BMW Luxury Touring Community banner

1 - 20 of 23 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
My first night went kind rough.

The park ranger suggested a restaurant "15 minutes away", turned out to be more like 40 minutes away. By the time i got back it was dark and i still had to setup the tent. So it just went down hill from there. I put my headlight away thinking i would just use my flashlight. Turns out the light is dead and then i couldn't find the headlight. So I'm trying to setup the tent in the dark with bugs biting the shit out of me.

So finally I'm safe in the tent licking my wounds.

So to continue the saga... I'm aroused awake around 3am from the sounds of wolves/coyotes howling nearby, too damn near. That freaked me out, so I'm thinking about sending the camping gear back home and continuing with plan b(ail), and just do cheap hotels.

Can someone talk me down?

I'm leaving a friends house in Dallas headed to Albuquerque.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,566 Posts
I think your setting up the site will become like clock work after you have done it a few times, headlights are much nicer than flashlights because they leave both your hands free. Take bug repellant and find a brand that works for you, they aren't all the same. Coyotes live around our house and don't bother us or our dog but I have heard that they will hunt down the occasional cat, you might be surprised that coyotes diet consists mostly of mice and other small mammals. If they get something bigger like a deer it is usually because the deer was hurt or sick. Coyotes don't like people and will avoid contact with you. I have heard of coyotes that live in urban parks and the suburbs that are bolder but out in the sticks they are cowards.

I wouldn't give up on camping because of one bad night.

Gerhard
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,490 Posts
Ha, I think we've all been there in our first motorcycle camping experiences...I know I have! Take heart...it does get much better.

A few things to consider:

1. Get to your camp site with plenty of light remaining to get set up. I have set up in the dark and it really isn't very much fun, plus you miss the advantage of settling in and watching the sun set.

2. Once you're set up, you can then begin to consider what to do for dinner. Typically, I'll stop sometime on the road in the afternoon and pick up whatever I plan to fix that evening. Usually some chicken, vegetables and pasta to prepare and mix up. That way, once I'm off the bike, I can get out of the riding gear and settle in for a nice evening.

3. As you get closer to your camping destination, start watching for places to purchase a small bundle of firewood. Once you get your camp stuff unloaded, it's then a quick trip out to get a bundle and bring it back to your site. I don't usually have much room for firewood when the bike is still loaded with camping gear.

4. When it's time for sleep, Advil PM works wonders. :D

5. Many camp sites will have lock boxes for any food or equipment you've used to prepare food. Use them. You really don't want that stuff in your tent, bike or at your site. If anything will attract wildlife, it's the chance of an easy meal. BTW...in the wild life world, you aren't considered worth the effort for a meal, but your stuff might be.

6. As you found out, new batteries in all the lights!

7. I assume you've added a comfortable chair to your camping gear. Relax and enjoy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,285 Posts
In my experience of camping and climbing expeditions I've found that it's a combination of little things that make for a great night's sleep. It requires advance planning:

1. An easy to set up tent - like the kind that you just throw out and they automatically pop up - is just great for about 75% of camping. They are worthless for the other 25% due to wind and rain issues. My North Face VE25 Expedition tent - while taking some time to set up and silly expensive - is absolutely bullet proof in any kind of storm.
The North Face Equipment Tents VE 25

2. Mack's kid size moldable earplugs are the BEST. I've got a big head but small ear canals and these bad boys fit perfectly, will not fall out and provide an enormous reduction in db. Buy Pillow Soft Earplugs - Kids Size Kids, Best Earplugs for Sleeping, Earplugs for loud noises, Earplugs for Swimming, Earplugs for Music | Mack's Earplugs.

Of course wearing them while riding will also dramatically reduce fatigue - even on a quiet bike like the LT.


3. A properly rated sleeping bag and especially a silk liner can make a big difference. If you get too warm during the night you can unzip the bag partially and have a "sheet" to still keep you comfortable. Sea to Summit Silk Travel Sleeping Bag Liner - Traveler - Free Shipping at REI.com

4. If you get cold during the night, a lightweight down vest will have you snoozing again in minutes - also great for wearing on the bike. This Antza vest with hood will get you warm - and keep you warm - quickly. It's like adding another 30F of warmth to your sleeping bag. TRIPLE ZERO pure goose down - ANTZA PULL 50 SP - PRODUCT DETAILS

4. Small Bucky pillows are hard to beat: Catalog - Sleep Solutions - Small Duo Bed Pillow

5. ...and of course a good sleep mask also helps especially early in the morning. This 40 blinks is kind of cool and has "pockets" so your eyes and eyelashes aren't smashed by the mask when you sleep. Catalog - Sleep Solutions - 40 Blinks

6. Advil PM? :yeah: Just be careful with over use since it is hard on your liver over time and the Diphenhydramine can cause your mouth and sinuses to get really dry while you sleep. If you take it during the night you will feel groggy the next morning - not the best way to start out the day when you need to be sharp on a motorsickle. It will take a couple of shots of strong coffee to neutralize it.

7. Pee before you go to bed.

8. The parking light in your LT's headlight makes for great camp sight illumination while setting up a tent in the dark.

There's a lot money in all the stuff I've mentioned - but if you want to be happy while camping it's worth the investment.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,490 Posts
RonKMiller said:
In my experience of camping and climbing expeditions I've found that it's a combination of little things that make for a great night's sleep. It requires advance planning:

1. An easy to set up tent - like the kind that you just throw out and they automatically pop up - is just great for about 75% of camping. They are worthless for the other 25% due to wind and rain issues. My North Face VE25 Expedition tent - while taking some time to set up and silly expensive - is absolutely bullet proof in any kind of storm.
The North Face Equipment Tents VE 25

2. Mack's kid size moldable earplugs are the BEST. I've got a big head but small ear canals and these bad boys fit perfectly, will not fall out and provide an enormous reduction in db. Buy Pillow Soft Earplugs - Kids Size Kids, Best Earplugs for Sleeping, Earplugs for loud noises, Earplugs for Swimming, Earplugs for Music | Mack's Earplugs.

Of course wearing them while riding will also dramatically reduce fatigue - even on a quiet bike like the LT.


3. A properly rated sleeping bag and especially a silk liner can make a big difference. If you get too warm during the night you can unzip the bag partially and have a "sheet" to still keep you comfortable. Sea to Summit Silk Travel Sleeping Bag Liner - Traveler - Free Shipping at REI.com

4. If you get cold during the night, a lightweight down vest will have you snoozing again in minutes - also great for wearing on the bike. This Antza vest with hood will get you warm - and keep you warm - quickly. It's like adding another 30F of warmth to your sleeping bag. TRIPLE ZERO pure goose down - ANTZA PULL 50 SP - PRODUCT DETAILS

4. Small Bucky pillows are hard to beat: Catalog - Sleep Solutions - Small Duo Bed Pillow

5. ...and of course a good sleep mask also helps especially early in the morning. This 40 blinks is kind of cool and has "pockets" so your eyes and eyelashes aren't smashed by the mask when you sleep. Catalog - Sleep Solutions - 40 Blinks

6. Advil PM? :yeah: Just be careful with over use since it is hard on your liver over time and the Diphenhydramine can cause your mouth and sinuses to get really dry while you sleep. If you take it during the night you will feel groggy the next morning - not the best way to start out the day when you need to be sharp on a motorsickle. It will take a couple of shots of strong coffee to neutralize it.

7. Pee before you go to bed.

8. The parking light in your LT's headlight makes for great camp sight illumination while setting up a tent in the dark.

There's a lot money in all the stuff I've mentioned - but if you want to be happy while camping it's worth the investment.
Advil PM has a different form of Diphenhydramine (D citrate) than Benadryl (D HCI). While I agree it isn't something you would want to take on a regular basis, many people (myself included) find the citrate version doesn't cause as much long term drowsiness as the HCI version. Personally, I would not take Benadryl as it takes me forever to wake up from that stuff. On the other hand, if I've spent a really long day in the saddle, I find the Advil PM eliminates the "over 50" aches and pains and gives just a slight drowsiness to fall asleep. I'm very alert and awake after 8 hours of sleep and ready for another day in the saddle. Understand, this is something I ONLY do when riding multi-day tours and ONLY occasionally during the tour. I agree that long term use can cause liver damage.

The OP mentioned being awakened during the night by animal noises so I thought this might help him get a better nights sleep.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
181 Posts
+++++++ To all the above !
Personally, I like to set up before dark with the firewood and something simple to roast,
perhaps a malt beverage and Relax. It usually requires the trip after setup, in a site with at least a few others,just in case.
A long trip even on the LT can take it outta ya.
Unless your behind, Enjoy the Road and the Camp ! ;)


Sam
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,285 Posts
pickerbiker said:
Advil PM has a different form of Diphenhydramine (D citrate) than Benadryl (D HCI). While I agree it isn't something you would want to take on a regular basis, many people (myself included) find the citrate version doesn't cause as much long term drowsiness as the HCI version. Personally, I would not take Benadryl as it takes me forever to wake up from that stuff. On the other hand, if I've spent a really long day in the saddle, I find the Advil PM eliminates the "over 50" aches and pains and gives just a slight drowsiness to fall asleep. I'm very alert and awake after 8 hours of sleep and ready for another day in the saddle. Understand, this is something I ONLY do when riding multi-day tours and ONLY occasionally during the tour. I agree that long term use can cause liver damage.

The OP mentioned being awakened during the night by animal noises so I thought this might help him get a better nights sleep.
Yep, agreed 100%. :thumb:

I'm too cheap to buy Advil PM - I just buy generic Ibuprofen and cut my generic Benadryl tabs in half. I find half a tab is my ticket to la la land - and I wake up fresh and sassy. :D What a great drug.

(also works great for those insect bites, too)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
290 Posts
RonKMiller said:
Yep, agreed 100%. :thumb:

I'm too cheap to buy Advil PM - I just buy generic Ibuprofen and cut my generic Benadryl tabs in half. I find half a tab is my ticket to la la land - and I wake up fresh and sassy. :D What a great drug.

(also works great for those insect bites, too)
I also take the generic Ibuprofen. I've never noticed that it makes me drowsy. I'll have to pay attention next time and see. Also, I take it before I get on the bike for a day's ride, but rarely at night before retiring.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,490 Posts
RonKMiller said:
Yep, agreed 100%. :thumb:

I'm too cheap to buy Advil PM - I just buy generic Ibuprofen and cut my generic Benadryl tabs in half. I find half a tab is my ticket to la la land - and I wake up fresh and sassy. :D What a great drug.

(also works great for those insect bites, too)
Good tip, Ron. Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,285 Posts
Knife said:
I also take the generic Ibuprofen. I've never noticed that it makes me drowsy. I'll have to pay attention next time and see. Also, I take it before I get on the bike for a day's ride, but rarely at night before retiring.
Nah, Ibuprofen won't make you drowsy. Benadryl... (Diphenhyradmine) will. What a great drug. Advil PM combines the two in one easy to take dose. ;)

I LOVE Benadryl. The key is to titrate carefully. It is really easy to OD on it and the consequences can be nasty. That's why I cut the tabs in half, makes it easier to control the dose.

Ibuprofen is about the best you can do to combat inflammation. If you're prone to getting aches and pains taking a small dose as a prophylactic is a good idea.

Like the American Express card - don't leave home with it! (them) :yeah:

( I also carry a fresh Epi-pen in my first aid kit for when "the shit hits the fan". With rattlesnakes and Black Widows in my turf.... :eek: it pays to be overly cautious. Along with an extra clip of .40 hollow points I sleep really good)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,206 Posts
I setup on BRP about twilight.
Not bad but when it was time for firewood 1st week of October the park patrol said go a few blocks couple miles and they deliver. The guy tried to sell a pickup truck of wood. We did not need that much so passed on it. Back at the camp had to scrong with head light for wood. There are food posts to hang your stuff about 8 or 9 feet high. Pitch tents away from fire box. If not solo biker one could stay at site while other make the last run of the evening. Comfort yes luxury no, that's what I look for in camping. A little uncertainty is adventure. Give plan A another try with earlier start.
ride safe :bmw:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
4,886 Posts
RonKMiller said:
I LOVE Benadryl.
Speaking of Benadryl, they make a topical spray that saved my bacon!

12 years ago I was in an accident and put on heavy narcotics that caused my skin to itch so badly that I woke up with bloody sheets. It took several days for the allergic reaction to wear off and in the mean time, the spray literally stopped the itch and allowed me to sleep. It is an amazing product.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
After the first night camping fiasco I stayed with a friend for two nights. On my way out of town I ran into a petite park ranger at a Starbucks and told her what had happened. She laughed her ass off and then managed to compose herself, and tell me that they weren't wolves but coyotes and that I needed to educate myself about the local wildlife. She went on to assure me I was not at risk and that "you should tough it out".

Nothing like a girl half your size telling you to man up.

Since then I've camped two nights at the Grand Canyon, one night a Morro Bay in California, two nights in Middleville in CA, and one night at Fort Stewart in Oregon. The camping has gone much better. I never had a problem with my gear as much as organizing myself and not freaking out things going bump in the night.

Honey Bunny flew into Seattle to meet me and I've been in a hotel for the last few days. Tuesday I leave for the Mackinac Bridge and the return trip back home.

I will probably stay in a hotel while passing through Montana, only because the bears are running around like crazy. But I expect to camp a few more nights on the way back.

Thanks for all your tips.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,206 Posts
Great that you stuck with it.
I noticed you paid no attention to the giraffe in the trees :histerica As for the ranger petite or a man the advice saved $$$ and that's pays for the embarrassment. A question since that trip is over 3K miles how did you handle your oil/change? Just before, during or when you return home or are you using syntectic where the interval is longer. Also are you sticking to close to schedule and your daily milage. On the west coast the sun sets late on average were you pitching camp before dark? Guess I will just wait until you return to the friendly confines and sit down to write your memories.
ride safe :bmw:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
billsmith said:
A question since that trip is over 3K miles how did you handle your oil/change?
I normally change my oil around 5k and it just so happens that I just passed that mark. I'm probably looking at 8k/9k by the time I get home. I've been forced into two dealers and probably should have knocked it out at that time. I will look for a dealer close to route and take care of it.

Last night I camped at the river park in Spokane. The park was nice but they wanted a buck for a three minute shower token, on top of the $22 camping fee. So I broke out the REI bath wipes. Plus the shower was disgusting.

It got down to 42 last night and I just about froze, Kind of made my head hurt. Need long johns.

On my way to the Mackinac bridge.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,206 Posts
Sounds like fun :eek:
The challenges and uncertainty of travel/camping and ruffing it. I was not putting you on the spot about oil but was just wondering how you plan for a trip like that. I want to restart my Route 66 from beginning to end. Last year I turned around after TX for my 12k checkup. Thanks for the update.
ride safe :bmw:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,730 Posts
Hotels! The heck with camping! :D
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,162 Posts
Discussion Starter #18
pkpr1998 said:
Hotels! The heck with camping! :D
If I had the money I would. Last night I camped at Bismarck ND. Started out nice, $10, hot showers. But around 1am a group of people started yelling. First i thought it was a fight then I heard laughing. I was so tired that I just slept through it. It went on most of the night, then around 4:30 someone yelled shut the f up. I set up listening for what was going to happen next. Then a car alarm went off, so i called 911. Dispatcher said they would send someone but it didn't change anything. They kept laughing and outright screaming. Maybe they were on drugs. It definitely cut my sleep short.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,206 Posts
That was not what I had in mind.
In my previous post I mentioned uncertainty but not of that type. Like your meeting with the trooper/ranger . . . .pleasant :D But some peace and solitude is what I hope for. A few yahoos in the night not good. Listening to coyotes might even sound better at least they know when to shut up and go to sleep. Stopped going to the show for that same reason too many producers and directors if you know what I mean and cussing (now kick back at home and watch what I want in quiet and oh yes my wife :D ) still a few more miles to go huh.
ride safe :bmw:
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,490 Posts
Gruivis said:
I normally change my oil around 5k and it just so happens that I just passed that mark. I'm probably looking at 8k/9k by the time I get home. I've been forced into two dealers and probably should have knocked it out at that time. I will look for a dealer close to route and take care of it.

Last night I camped at the river park in Spokane. The park was nice but they wanted a buck for a three minute shower token, on top of the $22 camping fee. So I broke out the REI bath wipes. Plus the shower was disgusting.

It got down to 42 last night and I just about froze, Kind of made my head hurt. Need long johns.

On my way to the Mackinac bridge.
Cold camping...try this. :D

At least there aren't any bugs. Ha!
 

Attachments

1 - 20 of 23 Posts
Top