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Mtbiker does it his way: camping without sleeping bag

April 19, 2008

[bump up from 4/07] A biker by the handle of "Lef-T" has put up a couple trip reports over at the Mt-Biker Forums. Thousands of folks have appreciated them, been engaged by them, or at least amused.

Lef-T goes on simple bike tours from his back door. He tries out new things he hasn't done before. He practices them first, though, I think.

These reports are about his method of camping without a sleeping bag and bringing only minimal stuff. He doesn't bring much water, finding it along the way and filtering it.

He tends to go to mt-tops and it tends to be rainy, windy and cold. He does a lot of push-a-bike. He doesn't use many gears, sometimes a singlespeed---even a fixie nowadays. (Fixie mtbikers seem to have an interesting creed: "it's all about the woods"---I've seen a few comment on this. Maybe their direct-drive gives them a puma-like immediacy and "contact" "engaged" feel when in the woods. Perhaps it's also quieter. And maybe so much simpler that you can look around more, as the braking and the going are the SAME THING when fixed.)

Lef-t relies on his "hobo stove"---a variant of the tin-can twig stove that I use. And trash bags---he stuffs them with dry-grass, etc., so they act as sleeping bags. He also brings a pint of Beam. One of his trips was on a bike without a rack, so stuff was just lashed on the bike. He's figured out nifty ways of getting dry wood in downpours.

He doesn't say he has the answers. He's just trying things out. One hopes that he finds a way to get in more than 2 hrs of sleep this way. His projects make me wonder how I would try to crack the "no-bag" nut. I think a more standard way is to make a "squirrel nest" under sheltering pine boughs, but I believe our man is going for a great view---the stars, the vista...all night long. I guess he doesn't mind 2 hrs sleep---I'm thinking he's just fine. A thing to ponder is also: how to make this method more accessible---or can it be? Like, can you family-camp with kids in a primitive leave-no-trace way? : )

Check out his reports, they're a fun ride:



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