Three months on my travel trough Latin America, Costa Rica, Panama and Colombia are already passed and currently I find myself in the middle of Ecuador.
Time to write about my experiences with my equipment. What equipment turned out to be redundant? What seems to be indispensable? What do I miss?
I will first write about my sleeping equipment. The bike itself, the clothes, the equipment for washing, cooking and elektronic devices as well as other will follow later on.
The Tent Exped Venus II : I’m very happy to have this tent with me. The composition is very fast, it only takes 3 minutes until it is set up. The inner tent ist connected to the outer tent, so that it is possible to built it in the rain. For one person it’s plenty of space, so no problem to fit in all the bags. The space is not totally necessary, but for such a long travel with many nights inside I enjoy to have a little bit of higher comfort. On the other side I have to accept the higher weight. The awning I use to cover my bike sometimes, so that it is close and covered from rain. For the both entrance you can choose between a the mosquito net for warmer days or close completely to have it a little bit warmer inside. You can completely open the two side of the tent to let the air circulate. Especially on hot days, you will appreciate it. The only thing I have to admit, is, that if you close the net, the air does not really come trough in a sufficient manner. But I guess this net still has to be invented.
Max. Weight: 3,1 kg
Size: 220 × 125 × 105 cm
More: Exped Venus II
Sleeping Bag Deuter Exosphere -4°C: So far I haven’t had any problem with getting cold in my sleeping back. In Germany I used it by -5 degrees (combined with the Thermarest Neoair inside a tent), and felt comfortable. The stretching material let me move and adopt different poses inside my sleeping bag. The hood can be closed to a small gap, so that little air can escape and therefor stays warm inside. The packing is very easy and you can just stuff everything inside without winning a fold competition.
Temperatur Range: Comfort +2°C, Limit -4°C
Size (Large): 220×72-90× 45-56 cm
Inflatable Mattress Thermarest Neoair X-Therm: I bought this mattress because of the R-value in relation to the weight. The R-value indicates the resistance of the warmth. This value divided by the weight results in a number which gives you some indication about the efficiency. The two air chambers leave the cold air at the bottom of he mattress while the upper chamber is filled with the heated air of the human body. To me this seems to be a good concept. The bag can be used to inflate the mattress so that no moist air of your breathing can get inside, but this procedure is very tedious, so that I just blow it up without using it. Some people complain about the noise while moving, but this might depend on your sensitivity. So far I felt warm and comfortable with it.
Footprint/ Base layer:
In Germany I tried to get the adequate Footprint for my tent. It was just before I left, so I couldn’t buy it on the Internet. But also the attempt to purchase it in a shop didn’t work. So I found one base layer in a size, which suits more or less the size of my tent. So far I haven’t used it so often as an additional layer underneath my tent and due to plenty of space inside, I don’t need it to put my bags onto in the awning. But this peace of plastic can be used as well for other purposes: covering the bike to protect it against water (I used it on the boat between Panama and Columbia), using it as a picnic blanket or as a sun or rain shield tauted between some trees.