Two major happenings in the past few weeks brought us closer to the start of the ride:
And... we got our home for the next year sorted, aka our tent! After much consideration, reading reviews, trying out tents and discussions... The winner is: The MSR Mutha Hubba,3 person tent. Of course as soon as we got it, we wanted to do a test run with it. Good thing the weather forecast called for 50mm plus rain and snow that weekend. Perfect testing conditions!
The tent did great. We are really happy with it so far. And the space you have in a 3 person tent compared to a 2 person tent, it's like First Class versus Economy Class seats. We even had a cloth line going, trying to dry our soaked gloves, socks and shirts. Not that anything really dries when it's almost 100% humidity out there (we do live in a temperate rainforest after all). Both of us have owned (and own) the MSR Hubba Hubba before. Great lightweight 2 person tent as well. Never failed us. That was another reason why we went with MSR again.
The Mutha Hubba is lightweight, packs really small, fast-ish set up and can be used without the fly. And so far it has been really waterproof. No issues with condensation so far either. We also got the foot print, unfortunately it doesn't reach under the vestibules, which would be great for keeping gear out of the dirt.
Doing some test rides in the rain for sure taught us some valuable lessons: Never leave the house without a tarp when there is a chance of rain. As we knew this was going to be a short-ish ride and we would only stay for one night, we brought a bulky blue tarp. For the tour, we will pack a very light and durable sil-tarp. Also, don't forget strings to put the tarp up with ;)
Proper raingear is for sure worth investing some $$. I was really impressed with our MEC Revolution Rain Pants. They did a really great job keeping us dry. Not so much our jackets. We will have to look for some jackets that would do a better job. Nyle has used the MEC Revolution Jacket for many years and it was a great jacket for keeping him dry on extended rides in the rain.
Waterproof booties are a great way to keep your shoes dry. We still haven't figured out any waterproof bike gloves... Chilly weather and wind with rain cause some really cold fingers. Most gloves that we tried out so far have only kept our hands dry for a short amount of time... We need to look into that some more. No fun biking with frozen, wet hands all day.