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I have always chickened out when planning a bike camp. The closest I came to actually doing a self-supported bike camp was this summer, but too-small panniers, a last minute flat tire and 98f were my excuses.
Cowardice was the reason.

Well, The Boy's school had a camp out night. His school is only 2 miles away, so we could easily punch out if needed. I attached the rack to the tandem, got a set of larger panniers, stuffed it with the sleeping bags, clothes, extra shoes, camp stove, dehydrated food, snacks, and loaded up water bottles. lashed the tent to the rack and off we went.

The hardest part was unpacking the panniers. The tandem was somewhat cumbersome, but teamwork makes the dream work. We picked a spot at the back of the tent area, as he had a soccer game the next morning and we needed to break camp early. They served hotdogs, so we didn't need to fire up the stove.

Sleep was difficult. Do you know who snores in Grayslake? EVERYONE.

I woke for good at 4:30, went for a short survey of the sleep-apnea camp, used the facilities, fired up the stove at 5:45 for biscuits and gravy, served it to The Boy, and we packed up and made it home in time to change for the soccer game.

I really wanted to ride straight to the game, but the field is on a highway and i didnt feel dehydrated biscuits and gravy would be a good last minute for The Boy.

So now i wanna do it again, but will have to wait till next year. there is a campground on the lake, but it is a 30 mile ride from our house. not sure we can do that on a friday after i work...

bike camping?
**** - four stars. lacking one star due to snoring
 

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Cycling 4 the fun of it.
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I guess, one doesn't need to travel too far to have a memorable time under the stars. I think with a bit of preparation the 30-mile trip next year would be quite the experience for both of you.
 

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Been meaning to try this myself for a while...I have tons of lightweight backpacking gear (tent, bag, stove, etc) just need to cram it all on the back of my bike somehow. Nice to have a short ride option close by. Fall is perfect season (at least where i live)
 

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Cycling 4 the fun of it.
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326 Posts
Been meaning to try this myself for a while...I have tons of lightweight backpacking gear (tent, bag, stove, etc) just need to cram it all on the back of my bike somehow. Nice to have a short ride option close by. Fall is perfect season (at least where i live)
You could try a small bike trailer. That would work.
 

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I love to climb!
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Bikamping is a ton of fun. I try to do a couple a year with my son. We went last week with a group, got nice and muddy.

Normally, I'm fairly lazy about cooking while camping, so we usually stop at restaurants along the way to eat. A BOB trailer is much easier than trying to cram everything into panniers (used to do it that way).

Glad you enjoyed it!
 
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