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Halfling wrote:
I've ordered two of the insulated Symat 9s that are 3 1/2" thick and 26" x 76". They should be here tomorrow. We'll be camping in Crossville, TN this weekend for a test run and hopefully they will pass the "Wife Test"!!

:cheesygrin:;)
Hey John,

Let me know how you or more importantly how the "Boss" likes them. I was at REI on Saturday and had the Symats outlooking at them and kind of liked what I saw.



Thanks and have fun!:cheesygrin:
 

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Will do John! I'm pretty easy to please and my daughter is so slight in build that she would be fine on just about anything. It's definitely the boss lady that I have to keep happy and as you know, if the boss lady is happy, etc, etc....
:readit:


ziadelsol wrote:
Halfling wrote:
I've ordered two of the insulated Symat 9s that are 3 1/2" thick and 26" x 76". They should be here tomorrow. We'll be camping in Crossville, TN this weekend for a test run and hopefully they will pass the "Wife Test"!!

:cheesygrin:;)
Hey John,

Let me know how you or more importantly how the "Boss" likes them. I was at REI on Saturday and had the Symats outlooking at them and kind of liked what I saw.



Thanks and have fun!:cheesygrin:
 

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Got in a quick weekend trial run. Left Friday afternoon from Nashville for the Bean Pot Campground in Crossville, TN. The occasion was for the GL1800 Darksider Spring Ride. I ended up going alone as most of the others were not bringing spouses so the wife decided to stay home. I had the cargo trailer in tow loaded with some basic camping equipment to "test" in preparation of the trip to NASSIR 4 this summer. No cooking this time out and this would test the tent (Chinook Whirlwind 5) as well as the Symat 9 insulated mattress pad. Here's some observations:

The tent tent is pretty big which has it's benefits and shortcomings. Setup is a two person job (especially the rain fly). The fly is much larger than the actual tent (see pics). I found the tent itself to be roomy and I could stand up in the center with ease. I really like the two entrance (front and rear) and there is plenty of room to sleep two with a chair and small table to boot. The fly provides an alcove (or front porch) without a floor and it is a great feature. It gave me a great place to slide the trailer into and keep it out of sight when away from the site. It also allowed me to keep a lot of things in the trailer and have them easily accessible from the tent. It ends up being like a two room tent. Of course this larger type of tent takes up a lot of real estate in the trailer as well as at the site. You may notice in the pics that I installed the front tent pole incorrectly on the outside of the fly. I realized this after the fact so decided to leave it this time. The MSG Ground Hog Stakes were awesome (thanks Dusty!). Note: I don't believe it's possible to get the tent and the rain fly in the same bag (at least for me) so I will be getting a second duffel bag just for the fly.

The Symat 9 insulated mattress pad was as advertised. It was easy to inflate/deflate and it held air all weekend long. The internal manual air pump took some practice but once you figure it out it's fine. The pad's insulation was good and I felt no cold coming up from the ground. I am a side sleeper (and weigh 240 lbs) and the pad supported me nicely and my hips stayed off the ground. I think it may be a bit "pricey" but it will be a good addition to my gear list. I give it a thumbs up and I just hope the wife is OK with it too!















 

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Tent looks good John, other than the front pole being onoutside of the vestibule and the groundcloth installed incorrectly. You don't want anything hanging out past the floor of the tent, or else it will channel water directly to the tent floor if it rains. You found outa fewof the downsides to a big tent and that is that they are ....... well, BIG. The bigger the tent, the more area they take up, both in the campsite and where packed, as well as beingharder to setup. They also present a larger 'sail area' to the wind. You may find that becauseof it's large 'foot print', finding a campsite will be somewhat restricted, as some of the campgrounds have smaller campsites due to the terrain.(rocky, low lying area, abundance of trees/bush etc etc) You will discover one of my favorite phrases that applies to all things in 'life' .... "Compromises" :laughing:

I thought I sent you, or included in a post here,a short video clip on how the pad's hand pump works, no? (Found it. Last link in post #137 of this thread)

Anyways, you found out that with any new gear you obtain,always set it up/try it out 1st, before you use it, to familiarize yourself with it's setup/use.

Yes, those MSR Ground Hog tent stakes are the 'Bomb'! The material they are made from and their design allow you to use them in places that no other tent stake I've tried would work. The others usually end up bending, or shattering. I have driven one unknowingly into a large root, buried beneath the top soil and didn't bend. Their 'Y' configuration also makes them a superior 'gripping' stake, holding firm where others have been pulled out from wind pressure/stress on whatever they were holding taunt. They are the only tent stake I use.



All in all John, looks like you had a good 1st Trial Outing, where you learned a few 'insights' :clapper:!
 

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Thanks Dusty! I agree with you totally. Good note on the groundcloth but I will admit that I was pretty sure that we wouldn't have any rain so I just "threw" it down without much thought. I knew posting pics was like walking around with my "fly" open. :ROFL:

You can also see that I was right up next to the water spout and the electric (I wouldn't normally do this) but I wasn't using either and it was the best location for that space (compromises :) . I had a follow up discussion with my wife and daugther last night and talked about how we will need to develop a "routine" for camp set up and take down. We need to learn to do everything "by the numbers" so that we are efficient and timely. This will also be important in the packing it all back up process so as not to take up more space than it was in originally.

Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that I didn't take a pillow of any kind and that was the absolute "pits"! Mycamp siteneighbor (my new friend Jim from Scarborough Ontario) lent me an inflatable for the 2nd night. It made a big difference in my comfort level! I may have to add one to my shopping list.

I'll keep posting these updates in the hopes that it will help some other members learn from my experiences and mistakes..the next trial run is a fully geared up outing in Blairsville GA on the 14th and 15th (Spring Wingstock 2011).

:cheesygrin:
 

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Thanks for the update and the pics John. Tent looks awesome and I got a chuckle from the pics with your trailer in the alcove because it looks like that was the intent for it all along. Glad you had a good trip.

Got the Symat 9 on order!:cheesygrin:
 

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Boy I can tell you that the alcove was a lot bigger than I expected.! It's going to come in handy I think!
 

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I received my new Exped Symat 9 pump Deluxe today.

Although a little bit 'bulkier' when packed down, it is quite a bit wider(26" vs 20")and 1" thicker when inflated,than my old standby POE Insul Mat Max Thermo Mummypad.











the new pad is one inch thicker(3.5") than my old red one.







No more 'Huffin N Puffin' to inflate this pad, due to it's built in hand 'pump'. :cool:







Campmor has the best price on these pads @ $134.98 and free shipping.



Guess I'll have some good, excess camping gear to sell in the future



Dusty
 

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You know another thing that I observed Dusty was that it was easy to deflate and get it back down to size to fit in it's sack. This is a big plus in my book too!
 

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What a great thread! I can't tell you how much I appreciate all the great information.

I'm just getting started with motorcycle camping and now have a nice (long) shopping list that is much better than any that I could have come up with by myself.

Again, THANKS!

-Lee
 

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Some of us have been at it a while. :ssshh:

Always good to see what 'Options' exist, no matter how long you've been 'doin it'. :action:



Dusty.
 

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Hi John,

I was looking at your new tent -- is the vestibule large enough for a bike to fit in (minus the trailer)? If so, I was thinking it would be nice to be able to have the bike out of sight sometimes (depending on where you happen to camp).

Thanks.
 

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Yep, I didn't try it but I'm thinking the bike would fit in there pretty nicely. I personally wouldn't use it for that but you never know!
 

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The excitement is building and the preparations are continuing at the Halfling home! Trailer is being packed, unloaded and packed again looking for just that right combination. Lists are being checked and items missing are being sought out. Maintenance is being checked off as it is performed. Maps and schedules are being scrutinized and modified if necessary.

I got the white 4" pvc pipe installed under the rear of my trailer this weekend. It came out nice if I must say so myself. It's about 28 inches long and all of the tent poles and a couple of other long items fit in it nicely keeping them out of the trailer proper. It also gives a little bit of counterbalance weight to compensate for the ice chest on the tongue. Here's some pics!.







A pleasant side note: on my last outing I identified the lack of a "hatchet" as a discrepancy on my list. This weekend I dug around in the shed looking for one that I had seen laying around for years. I found it but it was in pretty bad shape...it was pretty rusty and the leather wrapped handle was a mess. I decided to clean it up and see if I couldn't get it back into useable condition. As I recall, it had belonged to my father back when I was a very young man. First, I used some sandpaper and took the varnish off the leather wrapped handle. It came off great and revealed a quality leather that was securely wound around the handle. It also had what looks like some white plastic rings in between a few of the leather windings for a simple design element. I then attackedthe metalwitha wire wheel and revealed (on the hilt) the"Made in the US" and a type number.The hatchetis one solid piece of steel from the tip of the blade to the base of the hilt (awesome!). The biggest surprise came when I was cleaning the surface rust of the head area, there, underneath the crime was a lightlyengraved etching of my father's name as well as the street address, city, state. We haven't owned that house since about 1975 so I think I have a pretty good idea of how old this gem is!

I've got it all cleaned up now and the leather handle has beenrestored using several coats of polyurethane (looks nice but I think it could be better). I still have more cleaning and the actual sharpening to do but this is going to be a cherished part of my camping outfit from now on. Made my day to say the least!!!


 

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Hi John. Nice find with the ax - bet the engraving makes it all the more special. I have a hammer of the same construction that belonged to my dad.

The PCV pipe addition to your trailer looks good. If that end cap isn't real snug and it screws in further (most do) you might be able to drill a small hole just inside the end of the pipe for a cotter pin or similar to keep if from opening up unexpectedly.

Regards,
 

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Excellent idea leei ! I will also be putting a "tether" on the threaded plug to keep it from getting away from me!
 

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Getting closer and closer. I had an older 3 legged stool I used for camping for years. But after a lot of thoughts I got a new chair. I got the GCI outdoor Pico Telescoping chair from REI http://www.rei.com/product/767164/gci-outdoor-pico-telescoping-chair
A little spendy but a very nice chair.(REI loves me now) Folds up and will fit right in the trunk of the wing. After I get the new windshield installed tomorrow. Geeeeez, just remembered that I need to set up the tent again to seal the seams.
:whip::whip::cheesygrin::cheesygrin::cheesygrin:
 

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John .... just be very careful when you open, or close up that chair.

I ordered one and broke it the 1st time I tried closing it up. Nice chair that just contained too many plastic parts in it's construction for my liking/idea of a durable, long lasting camping chair.

I ended up buying a Kermit Touring Chair. Yes, it's '$pendy' ... very $pendy, but I know I'll have it for a long time to come. Packs up vary small and is constructed of white oak, aluminumand 1000 denier cordura.







I also bought their powdercoated aluminum leg extensions, to raise the seat height up to 17". It has a weight rating of a solid 300 lbs and has been tested to 600 lbs. Packs way smaller than my old foldup Wally world type chair, making this chair easy to pack anywhere on the bike. Takes roughly 45 seconds to set up.















Dusty
 

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I love that chair Dusty...it's story and qualityreminds me of the "Tilley" hats. I really love my Tilleys (I own several)!! http://www.tilley.com/default.aspx

Hmmm, maybe I can convince my children that I need a new chair for Father's Day!!!
 

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Tilley Hats ?? :stumped:



Sorry .........:ShakeHead: ....... never heard of em!









 
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