Touring: Tent or Bivi

by Gkam84   June 3, 2013  

There are bound to be some touring people's on here.

Now that I have alot of my fitness back. Changed out some of the components for my needs. I'm thinking about doing a little tour of the country. I don't know where yet though.

I was planning on taking a small tent, but I can't decided on it vs a bivi and tarp set up.

I'm going to carry a tarp anyway because I'll need to cover the trike.

So my thinking was, pitch a couple of poles, cover the trike and its big enough, I can bivi down beside it under the tarp....

Thoughts....

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Hotels.

posted by 700c [556 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 16:23

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700c wrote:
Hotels.

That's rather expensive, I do like the idea of credit card touring....but not the money that you need to do it.

Can you see this being ok in a UK hotel??
http://trikegypsies.files.wordpress.com/2011/09/100_1692.jpg?w=1000&h=

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posted by Gkam84 [8792 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 16:29

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Cycle touring always seems to be a compromise between weight and comfort. A tarp and a bivi is probably the lightest and cheapest option, but not very comfortable.
I think a light 1 man tent would be best or have you thought about youth hostels which are more likely to have somewhere to store the trike than hotels and are cheaper.

posted by NeilG83 [231 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 16:43

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The problem with hotels and youth hostels is, it limits my routes. So that's why I am going with the tent/bivi options. It means I can go anywhere and don't have time limits or route worries.

I am not worries about weight issues with the trike, It doesn't make a big difference what I haul. I am just thinking about easiness. Setting up a tarp over the trike is simple, then I have room to set up a bivi under that. Giving me quick shelter if the weather turns, Rather than trying to pitch a tent aswell.

I am just wondering what others use

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posted by Gkam84 [8792 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 17:27

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When I say Bivi, I am meaning something like this. Its a "bivi" tent

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0056SOA48/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2BFDS54O9FX5

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posted by Gkam84 [8792 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 19:39

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GKam, have you ever visited crazyguyonabike.com? It is a fantastic website full of cycle touring journals, with quite a few on trikes. The people on the forums there are very friendly and can probably give you lots of advice, if you can bear being disloyal to road.cc

posted by NeilG83 [231 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 19:42

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Gkam84 wrote:
When I say Bivi, I am meaning something like this. Its a "bivi" tent

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B0056SOA48/ref=ox_sc_act_title_3?ie=UTF8&psc=1&smid=A2BFDS54O9FX5

I thought that's probably what you meant, but for the same price you could get a single skin tent which would have a bit more head room or for £20 more you could get a good quality, double skin tent with a porch to store your gear, like this: http://www.fieldandtrek.com/wild-country-zephyros-1-tent-783173

posted by NeilG83 [231 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 19:48

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I have visited Crazy Guy, but its that awful on the eye, I cannot stand being on there, its not well laid out either....

I have never been on Field and Trek, Its another Sports Direct sub company I see and they have the Karrimor X Lite X1 at the same price. Its a double skinned tent and was one of the tents I had looked at.

I suppose I could pitch the tarp and then shelter and put some of the tent together first....

I'm just trying to work out what's best for keeping the trike safe in any weather. I don't care to much about myself. I could just tarp and sleeping bag on the trike Wink

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posted by Gkam84 [8792 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 20:38

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be prepared for the weather I say. depending on the length and destination of the tour you could see a whole bunch of different weathers.

Unless you can guarantee good weather, and especially as you are not too bothered about weight, I would go for safer rather than sorrier - probably a small tent.

I'm doing some 'touring' this summer with a bivi/liner combo because I am confident on the weather and the temps should stay around 15 at night and I am only taking a seat pack as 'luggage' - in the UK I wouldn't be so confident

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [330 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 21:44

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posted by NeilG83 [231 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 22:03

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themartincox wrote:
be prepared for the weather I say. depending on the length and destination of the tour you could see a whole bunch of different weathers.

Unless you can guarantee good weather, and especially as you are not too bothered about weight, I would go for safer rather than sorrier - probably a small tent.

I'm doing some 'touring' this summer with a bivi/liner combo because I am confident on the weather and the temps should stay around 15 at night and I am only taking a seat pack as 'luggage' - in the UK I wouldn't be so confident

After the week we spent following Hoppo. We know how the weather can change nasty in no time at all. From those -5c nights in England to those lovely days in Scotland.

I do want to be able to cover most bases, but I'm not heading out in the middle of winter. So in the summer. It might get to minus temperatures during the night, but I have a 4 season sleeping bag. Its just about keeping dry.

A nice sized tent is fine if you plan to stay somewhere for a length of time. My plan is as many miles a day as I can get in. Set up camp before the sun goes down. Eat and sleep. Then as soon as the light is good enough, be on my way.

No planned route, destination or places to camp/visit. Just go wherever my legs take me and pick left or right at the end of each road Devil

Its all about getting decent miles in, while touring. Get my fitness up to a level where I'm back to where I used to be. While also practising for Perth to JoG in September.

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posted by Gkam84 [8792 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 22:15

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I know what that is without even opening the link, Its the trailer with the tent on top. I've ALWAYS wanted one, but my trike is already 6ft something in length. So adding another 4ft (including the connection arm and space between the trike and trailer)

That's NOT a size I want to be hauling up and down B roads in the UK. Wink

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posted by Gkam84 [8792 posts]
3rd June 2013 - 22:16

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summer months wont get near to zero in england - a 2/3 season with a bivi bag should suffice - any more may be too hot!

sounds like a whole mess of fun, enjoy!

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [330 posts]
4th June 2013 - 15:04

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i have a 2 man tent, bought years ago. it was a mere £50 and only weighs in at 5kg.
theres two of you going by th looks of it, so id take that and take it in turns to carry it each day.
it will b cosy, but is a slight upgrade from the "bivvi tent", which is not really a bivi. a bivvi is literally a bright orange thick plastic bag, LOL

Feel the fear and do it anyway

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posted by hood [117 posts]
5th June 2013 - 12:38

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hood wrote:
i have a 2 man tent, bought years ago. it was a mere £50 and only weighs in at 5kg.
theres two of you going by th looks of it, so id take that and take it in turns to carry it each day.
it will b cosy, but is a slight upgrade from the "bivvi tent", which is not really a bivi. a bivvi is literally a bright orange thick plastic bag, LOL

Only me. I said I wasn't to worried about weight, but 5kg is a LARGE 2 man tent...Even when I do the Perth to JoG, I'll be camping on my own at night.

A Bivi isn't an orange bag. But it is kind of plastic. Its basically a sleeping bag cover that the military used to use. Wink

I guess you are referring to these newer type "bivi" storm shelters incase you get stuck up a mountain

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posted by Gkam84 [8792 posts]
5th June 2013 - 14:35

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Ive done something similar on a Motorbike and bought a Robens Small Dreamer. Plenty of alternative options.

A tunnel tent if rpetty much a bivi tent with poles and a few more basic features including storage space for drying clothes and keeping stuff inside and secure.

The Robens had been advertised as a cycle touring tent. Really good.

posted by Farky [179 posts]
5th June 2013 - 15:55

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From my experience I would recommend a small tent rather than a bivi. I did some touring with a bivi tent (similar to the orange thing) thinking more about the weight saving than the practicalities. At the end of a long day on the bike its too small it only fits around your sleeping bag, you can't get into the tent then the bag and you cant cook/brew up "under cover" if the weather turns inclement.

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posted by FATBEGGARONABIKE [580 posts]
7th June 2013 - 21:29

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The bivi would only be to sleep in. I'm not worried about space for gear. I'll have a tarp to cover the trike anyway. So I can cook under it if the weather turns crappy Wink

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posted by Gkam84 [8792 posts]
7th June 2013 - 23:00

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The wife and I have cycle toured, walked and done loads of climbing in our lives. As a result we have a lot of experience with outdoor sleeping arrangements - in fact, we even spent our wedding night in a tent. For the most part, a bivvy like this one http://www.alpkit.com/shop/cart.php?target=product&product_id=16312&cate... with a tarp is fine, but if the wind comes up, and the temperature drops or it rains, it can be miserable as all hell.

A small tent, especially a two man is generally a more sound investment in the long run, as it will be used over and over again, not just cycle touring. Also, if there are 2 of you, one packs the tent, the other carries something else, and the overall load is lighter.

No idea what your budget is, but you can get some really compact tents:
http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/shelters-1/WF102-3.html
http://www.ultralightoutdoorgear.co.uk/msr_fast_stash.html

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posted by mr-andrew [295 posts]
11th June 2013 - 11:46

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http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/sick-as-a-dog-so-show-me-you-bivi-bikepacking-adventure-racing-gear

If you've got lots of time on your hands have a look at this thread from the fat tyred side of the coin (70 pages+)

posted by jimmers [6 posts]
11th June 2013 - 12:38

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