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It was a reaction to the Adventure Show video where I looked like a tramp who happened to be stood in front of a camera - so I went looking 'smart' and ending up looking too smart.... best bet is to stay in my bike kit I think
This is one from an Off Road training day that Patrick did - I'm much happier with the 'look' but we had some issues with the quality of the shooting so I didn't shout about it too much. (See below - thoughts on the 'look'?)
Really glad you like the simple tents video though - next one will be cookers I think. The point of these videos are a kind of quick shot if you've not got much time - to get the headlines on some of the pitfalls and what to look out for. One on the bikes people use? Yes definately!
Later this year Horizons are going to be releasing a new series of DVDs which will go much deeper into the kit and talk to more people who've used it on the road. We're filming and producing it right now and at the July meet - having so much fun !
As far as a video production talk at the July meet goes - yeah why not - I'll ask Grant.
Nice video Matt.The swag has been used in Australia for well over a century now but has developed from a simple piece of canvas to what you see today.It's beauty is it's simplicity to erect and pack away (usually less than 5 minutes.The swag is mainly used for shorter trips of up to a week and is a joy to have it erected and be sitting down with a watching your mates still struggling with they're tents.
It's very quick to set up
I spent a week in the Victorian High Country using a swag and enjoyed it's simplicity immensly.One drawback is not having anywhere to stow your gear( I used the canvas bag that my swag came in ) and it could be a little uncomfortable if you had to spend any length of time in it because of bad weather.
I took the foam mattress out of mine and now have it rolled up with a self inflating mattress,sleeping bag and inflatable pillow which is now smaller than with just the foam mattress in it.
I could'nt just have a swag and they're definately not for everyone but if your feeling a bit lazy or know that your only spending a couple of nights away then they are great.
By the way "coolabah" is an Austarlian tree and it's pronounced cool-agh- bar
Well done there Matt! I think you have a calling there eh!?
I appreciate your restricted to length of the vid but here's a few things worth noting in addition to your list;
Poles.. (You may have said it and i missed it) This is by far the largest single reason for a tent failure. Avoid fibreglass poles like the plague -It's heavier and not as strong as aluminum poles and has a nasty habit of splintering.
Never let them "flick" together with the elastic, (causes over time damage to the joints and sleeves) but put the joints together individually, making sure they are all the way home. (another major cause of failure in tents)
Footprint/ground sheet... The fact that it restricts condensation is actually a (very nice) secondary reason for a footprint. It protects the floor of the tent from puncture and also minimises the dirt getting ingrained into the tent floor fabric - it will prolong the life of the tent. save yourself £20.. and make a homer... get some plastic film (same stuff greenhouses are made of) and cut it the same shape as the tent floor but an inch smaller to stop water filling in and then duct tape it in place - sorted for 3-4 GBP!
Tunnel verses Dome... (A good quality) Tunnel tent is far superior to a 2 pole dome tent in the wind (if set up correctly pointing into the wind) and a lot easier to put up in very windy conditions, and has generally straighter more vertical walls than a dome so allows more living space. A dome can be free standing so if there are more bugs than rain you can pitch it as a bug shelter (inside hotels or barns if need be) and pick it up and move it a lot easier - also great for hard ground - less pegs needed
If you want two people to be in the tent make sure you get two people in the tent in the shop - some tents have only enough height and head space for one person at a time to sit up - the other having to lay down and wait to get dressed etc - needless to say a pain in the ar#e! Especially on bad weather days.
If you want to roll the tent up traditionally make sure you roll the poles up inside the tent - prevents the poles getting bent, and also prevents the poles from puncturing the tent in transit. I personally get a small sleeping bag compression sack and stuff the tent in like a sleeping bag with out the poles. the pack size is 1/4 of the original size. I then pack the poles separately.
If you are on a long trip especially, avoid leaving the tent up in the sun...3-4 months of that and even a 500GBP tent fly will be shredders from the UV damage.
You're quite right this video is quite short - that's because I don't want it to conflict with what Horizons are planning later in the year and also because it's just an overview with the headlines of what to look out for....
Groundsheet / footprint - so important I mentioned it three times!
Poles only got a mention once I'm afraid and only in the context of make sure they're good quality and tunnel tents generally have shorter ones.
Tunnel vs Dome - quite right too - a cheap tunnel will give you a very uncomfortable night - but something like the Alaska 3 (second 1/2 vid) will be very capable and much better than 99% of dome tents - once you start getting into the Geodesic designs however that advantage starts to slip away.
UV - yes really should have mentioned that - wanted to go into a lot more detail about wear and tear on the road but decided to leave that for the longer one.
Thanks for the review Steve - I'm making many many more of these (I hope!) so the more advice the better... as far as the jacket goes... I like that jacket! I'd go camping in it! honest.
Mate, I'd have people coming into the shop spending 2 hours looking at tents(and packs and sleeping bags etc)...and then coming back for another session. Like any bit of kit the things to consider is a very long list. but you want to make sure you get it right - before you part with your hard earned cash.
So it's great you're offering a another non-commercial angle. Keep them coming.!!
Do try the stuffing into the sack thing with the tent... I'll bet you'll be surprised how small it will go!
maybe some knox armour in the suit jacket.... gore-tex lining........ the james bond of MC......
Mr McGregor and Boorman could learn a thing or two!
Great video, and you certainly have the TV skills! And I finally, despite intentions to do so for a long time now, checked out the website of your trip - it's excellent, congrats.
A mate of mine and I are touring all over Europe between July and Oct this year and so we might even be able to catch up somewhere on the road., which would be fantastic.
We are starting and ending in the UK, heading North first, then West to St Petersburg and making our way down through Eastern Europe and back via the Balkans and anywhere we missed on the way down!
With coffee, , touring and video production in common (not necessarily in that order) I think we'd have plenty to talk about! (Or we could compare war stories from working in Emergency depts if I remember correctly...)
Great show although, yes, brown jacket??? not sure about that one mate.
Also good to see the swag bag finally making an appearance in the UK, I've got one I bought in Oz in '88 and it's great, and why did I never think of replacing the foam with a self-inflating mattress, that's a great thought too. I always think of it as a super-delux bivvy bag, now if only they could make one out of the latest materials so it packed smaller it'd be brilliant.
And good to see fine use of hands in this vid, particularly the gesture I like to think of as the "Matt Strangle"
One thing I did forget to mention about the swag is if you are in a real hurry you can just tie the rope( of the large end ) up to a tree or your bike and not even put the poles in.It still works the same and will only take 30 seconds to erect.
Another material to use as a footprint for your tent is shade cloth.It's tough and allows water to soak away instead of pooling.
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