|Tripod camp table|
I've been thinking of ways to make camping on tour more comfortable. Figuring a way to have a table to use for cooking, eating, drawing and to set my MacBook on. Seems that campgrounds don't always include tables anymore. Hiker/Biker sites rarely ever did. I often bring food to prepare in my bags and finding a place with a flat surface on the road can be a challenge. Eating off the ground is annoying and disagreeable.
Here is my solution to this touring issue. Since I'll be bringing a tripod anyway, why not give it another purpose? I'm using a Sirui carbon travel tripod. This tripod weighs 1.7 lbs, comes with an arca type compatible quick release plate and a sbh-100 ball head. I expect to use this table top mostly while sitting in my trike. Since I have a chair, why not use it?
|My MacBook Pro will be the heaviest thing I use the table for.|
I went to a local shop that sells all kinds of plastic (TAP Plastic) and found a scrap piece that is rated OK for food/eating ($4). I haven't weighed the plastic but guess it is less than 1/2 lb. This plastic is smooth and will be easy to clean. I had them cut the plastic to a more manageable size. The most expensive part of this project was buying another quick release plate - $19.95. I brought the plate and piece of plastic to an ACE hardware store explaining what I needed. The guys fit and drilled a metal threaded piece into the middle of the plastic using the screw that came with the quick release plate. That cost $5.
|Magazine added for scale and humor to show the tripod and table top are quite small.|
|Tripod mount upside down attached to table top.|
We'll see how this idea works in real life. I'll be bringing this set up to the recumbent retreat next month. Getting to the retreat is a 2 day ride and I'll be camping on the way.
My next tour will be in the US and one of my goals is to get more comfortable camping. Most of my tours have been out of the country and, although I bring everything I need for camping, I very rarely camp. Even in campgrounds, my imagination gets the best of me and I don't sleep well. On all my tours, accommodation has always been my biggest expense. Camping would certainly help me save some money.
By staying mostly in hotels, I feel like I've been missing out on some additional freedom that cycle touring offers. Wouldn't it be great to camp where ever I feel like stopping for the day? On my past tours, my only real issue has been to make sure there is a place to stay at the end of the day. My routes have always been dictated by where I can find a hotel. I don't know if I'll be ready for stealth camping on this trip but finding a place to set up a tent will open up more possibilities for where to end the day. I know this camping fear is all in my imagination and I really want to get over it.