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They say I talk too much.
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Every year, between Christmas and New Years Eve, a students' motorcycle club in the east of the country holds their annual Winter Campout. Stoneshop and I join them if we're able; we couldn't make it last year, so this time we were really eager to go. The weather forecast wasn't too bad... cold, rather than wet. Camping in the rain can be done, but I personally don't enjoy it.

We left on our XL600Rs when it was already dark, because of other obligations and because of time spent packing. It didn't matter much: we had enough headlamps and other helpful tools, and we knew the others would have a fire going by the time we got there.
On the way, it was pretty cold. I was constantly moving my fingers, trying to keep the bloodstream going. It was foggy and close to zero; we found out by experience when we rode into a small village with cobblestone roads. The fog had started to condensate on the road's surface and freeze there, covering the stones with a neat thin coat of ice.
I saw a car parked at the side of the road, blinking its lights as a warning; unfortunately, it wasn't very a specific one. Long story short: we both took a tumble. No damage to us, and none worth mentioning to the machines. It took a while to get going again because the bikes had gotten petrol in all the wrong places.

When we reached the camping site, which is very remote, the grass was white with frost, and so were my fingers. But the campfire did its job. Soon we'd put up a tent and cooked a simple meal... after that, the evening was spent chatting, joking, drinking moderately (no one wanted to have to pee more than necessary during the night) and frying oliebollen. One of the campers had brought his Dutch oven (yes, on his bike) and was baking apple-filled pastry using the coals from the fire. It was splendid.

During the next day, we didn't do much apart from gathering firewood in the forest, sitting near the fire, and making coffee and tea and nice things to eat. A great way to unwind.
In the evening, it was campfire-and-oliebollen time again. All very relaxed and pleasant. Bikers always have stories to tell each other, and technical stuff to discuss.
Shortly before we decided to head for our tent, it had begun snowing and I was hoping to be greeted by the sight of a nice white scenery in the morning.

And I wasn't disappointed. It was all really, really pretty.
The snow was more than a handwidth thick. All the trees looked like intricate works of art; each and every twig was lined with brilliantly white.
I went into the forest to pee, and it all looked so beautiful that I almost didn't want to disturb the snowy carpet by peeing a hole into it. There were tracks of birds and rabbits running across it, forming a decorative pattern.
Squatting in the silent white forest, I felt like I was peeing in a department store shop window that was decorated for Christmas. It was probably the prettiest place I ever peed.

After a hearthy breakfast with lots of fried eggs, we all alternated between packing our stuff and going back to the campfire to warm up our hands. We left the campsite nice and clean. Almost all of the firewood we'd gathered had been burned, and it was a lot.

Our bikes were completely covered in snow, but they didn't seem to mind: they both started with a single kick. Freshly fallen snow is slippery, but not terribly so and we had no trouble riding away from the campsite over the unpaved roads. When we reached the tarmac, I was glad to see that it had been cleared with salt, and was just wet and not slippery.

The only thing I'd forgotten to do that morning was, as I found out, to put my pants over my boots instead of inside them. By the time we were halfway home, I was in ice water up to my ankles... so we stopped for lunch. The rest of the trip was spent in the happy knowledge that Stoneshop had called one of our housemates and asked him to switch the sauna on.

All in all, a lovely little adventure.
 

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That sounds like a nice trip.You got any more details as in when will it happen next year?Might just pop in and say Hello.
Also what is a Dutch oven? Got any pics? Sounds like something to supplement myBBQ:D
 

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Dutch oven
Ah,i gooled it.Got one of them from my time in SA:thumbup:
 

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They say I talk too much.
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Discussion Starter #4
That sounds like a nice trip.You got any more details as in when will it happen next year?Might just pop in and say Hello.
That would be fun! It's always between Christmas and the New Year, 28 to 30 December.
Always in the same spot, too... there aren't all that many campings where we're welcome to build a big @ss fire and bum around in winter time. Somehow, the words 'students' and 'motorcycles' don't really seem to help either...
 

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That would be fun! It's always between Christmas and the New Year, 28 to 30 December.
Always in the same spot, too... there aren't all that many campings where we're welcome to build a big @ss fire and bum around in winter time. Somehow, the words 'students' and 'motorcycles' don't really seem to help either...
If its any help i dont think i still qualify as a student:rolleyes::D
but its in my calendar.If i would have known about this i might have joined you this year as i was of between x-mas and new year:(
Maybe this year:D:blob:
 

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that is a nice story to read: we have had record snow this last week here in Tallinn: over 60cm have fallen and it still keeps coming: part of me would love to go camping, but pitching a tent in that would be ridiculous!! I would need pegs 1 metre long!!

Also it is too cold (-10 this morning). So instead I get to read about your camp-out which nis the next best thing to doing it oneself.

Thanks!!
 

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Stone Crazy
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great stuff good story the krtek, i was in eemshaven on the 27th for a few hours collecting a load of crabs, it was bloody cold as you say,
MMM olliebollen, great stuff, millions of calories i reckon as well to help ya stay warm, will miss the Eemshaven seamans mission new year party this year i reckon as i am not coming out too holland this weekend ,
mev
 

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They say I talk too much.
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Discussion Starter #8
If its any help i dont think i still qualify as a student:rolleyes::D
That's fine either way, I don't really, either ;-)

but its in my calendar.If i would have known about this i might have joined you this year as i was of between x-mas and new year:(
Maybe this year:D:blob:
Aww. Yeah, might be nice!
 

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They say I talk too much.
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Discussion Starter #9
we have had record snow this last week here in Tallinn: over 60cm have fallen and it still keeps coming
Now, that is *serious* snow! But, as you say, it would also be seriously inconvenient for putting up a tent.
 

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It sounds like you both had some fun, despite the snow.
Its the same over here at the moment, 2 inch of snow in the last hour and its still coming down. Hopefully not as much as Tallinn. The bikes not going out though.

Its a while since I visited Arnhem, can you tell me, is there still a cafe in the town called 'George's Jazz Cafe'. I spent many good nights there.

ROPendle. :cool:
 

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They say I talk too much.
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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
can you tell me, is there still a cafe in the town called 'George's Jazz Cafe'. I spent many good nights there.

ROPendle. :cool:
'Fraid not. It seems it closed a few years ago.

Yes, we definitely had fun. I loved the snow, it was so gorgeous. We spent half of the way back riding through a Christmas card.

 

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I really enjoyed that story, thank you for taking the time to write it! The bit about not wanting to disturb the forest was very funny (I suppose little animals need gezelligheid too!) :D I`m hoping to go on my first (motorcycle) camping trip soon and was wondering if you could recommend a tent that`s not too expensive, but still warm? Thanks again for the story! :thumbup:
 

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They say I talk too much.
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Discussion Starter #14
...was wondering if you could recommend a tent that`s not too expensive, but still warm? Thanks again for the story! :thumbup:
You're very welcome :thumbleft:
Any tent that's not too big would be suitable, but make sure it has decent ventilation to avoid dampness from condensation. It's tempting to keep everything shut as much as you can, but it will result in a damp or wet sleeping bag if you do.
For extra warmth, you can add a fleece inner sleeping bag to your regular one. Nice upgrade, and fleece always feels cosy.

I'm thinking something like this might serve you well:



This tent (Coleman Graphite 3) is similar in size and floor plan to the one we used, but a lot cheaper and still below 4 kgs. If I had to buy a tent right now, I would probably get this one. Lots of luggage space for bulky stuff like boots.
 

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I'm hoping to go on my first (motorcycle) camping trip soon and was wondering if you could recommend a tent that`s not too expensive, but still warm?
Err, those two requirements are somewhat mutually exclusive, although it depends on what you consider expensive. Main features of a winter tent are the outer tent hugging the ground (so no drafts underneath), low-ish profile, and either dome or tunnel design.

I got a Hilleberg Nallo 3GT, second hand (so the first owner bore the major part of its expensiveness), and it's a marvelous tent for bad/cold weather. It's essentially a tunnel tent, although it's a bit thicker in the middle (quite a bit less so than brontosauruses, though. EeechhhUm). It's got a large vestibule with two exits, one sideways, one in the front cone. Inner tent can stay attached to the outer when stowing, so quick-ish to set up. Hardly any chance of the inner tent hitting the outer even if you pay little attention to setting up. The outer tent comes very close to the ground, so it seals well. Both inner and outer tent have good ventilation, and the inner tent has a high threshhold, about 10cm (4"), that actually stays up even when you open the inner tent door. I also got the matching ground plane (keeps the vestibule drier and the inner tent cleaner), although I forgot to pack it this trip.

Before this one I used a Fjallraven Foxlite (not made anymore; still have it), and it too was OK regarding bad weather, but it was a bit awkward to get in or out of in bulky clothing, and it had very little storage/vestibule space; you basically had to cook inside the inner tent, or at least sit inside the inner tent with the burner under one entrance flap. Setting up was a breeze though, something I got to appreciate camping in Scandinavia. I could have it up in under 2 minutes, and just six pegs required; up to four more in higher wind.
 

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Really enjoyed your story, thanks, and the pic above is brilliant. A winter wonderland, indeed. Not sure that I'd want to be camping in it though, but much pleasure from reading your report of it.

As for oliebollen. Can that literally mean 'oily balls'???! If so, I'm not so sure I'm too hungry right now :rolleyes::D:D:D.. Joking apart, it is so impressive to make something like that whilst on the road camping - and sounds like you had a wonderful time :thumbup:.
 

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Stone Crazy
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olliebollen is basically little bits of doughnut yumm
Merv
 

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They say I talk too much.
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Discussion Starter #18
olliebollen is basically little bits of doughnut yumm
Merv
Indeed! They're like donuts without a hole. They often have raisins in them.

They're not all that hard to make in campsite conditions...you can get a readymade batter mix (just add water), you'll need to keep the batter lukewarm for an hour or so while the yeast does its job, and then you can fry it in a liter or two of hot oil on a petrol stove.

Good times!

 

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As for oliebollen. Can that literally mean 'oily balls'???!
They're deep-fried dough-balls, with raisins and/or currants, and optionally succade chunks.

The biggest deal is getting the dough at the correct temperature so that the yeast can do its job. Obviously, only a particular distance from the campfire is at slightly above normal room temperature.
 

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This picture has made me hungry.
 
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