The crackling sound as I stretched out on the silvery mattress atop the REI testing platform made me giggle. The sales guy grinned and said “We call it the potato chip mattress.” Apt nickname, really. But I no longer even notice the sounds…and if I did, I would definitely forgive them because this sleeping pad, with its 5.7 R-Value, does something none other ever has. It keeps me warm!

Continue reading “Therm-a-Rest’s NeoAir XTherm Sleeping Pad”

A feather-light, toasty warm revelation, indeed! And quite possibly my wisest investment in night time comfort…ever (not counting my Sleep Number Bed, which I’d certainly take with me if it fit in my tent)!  Staying warm in brisk night air has always been a challenge. Even in long-johns and a down mummy bag rated for 15 degrees, I chill well before the temperature drops below forty. And once I do, I can’t get warm again without a hot bath…not easy to come by in most campgrounds. Awakening around 3 AM to pile my jacket and other clothing on top of me used to be a nightly routine whenever I went camping.

Continue reading “Enlightened Equipment’s Revelation Camping Quilt”

Motorcycle camping. I love it but the older I get, the more difficult it is to be comfortable in a tent in which I cannot stand upright. So when I began planning for a 5-week exploration of Eastern Montana last year, I also began looking for a tent that I didn’t have to crawl into, that could house all my gear AND my motorcycle, but wasn’t monstrous. I didn’t know if such a tent existed, but when I Googled “tent with motorcycle garage,” I found the Lone Rider and it looked perfect.

Continue reading “The Lone Rider Mototent”

The first time I dropped my Suzuki V-Strom 650 in gravel, I blamed it entirely  on my lack of skill. That was before I rode a little Yamaha TW200 with a beefy, knobby rear tire, felt the connection between that bike and the dirt, and realized what a difference it makes when a bike is wearing the right shoes for the ride.

Continue reading “The Mitas E-07 50/50 Tires”