We have spent a couple of weeks checking out tents, reading reviews, checking out detailed specifications (got to have aluminum poles, must be able to stand up inside, etc) and comparing brands and prices.
We had pretty much narrowed our search down to a Kelty Grand Mesa 6 for the tent but wanted to see one in person before committing. Today we stopped at a Gander Mountain (right beside a Camping World) and looked around. They had a Kelty Grand Mesa 4 (4 person compared to 6). After checking it out and walking into several Gander Mountain tents in the size we were looking at, we decided to go for the Kelty. Amazon has the 6 person for less than Gander Mountain had the 4. We also ordered the Kelty footprint (goes under the tent) at a good price.
While in the store we looked at cookstoves among other things. We don't want something too big but we want easily portability. We also wanted something that runs off the one-use propane canisters that are easy to find at places like Wal-Mart. The Coleman 2-burner Fold n' Go seems to meet our needs the best. Once again, Amazon had the best price.
Another item that jumped out at us while at Gander Mountain was the GCI Xpress Lounger Chair. It folds up into a nice compact size, is very comfortable and has several side pockets. They were a little heavier than we thought they would be, but they are quite sturdy.
We already have our sleeping bags, air mattress and compressor. We still have to look at cookware and stuff bags. Plus I'm sure there will be other things that will pop into mind. But we have made a start...can you tell we're getting EXCITED? LOL!
Oh, almost forgot...Stu also picked up a Camelback hydration pack for riding. I have a bottle holder on my bike but there is no good place for him to carry one, so the hydration pack is a good ides.
Stu and Donna