Camping Equipment: 1994 - 1997

This is a listing of the major pieces of camping equipment which we have and those which we have had to discard or replace along the way. We are, by the way, not sponsored or otherwise supported by any of the manufacturers, and these are simply the things we have found which work best for us. No endorsement of any product should be assumed or is implied.


Moss Olympic, 3 man 4 season dome tent

This tent fulfilled all our requirements for a heavy duty expedition tent. Free standing, fairly large (although a 4 person would probably have been even better), alcove (when the rain fly is on) to store bags etc. Well ventilated (two doors), fine mesh mosquito screens. Aluminum poles (three for tent, one for the rain fly). Packs small, fairly light weight ( a bit over 2 kg.)
The tent comes with the standard aluminum stakes. I have found that getting rid of the stakes and replacing them with 'nails' around 10-12 cm long works best. I found a camping store in Granada, Spain which sold what essentially is a long nail with a washer brazed to the end. I have used these ever since. We also carry a set of sand stakes, for those occasions when camping on sand and there is a lot of wind, they are indispensable. The trade off here is that the weight goes up a bit. When it really comes down to it, free standing or not, if you have 100kph wind gusts you will be glad to have carried them, as I have been on many, many occasions.

Tent Wing: Extension for the tent

Provides a place to cook when raining, yes I know, more weight/gear. When you camp everyday, you have little choice in the matter. "NEVER, EVER, COOK IN THE TENT" is, I think, the twelfth commandment. That leaves cooking outside in the rain, hail, snow or hot sun, not necessarily a pleasant alternative. The tent wing solves that and doesn't take up much more room. On the west coast of Australia we have been using the tent wing to provide shade at the beach. The envious looks from the other beach visitors had to be seen to be believed.

Sleeping Bags: Coleman Peak 1, Marmot Aiguille

Peak 1 were replaced after a few month on the road with Marmot Down bags. The Peak 1 were 6 years old and had been great until we had left them packed in compression sacks, after which they lost their insulating abilities. We found this out on our first night on the road, with -7C we had to put all our clothes on, and we still froze. When we bought the Marmot bags we went ahead and bought two of the same size with mating right/left zippers. This allows us to connect the two bags in the tent, making nice sleeping area, and if it gets cold we close the upper zipper. Two people in one bag "always" generates enough heat to keep you warm all night.

Insulation Mats: Therma-Rest 1/4 lenght

Is there anything else even remotely as good? These are 8 years old and work great. Never mind the lifetime warranties.

Chair Kits: Therma-Rest

These kits to turn the insulation mats into chairs. Comes in handy when you want to be able to lean back against something. The drawback is you are sitting on the ground, and we aren't as young as we used to be.

Vacuum Bottles: Nissan

These were great, at least for as long as we carried them. We used them mainly for keeping tea hot. We would make it in the evening and keeping it in the Nissan bottles overnight, and in the morning we had hot tea. We even used it to cook rice or noodles by boiling water and adding the noodles or rice and let it sit in the bottle for 10-15 minutes until done. In the end we got rid of them because of the space they took up, and changes in habit.

Gas Lantern: Coleman

Another great Coleman product. This is the smallest gas lantern I have ever seen and it still produces a lot of light. It burns unleaded, regular or super. The lantern has surprised me in that it is still in one piece. We have carried this lantern from the start of our trip, and the only thing I have had to do is replace the mantels. I was afraid that the lantern glass would not stand up to the shaking or the packing, but until now it has worked great.

Tent Light: Touratech Chala Lamp

We all know that one should never, ever have anything hot inside a tent. I am referring to candles or any type of lamp which uses an open naked flame. The solution of course is an electric light source. The Chala lamp is a true marvel. It takes 4 rechargeable batteries, has two bulbs, re-charges batteries, and connects to the BMW accessory socket. When the lamp is running from internal batteries only one bulb is used, allowing for a long battery life. When connected to the bike both bulbs burn giving off ample light to read or work on the bike in the middle of the night. It draws so little power that you can have it on continuously for days without draining the bike battery. The battery charger senses when the batteries are charged and stops charging them. I have friends who put halogen bulbs in and use these outside instead of a lantern. The downside to this lamp, and it is a major downside is the price. It is very expensive.

Flashlights: Peltz & Mini-Mag

Having some kind of flashlight is always important. We have come to depend on our Peltz lamps frequently. They are unique in that they are "miners" lights, that is they are worn on the head, leaving the hands free to do other meaningful chores. I have replaced the standard battery with 3AA which I recharge with my Chala lamp. They are water resistant and very sturdy and using halogen bulbs put out a lot of light for such a small light.
The mini-mag are in a class by themselves. Super strong and sturdy, lite, compact, bright light and water resistant. We each carry one in our jackets for those emergencies where you need to shed some light on the subject.

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