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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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Old 11 Dec 2011
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Bivi or Tent or Both for RTW?

Hi all,

Decided to sell the house etc and travel RTW next year on my Diesel Enfield. Here's the very first question...

I've got a Terranova Jupiter essentially a fancy bivi bag with a hoop at the front. Very light < 1kg and waterproof + breathable. However it's not exactly comfortable. You can't even put your trousers on yet alone get changed in it.

That said it's perfect for a low-key get your head down and kip. I frequently do away with the hoop and pegs and just get in and go. However for long term I'm not sure it's viable in so that a little more comfort will be .. comforting - especially when it's raining. Also would be nice not to have my arse bitten by mossies and so on.

I would prefer opinions from those that have experience doing long haul on the bike. I'll be staying at camp sites, layby's, back of service-stations and so forth. Essentially I don't know, but it's important not to draw attention to myself, which a tent usually does. The perfect combo would be:

1. can change clothes in it.
2. quick to erect, all as one. I don't want to fanny around.
3. discrete. No flash colours.
4. not too big or heavy, or awkward to carry on the bike.


1. Keep the bivi, buy a tarp and make a make-shift roof.
2. buy a small 1 man tent, have the best of both worlds.
3. ditch the bivi, rely on the tent only.

I'm leaning towards #2 but It'll add more weight to the bike and space is already going to be tight.
Around the World 2012 on a 125cc Scooter.
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Old 11 Dec 2011
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Hi Snoopy
Get a tent 3man preferably and flysheet pitch first as it will be your home, you need space so you can spread out , orginize stuff on off days and even do repairs in it if you have too you can't do this in a bivi. Have a look at a Vango Tempest 300 good quality and cost.


You can do a search on the web and get them cheaper than stated.
Good luck on the trip.
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Old 11 Dec 2011
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3. Ditch the bivi, rely on tent only.

Your tent is your home on the road. Should be big enough to grab your tank bag and rear soft bag off the bike and toss it into your tent along with you for safer keeping i.e two man size. Other items remained locked up in hard panniers. A bivi is nice in theory to hide away from prying eyes, but a big shiny bike is usually a bigger giveaway than a natural colored tent.

Last edited by MountainMan; 11 Dec 2011 at 23:17.
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Old 11 Dec 2011
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Essentially I don't know, but it's important not to draw attention to myself, which a tent usually does. The perfect combo would be:

Think even if 'you' are hidden, bike may not be.

personally I would take a two man tent, so as to have enough room for my gear.

I dislike sharing sleeping space with insects etc. so a built in groundsheet and mossie excluding zip up mesh is needed. This will also exclude the crawly slithery fauna.

My own tent can be put up in 5 minutes or less and then moved when erected with the poles in and does not need pegs except in windy weather. Normally my gear is enough to hold it in place.

You will need a good bag, It is surprising how cold deserts can be at night and there is nothing more miserable than spending a night or two without sleep due to coldness. I found this out when I bought a modern HI tech lightweight mummy bag.If you are too hot you can lie on top of the bag. My own bag is far too bulky for a bike (Coleman Hudson 450) but I take it with me and I sleep well at night. I can also turn over on my bed inside it without rolling off. Bed is steel framed camp bed. can't puncture, and you dont get to feel the ground.

hope this helps.
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Old 12 Dec 2011
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Definatly go with a tent.

plenty of green or light brown tents out there.

I lived for 3 months in a small 1 man tent no worries whatsover but I was a bit younger then and more bendy. I don't think I could twist and turn into bike gear in the tent now ! 1 great feature when it was a bit chilly at night I lit about 20 tea light candles warmed it in a treat and I could read easily with all that light.

As above reply I think a dome tent where you pitch the inner is great as you can ditch the fly sheet in warm weather and being able to pitch the tent then move it around is really useful too.

The kyham biker seems like a good all rounder not super light but it pitches fast and gives you plenty of cooking and storing room and hey you never know you may want guests !

the Redverz gear series 2 expedition tent looks great but you gotta pay double, however you can get your bike inside ! could be useful

have a great journey
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Old 12 Dec 2011
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take a 2 man fhyam tent, less than a minute to erect but bulky,if you eant to be stylin, or if your used to a bivy get a DD Hammock with built in mozzy net and a tarp a la ray mears, my preference for all my travels in USA and Spain is a hammock n tarp. put tarp up first if raining then get your hammock up in the dry.
i carry a small 5 x 3 feet tarp to peg to floor next to hammock so i can get out and not get stuff all over my socks, yeah, i sleep in my socks as i have the coldest feet on the planet, a hammock is the best nights sleep you will ever have and i am not a light guy, im 22 stone, 6 foot 3 and my current hammock which is as good as the DD but no mozzy net was 15 quid. once in sleeping bag if your concerned about mozzies one of those over your head mozzy nets for about 4 quid are pretty good, but i either use DEET or get bit,
also a small fire helps keep em away.

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Old 12 Dec 2011
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on my RTW trip i just took a cheap festival tent (£10 ) from tescos similar to this one Tesco 3 Person Dome Tent - Tesco.Direct.

Mine is around 1kilo single skin built in ground sheet and two poles , easy to put up. OK for light weather drizzle and morning mist . I also took a tarp that i could throw over the tent if the weather looked bad .
Plenty of room for two with the gear. It also had the advatage of being small enough to store between the pannier and the frame so easy access without a lot of unpacking. Cheap an cheerfull .

thought i uploaded a pic , it's to late to sort so here's the URL https://picasaweb.google.com/1005399...49686269619618

Last edited by bushman_uk; 12 Dec 2011 at 01:45.
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Old 12 Dec 2011
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You will find some places on your trip where you just want to make camp and stay for a few days or even a few weeks, make your life more comfortable and take a 2-3 man tent which will allow you to spread out yourself and your kit. I alway get one with short section poles which fit in the panniers, my current tent is a Vango Hurricane 200 which does this although it is a bit heavy, Terranova make a similar size model which is half the weight but twice the price.
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Old 12 Dec 2011
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I would go for a semi-geodesic type tent (one where the poles cross so it's free-standing) I've camped in some places where you'd never get a peg in the ground.

2 to 3 man if you can carry it. If you're broken down / rained in / unwell or just plain knackered, you might need to spend a few days or more pitched up and you'll never complain about too much room.
The trade-off here is pack size/weight but generally this goes down as the price goes up.

I would also take a good-sized tarp or fly. I can pitch a fly and get a brew going in about five minutes. Also good for doing repairs in foul weather or even midday sun.

When stopping for the night, you can set up the tarp to give you somewhere out of the weather to unload your tent and get your sh*t together (and get a brew on)
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Old 12 Dec 2011
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Ditching the bivi then.

Lots of people pointing towards one of these...

Vango Banshee 200 2 Person Lightweight Backpacking Tent
Around the World 2012 on a 125cc Scooter.
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Old 12 Dec 2011
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Deffinitely a good tent. Or the 300 if you want a little more room.
Pre 2011 they have a door on only one side and they are pitch the inner first.
Post 2011 they have a door both sides and you can pitch the outer first, or take the tent down with the inner attached and errect it the same way.
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Old 12 Dec 2011
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Half way

Spotted a "lean to" style that a guy on the Wild Dogs forum is producing, it uses the bike and 4 luggage elastics. Large bivi/small tent, but maybe more suited to South Africa than northern climes.
Anything can happen in the next half hour
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Old 13 Dec 2011
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Dump the Bivi and buy a good 2-man tent. I've been on the road six months and have camped almost all of that, and would never consider anything but a good tent.

I recommend the Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2. Packs very small but has sufficient room for me and all my gear. I've used it in every type of weather you can imagine, including sub-freezing temperatures.

If you expect to camp a lot, be certain you have a good sleeping bag (I suggest down, rated at 15F or better) and pad (I recommend the Exped Synmat 7 Deluxe). I also carry a silk sleeping bag liner which I use for very cold nights (with the bag) and very hot nights (without the bag).

As others have noted, if you like to camp this will be your home on the road so it is worth spending the money needed to be comfortable! I personally also never "wild camp", so for me it was important to be able to get my gear inside the tent and out of sight from passing people, yet still be comfortable....
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Old 14 Dec 2011
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I've went and bought the Vango Banshee 200, too many people rating it highly to pass it up. I'll ditch the bivi and live the high life instead.

Already have a very good down sleeping bag and liner. Now got to decide whether to upgrade the aluminium pans I have with non-stick, stainless or stainless with copper base.
Around the World 2012 on a 125cc Scooter.

Last edited by snoopy; 14 Dec 2011 at 12:53.
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Old 14 Dec 2011
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Hi Snoopy - pans wise, as much as I love the non-stick gear (and it's what I actually use) one thing to remember on a long trip is that the surface will break down with use.

Nothing dangerous in that but over time they get less and less useful to the point where they are worse than a good solid steel set.

Having said that it also very much depends on your cooker kit - what are you taking?


Watch some of my camp cooking videos

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