I'm in the process of planning my first tour, and I just wanted to get some feedback as to whether I'm on the right track, or should make some adjustments. Also, I've thrown in some newbie questions for entertainment.
I'm planning a week on the Blue Ridge Parkway, primarily camping at public campgrounds, but not cooking. I'm a fairly strong 150lb rider, although I generally don't go over 60 miles and seldom ride multiple days in a row. I'm trying to stay as light as possible, probably 25lbs or less, for a couple of reasons: First, my lowest gear will probably be a 26x25, and given what I've read that's still pretty high. Second, my wheels are 28 spoke Aerohead OC's with probably 28mm Gatorskins, and while well built it's still a low spoke count. Are either of these things going to kill me, or should I get by with a light load?
In terms of packing, I really don't have a concept of what my panniers can hold, so I'm not convinced even if I pack light that I can carry everything, or that I can get it under 25lbs. I have figured that the 40l panniers (ortlieb), compact handlebar bag, lightweight tent, sleeping bag, short Thermarest, and rack will weight 9lbs. So,
- Is it realistic to think the rest of the gear will be less then 16lbs? The only other heavy item will be a U-Lock at about 2lbs.
- What camping gear needs to go in my panniers? I'm assuming my down bag should, but how about the thermarest?
- Is it necessary to keep my tent dry? Will the stuff sack keep it dry enough or do I have take further measures?
- I've figured camping isn't costing me much weight with the light gear. The only additional items I think I'll need for camping (that I wouldn't need for credit-carding it) are a pillow, and maybe a larger towel. Given my vast camping experience (2x in the backyard with my son), I fear I'm missing something.
I can opt out of camping and go credit-card touring to really optimize the weight, but I really want to give camping a try.
Any feedback you could provide would be great. Thanks in advance.