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  1. #1
    explorer Lizard King's Avatar
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    My Bike trip to Alaska, then down along West coast, then across Canada w/ side trips

    I am a complete newbie at all of this, I have never toured on a bike before and I know this is a long trip...but I say go big or go home and I got some time to fill before September (school).
    I do not think I post my exact trip plans trip plans until back because knowing me they will change like crazy.
    I am just looking for tips on what I am missing or do not need in this list of stuff I’m bringing already. This is only a days gathering of stuff so I know I forgot something.

    Oryx T-Line 6 year old mountain bike
    Bob Yak trailer
    A set of Panniers (with rain covers) IGNORE THESE
    Tent
    Sleeping bag

    Clothes:

    2 sets of pants (one for rain and one quick dry)
    Set of Helly Hanson long sleeve and pants (these condense very small and are great if cold at night in the north)
    2 shorts
    2 regular T-shirts
    Fleece Sweater with zipper
    1 rain jacket and pants
    2 pairs of socks
    2 underwear
    Shoe covers for when raining and also helps when cold
    Ear cover when cold
    Light cycling gloves
    Winter Cycling gloves
    Face Mask

    Parts/Tools:

    1 or 2 tube(s) for bike
    1 tube for trailer
    Patch Kit
    Cable and something to cut the cable
    Allen Keys
    Screw Driver
    Small cable lock
    Chain Lube
    Extra nuts, bolts and washers
    Duct Tape
    Axe..I know it is over the top but I want to pitch tent for a week or so up north and take in the beauty of the north

    Food/Cookware

    I small pot that has a gas can inside of it with a stove (so little room it takes up)
    I will eat mainly spaghetti and trail mix and if there is produce near I’ll get apples and bananas

    Personal Hygiene

    Tooth Paste
    Bio Degradable Soap for anything
    Tooth Brush with cover
    Blistex
    Sunscreen
    Bug Spray
    toilet paper

    Other:

    Camera
    A GPS unit called the SPOT I bought so my mom would worry less.
    But that I guess was not enough because now I am bringing a GPS unit to cheat (instead of maps (I’ll still have a couple maps though)) (Early B-Day present from her)
    She is also giving me a solar panel to charger electronics….yet this trip is to get away from electronics…
    I will avoid using electronics unless lost beyond my imagination

    Although I will use my bike computer that has only 4 functions just to see my distance and speed

    Bear Spray
    Paring Knife
    Utility Knife Thing
    Front and rear bike lights
    Head lamp
    Batteries
    Phone charger and Cell phone
    Books
    A Few Toe Warmers
    Helmet
    Passport, Alberta health card, Social Insurance Card, debit, etc.
    Last edited by Lizard King; 03-05-10 at 03:14 PM.
    Planning trips to:
    In March Im starting my trip to Fairbanks, Alaska (starting in calgary), then south to Victoria then across canada to St John's Newfound land

  2. #2
    Senior Member blaise_f's Avatar
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    Sleeping bag? I'd look in the 0F to 15F range, unless you see reason to go warmer.

    Tent? I'd stray away from tarptents/bivys if you plan to be in buggy areas (Alaska in summer). Shoot for bathtub floor, 3-4 season, stand alone. Depending on where you want to go in Alaska, it can be windy and desolate. Requiring stakes to keep your tent standing will be a nightmare in some places. Hammocks are great if you don't plan to hit the treeless areas.

    You won't want your whole "tool set". Break it down to things that are actually useful and go wrong out on the road. Anything crazy is likely to put you walking/hitching anyway, so why bring it. I'd stray from the hunting knife, and opt for a nice, light paring knife or folding pocket knife. You will want some kind of bag and line for a bear bag. Google/youtube PCT bear bag for the best bear bag technique. Axe is a bit questionable, although you noted that. No note of dishes/cups/cutlery. Orikaso is a nice idea for cup/bowl/plate. Chop sticks go a long way if you are able to use them. Bug spray - 100% must when you hit Alaska. Most people suggest you use the most caustic, disgusting bug spray (assuming you're hitting there in the summer). You'll most likely need a water filter, although maybe not.

    Clothing gets heavy, fast (and takes up the most room of your first attempt of a list). Try to minimize what you will need, and possibly downsize by purchasing into things like wool, etc. Cotton/plastic = stinky or lack of wicking / heavy. You may want sandals or something like it for showering in a public place, around camp or something like that. Doesn't need to be heavy or expensive.


    I'm headed off to Alaska myself as of May. Super excited, but daunting. I've been planning this stint for the last 6 months. I'm still not certain if I will come home after 'finishing' this the Cont. US -> Alaska -> Cont. US trip. I can't wait to get back on the road, though.
    http://bygonebicyclist.com
    Penny-farthing adventures, touring & collecting

  3. #3
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    You don't need a trailer & panniers, pick one (I'm an advocate of panniers, but that's another conversation)

    Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat.

    Fleece or down jacket.
    Is you jacket-that-you-like a rain jacket? If not, you need one.
    You might want waterproof rain pants too.
    warm hat

    cup, fork, spoon

    Pump, spare brake cable, spare brake shoe, spare derailleur cable, fiberfix spoke or real spokes and hypercracker to take cassette off
    chain lube (lube chain & pump tires every other day)

    skip the axe, hunting knife, solar charger and GPS, maps are easier to use.
    possibly too many socks & underwear?
    carry one book, exchange when done

    Cell phone/charger? figure out international calling before you get to canada, or you'll spend too much $
    camera charger
    First aid kit (minimal)
    bug spray for sure

    drivers licence, passport (must apply many weeks in advance, do this now), health insurance card, emergency contact info in your wallet
    credit card, ATM card, money

    There are journals with gear lists on www.crazyguyonabike.com

    You might want to go out for a week with your planned gear before you head out on your big trip, you'll learn what you forgot and what you don't need.

    have fun!
    ...

  4. #4
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    I'd go with full rain gear - jacket, pants, shoe covers, helmet covers, hood for in camp (I don't like to ride with a hood under my helmet - I prefer a helmet cover), and waterproof winter gloves.

    I think a hatchet is pretty worthless. When car camping I only use mine for splitting kindling.

    My tool kit:
    • a Swiss army knife,
    • a multitool with a hex wrench big enough for my crankbolts and a chain tool,
    • a hypercracker cassette removing tool,
    • a spoke wrench if the multitool doesn't have one,
    • tire irons,
    • a patch kit,
    • at least one extra tube.
    • I carry two extra spokes and one of those kevlar emergency spokes.
    • If I'm going to be far away from bike shops for a lot of days I'd carry two tubes, and maybe a spare tire, although I usually just tour on new or almost new tires and have never had a tire issue.
    • I bring some Loctite and a few zipties.
    • I bring a couple of spare bolts to fit my racks.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    Sounds heavy, I'd bring less stuff if I were you. More than two of any piece of clothing is not necessary, you just end up with panniers full of heavy dirty clothes. The lighter the bike is the more fun you'll have riding.

    Duct tape, instead of bringing a roll, wrap some around a business card. It packs much smaller.

  6. #6
    explorer Lizard King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blaise_f View Post
    Sleeping bag? I'd look in the 0F to 15F range, unless you see reason to go warmer.

    Tent? I'd stray away from tarptents/bivys if you plan to be in buggy areas (Alaska in summer). Shoot for bathtub floor, 3-4 season, stand alone. Depending on where you want to go in Alaska, it can be windy and desolate. Requiring stakes to keep your tent standing will be a nightmare in some places. Hammocks are great if you don't plan to hit the treeless areas.

    You won't want your whole "tool set". Break it down to things that are actually useful and go wrong out on the road. Anything crazy is likely to put you walking/hitching anyway, so why bring it. I'd stray from the hunting knife, and opt for a nice, light paring knife or folding pocket knife. You will want some kind of bag and line for a bear bag. Google/youtube PCT bear bag for the best bear bag technique. Axe is a bit questionable, although you noted that. No note of dishes/cups/cutlery. Orikaso is a nice idea for cup/bowl/plate. Chop sticks go a long way if you are able to use them. Bug spray - 100% must when you hit Alaska. Most people suggest you use the most caustic, disgusting bug spray (assuming you're hitting there in the summer). You'll most likely need a water filter, although maybe not.

    Clothing gets heavy, fast (and takes up the most room of your first attempt of a list). Try to minimize what you will need, and possibly downsize by purchasing into things like wool, etc. Cotton/plastic = stinky or lack of wicking / heavy. You may want sandals or something like it for showering in a public place, around camp or something like that. Doesn't need to be heavy or expensive.


    I'm headed off to Alaska myself as of May. Super excited, but daunting. I've been planning this stint for the last 6 months. I'm still not certain if I will come home after 'finishing' this the Cont. US -> Alaska -> Cont. US trip. I can't wait to get back on the road, though.
    Lol I have a sleeping bag and tent …forgot to list.
    Ya I think for bike tools I’ll only bring chain breaker, pump, tire leavers, wire cutter, multi screwdriver and bike utility tool w/ allen keys. Ya I guess a paring knife would work.
    I just watch the video for PCT bear bag and it seems easy. I need to look up areas that I would need to do that and areas I don’t need to.
    I do have a bowl and spork that fits in the pot with gas container, and thinking of getting a insulated bowl that I can keep food warm and water from freezing. Ya, bug spray I guess would be good. I don’t think I’ll get a water filter because limited cash and people told me the water tabs will do…even though it will still be dirty water. Good idea on sandals, I’ll stop by Walmart and get some flip-flops.

    Lol I never plan ahead like that, I started getting items a couple weeks ago (started with no camping supplies) and leave in 2 weeks. The weather in May seems to be nicer and the days are longer but that’s to long of a wait. But I guess it is only two months away. Are you doing it solo to?

    Quote Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
    You don't need a trailer & panniers, pick one (I'm an advocate of panniers, but that's another conversation)

    Tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat.

    Fleece or down jacket.
    Is you jacket-that-you-like a rain jacket? If not, you need one.
    You might want waterproof rain pants too.
    warm hat

    cup, fork, spoon

    Pump, spare brake cable, spare brake shoe, spare derailleur cable, fiberfix spoke or real spokes and hypercracker to take cassette off
    chain lube (lube chain & pump tires every other day)

    skip the axe, hunting knife, solar charger and GPS, maps are easier to use.
    possibly too many socks & underwear?
    carry one book, exchange when done

    Cell phone/charger? figure out international calling before you get to canada, or you'll spend too much $
    camera charger
    First aid kit (minimal)
    bug spray for sure

    drivers licence, passport (must apply many weeks in advance, do this now), health insurance card, emergency contact info in your wallet
    credit card, ATM card, money

    There are journals with gear lists on www.crazyguyonabike.com

    You might want to go out for a week with your planned gear before you head out on your big trip, you'll learn what you forgot and what you don't need.

    have fun!
    Yea I won’t need both probably but need to make sure I can fit everything before I say which one I’ll bring.

    Oh yea I put a fleece jacket in but not on list.
    And ya it is a rain jacket and I do think I’ll need rain pants because the one pair I’m bringing get soaked to easy.
    Ya to warm hat

    You think I’ll need to be fixing spoke on the road often though?
    Chain lube is a must

    Ya I noted I wanted to use maps and I will but I am going to carry that stuff just to make her happy (her being my mother). I have 3 books I’m taking because I really want to read them and might not to be able to find them when on the road.

    I won’t be using my phone often (maybe once every two weeks) and I will not use it in Alaska.

    Oh ya I was going to bring batteries for SPOT Device and head Lamp and camera, I think they all fit same.
    How could I forget first aid kit

    Ya I have all that stuff ready (passport, etc)

    And I’m riding to Jasper next week and the week after I leave on big trip.


    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlueToe View Post
    I'd go with full rain gear - jacket, pants, shoe covers, helmet covers, hood for in camp (I don't like to ride with a hood under my helmet - I prefer a helmet cover), and waterproof winter gloves.

    I think a hatchet is pretty worthless. When car camping I only use mine for splitting kindling.

    My tool kit:
    • a Swiss army knife,
    • a multitool with a hex wrench big enough for my crankbolts and a chain tool,
    • a hypercracker cassette removing tool,
    • a spoke wrench if the multitool doesn't have one,
    • tire irons,
    • a patch kit,
    • at least one extra tube.
    • I carry two extra spokes and one of those kevlar emergency spokes.
    • If I'm going to be far away from bike shops for a lot of days I'd carry two tubes, and maybe a spare tire, although I usually just tour on new or almost new tires and have never had a tire issue.
    • I bring some Loctite and a few zipties.
    • I bring a couple of spare bolts to fit my racks.
    Helmet cover, hmm I’ll have go out and see one today.
    Your tool list sounds reasonable but like I asked Valygrl, would you think I need to change spokes that often…because maybe I should learn how to do that. And ya I don’t need so many tubes.

    Quote Originally Posted by pasopia View Post
    Sounds heavy, I'd bring less stuff if I were you. More than two of any piece of clothing is not necessary, you just end up with panniers full of heavy dirty clothes. The lighter the bike is the more fun you'll have riding.

    Duct tape, instead of bringing a roll, wrap some around a business card. It packs much smaller.
    Ya limiting my clothes now, because usually be in a days time away from a laundry mat. Good idea w/ duct tape
    Planning trips to:
    In March Im starting my trip to Fairbanks, Alaska (starting in calgary), then south to Victoria then across canada to St John's Newfound land

  7. #7
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    In my opinion, you are carrying a ton of unnecessary extra stuff.

    Bring just on pair of pants, waterproof or not is up to you. I personally don't bother with rain pants on a bike.
    One set of long underwear. One pair of light shorts, on or two pairs of bike shorts, one jersey, one t-shirt.

    No need for a trailer if you have panniers, or panniers if you have a trailer. No need for windbreaker if you have a rain jacket. No need for ear protectors if you have a hat. No need for two pairs of gloves. No need for a face mask period. I still doubt the axe is necessary. Bear spray I wouldn't bother with. Some people may say otherwise. Headlamp and front light are redundant. Swap all of your knives and sharp things for a single folding knife

  8. #8
    Senior Member pasopia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lizard King View Post

    Ya limiting my clothes now, because usually be in a days time away from a laundry mat. Good idea w/ duct tape
    You can also just hand wash your clothes, that's what I do. I just use my dish soap, and a sink, hang the stuff up over night. If it's still wet in the morning I strap it to the top of my panniers to dry in the sun (if it's sunny). If I can't find a sink I probably don't have excess water to wash clothes, so I wait until I find a sink. They key is to bring quick drying clothes, no cotton.

  9. #9
    explorer Lizard King's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan The Man View Post
    In my opinion, you are carrying a ton of unnecessary extra stuff.

    Bring just on pair of pants, waterproof or not is up to you. I personally don't bother with rain pants on a bike.
    One set of long underwear. One pair of light shorts, on or two pairs of bike shorts, one jersey, one t-shirt.

    No need for a trailer if you have panniers, or panniers if you have a trailer. No need for windbreaker if you have a rain jacket. No need for ear protectors if you have a hat. No need for two pairs of gloves. No need for a face mask period. I still doubt the axe is necessary. Bear spray I wouldn't bother with. Some people may say otherwise. Headlamp and front light are redundant. Swap all of your knives and sharp things for a single folding knife
    I took your advice on hat and jacket but I am bringing 2 regular shorts. And the 2 pairs of gloves I’m taking for first part of trip to Alaska, I’ll be passing through through Calgary on way back and drop them off for the rest of journey just like the axe. Bringing head lamp for reading. And Only knife I’m bringing is a small paring knife


    Quote Originally Posted by pasopia View Post
    You can also just hand wash your clothes, that's what I do. I just use my dish soap, and a sink, hang the stuff up over night. If it's still wet in the morning I strap it to the top of my panniers to dry in the sun (if it's sunny). If I can't find a sink I probably don't have excess water to wash clothes, so I wait until I find a sink. They key is to bring quick drying clothes, no cotton.
    Ya I will do that when weather is good enough to dry fast forsure, after all I will have barley any to wash at a time. The only slow dry clothes I have that I’m bringing are my thick socks for cold weather. I know if they get wet it will be bad in cold weather but what ever.

    Thanks to both of you for advice

    -matt
    Planning trips to:
    In March Im starting my trip to Fairbanks, Alaska (starting in calgary), then south to Victoria then across canada to St John's Newfound land

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