Many threads from newbies open with something like, "I want to start touring, which bike should I get and should I buy panniers or a trailer". We then oblige with another LHT thread or panniers vs trailer thread.
Isn't that way of thinking ass backwards? Shouldn't the bike be decided after the gear carrying system has been determined? Shouldn't the gear carrying system be decided after the gear to be carried has been selected?
Imagine if one were a newbie with a full wallet. Shouldn't one consider first what sort of touring one would do, then plan gear accordingly? Nobody wants to carry weight and volume for no reason, so all gear purchased should be mindful of first, one's comfort requirements, second, one's budget, and third one's selected gear's weight and volume. Only when most of the gear has been settled on can one really be sure of which permutation of gear carrying options would work best.
For example, a weekend stealth camper may decide tarp, bug bivy, closed cell foam pad, quilt, no cook gear or bike tools, and only wear the clothes on his back. He'd qualify for a saddlebag, a handlebar bag, and if he wishes, use his carbon road bike. Or a multi-month off-road expedition tourist may decide on a 2-person tent, a 3" pad, a sleeping bag, a multi-fuel stove nested in a cookware set, two changes of clothes, and a full complement of tools and spare parts. Maybe he'd have to go with four large panniers and buy a long chain stay mountain bike. In both examples, the gear, its carrying system, and the bike have been optimized for that person's requirements.
Of course, that's not how I did it. I bought my gear ass backwards and ended up getting rid of almost everything I bought for my first tour.
Does this approach make sense? Should we push newbies to determine what they need before spending their money willy nilly?