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Campers; need gear advise


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tenting is the plan, i have used foam rolls in the past but need to upgrade a notch, am considering self inflating air mattress but they still seem thin, am also willing to consider a folding (knockdown) cot.


any advise would be appreciated

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The Thermarest pads are a whole lot better than the roll up foam pads. I'd just suggest you get the thickest one you can find. The thinner one I have is good but

(good for packing)

becomes a bit uncomfortable at or about 3:00am.




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I have switched from Thermorest to an Exped Down Mat deluxe. Approx $140.00 Cnd. Same concept as thermorest except it has some down filling. The trick is apparently NOT to blow up the mats with your breath which allows condensation to enter which then draws cold to your back. Exped container bag is a pump to ensure full lift after self inflation.

Seems to make sense. I have used Exped for 2 years now - never been cold or uncomfortable.

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Therm-a-rest pads are quite nice, combining some of the best features of an air mattress and a foam pad. I find that a 3/4 length pad was plenty long enough for sleeping, and takes up a lot less space. But, I'm only 5'6".

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Well, I'm not 5'6".


Pads suck.

They are too short, too thim.

but that's for me.

We use inflatables.

Others say avoid them because they'll leak.

Hasn't been the case for us.

I also carry Coleman battery powered pump to inflate them.

We've used 2 types.

One a bit bigger and made out of tougher material, but resembling a beach float in design, but made for camping.

The other made for camping but even thicker, 4'' I think.

When folded, much smaller than therma-rest type pads. They fit on bottom of topcase and are very flat.


But, if I were doing it oover again, I'd consider the Big Agnes setup where the inflatable matress goes in the built in flap of the sleeping bag.

You don't roll off/slide off. Check them out.

Get a tent bigger than you think you need.

In wet weather you can bring cases and all out of the rain.

Use a ground cloth.

Buy the better/lightweight gear the first time, you'll be glad you did.

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Big Agnes+++ good schlepping bags and air mattressess.

Rei HalfDome is a good 1 person tent, really tight for two.

And Kermit chair, only the most bestest.

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I've tried a pad, air mattress and a small cot. The pad was too hard. The air mattress is prone to leak, requires a pump and was bulky but comfy. The best for me has been a small cot which packs down fairly small and is easy to setup once you do it a few times (practice at home). I also like it because I don't slide off it at night like I always do with a pad or air mattress. Check this one out: http://www.campmor.com/outdoor/gear/Product___21237

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I'll have to check into this. Big Agnes


Thanks Tim!






yUP yUP yUP..!


+1 on BigAgnes


I have [2] different Mountain Hardwear tents..one summer one 3+ season



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Check out the Sound Rider (as in Puget Sound, near Seattle) store - nice guy owns it, they have great stuff, and are reputable.


One of their suggestions is the Exped Downmat, http://store.mm411.com/catalog/index.cfm?fuseaction=product&theParentId=255&id=889,

they claim it "packs up half the size of a Thermarest and inflates three times as high! Use the stuff sack it comes with as both a pump and a pillow. The perfect motorycle touring sleeping pad! Comes in charcoal/black."


Good luck finding what works for you.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I got me one of them sling chairs. It is comfortable, but who can climb back out of it, your back end is flying way too low to get back up. I hate rolling onto the ground in order to get out of a chair. I keep meaning to devise some way to raise the chair up off the ground by 6 inches, sure would make for better ergonomics. But, they are comfortable for a small package.

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Form and function.

I'm close to 6'5" and I can get out of it OK.

I like the fact that they pack so very small when compared to anything else.

Once in, you can sit comfortably for a long time and that is the purpose of a chair, right?




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Your like doesn't go to a page that allows purchase of that chair. Got a better one?

I did a search and couldn't find one online. I then went to the GCI Outdoor web site. It appears this chair has finally been discontinued. I better take care of the one I have.
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I have one of these, regular Go-Kot and I use a 3/4 length self-inflating sleeping pad slipped into the mattress sleeve of a Big Agnes Encampment Sleeping Bag - very comfy. Plus, I can fit it in the water proof bag with all my camping gear stored on the pillion seat.

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tenting is the plan, i have used foam rolls in the past but need to upgrade a notch, am considering self inflating air mattress but they still seem thin, am also willing to consider a folding (knockdown) cot.


any advise would be appreciated


I gave up on the foam rolls a while ago. I found that they don't do much for me. My advice is largely a "me too" thing, but I'd note that Therm-a-Rest makes a variety of pads of varying length, width, and thickness. My feeling is that you should opt for the thickest and widest mat that you can comfortably pack on your motorcycle. I've used the smaller, thin ones for backpacking and, while they're a big step up from a foam pad, they're just not as cushy as the thicker versions. I think it's generally wise to subscribe to a philosophy of keeping your motorcycle camping gear small and light, but this is the one item on which it makes sense to splurge at the expense of compactness.

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Dennis Andress

My camping gear is old, and hasn't seen much use in recent years. I've liked my 1" Thermaarest better than some mattresses. The trick is to let a just enough air out that your butt almost touches the ground. At 6'4", cots are too short, while a 3/4 length Thermarest is fine. I also find the air space under a cot makes them a lot colder than a Thermarest.


I bought most of my gear after returning from an assignment to Alaska. Oddly, it's all to warm for the Southwest. I've slept under the stars more often than not.

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