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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With all the nice weather we've had (mostly on weekdays) I decided to take on a quick mountain bike overnight at Buffalo Creek on Wednesday night. I realized that I could drive from work in a little over an hour, fit in a bit of riding before sunset, camp, and then get out and back to Denver for work the next day.

Everything went pretty well, except for some shifting problems with a new chain and cable. I got that temporarily worked out enough to let me get up the hill. I rode up Kitty and camped just inside of the treeline around Buffalo Burn. Great views, a partial moon that kept things a bit "bright" for a while, and not too windy ... a good kind of mental reset for the middle of the week. And a good test run for some bikepacking for 2014.

In the morning I encountered a herd of deer and a herd of elk. The elk were a bit thrown off and would stand and watch me before taking off up the hill.

13782252534_209138a0d7_z_d.jpg

Photos:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/rballou/sets/72157643807484524/
 

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I realized that I could drive from work in a little over an hour, fit in a bit of riding before sunset, camp, and then get out and back to Denver for work the next day.
Man, that's the Colorado lifestyle.

... and I still have to spread love before giving more.
 

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On a school night? Hardcore! What's your setup for tent/bivy sleeping bag etc?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Right now ... not quite what I want :) I used a hammock and rain fly (to block wind) and an older Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag. The sleeping bag is warm and flexible, which is nice, but heavy-ish and doesn't pack down too small. I'm hoping to get a few bags for my bike to move some stuff out of my pack to make room and/or find a better sleeping bag. It's also a bit overkill for summer but was warm for a night that probably got into the 30s.

I'd definitely use this for 1-2 night solo trips, but probably use a bivy on longer solo trips or a tent on multi-person trips. To me, using a hammock works if you know an area will have some trees (or trees that will work) which could be a problem in some areas. I've taken one on hikes planning to use it and haven't been able to :)

I love that Colorado provides the opportunity for this ... in the midwest I would have had to go ~2 hours to get somewhere for this which makes it not a weekday kind of trip.
 

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I think my buddy has the same frame as you. He has a Salsa frame bag that he swears by.
 

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Right now ... not quite what I want :) I used a hammock and rain fly (to block wind) and an older Mountain Hardwear sleeping bag. The sleeping bag is warm and flexible, which is nice, but heavy-ish and doesn't pack down too small. I'm hoping to get a few bags for my bike to move some stuff out of my pack to make room and/or find a better sleeping bag. It's also a bit overkill for summer but was warm for a night that probably got into the 30s.

I'd definitely use this for 1-2 night solo trips, but probably use a bivy on longer solo trips or a tent on multi-person trips. To me, using a hammock works if you know an area will have some trees (or trees that will work) which could be a problem in some areas. I've taken one on hikes planning to use it and haven't been able to :)

I love that Colorado provides the opportunity for this ... in the midwest I would have had to go ~2 hours to get somewhere for this which makes it not a weekday kind of trip.
When I lived in downtown Denver, I could never make it out in time to BC for a week-day ride. I'm not a morning person, so I don't think an overnighter would have worked either :).

Sounds like your setup worked well. I'm always interested in what people are using to keep warm.

I tried camping out this winter when it was -2 with 30mph winds. Breaking camp the next morning was painful on my hands. I couldn't finish it. Lucky for me I could just drag everything back home since I was camping on my property. Next time I will try liner gloves and hand-warmers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Sleeping gear worked out well and I was actually happy with layers for the night/morning too. I went light on amount of clothes ... which I tend to overpack on. I was also fairly sure the temperature wouldn't be too cold. I almost took my normal winter riding jacket but opted to go with slightly less layers. My thought here was if it was too cold, I could make it down the hill and back to my car. It wouldn't be fun ... but I could do it.

I had the same thought about gloves and colder weather: getting things packed/ready in the morning would have been difficult to do if I needed to keep gloves on the whole time. Taking them off packing, putting them back on, drinking some coffee, seemed to all work out well ... fortunately.

I'm still learning about bike packing and bike packing in Colorado. First year I moved out here I tried a trip around Breck that was a pretty rough lesson to learn :)

I added some more details here: How to sneak away and spend a night in the woods | robballou
 
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