Thursday, June 23, 2011

Bike Touring take two: Beware the false messiahs!


Today I listened to an interview of a self proclaimed bike tour guru. He started at 17 and is now 25. He has written a book about bike touring. I listened and was appalled at some of his tactics.

1) Bush or stealth camping. This is where you camp in the bush and make your own campsite hidden from view. This is a great way to be attacked or beset upon by undesirables. Chances are your spot is also the spot for those who have drunken bush parties! I would not recommend this practice to anyone especially women.

2) He is very down on park camping, presumably because there is a fee. There is also comfort, showers and security...I can't see the downside. You can always find a quiet place.

In addition to being unsafe, he was dismissive of gear. How can you be dismissive of gear! Camping gear has changed in the 20 years that I purchased my gear. It was great gear then but I found shopping for new gear great fun. Did you know there are backpacking expresso makers? Neither did I. How about towels that absorb 5X their weight that fit in your backpocket? Lightweight kettles, and best of all silicone bowls. These bowls squish and fold flat. Titanium sporks (fork and spoon), freezedried organic meals, silicone mugs,portable light tents of all sizes etc. etc. This year I bought a silk liner for my new sleeping bag...ahh the luxury!

Bike touring is a lot of fun, but one must beware of self proclaimed messiahs who advocate crazy things. I went bike camping alone a few days ago, but was not really alone, my husband knew my route and I cycled along roads well traveled. I camped in a provincial park that had wonderful hot showers.

There is solace in bike touring that comes from knowing that you have your home, your kitchen, your bedroom, closet and entertainment all with you. All my possessions (those needed for the trip) were around me.I plan to do a few more small trips this summer because they are a lot of fun. When I do longer trips I will encourage others to join me, as in remote areas it is never a good idea to travel alone.

Beware the false messiah!

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