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Winter Camping in the Deserts of Southwest USA

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Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
Winter Camping in the Deserts of Southwest USA

Hey, Im headed from Sacramento, California to Las Cruces, New Mexico -- through Bakersfield and Tucson. I leave within the next week or so.
I am an experienced camper (inexperienced with bike touring), i know very little about the desert. I have never been to the areas that i will be traveling through.
Any general or specific advice, recommendations, considerations or tips for bike travel and camping in deserts during the winter...
Thanks so much!

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului WS Member
Winter camping in the Desert

In the desert there can be a surprisingly large range of temperatures that you will encounter. It can be quite comfortable cycling on a sunny afternoon but when the sun goes down it cools off quickly. You may want to pick a few towns on your route and then check a weather website (like the Weather Channel's http://www.weather.com/)to get an idea of temperature ranges.

Given the recent rain in the desert southwest (and the fact that winter is the "wet season") you should also be sensitive to flash flooding possibilities. The main idea is to avoid low areas (especially when picking a campsite) if there has been rain in the hills around you.

You should also be prepared to carry fairly large amounts of water on occasion. This is mostly because it may be a relatively long distance between towns (and water sources).

If prepared for cold weather overnight you will probably be fine. Enjoy your tour!

Kevin

WS Member imaginea utilizatorului @wsadmin@
It can get cold

The coldest and most uncomfortable night of our 14,000 mile trip south from the Arctic to Argentina was just north of Tucson in February. It snowed on us, and melted, and froze, and it was miserable. It was just the one night, but we remember it :-)

Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
Some Tips

Hello,

I have done a trip to the American SW and guess here are some tips from what I have experienced:

1. Roads are cracked. They cause extreme uncomfortableness and could injure joints if on them continuously. So not sure what you can do about this, other than have a bike with suspensions.

2. Be aware of cactuses, instead of weeds growing through cracks on the road, it could be these guys as I saw in NM. Heard puncture-proof tires are a good solution, so could try that if you get a puncture.

3. Try to be in your tent at night, I cycled in winter and once the sun goes down, its gets really cold. Cold wind + sun = ok cycling conditions. Winter tent + thermal sleeping bag really useful together with a mat below.

4. Wind. There is so much of it around, mostly westwards (from my experience and read ups), so just take note of that.

5. Look out for things like cattle guards, think they could cause your bike damage if not crossed carefully. I always got off and pushed my bike across those.

Hope this helps!

Unregistered imaginea utilizatorului anon_user
But- it's summer, not winter

Be prepared for 110-115 degrees days and not necessarily much relief at night.
It's almost July, and therefore almost monsoon season. Keep an eye on the weather.
Take more water than you think you'll need. Sometimes there are no services between
towns. Like- for 50 miles or so. Good luck....