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  1. #1
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    one week's touring,one saddlebag.

    how would you go about packing a carradice camper saddle bag for a one week's tour.
    this is a camping tour covering around 300 miles proberly 50 miles a day.
    so is it possible to stay dry and warm both cycling and resting useing just the one bag,
    will i get everything i need into it or am i dreaming.
    i do have rear ortlieb panniers ,but if i can cut down my packing list enough ,
    well you know were im going with this.
    any thoughts.

  2. #2
    BWF
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    If you are taking a sleepinng bag, then you will need more carrying capacity for your other belongings than just the one bag.

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    weirdo
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    Umm... revisit Nun`s packing list? (if you can find it with the improved search function) How many bags did he end up with?

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    I considered it once since I used a Camper saddlebag for my commute. But once I started loading it up I quickly ran out of room and switched to my panniers. Probably would have been feasible by lashing big items (tent, sleeping bag) to the outside of the Camper. But that would have made it very inconvenient to get to anything without unpacking everything else.

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    thank's folks i do use the s/bag all the time for around town and longish spins..i was thinking of packing most item's in coloured dry bags so as i could get to them pretty quick.ah i think i'll be useing my panniers ,just thought i would ask thanks anyway.

  6. #6
    Formerly Known as Newbie Juha's Avatar
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    I see you made up your mind already, but out of curiosity: what do you plan to use for shelter and cooking? That stuff (sleeping pad, bag, stove, fuel, tent) takes up a lot of space quickly.

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  7. #7
    Senior Member bobframe's Avatar
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    I think this is really a question of how little gear it takes for you to survive. I say "survive" because from the nature of your question, this isn't about what it takes for you to be comfortable. The question you pose is difficult to answer since you've left it to us to guess about what gear you think you'll need.

    For me, I'd need four fairly full panniers to "survive" a week's camping because I am going to try to be as comfortable as possible. So, for example, where I demand a pillow, you may be willing to do without.

    Why don't you provide a packing list...I'd be interested to see how minimal you intend to travel.

  8. #8
    Senior Member tarwheel's Avatar
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    Lay out all of the gear you plan to take and see if it fits. If not, see what you can do without. If it still doesn't fit, go to Plan B.

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    yes i can see how you think it was a daft question to ask ,ok maybe i could get away with it for a weekend trip but a week would be pushing it.i normally carry my tent hilleberg akto on the rear rack ,but everything else is in both panniers.all the gear i have is lightweight dosent take up to much room ,but my cloths does.no forget i asked that question ,i also need my comfort after a hard day's cycling guess i could survive the cycling but not the comfort.

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    It is easy to do, but it won't be comfortable or smell nice.

    Bring one summer sleeping bag. Should be about 1.5 lbs and pack down to a bit bigger than a Nalgene.

    Bring the smallest siltarp you can find. Should weigh next to nothing and be able to pack up with your sleeping bag.

    Bring a light down jacket to wear when you are sleeping or not riding. Should weigh less than a lb and pack up to very small.

    Bring a toque. This is a warm hat.

    If you expect it to be less than 50 deg, bring some leg warmers.

    Bring tour bicycle stuff (patch kit, tube, pump, tire lever).

    Bring a flash light.

    Bring some cash or a credit card.

    That is it.

    You wear your single set of riding cloths all the time. If it rains you will get wet, but riding should keep you warm. You sleep in your sleeping bag and put the tarp up if it rains. Put the jacket and hat on if it gets cold at night. Eat at grocery stores or gas stations using your cash or credit card. Alternatively, ditch everything but the credit card and you can sleep in a motel every night.

  11. #11
    Senior Member bobframe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
    yes i can see how you think it was a daft question to ask ,ok maybe i could get away with it for a weekend trip but a week would be pushing it.i normally carry my tent hilleberg akto on the rear rack ,but everything else is in both panniers.all the gear i have is lightweight dosent take up to much room ,but my cloths does.no forget i asked that question ,i also need my comfort after a hard day's cycling guess i could survive the cycling but not the comfort.
    Seems to me that the weight difference between a touring bike (pretty heavy to begin with) carrying a minimalist load (enough to survive) and a the same bike carrying a "full touring load" would not be that great.

    For example, my bike weighs in at 31 pounds with racks only. Four full panniers (carrying what I'd describe as enough to let me camp and cook comfortably) weighs in at 33 pounds...for a total weight of 64 pounds. If I could shed half the weight and get down to two panniers, I'm still left with 48 pounds...no lightweight bike by any means. Add my 220 pounds and the comparison is now 284 pounds vs. 268 pounds. Climbing might be a tad easier with the "half load", but I'd still have about the same wind resistance, so pedaling on the flats would be the same.

    To me, it's just not worth it to leave things like pillows, a book, "walking around clothes", a second pair of shoes, etc. back at the ranch. For anything over a couple of days, if it fits, I'm taking it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
    Seems to me that the weight difference between a touring bike (pretty heavy to begin with) carrying a minimalist load (enough to survive) and a the same bike carrying a "full touring load" would not be that great.

    For example, my bike weighs in at 31 pounds with racks only. Four full panniers (carrying what I'd describe as enough to let me camp and cook comfortably) weighs in at 33 pounds...for a total weight of 64 pounds. If I could shed half the weight and get down to two panniers, I'm still left with 48 pounds...no lightweight bike by any means. Add my 220 pounds and the comparison is now 284 pounds vs. 268 pounds. Climbing might be a tad easier with the "half load", but I'd still have about the same wind resistance, so pedaling on the flats would be the same.

    To me, it's just not worth it to leave things like pillows, a book, "walking around clothes", a second pair of shoes, etc. back at the ranch. For anything over a couple of days, if it fits, I'm taking it.
    bobframe i have to agree with you on this ,the reason i asked the question in the first place,
    as you know im sure, you can pack quiet a lot of gear into a carradice camper bag,i think it's there
    biggest bag,but your 100% correct on the actual cycling you only feel the weight on hills.
    so i'll stick to my rear panniers /barbag i do like my comfort,maybe if i were in my 20's i would
    give it a go.

  13. #13
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
    how would you go about packing a carradice camper saddle bag for a one week's tour.
    this is a camping tour covering around 300 miles proberly 50 miles a day.
    so is it possible to stay dry and warm both cycling and resting useing just the one bag,
    will i get everything i need into it or am i dreaming.
    i do have rear ortlieb panniers ,but if i can cut down my packing list enough ,
    well you know were im going with this.
    any thoughts.
    I have to wade in..........
    To do this with just a saddlebag you'll have to adopt Igor Kovse's ultralight approach

    http://www2.arnes.si/~ikovse/weight.htm

    If you use a bivy and bubble wrap for a pad you'll be able to get everything in a Camper. If you are prepared to use a handlebar bag and strap things to the seat and the outside of the bag you can take reasonably luxurious stuff like a Big Agnes pad and single walled tent. Here's my latest setup. I decided to see if I could remove the 2 small racks that I used last summer and replace them with a single Carradice Bagman, here's the result.



    My saddlebag is a Nelson Longflap so it's smaller than the Camper. I have everything to be comfortable, walking around clothes, a change of shoes and a Trangia based cooking kit
    Last edited by nun; 01-26-10 at 09:29 PM.

  14. #14
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by bobframe View Post
    Seems to me that the weight difference between a touring bike (pretty heavy to begin with) carrying a minimalist load (enough to survive) and a the same bike carrying a "full touring load" would not be that great.

    For example, my bike weighs in at 31 pounds with racks only. Four full panniers (carrying what I'd describe as enough to let me camp and cook comfortably) weighs in at 33 pounds...for a total weight of 64 pounds. If I could shed half the weight and get down to two panniers, I'm still left with 48 pounds...no lightweight bike by any means. Add my 220 pounds and the comparison is now 284 pounds vs. 268 pounds. Climbing might be a tad easier with the "half load", but I'd still have about the same wind resistance, so pedaling on the flats would be the same.

    To me, it's just not worth it to leave things like pillows, a book, "walking around clothes", a second pair of shoes, etc. back at the ranch. For anything over a couple of days, if it fits, I'm taking it.
    This is an age old debate; why bother reducing your load when the percentage weight gains are small? Well I think you have made a few assumptions that are not necessarily correct. First the bike doesn't need to be a "heavy" touring bike, you can go with a sport tourer. My Rambouillet is 23lbs. Next you can be very comfortable with 20 to 25lbs of gear. My sweet spot is around 45lbs for the loaded bike which means I can easily lift the bike up over obstacles and up stairs. It also makes climbing (and cycling in general) a lot more enjoyable. Is 45lbs that much less than 68lbs, well not if you include the weight of the rider, but when you're trying to manhandle your gear through customs or lift your bike over a fence it makes a big difference. Some of this might be psychological, but I just feel quick on the Ram with a lightweight set up and 100 mile days are not that intimidating.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
    how would you go about packing a carradice camper saddle bag for a one week's tour.
    this is a camping tour covering around 300 miles proberly 50 miles a day.
    so is it possible to stay dry and warm both cycling and resting useing just the one bag,
    will i get everything i need into it or am i dreaming.
    i do have rear ortlieb panniers ,but if i can cut down my packing list enough ,
    well you know were im going with this.
    any thoughts.
    Maybe the first part of the OP's question is getting short shrift. I mean, one can endure a lot more for one week than one can for a month.

    What one considers essential for cycle touring can engender some pretty emotional debate. But often we fly off the handle before we settle on what constitutes cycle touring for the sake of the discussion. Fair weather, short duration, populated; plenty of stores, bike shops, restaurants, and motels? Shoulder season, long duration, remote; where food and water for several days needs to be carried; bears?

    Of course, there are experienced (and tough!) cycle tourists who are competent to take minimal gear in the latter situation. But a newbie copying a UL kit and only taking what is on a UL gear list is settting him/herself up for trouble. They can't sleep when they use bubble wrap so they buy a Thermarest. They find that they are getting too cold and wet while riding so they buy a rain suit. Etc, etc. Then they have no place to stash the stuff they bought!

    For off-road multi-month touring, my weight (including 4 panniers) is just less than 50 lbs. I have bridged every ounce to an UL gear list and have found that most of the incremental weight is due to my tent, the racks themselves, the panniers themselves, and then a bunch of stuff that keeps me from depending on the local populace like tools, first aid kit, cooking gear etc. I guess I've just not been lucky while on tour as I have needed everything I have brought at least once, and sometimes if I didn't have the item I would have had to abandon my tour - even if only to hitch to a bike shop.

    Nun, I have no doubt that you happliy and competently tour with the rig you pictured above. Over the years I have valued your contributions to the forum and have appreciated the direct responses that you have given my own questions. But do you really think that your setup is preferable for most of the cycle tourists you run into? Or can you really say that when on the road that you haven't occassionally longed for some of he ammenities carried by your more heavily laden fellow tourers?

    When UL cycle tourers talk to me before they zoom by me, they look askance at my 4 panniers and boast how they have been able to get their weight down to a fraction of mine. When I catch up to them at a campground, they continue prosthelytizing about the merits of UL as I cook dinner and they much their power bars. (Are you gonna eat that, man?) In the morning, I'm packed up and headed out while they emerge from under their tarp complaining about how they were unable to sleep.

    Now my intent is not to dis those who really do cycle tour UL. I just want to make the point that (nun, please correct me if I am wrong) successful UL touring (and fully loaded touring for that matter) is the result of finding a personal sweet spot between cycling effort, speed, comfort, risk avoidance, and luck, and is something that everyone should find for themselves before they are marooned somewhere.

  16. #16
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post

    Nun, I have no doubt that you happliy and competently tour with the rig you pictured above. Over the years I have valued your contributions to the forum and have appreciated the direct responses that you have given my own questions. But do you really think that your setup is preferable for most of the cycle tourists you run into? Or can you really say that when on the road that you haven't occassionally longed for some of he ammenities carried by your more heavily laden fellow tourers?

    When UL cycle tourers talk to me before they zoom by me, they look askance at my 4 panniers and boast how they have been able to get their weight down to a fraction of mine. When I catch up to them at a campground, they continue prosthelytizing about the merits of UL as I cook dinner and they much their power bars. (Are you gonna eat that, man?) In the morning, I'm packed up and headed out while they emerge from under their tarp complaining about how they were unable to sleep.
    Some good observations and here are my responses. I certainly don't think the way I tour is appropriate for everyone, but I do think that many people would enjoy how it feels to carry a bit less stuff. I don't consider my set up as UL as I have a sleeping pad, a tent (single walled) and a stove. My philosophy is to do "fully laden" as lightly as possible so I don't do bubble wrap, I'm using a 24 oz sleeping pad (I could get something lighter now) and my big 4, tent, sleeping bag, pad and cooking stuff come in at 5lbs. I like my comfort both on and off the bike, so I decided to use UL gear to lighten my load to make the cycling more fun while keeping 95% of the comfort of fully laden tourists.......that's the goal anyway I just want my cake, and to eat it too.

  17. #17
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by antokelly View Post
    how would you go about packing a carradice camper saddle bag for a one week's tour.
    this is a camping tour covering around 300 miles proberly 50 miles a day.
    so is it possible to stay dry and warm both cycling and resting useing just the one bag,
    will i get everything i need into it or am i dreaming.
    i do have rear ortlieb panniers ,but if i can cut down my packing list enough ,
    well you know were im going with this.
    any thoughts.

    Here's what I would pack for a 3 season tour of indefinite length

    NELSON LONGFLAP SADDLEBAG
    Hudson River quilt by Jacks R Better, http://www.jacksrbetter.com
    Insulated Sleeping Pad by Big Agnes, strapped to top of saddlebag
    Trangia stove, http://www.trangia.se
    Antigravity gear solo pot set (minus pepsi can stove), http://www.antigravitygear.com
    Denatured Alcohol
    Ti Spork
    BIC Lighter
    50 feet Cord
    Convertible Long Pants by Exofficio, http://www.exofficio.com
    Touring Shorts, by Rapha, http://www.rapha.cc
    Wool Long Underwear by Smartwool,http://www.smartwool.com
    Padded cycling Underwear by Andiamo
    Long Sleeve T-Shirt, Smartwool
    Long Sleeve buttoned Shirt
    Socks by Smartwool
    Tai Chi shoes, http://www.gungfu.com/htm-apparel/sh...ic-tai-chi.htm
    Bike Cable Lock
    Multitool
    2 x Kevlar Spokes
    Chain Lube
    2 x inner tubes
    Pump
    2 x Patch Kits
    Tire boots, Park
    2x Powerlink, SRAM
    Brake cable
    Gear cable
    Misc Nuts and Bolts wrapped in rag
    4x AA batteries
    Plastic Bags
    Duct tape
    Dehydrated soup and Raman noodles
    Honey
    Couscous
    Tea bags

    RIVENDELL BRAND V HANDLEBAR BAG
    Stowaway rain jacket, Rapha
    Leatherman, Juice
    Umbrella
    Gloves
    Neck gaiter, Smartwool
    Beanie wool hat, Smartwool
    Over shoes
    Bic Razor
    Skin Cream
    Sunscreen
    Microfiber Towel
    Shampoo
    Toothpaste and Brush
    DEET
    Dental Floss
    Toilet Paper
    Wallet
    Map
    notebook and pen
    First Aid Kit
    Sewing kit
    small FM radio
    iPhone, with charger (thinking about getting a solar charger)
    snacks, fig newtons etc

    CLOTHING WORN
    Padded Underpants, Andiamo
    Long Sleeve T-Shirt, Smartwool
    Cycling Knickers, Rapha
    Socks, Smartwool
    Cycling Shoes, Shimano MO76
    Cycling cap, Rapha
    Bandana, REI

    STRAPPED UNDER SADDLE
    Tent, Contrail by Tarptent http://www.tarptent.com

    ON BIKE
    2x 1 Litre water bottles
    Front and rear lights
    1x cateye computer
    Carradice Expedition Bagman
    Last edited by nun; 01-27-10 at 09:47 AM.

  18. #18
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    what a fantastic list of gear,a lot of the stuff i also carry were you differ is mainly cloth's type and amount.in the next few week's im going to try out this packing list,if it works im still left with a problem the bike .my thorn sherpa is a great bike but it's way to heavy for light touring,i would be looking to trade maybe and getting much lighter road bike 700 wheel's,i do have a fantastic look kx light carbon bike but i dont think it would work somehow.

  19. #19
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    anto,
    sounds like you are thinking of going over to the light side
    julk

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    hi julk you were a long time getting here.but to be honest im strongly thinking of it ,but then again if i can't have big comfort well forget it.ther'es plenty on here especally nun have this down to a fine art im a long way off that.cheers julkanto...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by nun View Post
    Here's what I would pack for a 3 season tour of indefinite length
    Nun, everything is there. For sure

    By any chance do you have a spreadsheet with the weights?

    Steve

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    Nun, everything is there. For sure

    By any chance do you have a spreadsheet with the weights?

    Steve
    Nun, forget about the weights. I eyeballed it well enough.

    What about an insulation layer, for at least around camp?

    Or a camera? A headlamp?

  23. #23
    nun
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    Nun, forget about the weights. I eyeballed it well enough.

    What about an insulation layer, for at least around camp?

    Or a camera? A headlamp?
    I usually double up on the wool Ts for insulation, but if I expect it to be cold I pack a Montbell Thermawrap jacket or a Marmot Driclime windshirt. iPhone is my camera, no zoom sucks, but it's ok for most stuff, I use my front bike light at night.

    I have a spreadsheet with the list and weights of major items like the tent, bag etc. I don't have a scale that is accurate to weigh things like the sewing kit and, inner tubes etc. So what I do is to pack everything and put the bags on the bathroom scales. Here are representative results without food and water.

    Front bag: 5lbs
    Tent: 1.5lbs
    Sleeping pad 1.5lbs
    Saddlebag 13lbs

    I'll go out at the weekend and invest in an accurate scale and post some numbers.
    Last edited by nun; 01-27-10 at 10:36 PM.

  24. #24
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    Nun,

    I've spent WAAAY too much time bridging to your kit, but have concluded that we're pretty much carrying the same stuff for 3-season, but where I'm screwed is the weight of my (4) Arkel T-42 panniers versus your Nelson Longflap and Rivendalle Brand V (not to mention the Tubus racks versus your Bagman) at 139 oz, my Hilleberg Allak with foot print versus your Contrail at 95 oz, my raingear (Showers Pass Elite 2.0) versus yours at 24 oz, my cookset (MSR XGK - whatever) versus yours at 13 oz, and my bag (FF Merlin) versus your quilt at 10 oz. That's a total difference (not including racks) of 281 oz or 17 lbs 9 oz!!!!

    I agree that your gear choices are appropriate for 3 season extended travel. If things get too extreme, you'd duck into a motel. And, truth be told, so would I. Is my additional weight worth the incremental comfort my kit affords versus yours? I admit that it may be difficult to justify.

    What this basically says is that for light unsupported touring, one should find the largest saddlebag and handlebar bag that can be mounted without racks, then select gear with minimum volume so it all will fit (or in the case of your tent, fit under the seat). And the lower weight follows from lower volume. And as you point out, no racks = no touring bike.

    As you mention above, your loaded bike is 45 lbs. Mine (Americano) loaded with my versions of the items you've listed above is 66 lbs. Some - actually very few - of my items are a bit lighter than what you have listed so the total might otherwise seem slightly off. Oh, and I don't count fuel, food, or water.

    Steve

  25. #25
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    I pack loads a lot like nun and I STILL find I prefer the load security, excess carrying capacity, and stability of having gear loaded in panniers and a rack. I've still got to try with a heavily laden front bag (stove and cooking gear in handlebarbag.)

    I tried loading up an old nelson longflap with my UL down sleeping bag inside and tarp and rapidly filled up the bag with essential gear. it was too much without strapping junk to the outside of the bag, which i am loathe to do for security of load.



    touring like nun has it pictured, where do you strap the bottle of wine and bag of peaches from the midday fruit stand stop?

    I like gear secure, inside, and stowed. Anyone has ever lost a sleeping bag while off-road touring and had to backtrack in a field, at dusk, on a grid search for ones sleeping gear will know the value of keeping the vital gear INSIDE the bags and not strapped all cattywaumpus perched atop an overstuffed saddlebag.

    My two cents. what's a rack and a couple of UL panniers going to weigh one down additionally? 3 pounds if done right?

    that's a small price to pack for packing ease, security, excess carrying capacity and ride stability.

    I think the ideal load carrying solution for a light, sport touring mode is racks front and back with bags like the front roller plus bags front and back to carry the load.

    Having 20 pounds of gear evenly distributed and positioned at the axle axis of the wheels gives a bicycle incredibly nimble yet stable handling characteristics.
    Last edited by Bekologist; 01-28-10 at 06:26 AM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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