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Old 11-24-02, 12:20 PM   #1
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47.75 pounds.

This is about how much weight I will be hauling on my B.O.B. trailer next year for a 4 day self contained tour, give or take a pound or 2. The way I came up with this weight is by weighing each item individually on either a small kitchen scale or a bathroom scale.

This weight is minus the Yak dry sack and trailer weight, which when empty weighs about 10 pound. So this means I will be towing abut 57.75 pounds, again give or take a pound or 2. The trailer is designed to haul upt to 75 pounds, I'm well withing that amount. In the spring I am going to load the trailer up and either weigh it on a pallet scale at work or at a truck stop scale to see how much I am actually going to be hauling.

During my touring I plan on not eating at restaurants to help reduce the amount of money it will cost me. So I will be carrying my own food. I have a pocket stove and mess kit so I can cook and eat. For the most part the food will be non-perishable dry soup mixes and oatmeal that all I need to do is add hot water and eat out of the container it comes in. I'll also carry dry cereal and find a store that sells milk.


So heres my questions: Is this a typical weight for a 4 day tour? Should I reduce the weight even a little bit? (There are some areas I can reduce the weight if I need to) How much have other touring cyclists carried during their sefl contained tours, either in a trailer or panniers?
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Old 11-24-02, 12:28 PM   #2
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A friend of mine and I spent more than a month on the road a few years back and didn't carry anything close to that amount of gear. Of course, it depends on what luxuries you are willing to shirk - if any. On a four day trip I'd probably take one set of clothes (other than bike clothes), a bivie sack rather than a tent, eat out of the pan I cook in, use one spoon for everything, etc.
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Old 11-24-02, 12:32 PM   #3
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Jeff, when you say one set of cloths do you mean one pair of underwear and socks as well? I can see only taking one pair of shorts and maybe only 2 t-shirts, but I think that a clean pair of underwear everyday is important.
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Old 11-24-02, 12:41 PM   #4
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For 4 days?Sounds like you need a motor home.Cut the handle off the toothbrush.
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Old 11-24-02, 01:31 PM   #5
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I'd suggest you re-pack

For a two-three week trip you should be able to get everything you need (including clothing, tent, food, and cooking gear) to under 14KG or 30 pounds

For a four day trip You should be able to to get it into two panniers and under 20 pounds

A BOB trailer is something that is to be used for real long distance touring (where time measured in months) or for someone who needs the space (ie shopping for the weeks groceries) or where you don't have panniers on a bike for some reason.
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Old 11-24-02, 05:24 PM   #6
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N_C,
Bring whatever you think you need, if you don't use it you will know that next time you don't need it.

My S.O. is new to touring I let her bring what ever she thinks she will need. On our first trip she brought way to much, now after five or six trips she has got the hang of it.
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Old 11-24-02, 05:51 PM   #7
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You can do mini washes at the end of the day. It is mess weight to carry some small detergent than an extra set of clothing. Why don't you list the stuff that you are packing (and each weight) and perhaps you can get advice of what to trim.
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Old 11-24-02, 09:21 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by Brains
I'd suggest you re-pack

For a two-three week trip you should be able to get everything you need (including clothing, tent, food, and cooking gear) to under 14KG or 30 pounds

For a four day trip You should be able to to get it into two panniers and under 20 pounds

A BOB trailer is something that is to be used for real long distance touring (where time measured in months) or for someone who needs the space (ie shopping for the weeks groceries) or where you don't have panniers on a bike for some reason.

Panniers are not a option. I ride a Vision R40 recumbent, (can't exactly put panniers on a 'bent, very easily). From what I underatand one of the most ideal ways to tour is on a recumbent towing a trailer. I have heard this from several members of my club. Thing is they all tour with touring road bikes and panniers, yet they advise me to use a recumbent and trailer.
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Old 11-24-02, 10:59 PM   #9
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For four days, I'd probably wear the same set of bike clothes everyday ... rinse and dry them on the second day - maybe (being honest here). Underwear!? What's that?
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Old 11-25-02, 06:55 AM   #10
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Originally posted by N_C



Panniers are not a option. I ride a Vision R40 recumbent, (can't exactly put panniers on a 'bent, very easily). From what I underatand one of the most ideal ways to tour is on a recumbent towing a trailer. I have heard this from several members of my club. Thing is they all tour with touring road bikes and panniers, yet they advise me to use a recumbent and trailer.
OK, so now we know why you have a trailer, and I would agree for a 'bent, it's the best option. But you still need to do something about the weight.

I have run a number of Mountaineering expeditions over the last 20 years, weight is even more critical when you have it all on your back, you are going uphill and the air is getting thin. So for packing we have a little ditty:

Every Ounce
Counts
If in doubt
leave it out

One of the easiest ways of reducing weight is to remove all packaging, in can often make a radical difference in both capacity and weight

For a Mounteering Expedition where I will carring much the same stuff as you would on a bike tour (clothing, tent, stove, food, fuel, food) I often repack 3 or 4 times to get the weight down.

As some of the messages above point out, with clothing you wash as you go, and with food you buy as you go along where possible.

To get serious with weight you come down to the 'three sock principal'. You only take 3 socks, on your left foot you have a nice clean sock, on your right foot you have the sock that was on the left foot yesterday, and the other sock you wash in the morning and dry during the day to put on your left foot tomorrow.

The same principal can be used for most other items of clothing. Last year the wife and I traveled from New York to Santiago in Chile for 3 months (in a 4x4 truck) and only took clothing for one week. Other than getting bored with the same clothes week after week, we very rarely had problems with running out of clean clothing

Last edited by Brains; 11-25-02 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 11-25-02, 07:51 AM   #11
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N.C.

Can i suggest you p m Toolfreak on his input as he toured Scotland at the turn of the year.

He was using a bob trailer fully loaded, i believe about 70 lbs
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Old 11-25-02, 03:05 PM   #12
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>>You stated: I ride a Vision R40 recumbent, (can't exactly put >>panniers on a 'bent, very easily).

I too have a Vision R40 recumbent and I have installed a rear rack and it was no trouble at all. I use my bike daily to commute and hang at least one pannier bag on the left side. I purchased the standard Performance brand rack that is very similar to the Blackburn models. You should have a pair of eyelets near the rear axle and a pair of eyelets near the seat angle adjustment on the seat stays. Let me know I you want me to send you a picture of my bike with rear rack installed. However, I don't think it would be a problem to drag a trailer as I have done it with my son inside, but not for 4 days. Good luck and have fun.

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Old 11-25-02, 05:26 PM   #13
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N-C
The R40 is the easy to put a rack on, If you would like I can send you a photo of mine. I use my Arkel TT82's on it quite often. The bike loads up reall nice, and rides well when loaded.
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Old 11-25-02, 08:41 PM   #14
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While I realize that this is not backpacking, I still think that some of the same things should apply.

-Bring 1 set of cloths! (plus the clothes on your back) If you are really fastidous, bring 2 pairs or underwear and socks. However, you most likely will be wearing bike shorts, right? no underwear needed there!

-depending on where the tour is, you can cut a lot of weight by taking only one long sleeve jersy, and a slighly warmer layer. I DONT reccomend this however if your are going during the winter. During the Summer, however, you SHOULD do this!

-leave the whole mess kit behind. Eat out of the pot, and you only need a spoon

-Go for dehydrated food. Sure it looks like mud, but it usually tastes pretty good.

-Dont bother with toothpaste. You only need the brush...its only four days!

-Grow a beard (no razers needed here!)

-Use a down bag

-use a tarp instead of a tent. They are often easier to set up, and are WAY lighter. However, If you are going to be touring in a really rainy area, like Washington state, use a tent

-think about the stuff that goes into your pack. You need to suspend the "what ifs". To figure out what is needed, go on a shakedown, and what you don't use, take out.


Good luck on your tour!
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Old 11-25-02, 09:34 PM   #15
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It's hard for me to define a "target weight", but I think you are packing too much.

To give you an idea, last Summer, I did a 6-day tour with my 6-year-old daughter and the whole bike weighed 110 lb, which means we had 50 lb of gear for both of us, including lots of water.(5 bottles = 8 lb).

Rather than looking at a given number of pounds, look closely at what you need :

- Tools: the closer you are from civilisation, the less self-contained you need to be, because bike shops will be around for broken spokes and other major problems. Apart from water, tools are the heaviest item.

- Tent, sleeping bag, mattress... hard to cut weight unless you use youth hostels...

- Food. Unless your trip will be in remote areas, it's fairly easy to stop once or twice a day for grocery. this not only saves weight, but allows you to eat fresh fruits, ice cold items or even hot stuff from the store's oven. Unless I plan a Winter tour (not likely until kids are young anyway), I don't bring the stove because I generally prefer cold food, nuts and salads with the occasional tea or coffee in a warm place.

Regards,
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Old 11-25-02, 10:55 PM   #16
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Thank you everyone for all the great advice. I am working on cutting the weight down. I don't think it is prudent for me to post a list of all of the things I originally weighed here. But I will tell you what the weight is after I cut un-needed items out.

Areas I am working on cutting out the weight is one pair of denim shorts instead of 3. Intead of cotton socks just take my cycling socks and the pair I'll wear the next day I wear after my shower the night before. Only take a total of 2 pair of cycling shorts and jearseys, wash one set while showering, (I've done this before and it works well). Leave the tent peg mallet home. Put sunblock in smaller bottles and leave the big one at home. I will also be using one of those synthetic type chamois towels to dry with, that way I won't be carrying cotton bath towels.

Sorry but clean underwear and fresh t-shirts are a must for me, I will not shirk on those, so there will be 4 of each. The same goes for toiletries, I brush my teeth twice a day and use mouthwash, so these items will come with me too, but in smaller they are travel size.

Further more while there are towns all along my route, there are no LBS's in close proximity, but i carry a multi-tool evertime I ride anyway, self contained tours or not. And even though there are stores for me to purchase food at, which I will do, all of the food I will be carrying will weigh less then 1 pound. It is all dry soup and instant oatmeal meal mixes.

As far as how I carry the weight, panniers versus a trailer, and while I have a rear rack on my 'bent, I still think the trailer will be the best option.

So as you can see I am reducing the weight. Again thanks for the advice and keep it coming.
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Old 11-26-02, 06:33 AM   #17
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the Bob should be a good choice no matter how much or how little you take.

well, for 4 days i think near 50lbs is a little near the high side but it depends on what kind of a trip and what kind a facilities you will be using and what you can buy along the way.

if you're camping with no factilities in an area where it may be hard to buy supplies so you will have to carry most of your food with you, i think it sounds about right...

i did a multi-week Pacific Coast trip with the BOB and had about 50-60lbs or so including water - tent, rain gear, change of clothes, lots of repair equipment, lots of food (we ate max 1 meal a day at restaurants and shopped maybe once or twice a week plus picked up fruits or whatever wheneve possible)...

if you're a strong cyclist, that trailer weight is not a huge deal -- i've also done 2-3 day tours in the Alps with that much weight where i had to also climb a few thousand feet vertical (did a trip w/ about 40lbs where i rode with the trailer with my mountaineering gear, then parked and locked the bike and did a summit on foot)

on a tour, less is usually better and you usually need way less than you think --- for my 8-day Transalp tour this summer i had 15lbs not including water, but we stayed overnight in mountain huts and bought all our meals...

for warm weather you can really get by on little... but in cooler weather you need good sleeping bag, rain gear, warm clothes, etc. - it becomes even more important to only take what's necessary.

Last edited by nathank; 11-26-02 at 06:46 AM.
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Old 11-26-02, 06:38 AM   #18
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Areas I am working on cutting out the weight is one pair of denim shorts instead of 3. Intead of cotton socks just take my cycling socks and the pair I'll wear the next day I wear after my shower the night before. Only take a total of 2 pair of cycling shorts and jearseys, wash one set while showering,
i wouldn't take any denim shorts - if they get wet the stay wet - and they're bulky and heavy -- get some lightweight synthetic shorts (i have the zip-off type for hiking)

yeah, for socks, i just take my cycling socks and cycle them -- 2-3 pair plus maybe a thicker pair depending on the temperatures expected.

i only take 1 non-cycling shirt...

i personally take 2 pair cycling shorts and then wear polypro underwear under these (take maybe 3 pair of these so i wear, and 2 to wash/dry)

consider lightweight slippers or really lightweight running shoes as your non-cycling footwear.
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Old 11-26-02, 05:55 PM   #19
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I say take it all NC. Think of it as training for that epic ride you may take someday. I say go first class as you can, on a bike anyway.If you don't pitch it after going over the first big hill then maybe it was meant to go with you...Cutting the handle off a toothbrush to save grams is a little strange to me but to each his own.
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Old 11-26-02, 10:53 PM   #20
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Ok after taking things into consideration, like what I really need for a 4 day tour, I managed to reduce the weight to about 37.6875 pounds, over 10 pounds what I originally started with.

I can reduce it further by another 2.25 pounds if I use my cycling shoes for regular footwear and leave my New Balance cross trainers at home. Which will make the weight about 35.4375. Is this a good idea? Using my spd cycling shoes as regular footwear?

BTW one reason the weight is "so much" is I am using a single blow up air matress, which means I need a manual air pump to inflat it, instead of a self inflating air pad. The reason is for one comfort and 2 most self inflating air pads are to narrow for my shoulders.

Also keep in mind this weight may be off by as much as 1 to 5 pounds, high or low. I won't know for sure what the total weight I'll be towing is until I weigh the trailer at a scale that is large enough.

But please keep the suggestions and answers to my questions coming. Because now is the time to plan this out. At least for me it is. And again thanks.
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Old 11-27-02, 12:09 AM   #21
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Can you get an adapter to use your bike pump to blow up the air mattress?

Using SPD shoes may be OK if you're not planning on doing much walking, and depending on the type of shoe. Maybe a pair of sandals for off bike wear if it's warm weather.
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Old 11-27-02, 04:12 AM   #22
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Using SPD shoes may be OK if you're not planning on doing much walking, and depending on the type of shoe. Maybe a pair of sandals for off bike wear if it's warm weather.
yes, i usually just wear cycling shoes. but depends on how much walking you will be doing. if you'll be parking the bike and climbing a peak by foot or tromping through museums or something then probably best to bring the crosstrainers.

unless you ride somewhere wet where they might get dry and you need something else while they're drying out.

what i have found this year is really lightweight sandals - almost slippers or shower showers that weigh just a few ounces - are great b/c you can take off the cycling shoes and still walk around in the dark w/o being totally barefoot.
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Old 11-27-02, 07:13 AM   #23
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It depends on how 'SPD' your 'SPD' shoes are: I have a pair of SPD's which I use for commuting, geat on a bike, not so good for walking, and another pair of Trainers with SPD fitting, perfectly good for doing city type walking.

If one is going to do hiking, then you want heavier boots, trainers of any sort are downright dangerous on mountains

So assuming on your tour you are only doing city type walking, you only need one proper pair of shoes, which you use on the bike as well.

You take along a light pair of sandels as well, quite useful for wandering about camp sites in the middle of the night, and to give your feet a bit of fresh air whilst setting up your tent and cooking.
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Old 11-27-02, 09:01 AM   #24
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but I think that a clean pair of underwear everyday is important.
You forgot to mention you were touring with your mom.

What's underwear?
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Old 11-27-02, 10:26 AM   #25
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What about using a foam pad instead of the blowup mattress? Might be lighter, and you wouldn't need a pump to blow it up... not to mention don't have the hassle of blowing it up everynight and emptying it every morning.

Just a thought.

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