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Old 26 Jan 2009
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Do I need camping gear in SE Asia / India?

I'm currently riding from Melbourne to London. I camped extensively in Australia, but I'm about to head into SE Asia and India for a couple of months, and I'm considering shipping the tent, stove etc. back to the UK to shed some weight.

Is there any point taking camping gear through Asia or am I likely to find accommodation everywhere? And should I keep a sleeping bag with me, or go super-light???



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Old 26 Jan 2009
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We went the other way round a year ago, and never had any camping gear with us. Was already a bit cold for that in Europe in October, when we left, would´ve been mostly useless anywhere in Asia, and probably only useful during the last leg of our trip in Australia.

Especially considering, how much space all that gear will eat up on the bike, I think it was the right choice. Accommodation is plentiful and also pretty cheap in most parts of Asia. So much so, that some national parks & hiking routes excluded, its hard to find any camping areas, like in Europe or Australia. Most areas of India are so densely populated, that if you´d freecamp, your tent would probably be surrounded by dozens of curious passers-by most of the time!

We did carry ´travel liners´ (like a bed linen, but the shape of a sleeping bag), as some of the cheaper joints in Asia (especially Indonesia, India, Pakistan & Iran) had rather nasty looking sheets. Maybe it was only a ´mental´ help, but they didnt weight much, or eat up much space, so I´d take them again!
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Old 26 Jan 2009
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camping gear

four month trip from europe to india, bike overloaded with camping gear, waste of space. You need silk sleepingbag liner, good sleeping bag, mosquito net, immersion coil and stainless steel thermo mug. Everything Pecha72 says is correct, ship your camping gear.
There may be one or two times/places where you could use it, but its not worth the hassel. Wild camping is not an option unless you are many people, and usually in mountain trekking areas inacessable by road. Robbery could be a problem in other areas. Much of Pakistan and Iran you will get police escorts, they are a tiresome to deal with, try to be friendly and dont allow them to rush you, but they are not camping enthusiasts. If you give them a hotel name, they find it for you, which is very helpful. Take a combination padlock for cheap hotels, and a small headtorch (powercuts), and a cover for the bike.
Safe journey
Peter,in Oslo
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Old 26 Jan 2009
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Spent several months backpacking in the region and found guesthouses pretty much everywhere, but then that was travelling in backpacker-type areas where there's an infrastructure for such. If you're planning to hit back-of-beyond places then accom might be more of a challenge... but a dossbag and a mossie net would cover most eventualities, i reckon! Where're you planning?
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Old 26 Jan 2009
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I camped a fair bit in the mountains of India and Pakistan and would say it was worth it to get away from the hussle and bustle you see elsewhere. But yes, you will find accomm pretty much everywhere if want it.

Didn't camp in Iran but free camped a bit in Turkey, mainly because i was so horrified at the petrol costs that I refused to pay for a room. Again, Europe is expensive and is recommended to cut your costs.

My little Vid: India/Pakistan

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Old 26 Jan 2009
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I went on a bicycle from Saigon to Singapore an did not need any campinggear. I found accomodation anywhere with a daily distance of only 100km average.

I used a silkliner and an impregnated mosquitonet
May you enjoy peace and good health !
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Old 27 Jan 2009
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Thanks for the wise words!

Looks like I'll ship the camping gear back to the UK. This will free enough space for me to have all the riding gear in locked panniers in cities, and make me a bit more nimble offroad.

I did enjoy the camping in Australia though - significantly more hygienic than the grim hotel I stayed at during a thunderstorm in Longreach...
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