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  1. #1
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    Too much clothing

    I've got 23.5 lbs of clothing packed and feel like it's too heavy. I'm touring from Toronto to Vancouver, going over the great lakes and I'm not sure how cold it's going to get.
    Please chime in with anything you would definitely ditch from this list.

    -7 tshirts
    -3 sleeveless shirts
    -8 pairs of socks
    -6 pairs of boxer shorts
    -1 pair jeans
    -1 pair athletic shorts
    -1 light hooded sweater
    -1 pair quickdry pants with zip-off legs
    -3 long sleeve warmish shirts
    -2 pairs cargo shorts
    -2 pairs cycling shorts
    -1 toque
    -a very light thin long sleeved shirt and pants for a base layer

    I had originally packed much lighter, but my friend with more touring experience said I didn't have enough clothes and I should fill my front bags with them. I think it's too much and I'm not looking forward to chugging them over ontario's hills.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Paul01's Avatar
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    We CC tour in warm weather mostly but this is our total packing list in addition to the shorts and jerseys we would be wearing: Bike Shorts Bike Jersey Gore Tex jacket Fleece hoody Off bike shorts Off bike shirt Merino wool leg warmers Small toilet kit Tubes Patches Bike tool kit

  3. #3
    Real Men Ride Ordinaries fuzz2050's Avatar
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    If I were you, I would take a very different approach to packing. Unless you are going to be spending a lot of time in cities and want to look 'normal' I would loose the jeans and cargo shorts, most of the t shirts too. If your going planing to wear the t-shirts while riding, then I might bring two or three tops, plus maybe one insulation layer, a rain shell, and something to make you look somewhat normal. If your going to wear the cycling shorts while riding (I kind of assume), then I might add the hiking pants for looking normal. By toque, I assume you don't mean the chef thing; a thick insulating hat is always nice to have.

    If I were in your shoes, my list would be a little more like this
    3 shirts (or whatever you plan on cycling in)
    ~ 2 pairs boxers (one pair to sleep in, and one for use in town if you want to pass)
    1 insulating garment, sweater, fleece jacket or something
    1 quick dry pants
    2 cycling shorts
    1 beanie
    1 shirt a normal non-tourist might wear

  4. #4
    Senior Member Paul01's Avatar
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    Also, after 30 years, the more we tour, the less we take.

  5. #5
    Bike touring webrarian
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    I no longer take non-biking tops on my tours. Instead, I just take biking jerseys that look "normal," solid color, no logos. I wear them in the evening after showering and then on the bike the next day. I, also, wear wool jerseys that can be worn for several days (3 or 4) on and off the bike without smelling. I also carry a slinky undershirt for more warmth on riding days.

    I also wear wool socks. I take 2 pair. Each one can be worn for many days without smell or discomfort.

    Jeans are too heavy. I only take a pair of nylon pants whose legs zip off into shorts (and swimming trunks, in a pinch). If I'm touring through potentially cold weather, I take a pair of silk long johns. I also carry a pair of rain pants that act as an additional layer for warmth, if necessary.

    I take 2 pairs of quick drying boxer shorts. Most of the time, I only wear them after taking a shower.

    I also carry a rain jacket (bright yellow so a bit odd in town, but who cares?) and a thick cotton overshirt for warmth. I often wear leg warmers when I am riding but I don't like arm warmers and don't carry them.

    I carry 3 pair of biking shorts to insure that I always have a clean, dry pair to put on in the morning.

    This is about it for clothes for a 1 month ride. I doubt I'd carry more for a several month ride.

    Have your tried to ride up a long hill with all the weight you are planning on carrying? That is where you'll decide it the weight is too much or not.

    Good luck. It sounds like a fabulous trip.

    Ray
    Visit the on-line Bike Touring Archive at www.biketouringtips.com

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    I've got 23.5 lbs of clothing packed and feel like it's too heavy. I'm touring from Toronto to Vancouver, going over the great lakes and I'm not sure how cold it's going to get.
    Please chime in with anything you would definitely ditch from this list.

    -7 tshirts
    -3 sleeveless shirts
    -8 pairs of socks
    -6 pairs of boxer shorts
    -1 pair jeans
    -1 pair athletic shorts
    -1 light hooded sweater
    -1 pair quickdry pants with zip-off legs
    -3 long sleeve warmish shirts
    -2 pairs cargo shorts
    -2 pairs cycling shorts
    -1 toque
    -a very light thin long sleeved shirt and pants for a base layer

    I had originally packed much lighter, but my friend with more touring experience said I didn't have enough clothes and I should fill my front bags with them. I think it's too much and I'm not looking forward to chugging them over ontario's hills.
    i'm reluctant to respond. i don't like to think of myself as a rube, but here goes... i suppose someone could think this much stuff was necessary.

    circumnavigation of continential us clothing list for the minimalist. starting dec 14, ending aug 21.

    one pair bicyling shoes.

    one pair socks.

    one pair leg warmers.

    one pair bicycling shorts.

    one pair goretex overpant (drawstring)

    one longsleeve zipup bike jersey.

    one zip-up/pullover fleece jacket.

    one lightweight down jacket (swapped for gortex rain jacket at halfway point)

    one ragwool stocking cap (swapped for baseball cap at halfway point)

    one pair ragwool mittens.

    one pair goretex uninsulated mittens.

    tttthat's all folks.
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 07-09-11 at 02:26 PM.

  7. #7
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    I was a little staggered as I read your list. Definitely on the side of excess. Here is a list of gear I took on a four month tour (this list would suffice me on an indefinite length tour as well).
    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/?...oc_id=6090&v=e

    I could have got by on less but it is nice to have a little variety of clothing to wear off bike.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by hueyhoolihan View Post
    i'm reluctant to respond. i don't like to think of myself as a rube, but here goes... i suppose someone could think this much stuff was necessary.

    circumnavigation of continential us clothing list for the minimalist. starting dec 14, ending aug 21.

    one pair bicyling shoes.

    one pair socks.

    one pair leg warmers.

    one pair bicycling shorts.

    one pair goretex overpant (drawstring)

    one longsleeve zipup bike jersey.

    one zip-up/pullover fleece jacket.

    one lightweight down jacket (swapped for gortex rain jacket at halfway point)

    one ragwool stocking cap (swapped for baseball cap at halfway point)

    one pair ragwool mittens.

    one pair goretex uninsulated mittens.

    tttthat's all folks.
    If you feel comfortable wearing the same pair of socks every day for 2+ months it makes packing a lot easier I guess.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Paul01's Avatar
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    We also carry the spring type clothespins so if the cycling outfits we washed in the motel the night before aren't dry, we can hang them from the brake cables or rear racks to dry on the road.

  10. #10
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    I've got 23.5 lbs of clothing packed and feel like it's too heavy.
    I have never heard of anyone taking that much clothing. Some folks get by with that much weight including tent, sleeping gear, and cooking gear. If you take anywhere near all of that be open to mailing a LOT of stuff home.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -7 tshirts
    If by tshirts you mean cotton, I wouldn't take any, but I do take a very thin tech shirt.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -3 sleeveless shirts
    None, but I usually take two short sleeved bike jerseys.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -8 pairs of socks
    Two pairs of polyester socks are enough. Three at most. BTW no cotton!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -6 pairs of boxer shorts
    I take zero. The only off bike pants I wear are zip off leg pants and running shorts, both with a mesh brief built in. If you must take them take one pair briefs (two at most) and wash them out as needed, but I'd skip them altogether.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -1 pair jeans
    No jeans or anything else cotton!

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -1 pair athletic shorts
    I might take two pairs of running shorts if I think I might swim in them and one if not. I wear them most of the time I am not in bike shorts including to sleep in.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -1 light hooded sweater
    I have never taken one. If it is cotton I definitely would skip it. I do take one warmish long sleeved tech shirt made of light pile.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -1 pair quickdry pants with zip-off legs
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -3 long sleeve warmish shirts
    Only the pile one listed above.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -2 pairs cargo shorts
    Why, you have the zip offs?

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -2 pairs cycling shorts
    Yeah two pairs is kind of nice. I could get by with one if I was really going light.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -1 toque
    Never took one. I do take a very light pile cap.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    -a very light thin long sleeved shirt and pants for a base layer
    I never have taken one.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    I had originally packed much lighter, but my friend with more touring experience said I didn't have enough clothes and I should fill my front bags with them. I think it's too much and I'm not looking forward to chugging them over ontario's hills.
    You were probably already taking too much. Your friend lead you astray.

    There are a few things I missed on your list. Depending on the expected weather consider:
    • leg warmers or tights
    • thin pile cap
    • lightweight rain pants and jacket (I like the very light ones that come in a little stuff sack
    • thin gloves (I use some that are supposed to be glove liners)
    • possibly some off bike shoes. I have taken Crocs and they worked out well. On one trip where we hiked a lot (we spent a week in Yosemite) I bought trail running shoes, but I don't usually take them.
    Last edited by staehpj1; 07-09-11 at 04:11 PM.

  11. #11
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    7 shirts? I mean 10 shirts? I mean 14 shirts?? Jeans??

    Each thing you carry should serve multiple purposes. It can be hard to do that for some cycling clothing (cycling shorts, for example). Things that you carry should be layerable too.

    You should also know why you are carrying an item.

    If you are carrying a rain jacket (that you can use on the bike), that can be used as a shell over insulation (like a fleece)in camp.

    If things get really cold, you can layer (including using your cycling clothing).

    Jeans are sort of horrible because they are heavy and not very warm.

    You should be able to get away with just "-1 pair quickdry pants with zip-off legs" and drop the 2 pairs of cargo shorts.

    You might need a light long sleeve shirt for bugs. You don't need "-3 long sleeve warmish shirts". You should be able to layer other clothing you have.

    "1 pair athletic shorts" --> Why??

    "1 light hooded sweater" --> A fleece without the hood.

    "1 toque" --> I'm assuming this is a knitted cap to keep your head warm. If so, you shouldn't need the hood on the sweater.

    Keep in mind that you can hit a laundromat once in awhile.
    Last edited by njkayaker; 07-09-11 at 04:54 PM.

  12. #12
    Senior Member mtnbud's Avatar
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    Don't forget, you can always stop at laundromats when you are passing through a town.

    As others have said - stay away from cotton. You can get inexpensive synthetic t's at Walmart that will do the same thing as cycling jersey's without making you look out of place while wondering through small towns.

  13. #13
    the bike made me do it oneredstar's Avatar
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    Way too much stuff. I would change it to:

    -3 tshirts
    -1 sleeveless shirts
    -3 pairs of socks
    -3 pairs of boxer shorts
    -0 pair jeans
    -1 pair athletic shorts
    -1 light hooded sweater
    -1 pair quickdry pants with zip-off legs
    -1 long sleeve warmish shirts
    -0 pairs cargo shorts
    -2 pairs cycling shorts
    -1 toque
    -a very light thin long sleeved shirt and pants for a base layer

    Just my 2 cents

  14. #14
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    If you feel comfortable wearing the same pair of socks every day for 2+ months it makes packing a lot easier I guess.
    You know you can wash your clothing along the way ... right??? Many towns, campgrounds, motels, hostels, etc. etc. have laudromats.

  15. #15
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    Please chime in with anything you would definitely ditch from this list.

    -7 tshirts
    -3 sleeveless shirts
    -8 pairs of socks
    -6 pairs of boxer shorts
    -1 pair jeans
    -1 pair athletic shorts
    -1 light hooded sweater
    -1 pair quickdry pants with zip-off legs
    -3 long sleeve warmish shirts
    -2 pairs cargo shorts
    -2 pairs cycling shorts
    -1 toque
    -a very light thin long sleeved shirt and pants for a base layer

    I had originally packed much lighter, but my friend with more touring experience said I didn't have enough clothes and I should fill my front bags with them. I think it's too much and I'm not looking forward to chugging them over ontario's hills.
    1. Your friend is having you on. He's rolling on the ground laughing right now.

    2. Have you opted not to carry a sleeping mat? Are you planning to use all those clothes as your sleeping mat? Otherwise ... what in the world are you going to do with all of them??

    3. Try a list like this:

    2-3 wicking t-shirts for on and off the bicycle
    1 long sleeved merino wool top for on and off the bicycle
    1 light hooded sweater
    1 rain jacket

    2 cycling shorts
    1-2 pair quickdry pants with zip-off legs
    1 pair of tights

    2 pairs of socks
    2 pairs of boxers

    1 pair of short-fingered gloves
    1 pair long-fingered gloves
    1 headband to cover your ears
    1 toque

    Wash clothes about once a week or so. Buy more clothes along the way if you're cold.


    Incidentally, what time of year are you going ... you're cutting it pretty late for going over the Rockies this year.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Thulsadoom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    I've got 23.5 lbs of clothing packed and feel like it's too heavy. I'm touring from Toronto to Vancouver, going over the great lakes and I'm not sure how cold it's going to get.
    Please chime in with anything you would definitely ditch from this list.

    -7 tshirts
    -3 sleeveless shirts
    -8 pairs of socks
    -6 pairs of boxer shorts
    -1 pair jeans
    -1 pair athletic shorts
    -1 light hooded sweater
    -1 pair quickdry pants with zip-off legs
    -3 long sleeve warmish shirts
    -2 pairs cargo shorts
    -2 pairs cycling shorts
    -1 toque
    -a very light thin long sleeved shirt and pants for a base layer

    I had originally packed much lighter, but my friend with more touring experience said I didn't have enough clothes and I should fill my front bags with them. I think it's too much and I'm not looking forward to chugging them over ontario's hills.
    Ha! Good one dude!

    You got a bunch of folks to take you seriously, and offer advice. I assume you're a phsychology student or something?

    P.S. on the off chance that you're actually serious, that is waaaaaay too much partner. 6 friggin pairs of boxer shorts? HA! Good one dude.

  17. #17
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    You guys pack extremely light. I suppose I should mention that I don't mind carrying a little extra weigh for convenience and comfort, I'm a person who can appreciate having clean clothes on. Also I'm planning on staying in Vancouver when I get there so having some extra "Normal" clothes saves me on having to buy too many things when I get there.

    Seems nobody approves of the cargo shorts, but I definitely want those, i ditched the jeans though. I've cut back the other things to 4 tshirts, 3 socks, 3 boxers

  18. #18
    Every day a winding road spinnaker's Avatar
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    Ya know there is this great invention called the laundromat. You put money and your clothes into it and it cleans your clothes.


    Jeans are way to heavy. Instead get a pair or two of those zip off khaki pants. Much lighter and they double as shorts. Combined with a nice t-shirt or jersey they you can even look presentable in a decent restaurant. You mentioned these in your list so why the cargo shorts????

    Who are you? Thurston Howell the 3rd going on a 3 hour tour?

    "The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it."

    Albert Einstein

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    If you feel comfortable wearing the same pair of socks every day for 2+ months it makes packing a lot easier I guess.
    it does make packing quicker and easier. since i had to carry them they might as well ride on me and do some good.

    BTW i washed them (the socks, and a few other things) every day...

    ok, almost every day.

    edit: i originally thought i might have been rude when i posed the question as to whether or not the OP was serious.

    after reading some of the other posts, i now realize i needn't have worried.
    Last edited by hueyhoolihan; 07-09-11 at 09:14 PM.

  20. #20
    Senior Member Paul01's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    You guys pack extremely light. I suppose I should mention that I don't mind carrying a little extra weigh for convenience and comfort, I'm a person who can appreciate having clean clothes on. Also I'm planning on staying in Vancouver when I get there so having some extra "Normal" clothes saves me on having to buy too many things when I get there.

    Seems nobody approves of the cargo shorts, but I definitely want those, i ditched the jeans though. I've cut back the other things to 4 tshirts, 3 socks, 3 boxers
    Can you UPS the normal city clothes to Vancouver?

  21. #21
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    You guys pack extremely light. I suppose I should mention that I don't mind carrying a little extra weigh for convenience and comfort, I'm a person who can appreciate having clean clothes on. Also I'm planning on staying in Vancouver when I get there so having some extra "Normal" clothes saves me on having to buy too many things when I get there.
    We pack light because we know what it feels like to climb hills carrying too much.

    Tell you what ...
    -- load your bicycle up with what you think you'd like to take
    -- next weekend go cycle your estimated daily distance, including the biggest hills you can find, on both days of the weekend
    -- decide if you really want that much stuff.

    Oh, and you should also be able to lift your loaded bicycle and carry it several paces. Every so often on a tour it becomes necessary to carry everything ... such as if you're catching trains, planes, or busses. Or sometimes if you're hauling it all to the 4th floor of a hostel.

    "a little extra weight ... for convenience and comfort" are contradictory phrases. Climb a few hills and all of a sudden "a little extra weight" is anything but "convenient and comfortable". And at the end of the day all you'll want to do is to drop into your sleeping bag exhausted ... not browse through your selection of 8 T-shirts for something to wear that evening.

    You will be OK if you wear the same clothes 2 or 3 or more days in a row. And there are laundromats along the way. I have lived and travelled all over western Canada, and I have seen them, and used them.

    How long do you plan to stay in Vancouver? If it will be for a few months, it would probably be simpler to ship a box of clothing to Vancouver rather than trying to carry them all on the bicycle.


    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    Seems nobody approves of the cargo shorts, but I definitely want those, i ditched the jeans though. I've cut back the other things to 4 tshirts, 3 socks, 3 boxers
    And as for the cargo shorts, we have dropped them from the list because the zip-off convertable pants kill two birds with one stone ... they are either long pants or shorts. So you don't need to bring any other off-the-bicycle long pants and you don't need to bring any other off-the-bicycle shorts. Cargo shorts are fairly heavy cotton, aren't they? If you must carry an extra pair of shorts to pull on at the end of a ride, go with beach shorts or basketball shorts or something light.

    Try this guideline: Each piece you bring should be able to serve at least 2 functions.

    If you bring a wicking T-shirt, you should be able to wear it off the bicycle, in the evenings, for a day or two, and then wear it for a day or two on the bicycle before it goes into the laundry bag. Same with the long-sleeved merino wool top. Same with the sweater (polar fleece?).

    The zip-off pants are great off the bicycle for a couple days, and serve 2 purposes - shorts if it is warm, longs if it is cold. But they can also be used over your cycling shorts for cycling on cooler days. If you bring a pair of beach shorts of basketball shorts, you can wear them for sleeping or swimming or sitting around the campsite at the end of the day, and you can put them on over your cycling shorts if you feel more comfortable dressed that way going into a large grocery store.


    The thing is ... if you get to Winnipeg, and decide you're really missing cargo shorts, you can pick them up in one of many Walmarts there.


    You still haven't mentioned when you're going ... this year? Next year?

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    My load for Northern Europe Autumn, with some low temps would include:
    2 merino Tshirts
    1 synthetic T shirt
    1 cycling jersey
    1 thin long-sleeved jersey
    1 fleece pullover
    2 pr cycling shorts
    1 cycling underwear
    1 athletics shorts
    3pr polycotton briefs
    3pr cotton socks
    3pr woolen socks
    1 pr thick socks.
    1 polycotton hiking style pants
    1 polyester leggings
    1 windproof
    1 waterproof top/bottoms

    I used to take cargo shorts but the lighter weight, black boxing style athletics shorts are just as presentable, and have a pocket.
    Socks are my achillies heel, I can never take too many but they are easy to pack and help pad out the corners of your panniers. I may switch the cotton for light coloured merino.
    Separate windproof and waterproofs are a very versatile combo that can be doubled up for insulation.
    Fleece is very bulky, a thin synthetic padded jacket is next on my upgrade list.

  23. #23
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    You guys pack extremely light. I suppose I should mention that I don't mind carrying a little extra weigh for convenience and comfort, I'm a person who can appreciate having clean clothes on.
    I have to say that whenever I read or hear someone saying this I don't get it at all. For me comfort on tour is primarily comfort on the bike. That is where it matters. No way I would consider it comfortable schlepping 70+ pounds of gear over a mountain pass.

    If you have actually done a long tour before and are in the habit of carrying a ton of stuff, then you probably know what is best for you. Otherwise I'd advise going as light as you think you can and then going over the list a couple more times pitching stuff and replacing stuff with lighter stuff.

    Quote Originally Posted by TheDazed View Post
    Also I'm planning on staying in Vancouver when I get there so having some extra "Normal" clothes saves me on having to buy too many things when I get there.
    The answer to that is obvious, mail a box of stuff ahead.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by spinnaker View Post
    Ya know there is this great invention called the laundromat. You put money and your clothes into it and it cleans your clothes.
    You don't even need a laundromat. All you need are high-tech quick-drying fabrics, a small bottle of liquid laundry detergent, and a sink. I wash everything in the sink as soon as I get to my daily destination, wring it out, and hang it up to dry. By the next morning, everything is generally clean, dry, and ready wear again.

    For stuff that's critical (ex: cycling shorts) I'll bring an extra to use if the first one is still a bit damp come morning. In general, I try not to bring more than 2 of any piece of clothing.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    I have to say that whenever I read or hear someone saying this I don't get it at all. For me comfort on tour is primarily comfort on the bike. That is where it matters. No way I would consider it comfortable schlepping 70+ pounds of gear over a mountain pass.
    I don't have 70 lbs of gear.. I've got 20 lbs on the back and and 18 on the front.

    You still haven't mentioned when you're going ... this year? Next year?
    Leaving tomorrow.

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