Hello and thanks for helping out!
My wife and I are flying out of LAX with our gear and bikes to bicycle tour in Latin America visiting and staying at permaculture farms and other self sustaining communities we've found.
I wanted to get any/some advice on long distance touring gear. We're starting in Ecuador (Guayaquil) and trekking north to a permaculture farm to work for about a month+ and then repeating this flow through South Ecuador, into Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, Uruguay... flying to Columbia and finishing in Panama.
Me: 22" Surly / Xtracycle Big Dummy (2009), SnapDeck, new FreeLoader bags, KickBack, custom frame bags from Scott at Porcelain Rocket
Wife: 52cm Surly Long Haul Trucker (2011), Surly Nice Front/Rear Racks, Ortlieb bags
Things still in question are:
— wife has Continental City Contacts that came standard, but I'm worried they might not be robust enough for the low grade roads Latin America is known for. Thinking about the Continental Travel Contacts for their robust sidewall protection. I'm swapping out my Hookworms and building up new hoops. Currently I have a pair of unopened Schwalbe Supremes 26" x 2" but there's very little nobbiness to speak of on the edges and researching touring blogs everyone seems to have some sort of edge knobbies (and are usually on busted, rural roads).
camelback vs h2o bottles
— have both, know that having nothing on the back is great, but instant water access also rules.
dyno front hub
— I have a Son dyno front hub that I could lace up with the new rims, but am I just asking for trouble trying to bring a water sensitive component along?
— I have Kaiser Permanente, but they only reimburse emergency room visits with all records originally documented in English(!). Should we even get health insurance? I've heard of some plans that do insurance for medevac ($$$). State Farm says our renters insurance will still be applicable, even abroad and on the road.
Most everything else is figured out (crossing fingers), sure there's more, but any help is greatly appreciated.
I'm also collecting the nuggets of wisdom I've found and will be posting them on our blog http://descubri.tumblr.com
Cheers and ride on!