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Camping Equipment and all Clothing Tents, sleeping bags, stoves etc. Riding clothing, boots, helmets, what to wear when not riding, etc.
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  #16  
Old 19 Sep 2011
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I bought a Coleman Coastline for a trip a while back. Perfect size and features.

After about a 1.5 weeks of pack up and set down everyday the fiberglass tent poles started to break at the joins. 6 weeks later and after replacing over half of the poles the zip started to fail. The tent ended up just lasting the 13 week trip.

If I could got a more expensive version that had better fiberglass poles or shaped aluminium poles I would have.

So I am saying buy the best you can that fits the trip and your budget.
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  #17  
Old 19 Sep 2011
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The more I've paid for things, the more I've been disappointed.

With most equipment, you seem to get a cut off price where quality doesn't seem to climb with cost.

If you compare a £10 tent with a £1000 tent there is certainly going to be some big differences. That expensive tent will not be 100x better though.

That doesn't mean you should buy the cheapest crap on the market, because you WILL be disappointed.

You can get excellent quality gear at fairly low prices if you research, shop around and ignore fancy names and marketing.

Never be afraid to buy second hand gear. I have saved THOUSANDS like this. There are tons and tons of almost new bike/travel gear on Ebay/gumtree which is going for peanuts.

I think the biggest factor is being realistic with yourself and your trip and what you NEED to spend. (I've also wasted thousands thinking I need stuff I don't)

Why get a £300 stove designed for climbing Everest when you will be boiling water for coffee at sea level ??? A £60 Coleman Dual fuel is actually a lot more practical for the task.

Why buy a £1000 tent designed for the Antarctic when you will probably just be getting drizzled on in a Camp site in Wales etc ?? Vango make loads of tents under £150 which are FANTASTIC.

Do you need £1300 Aluminium panniers when a set of £35 Ex-Military canvas bags will outlast you and your bike combined and weigh 30kg less ?

Do you need a £600 GPS system when a 5 year old model for £100 does exactly the same thing, minus the features that most people will never use ?


Do some research, use your head and don't get sucked in by marketing. I wish I had listened to people telling me the same thing when I started out. I can't actually think of anything "expensive" that anyone would 'need' to buy when doing a RTW at all really.

If I didn't buy £1300 Metal Mules I could of spent another two months in South America. Those tin boxes are still in my shed keeping spiders warm at winter, where they have been for the last four years. Think about it...


Ted
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  #18  
Old 19 Sep 2011
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Touring Ted* View Post
Why buy a £1000 tent designed for the Antarctic when you will probably just be getting drizzled on in a Camp site in Wales etc ?? Vango make loads of tents under £150 which are FANTASTIC.

Do you need £1300 Aluminium panniers when a set of £35 Ex-Military canvas bags will outlast you and your bike combined and weigh 30kg less ?

Do you need a £600 GPS system when a 5 year old model for £100 does exactly the same thing, minus the features that most people will never use ?

Ted

The 3 man Vango Force ten tent I used at the recent autumn rally cost me (roughly) £750! Except it didn't. I actually paid about £70 for it and inflation took care of the rest because I bought it in 1975. In those days it was pretty much as high end as it got and, to date anyway, quality has out. It still gets used a lot and despite having seven other tents to choose from in the loft it's still pretty much my tent of choice. And this isn't a one-off freak, like pre war light bulbs that are still working, nor is it still in use on the "Trigger's axe" principle. Cynthia Milton has the same tent of about the same age and I have a friend with one about five years older. That's the up side of buying high end - they can last a lifetime (if you keep them for a lifetime). If you're a gear freak and buy expensive tents on the basis of "this year's colours" then it's probably £1000 wasted. If you're going to spread that over 40 years it looks good on an annual basis, plus you've got a tent that you've got confidence in.

Re MM panniers etc, if you saw my bike and set up at the rally you might wonder how the hell I'd ever consider buying a high end tent when the rest of the stuff is even more low end than ex army canvas bags. It's because I've evolved the set up to work on the sort of trips I do (or hope to do) based on experience. If I could envisage circumstances where MM boxes were the best (as in best suited rather than best looking) then I'd buy them. That doesn't seem likely for me atm so I won't be beating a path to their door.
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  #19  
Old 19 Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by backofbeyond View Post
"Trigger's axe" principle..
Axe!?! Sweeping the streets of Peckham must have got a bit rougher since the riots I guess!!
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  #20  
Old 19 Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by henryuk View Post
Axe!?! Sweeping the streets of Peckham must have got a bit rougher since the riots I guess!!
Certainly is a tough area! I was near there yesterday and the streets were running red! All that paint going to waste. (My son lives in New Cross and the paint came from a DIY mishap).

I must have axes rather than brooms on the brain - I spent Saturday working at an outdoor event near Kew teaching axe throwing to the public - and no, that's not a joke! Just the sort of skill that'll come in handy on a long bike trip, maybe I could do a workshop on it at the next Horizons rally
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  #21  
Old 19 Sep 2011
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Ha!! I reckon 'the best weapons to launch from two wheels' is more of an ADVrider topic than an HU one! (they had a long drawn out thread ages ago on the best place to keep your gun on long overland trips - no joke!)
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  #22  
Old 19 Sep 2011
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The biggest hassle to me is the unpredictability of production standards on half this stuff. I had an MSR Dragonfly that was a PITA to light until rebuilt at 5 years old. The weld holding the burner to the axle that swivels in the frame then broke. Most people rave over these but mine was a POS. I have Swedish army Trangia and Korean Army Optimus copy that cost a fraction of the price but work time and time again.

On the otherside of the coin I have a Khyam tent that most people say the poles will fail on that's been going for ten years without a hitch. I use a British Army winter sleeping bag that's 25 years old and an Argos summer one that cost a tenner.

Give me expensive kit and I'll be pitched and out of the rain trying to get the ***ing stove to go. Give me Army Surplus and I'll be fighting the nylon bivvy bag that only did freezing or boiling in 1953 but will at least get a decent cuppa after the sleepless night! Finding the right combination in the right quality only seems to produce a garage full of jink and a very active E-bay account!

Andy
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  #23  
Old 19 Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by Threewheelbonnie View Post

Give me expensive kit and I'll be pitched and out of the rain trying to get the ***ing stove to go. Give me Army Surplus and I'll be fighting the nylon bivvy bag that only did freezing or boiling in 1953 but will at least get a decent cuppa after the sleepless night! Finding the right combination in the right quality only seems to produce a garage full of jink and a very active E-bay account!

Andy
Well said....


And there is a reason I have 700 feedback ratings on my Ebay account.
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  #24  
Old 20 Sep 2011
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Quintessentially HU debate, enjoy it a lot.

Nowadays, being everything made in China/Asia at very low costs, I find really difficult to distinguish a) what's money invested in better design/quality/materials and b)what's extra profit selling lower quality at higher prices.

So, in case of doubt, I go for the cheaper which looks reasonably ok.
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  #25  
Old 21 Sep 2011
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Originally Posted by lynch180 View Post
That Argos teepee tent looks the business for that price , how do they hold up in windy conditions
Tepi's generally stand up to wind pretty good as they're shaped like a cone. The wind acts on them the same in any direction. The Argos one has lots of pegs and guy ropes so I would say it's as good as any other. One thing, which is common to all Scandinavian tipi/lavvu type tents is there is no sewn in ground sheet and it is only a single skin. It has a "skirt" around the base which is designed to be weighted down with snow to provide a seal in the winter. You could use earth or rocks in the summer if it got really windy but otherwise a bit of a draught will blow up your skirt. Which is quite nice on a summer evening!

The groundsheet on the Argos one is held in place with lots of adjustable webbing straps and if you take the time to position it correctly, as I did, then the wind can only lift it a small way before the strap stops it. This goes with the territory with this type of tent. This design allows you to roll back half of the groundsheet and get inside with your wet and muddy gear before changing into your smoking jacket for a relaxing evening by the fire. Tepi living is the dogs in bad weather. The mozzies can get in though as it's not a sealed compartment like most sewn-in tents. This is so you can pitch it without the groundsheet on uneven ground. Then you sleep on a camp bed or in a bivvy bag and commune with nature. Once you've laid down your reindeer skins and fired up the wood burning stove it's just like home!!
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  #26  
Old 8 Oct 2011
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i think Touring Ted summed things up perfectly.

Its also worth bearing in mind you can always pick up/change an item enroute if you have a problem with it or it breaks.

I think in the camping and bike touring game its all too easy to end up angsting endlessly about the minutae of all your equipment.

personally i follow these principles:

*less gear is better
*simpler design is better (some exceptions)
*dont carry anything you cant afford to forget at a campsite or have stolen.

I started my camping career using army surplus, which is a great way to have a point of reference from which to determine where money is well spent and which qualities are most important in which items.

probably most important thing to bear in mind is that the characteristics which drive prices up in top end camping gear are often completely irrelevant to motorcycle travel, do you really need to keep weight so low while packing your GS1200 that you need titanium tent pegs and carbon fibre poles? I seriously doubt it :|
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  #27  
Old 8 Oct 2011
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I am not rich so don't have the funds to spend a lot on equipment and bikes. Good gear is nice to have though. Of course, anything you take on a long journey can and has fallen off the back of the bike or been left in a guesthouse. It is much less painful to lose things that didn't cost much. Which is why I buy top quality gear for a fraction of the price. The thing is, there are loads of dreamers who think they might like to take up camping or motorcycling around the world only to find out that they haven't time or focus to do so. After some time their gear is on ebay, craigslist, at garage sales, or in the classifieds. Every day. Want a 400.00 Shoei helmet size medium? Let's see. Here's a fellow whose wife left him and he hates the maroon Shoei that reminds him of her. It wasn't until they got married that she told him she hates motorcycles and he rides too fast. Good riddance. He sells it to me for 50.00. I wonder if she was a babe? It still smelled like her perfume and fits perfect. Not a great color but it's like brand new, who cares? Same thing with riding jacket and pants. Here's a fellow who did some asphalt surfing and is embarassed to ride in his lightly roadrashed Firstgear jacket and pants. Waterproof breathable with cozy polarfleece zipout liners. Probably cost hundreds new. I offer him 100.00 for the pair and save big for decent gear with a scuffed elbow and a small hole in the butt. Nothing some black duct tape can't fix. Same with boots. An anal-retentive fellow who has a pair of Sidi riding boots with a slight flaw in the leather that he finds unsightly but can't return. Size 10, fit like a glove. He's a bit nuts and they are worthless to him. Surely they cost him more than twenty bucks? But that's what he sells them for. Or the top of the line down bag that the fellow slept with a little too close to the campfire and has an ember hole and hasn't used since. In fact he hasn't been camping since. It turns out he has a bad back and can't sleep on the ground. Who knew? Duct tape comes in colors that match and soon I have a killer bag with compression sack. Black Diamond tripod bivvy same deal. Anything you want is available for a fraction of the price used if you don't mind waiting until something pops up in the classifieds.

Don't get me wrong. I have nothing against folks who have the money to spend on expensive bikes and outfitting them with expensive new gear. I turned minimalist out of necessity and have come to enjoy the freedom from worry that having nothing expensive to steal on the bike affords.

The thing is, if you are poor, you have to be creative and patient. Spending less is an art. Not everyone can tolerate used gear, bikes and clothes. It requires a certain amount of flexibility. And if you like shiny new things or are fixated on finding a specific brand of something then this method probably isn't for you. But there is a certain amount of freedom to be had by not bringing anything you can't walk away from on a long journey.

Kindest regards,
John Downs
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Last edited by John Downs; 8 Oct 2011 at 19:04.
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  #28  
Old 20 Nov 2012
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I paid £160 in 1990 for a Vango tent, I used it constantly for 20 years before it went in the bin, it never once let me down. It worked out at £8 a year.
I then bought a wee dome tent from Tesco for £13, which I used constantly until the autumn there, in 2 years it never once let me down. Worked out at £6.50 a year.
Not much in it.
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  #29  
Old 20 Nov 2012
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The essentials. Attitude.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John Downs View Post
But there is a certain amount of freedom to be had by not bringing anything you can't walk away from on a long journey.
Any thing can be stolen. You must be able to continue after the theft. If you regard something as essential to your trip, well it isn't apart from yourself and your attitude.
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  #30  
Old 10 Dec 2012
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I was horrified that spent 100 quid on a Coleman tent 12 years ago,but its still going ok now has not broken or leaked and is pretty well used,probably cheap compared to a 30 quid thing that gets used 3 times before it falls apart..
There are definitely some things where it's cheaper o spend a little more,not always the most expensive but not the cheapest.
I have a petrol stove that's done me well too,survived fuel with 2 stroke oil and all sorts in it..
I've also had some complete junk that gone straight in the bin..
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