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  1. #1
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    What have you sent home?

    I've read a lot of touring journals in which folks have sent home items deemed unnecessary, too heavy or whatever in order to lighten their load. Nobody seems to describe what it is they've sent home. I'm preparing for a cross country tour next March and I'm trying to figure out what to take or not take and thought it would be helpful to know what people have left with only to send home later.

  2. #2
    Neil_B
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    Quote Originally Posted by clay greene View Post
    I've read a lot of touring journals in which folks have sent home items deemed unnecessary, too heavy or whatever in order to lighten their load. Nobody seems to describe what it is they've sent home. I'm preparing for a cross country tour next March and I'm trying to figure out what to take or not take and thought it would be helpful to know what people have left with only to send home later.
    I sent home extra clothing and a book I started and didn't like.

  3. #3
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    take a look at nun's (on this forum) packing list lightweight and brilliant.

  4. #4
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  5. #5
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    What we sent home from the Trans America... At least one of the three of us sent home the following among many other things:
    1. Extra clothing
    2. iPod
    3. GPS
    4. The maps we were finished with.
    5. Sunglass extra colors of lenses and case.
    6. Mini tripod, that I later caught grief for not having
    7. Dental pick
    8. Books
    9. Pedal wrench after we used it to put bikes together at the airport.
    10. Tools we decided we didn't need.
    11. Parts we decided we didn't need.
    12. Water filter
    13. A deck of cards.
    14. Cold weather gear after we got out of the Rockies (and had lighter stuff sent to us).
    15. Cook pots that we decided to do without (we kept only one).
    16. Too many other things to mention, including stuff that weighed an ounce or less.
    17. Cards, gifts, souvenirs, and other things we accumulated along the way.

    We just went through every item and got rid of anything we decided we could do without, no matter how small or trivial.

    Near the end of the trip in the Appalachians I was offloading stuff like crazy, but at that point threw a lot of stuff away rather than sending it home including the ground cloth. That one trimming frenzy was worth it though, the Appalachians were tough and I threw away a couple pounds of stuff including extra tent pegs which we seemed to find more of at every camp, and food that we decided we didn't want.

    The last few days we had the chance to offload stuff into the cars of friends/relatives. We got rid of practically everything then and stayed with friends and relatives the last several days.

    At one point near the end Lauren even offloaded her rain gear, which promptly brought on the rain!
    Last edited by staehpj1; 09-06-08 at 12:53 PM.

  6. #6
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    A travel guitar and some extra clothes.
    Tour Journals, Blog, ride pix

    I'm in the celtic folk fusion band Baroque and Hungry. "Mended", our new full-length studio album, is now available for download.

  7. #7
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Mostly paper stuff. I collect maps and brochures of the places I go through ... great to have when I'm in the area the maps and brochures pertain to, but once I've moved to a different area, they're dead weight, and I'm collecting new maps and brochures for the new area. So I package them up and send them home every so often.

    Back in the days of film cameras, I've sent film and/or developed photos home.

    I've sent some clothing home. On my 3-month Australian tour, the first 2 months were in the colder part of Australia, so I had cold weather gear with me, but the last month was up in the jungles, so I sent some of my cold weather gear home just before I went there.

  8. #8
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    Not totally related, but touring across Italy when they were still using Lira, We were like Lira millionaires. Sent home a shoe box with about 3 Kilo's of Lira in change.

  9. #9
    Always planning a tour birvine's Avatar
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    A few years ago when I was cycling across Europe I sent a few packages home. After a few weeks I decided that hotels were what I wanted... home went all of the camping gear. When I had burned a disc of pics I sent it home. Guide books and maps as I left regions went home. Souvenirs and 'stuff' went home. If you want to keep the stuff but don't want to carry it all the time, why not send it home?

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  10. #10
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    Mainly clothes (as the weather got warmer) and maps and books (as I moved from one country to another). My friend sent home his aero bars after a month on the road, figuring they weren't really needed for touring.

  11. #11
    Senior Member stokell's Avatar
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    I like to think I pack really light. On the last trip to Germany, I discovered that the yellow plastic banana safe a well-meaning friend had given me, really didn't fit bananas at all. At least not the bananas I found in Germany, so I gave it to a homeless person. I did that on my first tour. I got back to London with a broken weld on an old clunker I was riding, so I took off the panniers and gave the bum the bike. He was thrilled. The guy with the banana safe was perplexed. I left him holding it in his hand like a ..., well a banana safe.

    I guess the bottom line is to do a few shakedowns before the big trip and only take the stuff you actually use.

  12. #12
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stokell View Post
    I guess the bottom line is to do a few shakedowns before the big trip and only take the stuff you actually use.
    Maybe, but I think there is still reason to send stuff home on a long tour even if you planned perfectly.

    A lot of what gets sent home is because of poor planning, but not all.

    If your trip is long enough to take you from one climate or season to another you may find it worth having different stuff sent to you from home and or sending stuff home.

    You may acquire things along the way, like souvenirs etc. Also maybe you just ran into some great deal on gear that you liked but didn't need on this trip. One 106F day in Dillon Montana we escaped the heat by spending the afternoon in the Patagonia outlet store. We all had stuff sent home. In that case the store handled the shipping and there was no charge for touring cyclists to have stuff shipped home.

    If you are using expensive maps or guide books you probably don't want to carry the whole set on a multi month tour, but also don't want to throw them away. I am inclined to take all of the maps with me so I can look ahead, but send the ones I am done with home.

    Some trips you may want to travel lighter than others. Your mood for this may change as a trip progresses. Those who are inclined to motel it sometimes may decide they don't want to camp any more at some point on a trip (I am too cheap for that).

    Also if not riding solo... needs may change depending on group dynamics or group decisions.

    Bottom line... There are lots of reasons you may want to send stuff home and not all of them are the result of poor planning.

  13. #13
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Mostly clothes - especially warm ones. On my first tour (down the west coast in July) I brought a down jacket. I sent it home the 4th day.

    I only bring one book (and I look for light ones - paperbound), and don't buy another one until the first one is almost finished. When I finish a book I dump it. I give it away when I can, or just leave it in the bathroom of a campground with a "Free" sign on it.

    I take notes each tour on my packing choices. I used to carry a fleece vest. On my last tour I decided that my two long-sleeve polypro shirts, under my rain jacket, keep me plenty warm enough. I'm going to leave the vest home next summer and see how I fare.

    Take a short, preliminary trip and see how your packing list works.

  14. #14
    gz_
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    FREE DEATHHARE gz_'s Avatar
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    Lordy, give the books away. Are you all telling me you never encountered a take-one-leave-one travelers library?

  15. #15
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    Some stuff I chucked

    Books,
    ripped relevant (map) pages out of a campsite directory and chucked it,
    extra unnecessary maps (my phone is a GPS)
    extra jacket (I bought a replacement that was better),
    half a notepad (I wasn't writing as much as expected),
    torch (my front LED was good enough),
    compass (again due to GPS),
    extra jersey,
    misc extra clothes.


    Quote Originally Posted by gz_ View Post
    Lordy, give the books away. Are you all telling me you never encountered a take-one-leave-one travelers library?
    Absolutely! It's under the 4th tree on the right after 67 miles to the north!

    (Are *you* telling us you never went anywhere there were no travelers libraries? )
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  16. #16
    Still Newbie way124's Avatar
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    Sent home some video tapes and a book I didn't actually read. Too busy dealing with captured video footage and photographs every time I had a chance

  17. #17
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alrocket View Post
    (Are *you* telling us you never went anywhere there were no travelers libraries? )
    I was thinking the same thing. I have run across them in out of the way places, but you sure can't count on it out in the sticks.

  18. #18
    sport fanatic
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    Quote Originally Posted by way124 View Post
    Sent home some video tapes and a book I didn't actually read. Too busy dealing with captured video footage and photographs every time I had a chance
    The joy of digital, no more tapes!
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  19. #19
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gz_ View Post
    Lordy, give the books away. Are you all telling me you never encountered a take-one-leave-one travelers library?
    Nope, can't say as I have. If there's a used book store close, I see if they want it. I've given books to other bike tourers. But I'm not going to ride a long way out of my way to find a "traveler's library." Maybe the community center in a mobile home park. But I don't see too many of those on tour; they're not on every block.

  20. #20
    Dismember Lou627's Avatar
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    +1 on ditching the travel guitar, pawned it, what a pita. Dozens of books. I feel guilty about it, but Id set up a fake library card in whatever town (use passport and a fake in town address) and send them home 6 at a time. made my own library much more full though

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou627 View Post
    +1 on ditching the travel guitar, pawned it, what a pita. Dozens of books. I feel guilty about it, but Id set up a fake library card in whatever town (use passport and a fake in town address) and send them home 6 at a time. made my own library much more full though
    Am I reading this right ... you stole library books as you toured????? Why?? This is why library card fees go up.

    There are perfectly good used book stores all over the place, you can pick up books for next to nothing in one town, and sell/give them to another used book store in the next town, or keep them ... legally.

  22. #22
    Dismember Lou627's Avatar
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    like I said I feel guilty, and its more a result of laziness than intentionaly stealing, as I had intented to just mail them back to the libraries when I got home. But, I never did. Probably never will. Mabey ill just give them to my library as a way to kind of equal out the imbalance.

  23. #23
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou627 View Post
    like I said I feel guilty.
    You ought to. That one boggles my mind.

  24. #24
    Senior Member neilfein's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou627 View Post
    like I said I feel guilty, and its more a result of laziness than intentionaly stealing, as I had intented to just mail them back to the libraries when I got home. But, I never did. Probably never will. Mabey ill just give them to my library as a way to kind of equal out the imbalance.
    Wow... um, anything I'd say has been said. (Also, caffeine headache this morning, I'd be better off keeping quiet.)
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  25. #25
    Older I get, Better I was velonomad's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lou627 View Post
    ..... Dozens of books. I feel guilty about it, but Id set up a fake library card in whatever town (use passport and a fake in town address) and send them home 6 at a time. made my own library much more full though
    You will go to hell for that .....

    It does remind of a Jackie Cooper joke " I had a brother who was a bookkeeper... he would borrow books and then keep them"

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