Camping Gear!

Mr. Coffee

Well-Known Member
I will respectfully disagree with the previous assertions.

My experience (nearly 20 years hiking and traveling with ultralight gear, and 20+ previous to that with more trad gear) is that the durability issues are about a wash. Yes, some of the modern lightweight fabrics materials can fail if they are abused, but traditional outdoor gear also fails. As a concrete example, the most common failure point in most tents and sleeping bags is the zipper: ultralight quilts and tarps do not have zippers and so that part cannot fail. On a similar note, if you use an a-frame tarp and field-improvise "poles" from stout sticks, trees, picnic tables, or your bike you needn't worry about tent poles failing, which even the very best and beefiest tent poles are known to do.

I have used Titanium tent stakes for a long time and their "failure" rate is identical to heavier steel stakes. Probably the biggest issue with Ti stakes is that their dull color is harder to see and they are thus easier to lose, especially when packing up camp for a predawn departure.

As for sleeping mats, the lightest and cheapest solutions are closed-cell foam mats. I had a source in Seattle for a long time that would sell me 3cm thick by 90cm wide "pads" by length, and I'd typically use a 140cm long piece that they would sell me for about $5. It was very light but obnoxiously bulky and I could comfortably camp and sleep on snow with it.

Yes, with the lighter fabrics used in ultralight shelters you need to be a little more careful with them, but I have used such shelters for literally decades and on extended trips and never, ever, had one of them fail. And I often was camping in extremely foul weather and exposed locations.
 

BBassett

Active Member
I will respectfully disagree with the previous assertions.

My experience (nearly 20 years hiking and traveling with ultralight gear, and 20+ previous to that with more trad gear) is that the durability issues are about a wash. Yes, some of the modern lightweight fabrics materials can fail if they are abused, but traditional outdoor gear also fails. As a concrete example, the most common failure point in most tents and sleeping bags is the zipper: ultralight quilts and tarps do not have zippers and so that part cannot fail. On a similar note, if you use an a-frame tarp and field-improvise "poles" from stout sticks, trees, picnic tables, or your bike you needn't worry about tent poles failing, which even the very best and beefiest tent poles are known to do. - Using your examples... The bag I use doesn't have a zipper, I travel with both tent poles and trekking poles, the redundancy more than makes up for potential failures

I have used Titanium tent stakes for a long time and their "failure" rate is identical to heavier steel stakes. Probably the biggest issue with Ti stakes is that their dull color is harder to see and they are thus easier to lose, especially when packing up camp for a predawn departure. - Again your example... If the tent pegs are designed and manufactured in proper fashion and shape, they are less likely to fail and when/if they do, they can very often be repaired.

As for sleeping mats, the lightest and cheapest solutions are closed-cell foam mats. I had a source in Seattle for a long time that would sell me 3cm thick by 90cm wide "pads" by length, and I'd typically use a 140cm long piece that they would sell me for about $5. It was very light but obnoxiously bulky and I could comfortably camp and sleep on snow with it. - I use my inflatable insulated pad in my hammock, bivy, tent and often on top of a picnic table when the weather is dry. Not the place I would care to short-it.

Yes, with the lighter fabrics used in ultralight shelters you need to be a little more careful with them, but I have used such shelters for literally decades and on extended trips and never, ever, had one of them fail. And I often was camping in extremely foul weather and exposed locations. - You must be talking about nylon and sil nylon because you haven't been using Cuben Fiber or Dyneema that long... if you are now. Big difference between materials that are designed not to absorb water, or are chemically treated so as to repel water and a material that Can't absorb water.
Experience has taught me a few things too. An assertion to one man can be demonstrated, reliable fact to someone that has experiences you don't.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
I bought my first gear from REI in 1967. I continue all these years later and scores of orders in between. I still have expedition goose down parkas that were featured by one of the Kennedy climbs of Mt McKinley. Every year a 10% kickback. My biggest problem in ordering by phone are the incredulous kids that always at first think my account number couldn’t be accurate. 204,554, when membership now is in the 6 million range. That might be an exaggeration, but that’s my memory. YKK zippers were the best. Of course there were quality levels I’m sure. But the versions they used have survived 50 years here.

While working outdoors in extreme cold I always had wool backup gear. No synthetic has ever surpassed Merino wool, in my experience. Wool insulates even when wet. Synthetics fail where natural insulation of wool survives. Oddly Merino wool doesn’t grow stinky bacteria like synthetics.

Science is discovering that microfiber is a serious pollutant. Being found in an increasing number of fish. Recycling like Pataguchi may have a hidden consequence.
 

Oberst

Member
The last order I made by phone with REI was met with a youngster asking me to correct my member number. Chiding me and suggesting that 204554 was impossible, given the membership was in the millions. In fact I’m a 52 year customer. Still loyal still finding the best and loving the member benefits. My niece recently did an Electra eBike on members earned credits. Still the best coop ever!
You have me beat. Have only been a member since 1981!
 

BBassett

Active Member
Hey Tom, I put the 500C on today and did 60 miles. I like it. It doesn't have all the features of the EggRider and absolutely none of the bullshit hassle, firmware updates, App and phone compatibility, overly difficult authentication. Being able to see the power usage easily makes me far more aware of how I am riding. 62 miles using 15.3 Ah out of a 30+ Ah pack. - https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMl7jQC0nQczqPD6bKvOhxjiqOxeIc6jE8S-QZEMW9TxLiJM7bQAtjl9nYtRvDU_A?key=aktLaW9LMDQ2eDREbEtXb05hcGV6b3UwRFMxenNn
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Hey Tom, I put the 500C on today and did 60 miles. I like it. It doesn't have all the features of the EggRider and absolutely none of the bullshit hassle, firmware updates, App and phone compatibility, overly difficult authentication. Being able to see the power usage easily makes me far more aware of how I am riding. 62 miles using 15.3 Ah out of a 30+ Ah pack. - https://photos.google.com/share/AF1QipMl7jQC0nQczqPD6bKvOhxjiqOxeIc6jE8S-QZEMW9TxLiJM7bQAtjl9nYtRvDU_A?key=aktLaW9LMDQ2eDREbEtXb05hcGV6b3UwRFMxenNn
You know I have to respond. Troublesome FOR YOU! A majority of purchasers find the EggRider to be just what they wanted. DIY users are nearly fanboys. Instead of a litany of issues you might just say, "not for me." Use issues in your case are why many like it. Upgradable firmware, ability to integrate smart phone, easy authentication, and direct access to programming.

I'd have thought the Bluetooth BMS would have provided enough battery data, but of course that means looking at a phone.

BTW I do get your particular need and usage. Any device that helps with mileage stress is a good thing.
 

BBassett

Active Member
You know I have to respond. Troublesome FOR YOU! A majority of purchasers find the EggRider to be just what they wanted. DIY users are nearly fanboys. Instead of a litany of issues you might just say, "not for me." Use issues in your case are why many like it. Upgradable firmware, ability to integrate smart phone, easy authentication, and direct access to programming.

I'd have thought the Bluetooth BMS would have provided enough battery data, but of course that means looking at a phone.

BTW I do get your particular need and usage. Any device that helps with mileage stress is a good thing.
You seem to be thinking about and discussing this as a salesman more than an actual user Tom... especially since you don't even use the EggRider. When it comes to your personal feeling you are the guy the still wears a 50+ year-old Pea coat over newer more modern materials, but when it comes to the capitalistic salesman in you the EggRider is the best of the best? I mentioned the things that made the EggRider not only Troublesome but actually a Liability (To more than just myself Tom) if doing more than just riding out of your high-speed cable access equipped home every day.

I also fully admitted that the EggRider has capabilities that others don't, capabilities that could be very convenient to a limited number of riders (the "Fanboys" that you mentioned, not really sure what that is)... if it works. But, those capabilities are moot when the thing may need a Firmware update at any time even during extended rides. Receive a random notice to update Firmware and the next day it stops working properly. Try doing that somewhere while touring, hell, try and just remember all the ridiculously difficult authentication measures... "easy authentication" Tom? Come on man. Try it for yourself sometime and see if you feel differently. Would you drive a car that could at any moment stop working and required you to know the name and address of where it was purchased? Or require multiple Apps to get it working again... if your lucky?

The 500C is both easily installed and can be programmed (set) without reading anything at all, the hallmark of a well designed electronic device. It's reasonably small, seems durable and will never require an update to do what it is designed to do. It gives accurate battery voltage and hopefully won't just stop working in the middle of a ride because of glitchy/poorly designed firmware and/or incompatible phone/App software updates... cause those only happen daily now it seems. I track my battery usage accurately during the ride by voltage but more accurately by seeing what it took to recharge the battery after use with a Grim Satiator which alas requires it's own Firmware updates. 15.30 Ah for 62.6 miles in yesterday's ride.

So yes, Tom, the EggRider is Troublesome FOR ME, someone that has grown up with and used automation, computers, software, updates, cell-phone/apps since the early 80s. I suspect that others will turn away from the EggRider after being let down or worse stranded by one. High maintenance isn't a great thing in electronics or wives Tom unless you have multiples that you can turn to when one gets uppity.
I'm a user Tom not a salesperson and won't ever try to play both roles when discussing the short comming or the potential strengths of a particular component. If I "use" an item I will have an opinion of that item that isn't colored by something as meaningless as the profit it's sales may generate.


P.S. I still need a mailer to return the two HD controllers to Doug if you can help. Cheers man.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
You seem to be thinking about and discussing this as a salesman more than an actual user Tom... especially since you don't even use the EggRider. When it comes to your personal feeling you are the guy the still wears a 50+ year-old Pea coat over newer more modern materials, but when it comes to the capitalistic salesman in you the EggRider is the best of the best? I mentioned the things that made the EggRider not only Troublesome but actually a Liability (To more than just myself Tom) if doing more than just riding out of your high-speed cable access equipped home every day.

I also fully admitted that the EggRider has capabilities that others don't, capabilities that could be very convenient to a limited number of riders (the "Fanboys" that you mentioned, not really sure what that is)... if it works. But, those capabilities are moot when the thing may need a Firmware update at any time even during extended rides. Receive a random notice to update Firmware and the next day it stops working properly. Try doing that somewhere while touring, hell, try and just remember all the ridiculously difficult authentication measures... "easy authentication" Tom? Come on man. Try it for yourself sometime and see if you feel differently. Would you drive a car that could at any moment stop working and required you to know the name and address of where it was purchased? Or require multiple Apps to get it working again... if your lucky?

The 500C is both easily installed and can be programmed (set) without reading anything at all, the hallmark of a well designed electronic device. It's reasonably small, seems durable and will never require an update to do what it is designed to do. It gives accurate battery voltage and hopefully won't just stop working in the middle of a ride because of glitchy/poorly designed firmware and/or incompatible phone/App software updates... cause those only happen daily now it seems. I track my battery usage accurately during the ride by voltage but more accurately by seeing what it took to recharge the battery after use with a Grim Satiator which alas requires it's own Firmware updates. 15.30 Ah for 62.6 miles in yesterday's ride.

So yes, Tom, the EggRider is Troublesome FOR ME, someone that has grown up with and used automation, computers, software, updates, cell-phone/apps since the early 80s. I suspect that others will turn away from the EggRider after being let down or worse stranded by one. High maintenance isn't a great thing in electronics or wives Tom unless you have multiples that you can turn to when one gets uppity.
I'm a user Tom not a salesperson and won't ever try to play both roles when discussing the short comming or the potential strengths of a particular component. If I "use" an item I will have an opinion of that item that isn't colored by something as meaningless as the profit it's sales may generate.


P.S. I still need a mailer to return the two HD controllers to Doug if you can help. Cheers man.
Well that’s a first. A salesman. Anyone following me sees I avoid selling, almost to a fault. I’ve always attempted to vet any caller considering an EggRider. Suggesting the EggRiders do take some commitment to use. And as you’ve pointed out I freely advise callers that unless they need the features a simple display may be a better choice. I program with a simple computer link. Some of us find we can improve the experience by making changes. YMMV I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. Hundreds of kit builders are happy. Thanks!
 

BBassett

Active Member
Well that’s a first. A salesman. Anyone following me sees I avoid selling, almost to a fault. I’ve always attempted to vet any caller considering an EggRider. Suggesting the EggRiders do take some commitment to use. And as you’ve pointed out I freely advise callers that unless they need the features a simple display may be a better choice. I program with a simple computer link. Some of us find we can improve the experience by making changes. YMMV I’m sorry it didn’t work for you. Hundreds of kit builders are happy. Thanks!
Cool Jewel. I do love the HD though... just wish they could make it in about 1/2 the size and weight, the heavy-ass batteries too. I envy watching riders jump off their bikes, hold them in one hand as they climb over and around things that require me a lot more effort to negotiate IF possible at all. But it all balances out when a group of riders pulls up shivering in Lycra and I just brewed a large thermos of coffee using a French Press.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Semi-ridged single panel solar panels aren't the way to go ebike touring in my opinion unless it's totally vehicle assisted.
Sometimes it’s just fun to take on those negative opinions and try working out a solution. I have the panel, 100W with MPPT, along with fanciful ideas about being as sustainable as possible. Maybe more time than sense, surely more time than cents, but it’s fun dreaming and actually having an opinion based on some level of experience. Kinda like my approach to supporting customers. I’ve installed, owned, ridden, and done basic repairs on every style of motor. Giving me more than just a regurgitation of forum threads. There no replacement for hands on experience. Now if I can just get my 4 hung up projects moving again...
 

BBassett

Active Member
Pushing the limits... nothing wrong with that Tom. The giant playing card style solar panels just add danger to an already dangerous activity. Not that you couldn't get the necessary power to charge all your electric devices for them, although a single 100W panel is going to be very slow charging big Lithium packs, but that their design is dangerous to transport by bicycle. How many times has a gust push/pulled you around while in traffic or on a very precarious track? Now think of those instances and picture your panel strapped to the bike or trailer. I have shared your dreams of being self-sustaining as far as my power requirements for the last 4 years, did lots of research and listened to the practical experience from the real pioneers of solar panel use while traveling on an ebike. Just watching some of their videos taken while riding was more than enough to make me cringe and seek a different path. Besides the obvious wind problem they are also fairly fragile and don't handle impacts well, just like me. I went with a 300W folding solar array of 10 individual Sunpower Maxeon Gen 3 solar cells (24.2% efficient) hand-sewn into a heavy-duty waterproof nylon light-weight folding design. Note: Lightweight is a very relative term and 17 lbs. is not light to me. I don't have a negative opinion about solar power or its use in ebike touring... my "hands-on" experience and the same from several of my heroes riding around this big ball for the 5 to 8 years has shown me that strapping a ridged panel to a bike is more dangerous than beneficial. So my "negative" opinion about using large ridged panels does stem from hands-on experience both mine and others.
 

Thomas Jaszewski

Well-Known Member
Pushing the limits... nothing wrong with that Tom. The giant playing card style solar panels just add danger to an already dangerous activity. Not that you couldn't get the necessary power to charge all your electric devices for them, although a single 100W panel is going to be very slow charging big Lithium packs, but that their design is dangerous to transport by bicycle. How many times has a gust push/pulled you around while in traffic or on a very precarious track? Now think of those instances and picture your panel strapped to the bike or trailer. I have shared your dreams of being self-sustaining as far as my power requirements for the last 4 years, did lots of research and listened to the practical experience from the real pioneers of solar panel use while traveling on an ebike. Just watching some of their videos taken while riding was more than enough to make me cringe and seek a different path. Besides the obvious wind problem they are also fairly fragile and don't handle impacts well, just like me. I went with a 300W folding solar array of 10 individual Sunpower Maxeon Gen 3 solar cells (24.2% efficient) hand-sewn into a heavy-duty waterproof nylon light-weight folding design. Note: Lightweight is a very relative term and 17 lbs. is not light to me. I don't have a negative opinion about solar power or its use in ebike touring... my "hands-on" experience and the same from several of my heroes riding around this big ball for the 5 to 8 years has shown me that strapping a ridged panel to a bike is more dangerous than beneficial. So my "negative" opinion about using large ridged panels does stem from hands-on experience both mine and others.
Well I'm glad you have enough experience to know what the issues are FOR YOU. I followed a very interesting trip made by Justin Elmore, Grin/eBikes.ca. Paris to Tehran, the rest did China!!! Had they followed your cautionary tale one incredible adventure would have not gone off.


Look, I get it, but I also struggle with absolutes. Let's have fun. And let the dreamers take on adventures you and I might have been willing to undertake decades ago. with fewer fears, and yes, maybe less sense. I've always taken crazy risks, well up until age 57 when I became less than able...nothing to do with the calculated risks of flying, rock climbing, and trekking off the wall spots as far away as ZA.



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You know we're not getting out alive and it's been fun getting here. The dangers are obvious, the solutions a fun challenge. I never did get to Transat des Sables but it's likely that crazy adventure will never happen. Only because my flag is the wrong color.
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Attachments

BBassett

Active Member
Yup, that's some of them Tom and you can see the physical problems. Rigs with 3 or 4 wheels are less susceptible to winds but you know they get shoved around a lot too. If you "have" to use the panel as sun shelter to help survive then it becomes more valuable and worth dealing with the inherent dangers for the additional benefits. In the PNW you could use it as a rain cover but you would be able to collect power at the same time. My trailer is set so I can extend two frame-mounted tent poles to support 1/2 of my panel while riding. It's do'able at 150W hanging from trailer tongue and extending over the wheel but I wouldn't want to do any off-roading. - https://photos.google.com/photo/AF1QipOgO0mBGI-oj9b5X6v3olkl19xS9OTCRgt3X8Wj

Those guys didn't have panels of this era available at the time Tom or they probably would have used a folding panel. Just wait until they can get 300W out of medium-sized carbon fiber body umbrella, a 3'fer, power, sun cover, and rain cover.
 
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