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Here Goes My First (Big) Trip, can't wait (Hints Tips Appreciiated)

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shock Here Goes My First (Big) Trip, can't wait (Hints Tips Appreciiated)

Post  Snowcat Thu Feb 02 2012, 15:24

I thought as Mr Nutt & Anna's trip appeared to go so well and he did a great write up I've decided to do the same. As some of you may already be aware on Friday 10th Feb myself and a few friends will be heading off to Swallow Falls, Betws-y-Coed for a two day camping trip. I must point out at this point I only passed my test 3 months ago and have NEVER been camping in my life so all in all should be an eye opener.

Most of you will be thinking "camping in North Wales in Feb [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] " and yes probably not one of my best decisions but the boys were adament, after this one things can only get better, plus if I don't go onthis one they wont let me go on the others.

Anyway I've got some luggage as a stop gap as my Ventura Bracket still hasn't turned up (ordered it in December) [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.] and I've got Ventura Pack Racks, grab handles and Eurobags sat cluttering up the conservatory, (good job I have understanding wife!!)

Anyway I've started looking at what I physically need to get on the bike and the luggage I have and have come to the conclusions that none of the important stuff will fit into any of the luggage. (Oxford Lifetime Panniers & Tailpack) so need a little help working it out. I'm guessing I'll be able to squeeze my airbed into one of the panniers and all of my other equipment (pump, pillow, light, stove, gas bottle, torch etc) into the other side. My clothes etc will fit in my tail pack leaving my tent and sleeping bag.

I'm guessing bags, gaffer tape and bungee straps are the way forward but so far I'm flumoxed as to how to fit it all on, especially as I went for quite a chunky sleeping bag considering the weather we can expect. At a pinch the tent would probably fit in a back pack but to be honest I don't relish the idea (weight & safety) of wearing a pack whilst keeping a bike upright for over 100 miles on some pretty exposed roads.

Also given that I'm a virtual virgin rider and camper the I'm loathed to ask the other lads for any advice as they'll either fill my head with stupid ideas then take the p*ss when I do it or just generally take the p*ss for me being a newb!! No Either way can't win but I really want to turn up and them say, "hey this guy did it on his own and he did okay"!!

I want to sort this out by this weekend as my plan is to load the bike up and go out for a test ride just for practise as I am aware that the handling etc will chage with luggage.

P.S Before anyone questions the integretiy of the lads I'm going with they are a great bunch who would never do anything to put me in danger, they are just serial p*ss takers and comedians which hurts just as much [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]

Any help appreciated as ever, In fact if anyone has any pictures of their bikes heavily laden that might help
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Post  SteveCat Thu Feb 02 2012, 15:50

stevedj2000 wrote:I'm loathed to ask the other lads for any advice as they'll either fill my head with stupid ideas then take the p*ss when I do it or just generally take the p*ss for me being a newb!!

..and we wouldn't do that whistle

Have you looked at roll bags? link the link is to Hein Gericke, but other places do them too. I think one of these could hold the sleeping bag and tent (depending on how big they are). Not sure how you'd be able to get either into what you have.
If you do try and put stuff in a bin bag and strap to the bike, ensure it is thick plastic otherwise the bag will be in tatters long before the border and might give your mates some comedic fodder.
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Post  past-it Thu Feb 02 2012, 15:53

Cheap tank bag that expands and inch wide load straps with cam buckles, and stop after a few miles to recheck every thing is still tight. With long straps you can strap to the rear foot rest hangers. Adjust the suspension, at least a turn on the front preload and a couple of clicks on the compression and rebound adjusters, and the same on the rear. And do'nt forget what you pack to take will never ever fold up and refit back in the same containers wall
That will also give your mates something else to laugh about as you fight to refit all this junk back on the bike, which now seems to have become about the size of a 125 pmsl
Enjoy the ride it'll be fun and a good way to learn to ride.
I once saw a 125 riding through the local city with a full size fridge strapped to the pillion seat, a little excessive but funny to watch. Just remember that mental image and you'll not have any problems.
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Post  Snowcat Thu Feb 02 2012, 16:17

The tail pack has two straps that fasten over the top and I think that my tent will strap to that just leaving my sleeping bag. I suppose I could just use a couple of small bungee straps to attach the S/bag to the tent and then some longer straps/wide load straps to go right round the tailpack, tent and S/bag attaching it all together??
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Post  weasley Thu Feb 02 2012, 18:53

Will the rent go sideways across the bike, on the seat in front of the tail pack? Maybe not enough room. Maybe across the bike behind the tail pack, resting on the tail unit of the bike. Have a look at luggage nets to help with loading; I have used one a lot.

Whatever you do, make sure it's all secure; you don't want any loose items going in the back wheel.
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Post  Snowcat Thu Feb 02 2012, 19:03

weasley wrote: Maybe across the bike behind the tail pack, resting on the tail unit of the bike. Have a look at luggage nets to help with loading; I have used one a lot.

Whatever you do, make sure it's all secure; you don't want any loose items going in the back wheel.

I think when I Have a look at putting it all together on Sunday I'll aim to get it in front or behind to keep a lower level, once fitted I'm going to ride to the local Hein Gerricke anyway as I need a few bits so I'll get an "expert" opinion while I'm there [You must be registered and logged in to see this image.]
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Post  ellie Thu Feb 02 2012, 19:32

Good Luck with your camping trip Steve, makes me chilly just thinking about it!!

Invest in a decent set of base layers and most importantly, a pair of biking socks, oxfords or something similar (Millets walking socks are good too) they're my favourite ever investment!



Last edited by ellie on Thu Feb 02 2012, 21:37; edited 1 time in total
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shock Re: Here Goes My First (Big) Trip, can't wait (Hints Tips Appreciiated)

Post  ady66 Thu Feb 02 2012, 19:46

Big dry bag (similar to some of those in SteveCat's link)is excellent - you can throw it in a river (or go to Wales, roughly the same) and everything will stay dry. Good for lumpy stuff like kettle, stove etc. and easy to use when striking camp in the cold and wet. If you do run out of space put tent in good tough waterproof bag as said and lay across seat. If you pack it just right you can make a back support. Rucksack and long distance = not good for comfort. Good quality bungees/straps are important - ROK straps (adjustable kind) are really good. I've had cheap bungees end up in the back wheel before. Best to use about double the number of straps you think you need or else you'll constantly be feeling behind you and getting funny looks!
I also use an Oxford tank bag with a map pocket for stuff you might want to access en route. I find two cheap sleeping bags work better than one 4 season, which are bloody expensive. Use a good compression sack to keep the bulk down. Oh, and did I mention a sheepskin? Wink
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shock Re: Here Goes My First (Big) Trip, can't wait (Hints Tips Appreciiated)

Post  MrNutt Thu Feb 02 2012, 19:53

hopefully these tips maybe of some use sorry if there not..

If you have some throw over panniers, these are great to have as it then gives you a wider base the strap other things across the bike, ie tent.

people mentioned roll bags these are great I have one and its great as i can fit my tent and sleeping back and everything else in that with my pannier full of clothes, but can be a bit of a faff getting the combinations right.

A tank back is certainly a good shout, I use a 30 litre (expanding) one, uses magnets to attach to the tank, I also use a cover over the tank so not to damage any of the paint work.

This next idea is a bit pricey, but worth every penny in my view, if you can get yourself a kreiga R30 rucksack, its fully waterproof (this I know after using it on my recent jaunt) and can carry a weeks worth of crap in it, as it uses a harness rather than the usual over the shoulder under the arms straps, all the weight is even distributed and you barely notice it, I used it everyday on my trip and was a dream.

As ellie mentions, good base layers are key, thin quality layers are much better than thick cumbersome ones, on the lakes trip I wore a baselayer top a very warm one at that, then a good quality microfleece, then my jacket with liner in and it kept me pretty warm.

With regards to packing, get everything you want to pack out next to your luggage, really look at the stuff you've got and think about if you really need it at all, put any discards to one side and then try to pack everything in to the luggage, if it all fits grand, if not try repacking different or again looking what you have and exactly what you need.

When packing your gear line anything your using with decent bin bags, tie them up tight when its all packed that way if it chucks it down the pannier etc gets wet but everything inside is nice and dry, I only say this as the waterproof covers that are provided with panniers are generally a bit crap I've found and use that trick all the time now.

for attaching stuff, bungies are the best things I have found, theres good points on the back of the cat to hook things to, if you can secure stuff by having straps under the seat that I found helps keeping things stable.

Does sound like a great trip and however you end up taking your kit, you'll love it, the Cat is a great bike for all weathers (snow, ice and heavy rain!) be smooth and she'll look after you.

Enjoy the trip and hopefully some of the waffle above maybe of some use Very Happy
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Post  Snowcat Thu Feb 02 2012, 20:15

ady66 wrote:Oh, and did I mention a sheepskin? Wink

Think I'll pick that up while I'm there Shocked

MrNutt wrote:As ellie mentions, good base layers are key, thin quality layers are
much better than thick cumbersome ones, on the lakes trip I wore a
baselayer top a very warm one at that, then a good quality microfleece,
then my jacket with liner in and it kept me pretty warm.

For travelling have compression top, long sleeve thermal base layer, long sleeve thin ski shirt, microfleece, jacket with liner & paper thin waterproof over jacket (bit of extra wind & rain protection)!!

ellie wrote:a pair of biking socks, oxfords or something similar (Millets walking socks are good too) they're may favourite ever investment!

Wife returned home today with present of twin pack thermal biking/walking socks for me, how sad am I that I got excited about socks!! Used to be whiskey & vodka gifts .....not that I don't get excited about whiskey and vodka Laughing

Thanks for all the comments guys, all help appreciated, trial packing on Sunday should alleviate some of my apprehension, If I have to mount it all and secure it with steel banding to keep it on I will do!!
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Post  Snowcat Thu Feb 02 2012, 21:37

and a big slice of good fortune weather wise fingers crossed although it is Wales, the wettest place in the world, (apart from Manchester!!)
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Post  Rosco Fri Feb 03 2012, 02:04

Oh no - not another mentalist. This place is full of them. Stop trying to out do each other with the crazy endurance stuff.

Seriously.....You've had lots of good advice thus far and I can't really add to it.

Whatever you do take it really easy and really smooth. Dem roads are mingin!
Stay warm and Enjoy (or is that endure)

Cheers
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Post  SteveCat Fri Feb 03 2012, 11:10

stevedj2000 wrote: how sad am I that I got excited about socks!!

Ah, but not just any socks Very Happy you'll be thankful having them. If your feet do get cold you can try and comfort yourself thinking how much worse they'd be in any ol' sock :o
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Post  bobh Sat Feb 04 2012, 18:34

The Knox rucksack is also good - you don't really notice it if it's adjusted properly.

Got mine from Hein Gericke - who are doing a 30% off offer until Monday, though only on their own brand stuff, I think.
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Post  Wooster Sat Feb 04 2012, 20:26

You probably want to follow the same general principle of expedition camping on foot as you will on the bike. i.e. keeping everything as minimal, lightweight and compact as possible.

Personally I'd ditch the airbed and pump combo and buy 3/4 size self inflating mats.
Pick some thick, level grassy ground to camp on and stomp around to find an area big enough for the tent with no hidden rocks...most people take this at face value and don't notice until it's too late.

Keep the dry sack for clothing, electronics and sleeping bag, the tent doesn't need to go in there since it's waterproof anyway.
(You can also use the dry sac as a pillow if you wrap a towel over it)

Take plenty of dry socks and under layers.
Maybe bung a fleece Balaclava in there as well, they're ideal headwear for sleeping in. *

Choose a three season sarcophagus type sleeping bag (with stuff bag) and put on the under layers for the next day (four season is overkill imho, I've slept on the Cairngorm plateau in winter in a three season).
If you also buy a sleeping bag large enough, you can put any damp gear down you plan on wearing again at your feet inside the bag and chances are it'll be dry again in the morning...or at least less damp than it was. Smile
(If you have room, you can also wrap your boots in a poly bag and stick them down there as well. That way they won't freeze solid if it's baltic and they'll also be a bit drier than they were the night before.)

I'd probably also take a basic first aid kit (even if it's just some plasters, elastic bandage and safety pins) and throw in a pile of snickers/mars bars for emergency rations.
..I'd throw a bog roll in a poly bag in there as well, we all have to shit and there's nothing worse than finding there's no comfybum paper available at the facilities...if said facilities are even available. Smile




*I had a bit of a shock one morning when camping out in the mountains in winter.
I'd set my watch alarm for daybreak to get an early start and woke up to find I'd gone snow blind...or so I thought.
(It was early in the morning, so my wits weren't about me.. Embarassed )


It transpired that my balaclava had rotated 180° and the face hole was on the back of my head. green smile
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Post  Snowcat Sat Feb 04 2012, 22:35

Nice write up Wooster, appreciate it, though looking out the window might need to get the arctic gear out at this rate!!

Trip to Hein Gericke and Maplins in the morning, bungee straps and terminals to connect my pump and phone charger to the optimiser lead, finish putting my bike back together and hav a trial run at fitting the luggage.

One positive note is my Ventura L bracket flies in from New Zealand on sunday night so might have it by Wednesday!! That'll save a lot of
Headaches Smile
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Post  Rosco Sat Feb 04 2012, 23:00

It transpired that my balaclava had rotated 180° and the face hole was on the back of my head. green smile

Brilliant!!!
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Post  billyw Sun Feb 05 2012, 09:14

I know Brecon Beacons is not North Wales however..........
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Post  Dirt Bike Dave Sun Feb 05 2012, 10:31

Any help appreciated as ever, In fact if anyone has any pictures of their bikes heavily laden that might help

Here is my old fireblade loaded up for a 10 day trip in the Pyranees..
We were camping too so i had tent,sleeping bag, cooking utensils..etc..

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Or you could do a Rosco and buy a huge cargo net and just stuff everything under it..

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Post  Snowcat Sun Feb 05 2012, 10:51

It looks like Rosco was involved in one of them 80's style police chases and rode down a back alley with hung out washing lines full of clothes!! rofl
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Post  Wooster Sun Feb 05 2012, 12:23

billyw wrote:I know Brecon Beacons is not North Wales however..........
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That looks a bit more fun than this was. Cool
(I'm the poor bugger at the front)

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Post  Snowcat Tue Feb 07 2012, 15:00

Well 3 days to go and just had notification that my Ventura L bracket will be in my sticky paws tomorrow afternoon so I can fit that tomorrow night Thumb That's a big weight off my mind as I now know the packing configuration will be a damn sight easier.

Taking the euro delta pack & Oxford 1st time panniers, this will hold my air bed and all my ancillary stuff.. You know stove, gas, pump, lights, torch, kettle, provisions leaving plenty of room in the delta pack for plenty of thermals/base layers and huge padded coat for walking. Tent and sleeping bag will be bungee strapped to the back of the pack rack with the bag forward facing on the seat.

Picture will follow of rack fitted and bike fully loaded prior to me setting off on Friday.

Wish me luck!! pale
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Post  Snowcat Tue Feb 07 2012, 15:02

And I'll be taking plenty of pictures and updating the blog on as regular basis as possible (and level of anebriation allows)!! clink
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Post  SteveCat Tue Feb 07 2012, 15:10

I think you're query certifiable Very Happy but all the best, enjoy. I think you're doing the right thing there by consuming plenty of anti-freeze clink Laughing

I'm a terrible camper, but a tip I learnt - don't pitch your tent on a slope even a gentle one, especially facing downwards. Might wake up finding you've 'slipped' out of the tent Shocked
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Post  Snowcat Tue Feb 07 2012, 15:16

SteveCat wrote: don't pitch your tent on a slope even a gentle one, especially facing downwards. Might wake up finding you've 'slipped' out of the tent Shocked

Dewly noted great
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