Tag Archives: Camping Gear

Sea To Summit: Sacks, Straps and a Liner

I made some last minute changes to my system of carrying my tent, pad and bag. I was going to shove it all in a large Bailey Works Messenger bag and I had a friend modify some straps so I could cinch it to the rear rack. That would have worked and it would mean I could use the messenger bag as a backpack if I ever needed one. Plus the other little pockets in a Bailey Works bag would be nice for organization.

But then I wanted to get a water-tight sack for my down sleeping bag, and keep it in a sack, in the bag to really keep it dry. I bought a 35L so not to stuff it into too small a bag diminishing it’s loft. But then I was only using ½ the volume of the sack to still get into the messenger bag. Maybe lose the mess bag?

The stuff sack that came with my tent is way too big for the tent so I wanted to get a better fitting one for that. 9L is just right.

The stuff sack that came with my sleeping bag is tiny, as in back backing tiny, and I’m no longer using it for my sleeping bag but it works great for my air pad (that did not come with a stuff sack) and the sheet cover I made for it.

So now I needed some good straps because bungeeing multiple things is not very secure.

Sleep pad and cover in small sack tied to top of front rack. Sleeping bag in dry bag, tent in new stuff sack, Poles in stock pole bag and ground tarp folded, flat underneath it all. This is all double strapped by two “hook release” accessory straps that encompass the whole mess. But it does not look messy. It looks right and is lighter than adding a messenger bag into the mix.

Also bought a silk liner to save the sleeping bag from my dirt.

The only bummer is that I did this all a little too late to find the made in USA options.

All this shit is made in China.

Eureka Backcountry 2

I bought this same tent twice. I used it so much on my first two tours that when I was gearing up for my third and could not find it I just bought another. Sort of wasteful to not keep track of my gear, but between tour 2 and 3 I’d lived in a few different states and lived a few years of life. I was on a schedule and needed a tent. I was surprised to see that after a handful of years that design was still basically the same. The same as I remembered it.

Years ago when searching for the right tent, I had not yet grown to believe so strongly in buying US made. Although it is not east to know where this is made if looking for that info online, I can say the the label inside the tent reads “Made in Korea finished in China”.

What I wanted then was just three things. Free-standing, green, and not too big or heavy. By big I mean the pack size. Some tents are over 20″ wide packed, that would limit the carrying positions available on a bike. This one is just 15″ wide by 6″ round so carrying it sideways on the rear rack is no problem. And it’s weight is fair, about 5 lbs.

I was on the fence about 1 person or 2 person. I’m glad I went with the 2 person. Many reasons why but the best are I’m tall and like the space, my panniers fit inside, and I won’t obviously be a solo camper. I guess that last one is defeated by having just one bike.

Free-standing, so I can set it up anywhere, quickly. Green, so I feel less obvious than I would in a bright yellow tent. It’s seen it’s share of rain storms and I don’t remember getting mad at my tent during which. I also remember one night in KS as I was sleeping I was woken up by the wind violently shaking my tent to shit, a lot like that scene in Blair Witch Project. In the morning I checked it out and there was no damage.

Ordered from Campmor

Cost: $160

“Made in Korea finished in China”


Therm-a-Rest NeoAir Sleep Pad

I bought the large (77″ x 25″) so my arms wouldn’t hang off the sides. All other sizes are just 20″ wide. The biggest one is still small and light. Thick so it doesn’t have to be inflated super firm to not feel the ground.

I had a Ridge-rest foam pad on my first two tours. That was fine but really just a bare minimum, comfort-wise. I had some made in China air pad on my last tour but it was only 20″ wide and I gave it to a friend who was about to ride from NYC to Guatemala and didn’t have anything.

I’ve had this NeoAir about a year and a half and have used it on a dozen weekend trips, like packed hotel rooms and staying with friend in other cities.

Touring is a different story. Will inflating this thing every night after a long days ride be something I like? After I lie on it will.

I think I bought this at EMS in Manhattan during one of their sales.

Cost: about $150

Made in USA