Rainy Season Camping Gear Test

Discussion in 'Northern Thailand - Road Trip Reports' started by ianyonok, May 19, 2016.

  1. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    I was heading out for a decent camping trip, but issues at home meant it was only a one-nighter. However, good fun anyway.
    Into the Pa Dang (formerly Chiang Dao) NP, but the camping area was closed, so they sent me down the road to the Pong Arng hot spring. They charged me 80Baht (3 different tickets) to stay the night.
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    Must say, the park was very clean, no sign of garbage anywhere.
    A lovely area and all to myself...
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    I had recently bought a Hennessy Sylnylon Monsoon flysheet, for use with the hammock and camping in the rainy season, so wanted to test that out.
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    The hammock came with a couple of free rainwater collectors which clip on the flysheet to collect rainwater. I used the bladder from the Sawyer water filter and screwed that into the water collector.
    The original small Hennessy flysheet clips on to the hammock line, but the larger Monsoon fly has it own lines. Quite a clever design, as on each end it has storm blast doors which hook on to the underneath of the flysheet and velcro down the sides with a clip at the end, plus each door has it's own guy line. The sides of the fly are held by 3 guys lines per side, each with a bungee or rope line option.
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    It was hot in the afternoon and evening, so I left the blast doors hanging open which allowed better cooling inside. There was lightning flashing around all evening and by midnight, I had jumped out and clipped on the blast doors. Then the torrential monsoon rain came for about 2 hours, hammering down on the flysheet.
    Result; The flysheet worked perfectly and I stayed completely dry inside the hammock. The wind was not that strong so we'll see how it performs when the wind blows hard too.
    The hot spring pools were excellent so I was in and out of there and the cold mineral water shower until fully relaxed.
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    In the pursuit of comfortable camping.... I had strapped on the bike a collapsible chair, which really is worth carrying at my age. The chair packs up small so no hassle really to carry. Also trying out the new cooking gear. The $20 micro stove set-up is great.
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    After trying to hold my dinner by hand over a pot of boiling water to warm it.......... realised there was an easy way...... some sticks laid across the top of the pot keeps the plastic tray off the hot aluminium, spaghetti bolognaise for dinner was pretty good.
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  3. brian_bkk

    brian_bkk Ol'Timer

    You are really getting in to this..
    A friend picked up a nice compact water filter for me when in the USA.
    MSR® MiniWorks™ EX Microfilter.

    This will be on all my future off road trips.

  4. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    I just love being in that natural environment. Also much cooler than in the cities.
    Water is about the heaviest thing we carry and we need a lot in the summer. Not sure I'm into camelbacks, so a compact water filter system seems a good way to go, if you're out in the jungle or NP.
    I looked at the MSR but rcm put me onto the Sawyer mini. It's half the size; https://sawyer.com/products/sawyer-mini-filter/
  5. rcm273

    rcm273 Ol'Timer

    Great .. Another of Ian's camping guides.

    That hammock looks awesome .. Remind me, how much is it worth in THB ? ( I understand you got it carried over from Auz ) If you need longer tree straps anytime, just let me know, I bought a bulk roll of nylon webbing a few years back.

    Do you ever get bitten by mosquitos from underneath or is there a need to put insulation under, do you feel the cold at any time ?

    I bought a hammock the other week, 250B (low season price) on Ko Lanta, it packs quite nicely, 400g - Obviously I need to get a tarp and construct some most netting, but its a start.

    Do you eat Thai food ? I am still rocking the packet curries from BigC .. I have a good combination of brands and flavours, some are real rotten, but some taste really authentic. I have to say tho' after a day of riding, I much prefer some western food, a foil pack of tuna with a scoop of pesto ( a couple of spoons in o small bag, fold the bag and seal with a hot knife ) stirred into some paste is good.

    If you ever feel the need to check out another stove ( like you say, they are peanuts ) I bought this one from eBay, I read on another forum somewhere that it was a knock-off / copy of an expensive brand - It's called a Dpower stove. The stove weighs in at 160gm including a heavy bottle adaptor. I have had other eBay stoves but this is far the lightest and fastest to "assemble". I removed the piezo ignition, they always seem to die after a little while and it looked awkward.

    I bought one of those little cooking pots recently too.

    Last edited: May 19, 2016
  6. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    The hammock is excellent. Hennessy are based in Canada; Hammocks
    Not cheap but possible some of the best hammocks available. I chose one of these because the asymetric design allows you to lie reasonably flat in it. They make a huge range, in either 40D nylon or ultralight Synylon and different sizes depending on your height/weight. Also side zip entry or the earlier design bottom entry. I bought a Jungle Expedition Zip in 40D nylon for $220. Comes with built in mozzie netting, flysheet and webbing straps. It is extremely strong and well made, with a double bottom and 100% mozzie proof. If a single bottom mozzies can bite through that. The double bottom allows you to put an bubble insulating pad in. I'll get one of those for cool season camping to stop the 04:00 morning cold on your back. I am also using a Sea to Summit inflatable mattress. Based in Aussie, they make some fantastic camping gear. Not cheap, but as always you get what you pay for.
    I have a bunch of ready cook food here, mostly curries. I can see now though, that the microwavable food available in any 7-11, can be warmed up over a pot of boiling water, so lots of meal choice available and buy as you travel rather than carry a sackful.
    The little stoves are great. This little box holds the cooker, stand and hose, plus gas bottle adaptor. 2016-05-20 07.36.31.jpg
  7. rcm273

    rcm273 Ol'Timer

    I was going to say .. thats not bad a bad price .. but it doesn't include the tarp, right ?
    Yes, the reviews say they are one of the best, there doesn't seem to be - A best - because there are lots of deciding factors and personal preferences, hammocks are way 'complicated' - lol. Even the hanging fixings, there are some proper nerds talking about hammocks on youtube you (I) can waste hours and go away with a spinning head.

    I want one of those little boxes for the stove ! Mine is OK in the draw string bag, but I'm really happy with my current stove and I don't want it to get crushed in the panniers.
  8. ianyonok

    ianyonok Ol'Timer

    It does come with the small tarp included for that price. That would be fine most of the time. But they also have a Hex tarp, which is basically larger which you could cook under in the rain and a Monsoon tarp, which I just bought and has blast doors at each end to stop rain coming in the ends. That little box with the stove and base etc fits inside the 5" billycan set.

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