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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.

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Old 05-14-08, 02:36 PM   #1
Clarenza
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Touring items with more than one purpose

One of the techniques of keeping touring weight down is to choose items that can be used for more than one purpose, like a headlight that doubles as a flashlight. What items do you pack that have two or more uses?
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Old 05-14-08, 02:49 PM   #2
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A Frisbee is a must as it can be used as a plate, a rolling tray for fat joints, rain catcher when your tent leaks, splashing water around while swimming in a river, lake or ocean, seat when things are wet and you don’t want to get your bum wet, and for a good game of Frisbee when you meet a fellow cyclist.
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Old 05-14-08, 03:38 PM   #3
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I always bring a 11x17" padded plastic shipping envelope - the ones lined with the bubbles.

Potential uses are:
- seat cushion: great for sitting around the campfire;
- isolation chamber to keep that beer you bought an hour ago cool;
- entertainment: pop the air bubbles;
- can be used as a bag.

I think it's a winner: weighs next to nothing and can be used as a garbage bag should you change your mind and find it useless - although that never happened to me.
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Old 05-14-08, 04:03 PM   #4
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soap - In the past I have used Amways L.O.C. for washing everything. Only have to carry the one small bottle.
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Old 05-14-08, 05:06 PM   #5
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soap - In the past I have used Amways L.O.C. for washing everything. Only have to carry the one small bottle.
For people in Canada, Druide makes a biodegradable citronella liquid soap that'd good for washing body, hair, dishes, and just about anything. Available in drugstores, MEC and probably Canadian Tire.
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Old 05-14-08, 05:34 PM   #6
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A Frisbee is a must as it can be used as a plate, a rolling tray for fat joints, rain catcher when your tent leaks, splashing water around while swimming in a river, lake or ocean, seat when things are wet and you don’t want to get your bum wet, and for a good game of Frisbee when you meet a fellow cyclist.
Myself: engine, mechanic, Frisbee manipulator.
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Old 05-14-08, 06:38 PM   #7
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My sarong ... it has played the role of a dress, skirt, pillow, blanket, and towel. I do not tour without it.


About soap ... I bring a small bottle of shampoo with me on my tours. As the tour progresses, I periodically top up the bottle with the liquid soap from gas station washrooms. That gets me through a tour nicely and works for showers, dishes, and laundry.



And BTW - a lot of these things have been discussed in the Tips and Tricks sticky post at the top of the page.
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Old 05-14-08, 07:48 PM   #8
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A Red Bandanna ---

It serves me as a handkerchief, wash rag, hot pot holder, bandage, sweat band, sun shield, and one I sued it for toilet paper.
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Old 05-14-08, 08:21 PM   #9
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A Red Bandanna --- (...) and one I sued it for toilet paper.
It's the bandanna that should have sued you...
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Old 05-14-08, 11:41 PM   #10
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My chain tool is also a spoke wrench, and my pliers are also a pocket knife (but not a very good one).
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Old 05-14-08, 11:47 PM   #11
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+1 for the bandanna. Although I bring two, to be safe, and since I'm usually with my sister, we have to arrange ahead of time who will bring what colour. (She still has not forgiven me for the Great Hankie Mixup of 2004, in which I apparently defiled her dishwashing bandanna, unintentionally).

Swiss Army knife. It actually lives in my purse (which is also a handlebar bag) - I don't go *anywhere* without it. I need a new bike multi-tool, as mine managed to disintegrate!
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Old 05-15-08, 04:42 AM   #12
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A home made miniature throw bag. It is a much smaller version of the rescue throw bags used for whitewater rescue only with parachute cord. It is used as a clothes line, for hanging food out of the reach of critters, for rigging up shade using the tent fly, and a lot of other things. The fact that it is a bag makes it east to throw over a branch and easy to stow.

This is what the fullsize whitewater bag looks like. Mine is just a miniature version.
http://www.nrsweb.com/shop/product.a...1821&src=champ
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Old 05-15-08, 06:22 AM   #13
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a rolling tray for fat joints,
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Old 05-15-08, 07:25 AM   #14
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Have a lightweight knife,fork and spoon kit with built in salt and pepper shaker.
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Old 05-15-08, 07:53 AM   #15
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A towel. The most useful tool in the galaxy.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:19 AM   #16
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Frisbees also make good bowls for a dog's water. Are you bringing your dog?
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Old 05-15-08, 08:24 AM   #17
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Great idea for a thread.

I use my clothes as a pillow. I get one of my fleece jumpers, tie up the sleeves and stuff it full of other clothes - makes a perfect pillow and guarantees a good nights sleep.

I use my seatpost as an extension to a v.small spanner, rather than carry a full-size pedal wrench.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:39 AM   #18
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Knowledge, the more you carry in your head the less you carry in your pack.

Something that I would not tour without is a good knife.
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Old 05-15-08, 08:46 AM   #19
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For what its worth: An official ultimate frisbee (175 grammes) holds exactly two imperial pints of beer.
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Old 05-15-08, 09:07 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Someday_RN View Post
Something that I would not tour without is a good knife.
+1

Swiss Knife.

Spork <== most pathetic item you will find in this list.

A length of rope: emergency guyline for the tent, clothesline, etc.

Last edited by jpmartineau; 05-15-08 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 05-15-08, 09:20 AM   #21
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Certs: It's a breath mint. It's a candy mint. It's two mints in one.
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Old 05-15-08, 09:20 AM   #22
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Hot Pockets.
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Old 05-15-08, 10:29 AM   #23
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Great idea for a thread.

I use my clothes as a pillow. I get one of my fleece jumpers, tie up the sleeves and stuff it full of other clothes - makes a perfect pillow and guarantees a good nights sleep.

I use my seatpost as an extension to a v.small spanner, rather than carry a full-size pedal wrench.
+1 on each of these ideas. the seatpost-as-leverage trick has saved me from skinning my knuckles lots of times.
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Old 05-15-08, 10:53 AM   #24
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the most valuable multipurpose item in my panniers?

an 8x10 olive drab silnylon tarp with a lot of guyline. packs to the size of a small water bottle. Picnic table shelter, bike cover, tent vestibule, windscreen, privacy shade, camoflage, sorting sheet, clothesline, increased bike security at night.

if you get a 5x8 silponcho you add raincoat, but in most rainy conditions I prefer a cover over my seating /eating area versus wearing a poncho, but that's just me.

i think that's the one for me. Bandanas are right there too, i carry one everyday in my pocket, not just touring...
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Old 05-15-08, 07:20 PM   #25
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Clothes that are comfortable on and off the bike. I started using wool jerseys, they are so comfortable I like wearing them off the bike as well. I get ones that are basic looking (smartwool), so I feel comfortable going into a restaurant. This way I can get away with only bringing two short sleeved shirts. I wear one all day riding. When the ride is done I change into a clean shirt, and wash the dirty one. The next day I wear the same clean shirt and let the other one dry if necessary. Repeat.
Not revolutionary I know, but it made my load a bit smaller.
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