My bike is Trek 7600 MultiTrack hybrid -97 with aluminium frame. I use the bike mainly for commuting (excellent for that) but I developed an idea about using the bike for touring, too. I have now made some 2-3 day tours with relatively light load. Bike´s geometry is not perhaps the best for touring but my body has been used to it by now. Because the rims are quite narrow and have only 32 spokes I was wondering how they carry heavier load in longer tours. I was thinking that is there any sense to have another pair of wheels with wider rims and more spokes (maybe 36) for touring purposes? Rear wheel could also have a cassette more suitable for touring in hilly areas but this depends of capability of rear derailleur (Shimano Deore XT).
Anybody has experiences about making longer tours with a bike mentioned above and having two pairs of wheels for same frame for different types of rides?
In 1996 my wife bought her first new bike, a hybrid Trek for commuting (I forget the number). Her other bikes had been used - given to her when no one else wanted them. The Trek fit her, and she began to enjoy riding more. She commuted everyday while she used to walk to work a lot. Two years later we decided to go on a year long tour, and we didn't really consider getting different bikes. We already owned perfectly good bikes. She rode over 15000 km on the Trek hybrid bike fully loaded (the tour ended up lasting almost two years). We didn't do much to the bike before leaving, knowing we could get repairs done along the way. Don't forgo a tour because you may not have the perfect bike.
Like the others said your Trek should work wonderfully. Throw some fenders and racks on it and off you go. I have been using an 8-year-old GT mountain biking for all my touring. You don't need a fancy "touring bike" to get out there and enjoy yourself. Go for it.
I think this arrangement is perfectly acceptable. I would recommend; 1) pulling a trailer in lieu of loaded panniers 2) adding some handlbar appendages to increase hand position options and 3) adding an additional chain ring and possibly a "granny gear".