Comfort vs. Weight on Tour
Okay so I’ll state my philosophy right up front when it comes to tours. Why cut out 10# of gear if you are going to be miserable for the entire tour. I have a very opposite view then the weight misers that sacrifice comfort to peddle a lighter load. I am not talking about a hundred extra pounds of gear; you know the hot tub still stays at home. But sleeping on a postage stamp pad as some bike touring cyclist do to me is well kinda nuts. How are you going to get a good day of cycling in if you are not sleeping well? I have traded up and then traded up again until my final sleeping pad is a camp size thermarest. Yes it is big yes it weights more then most but wow do I sleep like I was home in my own bed. I wake up refreshed and glad to be alive, ready to start the day. This is just the start of the comfort vs. weight debate and I know till will not sit well with some but so be it.
I just added a new tent to my gear stash. It is a three person three season double walled tent. It weights a hair less then a pound more then my small two person tent but offers me almost double the room. So why do I need a bigger tent? Good question glad you asked. I tour in the early spring and late into the fall. During the summer months my two person tent is perfect. But after spending a wet spring on tour in BC where the rain days out numbered the dry I knew that there had to be a better plan. If I was going to be forced to ride out another rain storm I wanted to have some room. The little two person tent offers nothing more then a good shelter to sleep in. With normal weather this is all it is needed for just a place nice place to sleep. But when you are traveling in the early spring or late fall and the weather can go bad for days on end you want the ability to move inside. That larger space is then a welcomed extra pound gladly carried.
I have been following the travels of a couple who are on an epic 10,000 plus mile tour. They have been carrying and using for months a set of camp chairs. Not to heavy, but large in size. They have some of that same comfort philosophy I do. Sitting on the ground is never really comfortable. When the ground is cold or wet it is avoided so taking a chair the comfort outweighs the weight.. Pun intended.
So this next week I am going to lay out all my gear for my upcoming tour just to see what is there as a comfort item.. YOU?