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Progress Report On My Journey Into Homelessness

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Crusty:
I went over to REI this past weekend to look at an Exped Synmat 9 sleeping pad, and they didn't have one. They had a bigger and thicker Synmat 10, but the freakin' thing was way too big when it was rolled up. However, there was an REI branded Thermarest pad that was 3 1/2 inches thick. I put it on the floor and laid on it; even though it was underinflated, my hips and shoulder weren't touching the floor, so I figured, "What the devil; it's fifty bucks less" and I bought it.
I looked at the stoves, but the stove area was pretty disarrayed, and I couldn't make heads or tails of it; so I put off stove purchases for now. They also didn't have the sleeping bag I'm interested in (a Marmot Rockaway 35 degree bag). With sleeping bags, I don't want to get one that's too warm, but I also don't like shivering through the night, so I think a 35 degree bag is a reasonable compromise. It's funny; I went to REI with the purpose of buying a fast drying towel and just looking at the other stuff; but instead, I didn't even look for a towel and bought a pad. Oh, well. I think I'm going to buy a Space Blanket or two, as well; they pack small and can be used for a number of things.
I've had my eye on an '06 Sportster that my friend Guido has in his shop, and yesterday, I went over to start the haggling process. It's only beginning, so we'll see how it goes, but I think I'll be looking at other Sportsters as well and that Buell S3-T is still calling me even though I decided to go with a Sportster. A Buell is a just a Sportster that doesn't vibrate, makes twice the power, corners like it's on rails and has really good brakes. It just looks different.
I've fired the first shot in selling my Norge by putting it in the Classifieds here; hopefully, it'll sell fairly quickly. It should, I'm asking 3 grand less than book value. Then I'll take the money and buy whichever bike I decide on. We'll see how it goes.
One of the things I really would like to do this summer is see a few Flat Track races. I called the IMDA (Promoters of the Springfield Mile) and requested the seat I prefer (front row on the Finish Line) for both the Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend races. I also called the promoter of the Indy Mile and DuQuoin Mile races, but they don't have tickets available yet.
So, things are moving along. Not as quickly or smoothly as I would like, but it's progress. All I have to do is just keep doing the next right thing, and eventually, it will all come together.

charlie b:
Look through the camping gear threads.  Your sleeping bag is you most important purchase for comfort.  Air mattress next.  Then tent.

One thing I learned the hard way...sleeping bag ratings are not what they seem.  That 35 bag will keep you comfortable down to around 45 or 50 deg.  I bought a 40 deg bag thinking I'd never sleep in colder.  When it got below 50 I was freezing, even with a full base layer, two layers of socks, hat and gloves.  I now have a 20deg bag.  When it got down below 30 I had to wear the base layer and hat (hats are REALLY good for sleeping in the cold), but, I was comfortable, down right cozy.

And when you say, 'I won't be camping when it is below freezing', that's when you find youself camping with a unexpected cold front going through.  :)

This is also when it is nice to buy from REI.  You can try out their stuff and if it isn't right then take it back and get what you need.  My bag is a Northern Face, but, I got it at REI because of their return policy.

pyoungbl:
REI also sells sleeping bag liners, basically a really light weight zippered bag to go inside your sleeping bag.  This gives you several options.  On a warm night you just use the liner, when it gets cold the liner becomes another layer of insulation.  Best of all, the liner is really small.  Waking up at 0200, shivering, is no fun.  That extra bit of warmth has saved the day for me a couple times.  Oh, and +1 on the hat idea.  I carry a fleece cap for sleeping.

Peter Y.

Kev m:
HAVE FUN!

There is a LOT to like about an 06 Sportster. It's actually going to be pretty darn smooth... maybe smoother than a Buell. It's carbureted and easy to repair. Dealers and parts are ubiquitous. Hard to argue with that choice if you go that way!

Bill Havins:

--- Quote from: pyoungbl on January 22, 2015, 10:34:47 AM ---REI also sells sleeping bag liners, basically a really light weight zippered bag to go inside your sleeping bag.  This gives you several options.  On a warm night you just use the liner, when it gets cold the liner becomes another layer of insulation.  Best of all, the liner is really small.  Waking up at 0200, shivering, is no fun.  That extra bit of warmth has saved the day for me a couple times.  Oh, and +1 on the hat idea.  I carry a fleece cap for sleeping.

Peter Y.

--- End quote ---

Absolutely!  There is no such thing as a bag that is "too warm" if you have a liner with you.  If you get too warm at night unzip, throw back the top layer and, presto!

If you get too cold because your bag is only rated to 30...  I remember snowshoeing in May in the Pecos Wilderness up near Truchas Peak...  All of my water froze solid and I had it inside my tent.  What a miserable experience that was!

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