Cycling and bicycle discussion forums. 
   Click here to join our community Log in to access your Control Panel  


Go Back   > >

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

User Tag List

Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 11-09-05, 08:15 PM   #1
Mentor58
'Mizer Cats are INSANE
Thread Starter
 
Mentor58's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Clarksville, TN
Bikes: C-dale T800
Posts: 808
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Comfort / Recreational Items You Carry

The thread on what books you carry got me thinking, what sort of recreational / comfort items do you carry with you on a tour?

As for me, I always carry a recorder (the musical instrument type, not the electronic device type). I don't play well, but I amuse myself with it, love sitting by a lake and playing what ever tune wanders thur my brain. Years ago while driving to Alaska, I spent the nite in a town in northern BC (I think it was BC), called, if memory serves me, Toad River. I sat by the lake and actually got into a duet with a flock of loons. (the birds, not the crazy people type)

I also have a sony MiniDisk player, can put about 5 hours of music on one disk the size of a floppy, runs forever on 1 AA battery. I can carry that and enough music to last forever and not get more than 8 oz of weight.

What's in your pannier?

Steve W.
Who thinks that the plasma TV, Sat. Dish and Surround sound would be too heavy to carry.
Mentor58 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-05, 09:48 PM   #2
buttbybrooks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 66
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Good question, I have a Therm-a-Rest Trekker Chair Sleeve. I like the back support it gives me.
buttbybrooks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-05, 10:04 PM   #3
Rogerinchrist
Senior Member
 
Rogerinchrist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Plymouth,WI
Bikes: TREK-520 & 830
Posts: 724
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Took a small electric heater on a weekend trip once. Glad I did too.
Rogerinchrist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-05, 10:19 PM   #4
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 46,020
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 234 Post(s)
Ummmmm ... hmmmmm ... COMFORT??? ... on a TOUR???. Somehow I don't think of tours as comfortable things.

Interesting. Exciting. Adventurous. More hard physical labour than I've ever done before. Those words apply. As do: "cold", "freezing", "shivering", "pushing the bicycle up another mountain after dark in the cold", "waking up before dawn after a short night sleeping on the cold, hard ground to get back on the bicycle and do yet another 10-12 hour day", "bush camping", "slogging on through driving rain or blistering heat because we've got to reach our destination in time, or cover the pre-decided distance". When I think of tours ... that's more along the line of what I think of.

I can't say as I've ever really been comfortable on a tour, nor can I say that I've brought anything with me that didn't have a specific, practical use ... with the possible exception of my puzzle magazines. But they could be used to start fires with too, if necessary.

However, almost all the tours I've done have been with someone whose idea of a great tour is to cover as much ground as humanly possible with as little stuff as we can possibly get by on. To him it's been a challenge on both counts ... to see what kind of distances he can cover, and to see how few items he can get away with. He's quite good at it. I've been impressed. And I've picked up some good tips.

But I'm hoping in the future (like maybe even this coming summer) to try a different sort of touring ... perhaps the type that I've heard tell of ... one that involves things like COMFORT and RECREATION. That sort of touring sounds strangely appealing.

Last edited by Machka; 11-09-05 at 10:25 PM.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-05, 10:20 PM   #5
Erick L
Lentement mais sûrement
 
Erick L's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Montréal
Bikes:
Posts: 2,146
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
I've carried two SLR cameras + 2 lenses + tripod, on my last trip. I also take a small photo backpack with a non-photo compartment for hiking. I remove most padding and replaced it with camp clothes. Ideally, I'd just take the digital SLR + 3 lenses covering 12-300mm, a small point-&-shoot and a carbon fibre tripod.

I also take a 9*9 tarp. I like to camp for a few days in some places and the tarp has been useful when it rains all day long. Talk about vestibule size!
Erick L is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-05, 10:45 PM   #6
Bekologist
totally louche
 
Bekologist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: A land that time forgot
Bikes: the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
Posts: 18,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I used to bring a big bag of weed.
Bekologist is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-05, 10:48 PM   #7
gpsblake
Walmart bike rider
 
gpsblake's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: South Carolina
Bikes:
Posts: 1,888
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8 Post(s)
Police Scanner and handheld poker game.
gpsblake is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-05, 11:20 PM   #8
Belugadave
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Centennial, Colorado
Bikes: 1999 LeMond Zurich and 2004 Giant OCR Touring
Posts: 220
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Frisbee - recreation item
Harmonica - recreation item
Swimsuit - recreation item
Camp chair - comfort item
Pillow - comfort item
Come to think of it, you can look at a lot of things as comfort items. You could do without them, but it sure is a lot more comfortable with them. Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cold weather gear, wet weather gear, toothbrush. You see Machka, you actually are comfortable, it just depends on how you look at it.
Belugadave is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-09-05, 11:52 PM   #9
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 46,020
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 234 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Belugadave
Frisbee - recreation item
Harmonica - recreation item
Swimsuit - recreation item
Camp chair - comfort item
Pillow - comfort item
Come to think of it, you can look at a lot of things as comfort items. You could do without them, but it sure is a lot more comfortable with them. Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, cold weather gear, wet weather gear, toothbrush. You see Machka, you actually are comfortable, it just depends on how you look at it.
Yeah, but when you're touring without stuff like camp chairs, pillows, sleeping pads, and cold weather gear ...

My first official tour was a week in Wales in September. We did have a tent, but I slept in a tiny, very light, not-warm sleeping bag on the ground. By about the third night in, I had devised a setup where I had a space blanket and poncho underneath my itty-bitty sleeping bag and was wearing every article of clothing I had brought (not much!) in order to create some semblance of warmth through the night, but that still didn't take away from the hardness of the ground. I didn't have a pillow on that tour either, and definitely no camp chair. Instead of a pillow, I just tried to bunch up some grass and leaves under the end of the tent where my head would be, and then use one of my bags to put my head on inside the tent. AND ... I had to buy a pullover along the way because I had nothing with me in the way of warm clothes. So ... maybe that pullover was a comfort item, but I'm not sure I could have done without it ... I was freezing!

On my Australia tour, I brought a bit more stuff, but not much.

The tent was a compromise for my benefit. My friend has done many tours where he hasn't used a tent, and really doesn't figure one is necessary. But I wanted a bit more shelter for that Wales trip, and especially also for the Australia tour, so thankfully, we had a tent for both.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-05, 01:00 AM   #10
valygrl
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Boulder, CO
Bikes:
Posts: 8,322
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 38 Post(s)
Hey Machka, referencing back to the thread about how to take your stuff on public transportation... Even though your stuff is minimal to the point of misery, it is still too much? What are you up to?

You might consider taking more stuff to make you comfortable, and losing that guy! Just kidding, sort of... but if you aren't doing it to have fun, why are you doing it?

I'll shut up and mind my own business now...

My Comfort/Recreational items are:
Thermarest chair
Ipod
FM/AM Radio
Book(s)
Tequila
Some of these might count too: phone, camera, chargers, (adapter if overseas), journal, coffee and coffee accessories, swimsuit, camp towel
My upcoming tour will include rock climbing, so I'll be carrying shoes/ harness/ chalk/ hiking shoes. I'm hoping not to have to carry a rope, trad gear, climbing guide... yikes!
valygrl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-05, 01:30 AM   #11
Machka 
Long Distance Cyclist
 
Machka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: I ride where the thylacine roamed!
Bikes: Lots
Posts: 46,020
Mentioned: 16 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 234 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by valygrl
Hey Machka, referencing back to the thread about how to take your stuff on public transportation... Even though your stuff is minimal to the point of misery, it is still too much? What are you up to?

You might consider taking more stuff to make you comfortable, and losing that guy! Just kidding, sort of... but if you aren't doing it to have fun, why are you doing it?
He's been gone almost a year now, happily touring parts of the world with the absolute minimal amount of stuff it takes to barely survive. He is a nice guy and all ... he just likes the challenge of living on nothing. And he was the one who planted the idea in my head that I carry way too much stuff. On our Australia tour we went through my bags several times and I ended up leaving stuff behind, tossing stuff, or mailing things home until I too had whittled my gear down to what I felt was the minimum I could survive with, and still retain a small degree of sanity.

I will, however, add that on my most recent tour of part of the Icefield Parkway at the end of August, with Rowan from the forums here, I brought the camp-chair thing that goes with the thermarest mattress, a thermarest mattress, one extra long-sleeved top, and waterproof gloves. Those were my luxuries!! The top and the gloves also turned out to be necessities because of the weather. But I never used the camp-chair thing. Unfortunately we were pressed for time and ended up having to cover some fairly long distances every day, so there wasn't any time to relax.

That's why I'm hoping that during the summer of 2006, I will be able to do a tour and actually be able to relax and have a look around instead of rushing from one place to another with the barest minimum stuff all the time. It'll be a whole new way of touring for me!

In looking over some of the lists here ...

Swimsuit - I carry one, but don't consider it a luxury because I use it as underwear when I'm in my civvies.
Camera - I carry those little disposable ones for $5, so I suppose that could be a recreational item.
Camp towel - I consider that a necessity for showering, and also to use as a pillow, blanket, or mattress.
Journal - Well, I suppose that's recreational ... but don't all cycle tourists carry a journal?

OH! I've got one .... CHOCOLATE!! If I know it won't melt, and if I've cycled in the vicinity of a place I can buy a few things, I'll sometimes purchase and tuck a chocolate bar into my handlebar bag as a treat for later when I arrive at camp.
Machka is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-10-05, 02:24 AM   #12
Juha
Formerly Known as Newbie
 
Juha's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Bikes:
Posts: 6,263
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I consider beer and Scotch malt as recreational items. Chocolate is staple food, nothing recreational about it ! If I pass a nice flea market, second-hand book shop or such, I sometimes buy a paperback book to read in the evenings.

--J
__________________
To err is human. To moo is bovine.

Who is this General Failure anyway, and why is he reading my drive?


Become a Registered Member in Bike Forums
Community guidelines
Juha is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-05, 06:26 AM   #13
Lucky13
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 109
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
A small, keychain sized thermometer...hung from a zipper pull. It lets me know when I SHOULD be comfortable.

A frisbee. Besides being a blast, it's multi-purpose as well...a rain cover for my saddle, a bin for tools and spare parts during roadside repairs, a serving tray...

Binoculars.

I would consider one of the portable XM satellite radios. Does anyone know if they offer service in Europe as well as the States?
Lucky13 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-05, 09:34 AM   #14
kesroberts
Senior Member
 
kesroberts's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Worcester, Mass.
Bikes: Several
Posts: 292
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
We did an overnight ride this past weekend. Rec items included:

Backgammon set
Bottle of nice wine
Flask of Bourbon
Flask of Pear Brandy
Cigars
kesroberts is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-05, 10:43 AM   #15
jamawani 
Hooked on Touring
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Location: Wyoming
Bikes:
Posts: 2,270
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Piano music.
I xerox whatever I'm working on at the moment and spiral bind a book of music.
Then I stop at churches along the way and play.
It would be a little harder to bring a piano - even using a Bob.

Always a book - sometimes two before I can mail the old one back.
A harmonica.

I sit on my old helmet or on the ground.
I use my stuff sack filled with tomorrow's clothes and my windbreaker for a pillow.
Comfort?? A stop-over at a hostel.

Best - J
jamawani is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-05, 01:11 PM   #16
Dahon.Steve
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: New Jersey
Bikes:
Posts: 6,838
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 35 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucky13
I would consider one of the portable XM satellite radios. Does anyone know if they offer service in Europe as well as the States?
I doubt you can get XM Satellite radio in Europe because you can't even get service in Canada! This might change in the near future but you might want to look into a portable short wave radio. Reception can vary but it gets better after sundown.
Dahon.Steve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-05, 02:19 PM   #17
axolotl
Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Bikes:
Posts: 1,461
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 10 Post(s)
While biking in the Rocky Mountains, I met 2 brothers biking across the US who were quite weighted down. In each of their front panniers they had a large wooden bowling pin. They brought the 4 bowling pins so they could practice their juggling.

I carry something much smaller and lighter: a tiny shortwave radio. I was once camping in NZ with 2 German cyclists I met. Inside my tent, I quietly tuned my radio to the Deutsche Welle (a German shortwave station). Then I turned the radio off, and re-joined my new friends outside where we were eating dinner together. A minute later, I casually turned the little radio on. Boy, were they surprised to hear German coming out of a radio in NZ!
axolotl is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-05, 02:25 PM   #18
Mr_Super_Socks
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Philadelphia, PA
Bikes: Gilmour lugged steel, Bianchi Volpe, Bike Friday Pocket Rocket
Posts: 881
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
On my pacific coast tour, I picked up a cool fabric kite in oregon. I take it wherever I tour or even if i just go to the beach. it weighs about 3 oz. but is therapeutic.

I don't think of touring as a suffer-fest -- I think of it as vacation to be savored. and i can eat everything in sight without destroying my girlish figure!
Mr_Super_Socks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-05, 08:09 PM   #19
acantor
Macro Geek
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Bikes: True North tourer (www.truenorthcycles.com), 2004; Miyata 1000, 1985
Posts: 1,244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
A microwave oven.

Not really, just kidding.

I carry an inflatable U-shaped pillow whenever I travel, the kind that cradles the neck. It weights about as much as a feather and folds down to almost nothing. On long flights, it helps me be more comfortable when trying to sleep. On my bike tour this past summer, I used it when I decided to while away an entire afternoon napping, picknicking, and reading under the shade of a big tree next to a white sandy beach.
acantor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-11-05, 08:22 PM   #20
acantor
Macro Geek
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Bikes: True North tourer (www.truenorthcycles.com), 2004; Miyata 1000, 1985
Posts: 1,244
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Machka
Journal - Well, I suppose that's recreational ... but don't all cycle tourists carry a journal?
Not me!

I have BOXES full of journals. I began journaling when I was 20, and continued to write regularly until my early 30s. But I am starting to realize that I never -- or almost never -- read my old journals! So I don't bother taking one anymore.
acantor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-05, 08:47 AM   #21
Camel
Caffeinated.
 
Camel's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: Waltham, MA
Bikes: Waterford 1900, Quintana Roo Borrego, Trek 8700zx, Bianchi Pista Concept
Posts: 1,541
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
My usual luxury item has been my stovetop espresso maker. As well as sugar, good coffee and powdered whole milk. Yum!

Might be difficult to find good powdered whole milk on my next tour, but canned or shelf stable boxed shouldn't be a problem. -Supposedly there is sweet condensed milk in closeable tubes available in some parts of Asia. The canned version I've used makes a rather splendid cup...

My other usual comforts include a few novels, swapped out along the way.

I've added some other comfort bits for my next tour:

-A tarp for my new tent, along with a collapseable pole. It's the tarp from my Hennessy Hammock (silicone/nylon)-so with the pole weighs just a pound. Will be great as just a tarp or a huge porch (for cooking/gear/bike). Might possibly turn my single wall 3+ season tent into a slightly warmer 4 season partial double wall.

-A blow up pillow-like used on long flights. I've used it allready for power naps at work. It's super comfy, and doesn't weigh hardly anything.

-Thermarest chair (that lightweight version). I've used them hiking/trekking before, and think they're great for relieving back strain while relaxing in camp.

-A new camera (Canon S2 IS)w/added wide angle. It's super nice, but a tad big and slightly heavy, so I'll include it as a "luxury" item. It takes vy nice shots, and has descent manual settings-just shy of a DSLR. I'm still debating where will be best to carry it (bar bag vs rack bag).

-Being a tad digitaly ignorant (I don't even own my own computer!). If I can figure out how to, or if it's possible to: put language CD's onto a computer then onto an MP3. Should be very handy for Russian and Mandarin pronunciation I'd think. The music option would be nice as well.

-A portable hard drive that can take my removeable photo memmory (MP3 player combo would be nice). I've had problems burning CD's, so I figure to just dump+store
my shots.

-Considering a GPS, but the maps available don't seem near enough detailed (for Central Asia) to make it worthwhile.
Camel is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-12-05, 12:57 PM   #22
ink1373
nothing: lasts forever
 
ink1373's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: minneapolis
Bikes:
Posts: 1,502
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
journal
sparse art supplies (sharpie, pencil, nice pen, glue stick)
wind-up radio
books
deck of cards
pipe and captain black's
ink1373 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-05, 03:17 PM   #23
paul2
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Toronto
Bikes:
Posts: 463
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Generally the only recreational/comfort item I bring is a book. In New Zealand I had a deck of cards, which came in handy on the many rainy nights spent in cabins.
paul2 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-05, 03:25 PM   #24
sircycler
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Bikes:
Posts: 8
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I want to get a msr dromedary or dromlite water bag (/pillow) + shower attachment, but not sure which version/size to get? Anybody have one of those?
sircycler is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-14-05, 04:14 PM   #25
Bekologist
totally louche
 
Bekologist's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: A land that time forgot
Bikes: the ever shifting stable loaded with comfortable road bikes and city and winter bikes
Posts: 18,025
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I use a dromedary. The 2 liter or 3 liter is a great size to put on the back of the rack. I have a 10liter for base camp backpacking but don't bring it on bike tours. the 10 liter is a big pig but would be too big to carry full unless you were group camping without potable water, crossing highway 50, or taking showers with it.
Bekologist is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:54 AM.