This is a shameless attempt to save the the most advanced civilization in
history from imminent self destruction by eliminating carbon emission,
dependence on foreign sources of fuel,obesity, hypertension and diabetes.
Cycling accomplishes all those things at once and helps us develop a better
understanding of ourselves, each other and our relationship to the cosmos.

Oh, horse puckey!
I like to ride bikes, have been doing it all my life.
The rest of that crap is just a fringe benefit,
and the blogosphere gives me a chance to share my interior
monologue with virtual rather than imaginary friends.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bike packing 101

When I see a lot of cyclists packed up for touring
I can't help but wonder what they left at home.
  When I tour by bike I actually carry less than I would when I backpack.  Think about it, you can stop and buy food, you can stop for water, you can stop at a laundramat, so you really don't need that much.  I like to keep it simple.
  Blackburn low riders are simple racks which attach right to the brazeons of most touring bikes.
Two screws, that's it.  They keep your bags and the weight low where they contribute to rather than detract from the bike's handling on the road.
   As far as camping equipment is concerned, the basics are all that I carry.
This is a standard camp for me.  Moving from right to left; a stainless steel plate, a backpacking lantern, a fuel canister, a two burner, folding backpacking stove(which uses the same fuel as the lantern), a pot and pan(which also functions as a pot cover), a coffee press, pocket knife, folding spork and ignore the three extra cups, I brought those by accident. There is more about cooking here!
I have a two person backpacking tent.   A light fleece sleeping bag liner is all that's necessary in a tent like that because the tent with a full rainfly will retain body heat on cool nights. With a closed-cell foam pad for the ground it's all you need for comfort and weather protection.
    I bring the normal cycling tools, now in the tool roll-up from a previous post and (maybe) an extra tire.
All this is easy to carry.   If you are traveling with somebody else, you can split most of it between you. One can carry the rainfly, the other the sleeping compartment.  One can carry the pots, pans and plates, the other the stove,lantern and fuel. Even traveling alone, it fits easily into two front bags.

with the bedroll attached to the rear rack or saddle bag.  I just stuff the rainfly in one bag, the sleeping compartment into the other, the pot,pan and plate in one, the lantern,stove and fuel in the other.
In my saddlebag, I keep three changes of clothing (dictated by the weather) a rain cape and personal hygiene stuff along with an automobile type chamois to use as a towel.
My handlebar bag carries wallet, keys, camera, an led headlight (for my head),pocketknife, and the other miscellaneous junk we normally have in our pocket.
  I normally use a Camelbak water reservoir on tours and use the water bottle for Gatorade or Powerade.
You really can enjoy yourself without bringing too much, or you can...

I have posted an update for this called Bike Packing 101.1 with some upgraded equipment.


  1. I am glad to benefit from your experience. I am planning on taking my first tour this fall - unsupported and possibly solo. I think that you have the perspective I need to adopt.

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  3. I hope you learn to enjoy it. It's not too bad to bring a little more than I carry, you might have some things you will think you need. It takes a few trips to figure out what you don't need. The point is not to carry the kitchen sink, things can be purchased enroute. Note; I have since replaced the lantern with a Galaxy tablet, which obviously has more functions than a lantern and the stove has been replaced with a simpler Trangia alcohol burner.

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