So the weather gods and timing all finally aligned last night and I got out for a quick sub 24 hour overnight (S24O). I got to test out the newest incarnation for my gear setup, which is a work in progress. Though after last night, I can say it is pretty close to being finalized.
The setup is as follows.
- Rear Revelate Designs Pika Bag:Contains Nemo Mio tent, LL Bean 40 degree bag.
- Revelate Designs Tangle Bag (top tube bag): Matches, 2packs oatmeal, wallet, multi-tool, gorilla pod, camping silverware, tube, tires levers, co2 cartridge, extra straps, keys, toothbrush, toothpase, swiss army knife,and small camping towel.
- Front Salsa Minimalist Rack: Therm-a-rest Z lite pad and a dry bag which has clothes, Jetboil PCS Stove and some food for dinner.
Also had 2 24oz water bottles on the forks, 18oz bottle on the downtube, and a CygoLites 300 lumen head light.
I should have brought a light hat and a light vest, but other than that I don’t think I was missing anything.
I left the house around 5pm to head out to Bear Brook and hopefully snag a campsite. I ran into Paul as he was out on a road ride and he headed out with me for a bit as I plodded along (touring bikes are not fast bikes).
Paul turned off near the Concord Airport and I continued on to Manchester Street and then Academy Drive in Pembroke. A quick right onto route 28, a quick left and suddenly I am in Bear Brook State Park. This is one of my favorite parks for daytime use. There are miles upon miles of mountain bike trails. Though being so close to home, I never had the need to camp here before.
I turned into the trails as soon as I got into the park and headed out towards Hayes Field and then Broken Boulder Trails to Pitch Pine and then followed the road into the main camping area.
I have to say that this is when the Salsa Fargo starts to shine. Even loaded up with gear, it felt nice and nimble on the dirt roads, and even in some of the tamer singletrack it rode really nice.
Unfortunately the campsites were all full, so that meant I had to find an alternative for camping tonight. Technically camping anywhere else in the park is forbidden, so I am not going to say anything about camping in the park. All I will say is that I found a place in the woods and it may look familiar to some people.
All kidding aside about this Nemo Mio tent, it is really a marvelous design. It uses an “air beam” instead of poles to support the main area of the tent. This allows it to pack down really small, weigh less than 2.5 lbs, and not require poles, just stakes. Fairly rainproof too as I experienced last year at the Stoaked Xterra.
The downsides to the tent are it is not free standing, it is a tight fit and I’m only 5’4″, and it does build up some condensation on the inside. I hear that their newer tents have eliminated/at least lessened the condensation problem.
I have no problem spending nights in this tent, but if I was stuck in it for an extended rainstorm or something, it might get a bit annoying.
I could hear traffic off in the distance, frogs croaking, fish splashing, owls hooting, foxes crying and even heard music at one point from a car radio (that was a tad odd).
It was a mixture and spooky and comforting at the same time. The stars were out in full force, I saw a couple shooting stars at one point. I could hear fireworks off in the distance, and even jets taking off from what had to be Manchester airport.
So, it was a good little adventure. I left home Saturday at 5pm, I was up Sunday morning at a little past 5AM and on the trail again by 6:20AM. Home by 8AM in time to make Mia pancakes too.
This was fun, and I am glad I got out to do it. It would be way more fun if I could find one or two companions to go with me. I’m working on Mia, but so far she is a “no go” for the camping part. I may convince her of a hotel or B&B overnight.
Thanks for reading.