How old were you when you took your last camping tour? Was age the reason? (page 2) - CycleBlaze

Bicycle Travel Forum

How old were you when you took your last camping tour? Was age the reason? (page 2)

Kelly IniguezTo marilyn swett
Very happily, we have had only a couple of rooms that fit your description. One was in microscopic Hanna, Utah. We wanted to break the climb up on Wolf Creek Pass. It was beautiful. Our next trip through, we were on the downhill and didn't stop at all!
Reply    Link    Flag
8 months ago
Jeff LeeTo Kelly Iniguez

I remember that place from a short tour I did in 2010. I'd camped up the mountain at a primitive site the  night before, and had breakfast at the café the next morning.

At the time I was slightly annoyed that I'd camped instead of trying to get a room there - I seem to recall that I had no idea before stopping for breakfast that the place was also a motel since it had no internet presence at all. Sounds like maybe I was better off camping?

Reply    Link    Flag
8 months ago
Keith AdamsTo George Hall

George, I'll be 62 next month so you've got a few years on me.  I've been a CPAP user for over a decade.  I bought a travel unit a couple years ago.  In anticipation of my long tour last summer I got two CPAP-specific batteries; testing them at home suggested I could possibly squeeze out three consecutive nights without having to recharge.

I also carried an extension cord, so that I could take advantage of power opportunities when campsites offered that amenity, without burning my battery reserve.

As matters turned out I never went more than one night at a time with no juice at hand, so I was carrying one more battery than I'd have needed.  The things weigh 3.5 pounds each so, between the two batteries and the extension cord, nearly 20 percent of my total load weight had to do with the needs of the  CPAP.

Would I change anything?  I don't really know.  I'm unlikely to be touring again in the remote areas of the West, so I might leave one battery at home.  I might leave the extension cord at home as well, trusting that I could find some electricity source to recharge a partially-depleted battery.

To Kelly's question: I did a four day, three night loop into Pennsylvania a month ago.  I'll be doing more of that type of short tour in the future; perhaps I'm done with sustained self-contained tours that involve camping, if only because hotels so greatly simplify the packing and reduce the load I must carry.

Reply    Link    Flag
8 months ago
Robert EwingTo George Hall

Age 68 was my last multi day bike tour where I camped most nights, Olympic Peninsula down the coast to the OR/CA state line then east to the Cascades. I hope it's not my last but it has been 8 years. My partner, MJ, is falling in love with bike touring but without the tent. Certainly more comfortable but limiting in routes and much more expensive.

I built a teardrop trailer, which counts for not sleeping on the ground and results in what I term "hub & spoke" touring.

Hub & spoke - bikes & pod
Reply    Link    Flag
8 months ago
Leo WoodlandTo Kelly Iniguez

I'm 76. My last cycle-camping tour was along the former DDR-West German border, this year.

I doubt it will be the final camping tour.

Reply    Link    Flag
8 months ago
Betsy EvansTo Kelly Iniguez

I'm still camping, because I like to go places where there are no hotels or cabins.  Mostly that involves kayaking on the west coast or backpacking, rather than cycling. But the past couple of years I've done short summer biking trips with camping, and I've loved it.  

For European trips, I prefer to carry less gear and stay in hotels or apartments. That's both because I travel most in the fall, when the European campgrounds are closed and the evenings are long  but also because I want to be where the action is, and eating European food.  I'm not interested in wild camping where it's not permitted.  

Reply    Link    Flag
8 months ago
John SaxbyTo Kelly Iniguez

Thanks, Kelly, and apologies for being a bit slow in replying -- as you'll see later, I was away camping.

But never mind.  I smiled when I read Jacinto's comment about camping.  For much of the 1970s and '80s, my wife and I were privileged to live and work in Zambia, and we made good friendships in different circles.  One evening, I asked a group of friends whether they did any camping.  They laughed, and said (I'm paraphrasing), "John, you've lived in the rural areas, you know the houses we lived in when we were younger. Do you really think we want to continue doing that?"  Except for one fellow. He said, "John, don't listen to this lot. They don't know the difference between choosing to sleep out-of-doors and having it chosen for you."  Turned out he had done a weeklong program at the Outward Bound school at the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika, and he said it had changed how he saw and appreciated the natural world.

My simple response is that I enjoy living outside, although I don't do winter camping in Eastern Ontario, where we live.  And, although my wife used to do some camping with me in Central Africa all those years ago, she was never very keen on it.  Our kids would tease her, saying, "Mum's idea of roughing it is checking into a hotel without a reservation."  She's pretty good-natured about it all, and tolerant of my strange ways.

So, on my cycle tours, I camp when I can, but I don't shun hard accommodation. If the weather is especially crappy, or if for some reason a decent campsite is hard to find, I'll check into somewhere modest.  And even, occasionally not-so-modest: In 2014, on a tour of parts of Denmark, Sweden, and Germany, I visited Ystad, in SE Sweden, my homage to Henning Mankell. I was tired and damp from a strong wet headwind when I reached Yystad, so I asked the tourist office for a recommendation on a place to stay. They pointed to the Continental Hotel, just across the park.  I stayed there, and enjoyed a meal in the dining room, where Mankell had seated his detective, Kurt Wallander.  And, the desk staff invited me to wheel my bike across the lobby and into the lift en route to my room.

But, as for "my last camping trip":  My most recent camping trip, but I hope not my last, was Sept 21/22, not a "tour", but an overnight to mark the equinox.  But a bit more than that, too.  It was a wee celebration of being able to go cycle-camping for the first time since June 2022 BSE.  (That was in the Before Surgery Era.)  Last month, I was trying our a pair of surgically repaired hips, plus some recalcitrant left quads and hip flexors. So, my overnight was a test as well.  Everything worked out pretty well, and I hope there'll be more to come next year.  I'll turn 77 next July.

If you're interested, I  wrote about this on the Thorn Cycles Forum, here: http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/...  (No obligation 😉)

Cheers,  John

Reply    Link    Flag
7 months ago
Rachel and Patrick HugensTo John Saxby

Hi in regards to your comments about Zambia, this was one of the first lessons I learned cycling in Africa in 1994. The western world has a billion dollar industry to support people to live outside, cook over an open fire and call it recreation where this is how many people around the world live. At home, we will choose to turn off the lights and light a candle and sit down to eat and call it a "romantic dinner" when many people have to light a candle in the evening to just have light.

Reply    Link    Flag
7 months ago
John SaxbyTo Rachel and Patrick Hugens

Thanks, guys.  My family and I owe a great debt to the people of Zambia, and of Southern Africa more generally:  They welcomed me, (re-)educated me, and shaped how I see & understand the world.  The matter of living out-of-doors was part of that. (That said, no-one should blame them for whatever I do or say...)

Reply    Link    Flag
7 months ago