The bikepacking and bike touring camping gear of Farawayistan
Gear,  Travel tips

A look at our camping gear

In this round of ‘A look at our gear’ we’ll guide you through our camping gear. After showing you around in our kitchen and wardrobe it's now time for the living room and bedroom. 

Sheltering and bedding form an importants basis of the complete gear list. The right equipment to shelter from heavy, nightly rain showers and being tucked away warm in a sleeping can enhance the fun of your backcountry adventure. Here’s a look at our complete camping gear.

Tent

Like almost every other cyclist we’ve met on the road, we use a MSR tent. The MSR Hubba Hubba NX-2 to be precise. You can’t really go wrong with it, it’s robust, easy to set up and lightweight. The packaged weight is roughly 1.6 kg and the packaged size is 46 x 15 cm.

You can choose between the colors white and green. We opted for the last one because it offers better stealth camping abilities. The floor dimensions sizing is reasonable for two people. You can’t take all your bags and stuff inside the tent. And bear in mind that the actual sizing is smaller when you’re not using the tent pegs to stretch the lower part of the tent.

We use the MSR footprint to keep the tent clean and better protected from wear-and-tear. The footprint doubles as a picnic rug on our lunch breaks.

Tent MSR Hubba Hubba NX2
Footprint MSR Universal Footprint

Lighting

Sometimes you need to conquer the darkness in the depth of night. Usually for a nighttime wee. This is when the head torches comes in handy. 

If we want to create a cosy setting in or next to our tent we can link the Biolite lighting to a power bank. The string lights generate more than enough light for cooking or to read a book. In our previous blog ‘A look at our gadgets’ you can see all the electronics we use. 

Head torch Black Diamond Storm
Lighting Biolite Sitelight Mini

Sleeping

A good night sleep is important after a long day in the saddle. That’s why we opted for a slightly thicker and heavier mat, the Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Insulated Air Sprung Cell. It’s certainly not the lightest one (845 grams) but it’s super comfortable and durable. The mat is perfect for usage on rocky surfaces and side sleepers. The newer models also include the Airstream Pump that is integrated into the stuff sack. The pump sack makes inflation an easy task, even when on high altitudes.

The Pillow Lock System that comes with the mat is basically a couple of velcro straps that you stick on the mat so that the pillow doesn’t slip off. You could also easily solve the slipping issue by putting the pillow inside your sleeping bag or liner.

We both use the Sea to Summit Aeros Down Pillow. I don’t really have an explanation why we chose a down pillow. But it’s fairly light and the packed dimension is small. To give you an idea, the size is similar to two ping pong balls stacked on top of each other.

Choosing the right sleeping bag for our adventure was a difficult task, since we were planning to visit locations with very different climates and temperatures. From the Uzbek desert to Himalayan mountain passes. We were advised picking a sleeping bag based on the coldest possible location. The sleeping bags are the only items from our camping gear that’s different from each other. Robin is using the Spark III while Sabina has the Flame IV. They’re both down, mummy sleeping bags. Down offers better warmth as long as it’s dry and down sleeping bags are much easier to compress. Make sure you decompress down every now and then.

We both carry two liners. The Sik Liner is used to keep the sleeping bags clean while sweating during night time. The fleece Reactor Liner is used for some extra warmth when it’s really cold. The extra liners also gives us the opportunity to vary when it get’s really cold or warm. In warm places like India we just use a liner without the sleeping bag.

Sleeping mat Sea to Summit Comfort Plus Insulated Regular
Sleeping bag [Robin] Sea to Summit Spark III
Sleeping bag [Sabina] Sea to Summit Flame III
Pillow Sea to Summit Aeros Pillow Down Regular
Liner I Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Extreme
Liner II Sea to Summit 100% Premium Silk 

Repair

Last but not least, the repair kit for our camping gear. A tear can easily occur if you’re camping between bushes. Self-adhesive patches are a great way to instantly repair holes and tears. We’re carrying repair stickers for the sleeping mat too, as well as a couple of replacement silicon valve flaps.

Tent repair kit MSR Fabric repair kit 
Sleeping mat repair kit Exped Permanent Home repair kit
Sleeping mat repair kit [valve] Sea to Summit spare valve flaps

We were thinking of doing some long-term reviews about a specific item from the gear lists. Let us know in the comments if there’s anything you’d like to know and if this would be something you'd like to see!

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