the house.
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Offline NYbiomed

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2017, 08:49:47 pm »
This is all you really need for a decent night's sleep, packs to about the size of a Nalgene bottle, no need to spend a lotta money BC you really can't get much better....you can go a bit cheaper, but you lose the R-value of this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/222159018739?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT
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Offline Sailor_chic

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2017, 09:45:04 pm »
This is all you really need for a decent night's sleep, packs to about the size of a Nalgene bottle, no need to spend a lotta money BC you really can't get much better....you can go a bit cheaper, but you lose the R-value of this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/222159018739?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


Maybe the price point is good on that, but I prefer not to risk my camping trip on a refurbished sleeping pad.
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Offline NYbiomed

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2017, 10:26:17 pm »
This is all you really need for a decent night's sleep, packs to about the size of a Nalgene bottle, no need to spend a lotta money BC you really can't get much better....you can go a bit cheaper, but you lose the R-value of this:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/222159018739?_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT


Maybe the price point is good on that, but I prefer not to risk my camping trip on a refurbished sleeping pad.


Nah, comes with the same Lifetime Warrenty as new!
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Offline ZG/ZN Kim

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Re: Remember 1978? Best Camping gear 2016?
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2017, 12:45:27 pm »
I am still watching this thread, and must say;  Big Agnes gear has caught my eye and am thinking of going back to a air mattress. I am a minimalist, and I know many of you are high on the Exped pad, but the pack-ability of the Klymit pads has me intrigued. Even though I ride by myself a lot, my wife likes to go also. So whenever I get something, I need to be thinking 2X when it comes to packing it on the bike.  Thanks for everyone's input!!!