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  1. #1
    Senior Member Wheelmonkey's Avatar
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    Light touring essentials

    Hey experts,

    I have some future plans of light touring (2-3 days at a time. Camping). What would your minimal list look like? Include the obvious if you would (tent, sleeping bag, types of food/drink, repair supplies, etc.). Also, these rides won't be in the middle of nowhere. I'd be passing through decent sized towns along the way.

    Thoughts on your essentials?

  2. #2
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    My list for an upcoming month long trip down the Pacific Coast in Septemer is at:
    https://spreadsheets.google.com/spre...tWcFE&hl=en_US

    It is still a work in progress, but is based on refinements of lists from previous tours. I carry pretty much the same regardless of tour length, but expected weather and other season and location factors vary the list a good bit. For example in the Sierras I took a water filter, and many places I need to be outfitted for a much wider temperature range.

    Also there are lists in the journals of my previous trips. See my signature line for links to those and also to a general packing list I did a while back.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Wheelmonkey's Avatar
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    Thanks! I'll check it out for sure.

  4. #4
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    Wheelmonkey, Most everything is personal taste and needs, but two items are paramount. Condition of the bicycle and first aid. The bike and all attached items should be examined before the ride for loose screws and bolts, wheel trueness, tire pressure and lubrication. I carry enough tools and supplies for minor repairs, primarily flat repair. First aid supplies to deal with road rash and aches/pains in the least. A charged cell phone to summon help may very well be the most important item of all.

    Brad

  5. #5
    Senior Member ocho's Avatar
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    I just finished a lite tour, doing some camping coupled with a few hotel stays due to the need to dry out some things after riding through some very heavy rains. I wound up being out for 5 days total and did just over 300 miles at a nice tour pace. Temps hit 90's in the day, 70's at night. Basically across WI then south in IL and home. This is all fairly well populated although my route was still very rural. I encountered 2 segments though where water was pretty scarce as well as food. I did not plan to cook due to the proximity of towns along the route so I only had some Clif and Pro bars with me. I got a bit dehydrated one time and both times I was ravenous by the time I pedaled into a town. I checked my route before leaving but some of the places I expected to be there were closed down so be prepared.
    I used a Tarptent's Double Rainbow, Snugpak sleeping bag, Neo Air mattress and my deluxe camping pillow. I carried 2 water bottles plus a Platypus 70 oz collapsible bottle. Couple pairs of shorts, couple jerseys, coulpe pairs of socks, shorts for around camp/hotel and a few T shirts. Used Sanuks for shoes when off the bike. I carried a XPAL 2000 to keep my Edge and phone charged up when no current was available. I carried the usual patch kit, spare tube, multi tool, pocket knife, chain link, and small rolls of Duct and elec tape. I brought a stretchy clothesline which wound up being very handy for drying stuff.
    My only issue in hindsight was not stopping to fill my water containers EVERY time I could. I figured there would be more chances down the road. There was, but the distance between them was greater than anticipated. Lesson learned.
    07 Trek 7.5FX / 09 Scott CX Team / 10 Specialized Rockhopper Expert 29
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  6. #6
    Senior Member RepWI's Avatar
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    Revised: Date – 7/08/10 Tour Name –
    Left Front Pannier:
    Lock

    Zip Lock Bag:
    Toilet Paper
    Wet Ones
    Sun Screen
    Mosquito Repellent
    Butt Butter
    Vitamins
    Band Aids
    Matches – Spare
    Take A Look Mirror
    Deck of Cards

    Orange Bag = Cooking Equipment
    Cook Kit
    Silverware
    Spatula & Utensils
    Dish Scrapper
    Dish Soap

    Green Tool Bag:
    Rag
    Pair of latex gloves
    Chain lube
    1 tube - 700 X 35 for Surly LHT
    Piece of an old tire
    Folding tire
    2 spare spokes with nipples
    Electrical tape
    Master link and a few regular chain links
    Patch Kit & Tire Levers
    Multi tool
    Channel locks
    Spoke Wrench
    Small assortment of nuts and bolts
    Zip ties

    Olive Drab Bag = Food
    Packets of: mustard, mayo, jelly, sugar, salt & pepper
    Zip Lock Bags
    Wet Ones
    Paper Towels Right Front Pannier:
    Cargo Net & Bongee Cords
    Tent/Flashlight

    Red Bag = Stove:
    Stove
    Coffee Maker
    Coffee Filters
    Coffee
    Matches
    Thermos Bottle

    Right Front Pannier Pocket:
    House Key
    Car Keys

    Front Bag:
    Cell Phone
    Wallet
    Maps
    Emergency Contact Information
    Sun Glasses
    Lip Balm
    Aspirin
    Wet Ones/Hand Sanitizer
    Digital Camera
    Paper & Pen
    Swiss Army Knife
    Candy
    Nuts
    Energy Drink/Cliff Shots
    Trail Pass

    On Bike:
    Water bottles
    Fuel Bottle
    Air Pump
    Halt
    Head light
    Tail Light
    Presta to Shrader adapter

    Rear Rack:
    Sleeping bag
    Air Mattress
    Left Rear Pannier:
    Vitamins
    Dirty Clothes

    Light Blue Bag = Clothes for Next Shower
    Socks
    Handkerchiefs
    T-shirt
    Underwear
    Shaving Kit
    Towel
    Shower Shoes Right Rear Pannier:
    Rain Gear
    Unneeded Maps

    Dark Blue Bag = Clothes Storage
    Shorts/Pants
    Leg Strap for Pants when Riding
    Bike Shorts
    Jacket
    Long Underwear

    Zip Lock Bag:
    Digital Camera Charger
    Cell Phone Charger
    Extra Batteries
    Battery Chargers

    On Joe:
    Helmet
    Safety Vest
    Gloves
    Sun Glasses
    Touring Items to be Purchased:
    Ipod
    Ipod charger
    Bike Touch Up Paint
    Upgrade Cooking Utensils
    Wooden Spoon
    Jacket
    Pillow
    Cycling Jerseys to replace T-Shirts

    Orange Bag = Cooking Equipment
    Green Tool Bag = Tools
    Olive Drab Bag = Food
    Red Bag = Stove
    Light Blue Bag = Clothes for Next Shower
    Dark Blue Bag = Clothes Storage

    I do not carry all of this. It is though my comprehensive list that I will cull from as needed. I use color coded nylon bags for organizing and attempt to place all items in the proper bag and then within the proper pannier.
    Last edited by RepWI; 07-19-11 at 10:12 AM.
    1974 Mizutani Super Seraph Road Bike
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  7. #7
    Professional Fuss-Budget Bacciagalupe's Avatar
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    What does "2-3 days at a time" mean? Do you mean a weekend tour, or that you plan to stay on the road for a few weeks but cycle 2-3 days at a time?

  8. #8
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    For 2-3 days you can use Just Add water style meals which really simplifies your cooking and cuts your load. For longer tours you need more supplies and I find that food and cooking bits take up a fair amount of space.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Wheelmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bacciagalupe View Post
    What does "2-3 days at a time" mean? Do you mean a weekend tour, or that you plan to stay on the road for a few weeks but cycle 2-3 days at a time?
    Just gone for a total of 2-3 days, like a weekend or long weekend tour. I'll build to being away for longer periods (I think) as my kids get older and the wife doesn't feel as though I've abandoned her & them.

  10. #10
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    If there are no bugs and it's summertime and I'm traveling light for 2-3 days,ground cloth and tarp,sleeping bag/pad,change of clothes and a tire patch kit,pump,flashlight,matches,map/compass.That's all folks.Get food/water along the way.

    If there's bugs/bad weather,ditch tarp/GC and bring tent and rain jacket.

    For 2-3 days,you can freeze subway sandwiches and roll them in you sleeping bag,they'll stay frozen for that long.....

    We used to do that backpacking on week long trips.Freeze a sub sandwich/bring a can of beer,store in sleeping bag for 2-3 days,3rd night,break out white shirt,white tablecloth and candles.Sit around eating foot long sub sandwiches/drinking a beer for dinner while everybody else is eating freeze dried stuff and powdered fruity drinks.....If you ever want to know what the eyes of a cannibal look like.....
    Last edited by Booger1; 07-19-11 at 04:32 PM.
    Everything should be as simple as possible...But not more so.---Albert Einstein

  11. #11
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    First aid. don`t carry much, for road rash, just walk it off. If it is really bad,you need an emergency.

    I would look at an ultrralight backpacking site for a gear list. You should be ble to get all non-bike, non-food gear weight down to under 10 pounds. I don`t stick to those lists, but they are a good starting point:
    http://www.rayjardine.com/adventures...nsAm/index.htm

    Road morph an quick stick for tire repair.

  12. #12
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    Here are the items I would cut from that llist:



    Band Aids
    Matches – Spare
    Take A Look Mirror
    Deck of Cards

    Orange Bag = Cooking Equipment
    Cook Kit
    Silverware
    Spatula & Utensils
    Dish Scrapper
    Dish Soap

    Green Tool Bag:
    Rag
    Pair of latex gloves
    Chain lube

    Piece of an old tire
    Folding tire
    2 spare spokes with nipples
    Electrical tape
    Master link and a few regular chain links

    Multi tool
    Channel locks
    Spoke Wrench
    Small assortment of nuts and bolts
    Zip ties

    Olive Drab Bag = Food
    Packets of: mustard, mayo, jelly, sugar, salt & pepper
    Zip Lock Bags
    Wet Ones
    Paper Towels Right Front Pannier:
    Cargo Net & Bongee Cords


    Red Bag = Stove:
    Stove
    Coffee Maker
    Coffee Filters
    Coffee
    Matches
    Thermos Bottle

    Right Front Pannier Pocket:
    House Key
    Car Keys

    Front Bag:
    Cell Phone
    Wallet
    Maps
    Emergency Contact Information
    Sun Glasses
    Aspirin
    Wet Ones/Hand Sanitizer
    Digital Camera
    Paper & Pen
    Swiss Army Knife
    Candy
    Nuts
    Energy Drink/Cliff Shots
    Trail Pass

    On Bike:

    Fuel Bottle

    Halt

    Presta to Shrader adapter

    Rear Rack:


    Left Rear Pannier:
    Vitamins
    Dirty Clothes


    Underwear

    Towel
    Shower Shoes Right Rear Pannier:
    Rain Gear
    Unneeded Maps

    Dark Blue Bag = Clothes Storage

    Long Underwear

    Zip Lock Bag:
    Digital Camera Charger
    Cell Phone Charger
    Extra Batteries
    Battery Chargers

    On Joe:
    Helmet
    Safety Vest

    Sun Glasses
    Touring Items to be Purchased:
    Ipod
    Ipod charger
    Bike Touch Up Paint
    Upgrade Cooking Utensils
    Wooden Spoon
    Jacket
    Pillow
    Cycling Jerseys to replace T-Shirts

    I would add an all purpose knife and a half ensolite mattress. Lexan spoon ad micro can opener

  13. #13
    Senior Member blaise_f's Avatar
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    While there are tons of lists for both fully loaded and ultra-light touring, it really depends on YOU. What is important for you to have? I certainly don't care about a deck of cards or touch up paint, but obviously some people value that stuff, and more power to them for that. A good rule of thumb for ultra-lighting is to ask yourself: "Does this item have three or more uses?". If it does, then it's probably a very good item to have with you. If it doesn't, you need to weigh the importance of it. Obviously if you're touring and your bike is for some reason prone to breaking spokes, extra spokes and a spoke wrench will be important to you. To the 80lb 19 year old grand-daughter, touring with her 70 year old pepe, maybe not so much.

    For me? I find that short tours don't require me to bring cooking gear (and even many long ones - it really depends where in the world I'll be). Even if touring on a $3-8/day budget, I can do that without cooking gear. That said, I can tour on about $2/day with cooking gear. Some items (like a mattress pad) seem questionably useful, but have underlying positives to them. A mattress pad for instance, will keep you cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter. I never travel without my Neo-Air. A pillow? I personally don't bring or care about. Many people love theirs, and with new technology crafting blow-up pillows that weigh 3oz and take up two cubic inches, I'll certainly re-evaluate that opinion.

    I've taken 3 day long tours where everything I packed fit in a 4 liter saddle bag. I've also taken them where I brought 20lb in books, paper, coffee, coffee grinder, French press - you get the idea. Weigh each thing's importance to YOU. After a lot of experience, it comes natural. On a long tour, you'll almost always find it possible to send things home (i.e. if you haven't used something in 2 weeks, why are you carrying it with you?).
    http://bygonebicyclist.com
    Penny-farthing adventures, touring & collecting

  14. #14
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RepWI View Post
    Bike Touch Up Paint
    Lots of stuff on your list that I would leave behind, but touch up paint! Really?

  15. #15
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    More generaly available and useful if you need it is crazy glue. It will cover and prottect ay minor scratches if they become a worry.

  16. #16
    Senior Member irwin7638's Avatar
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    I do a lot of weekend trips and carry the same for them as a week long tour. I pack as if I am backpacking except that I don't carry meals with me.

    http://simplecycle-marc.blogspot.com...cking-101.html

    Marc
    Read Simply Cycle

    "I can still do everything I used to, but now I'm mature enough to take a nap without being told." - Me

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  17. #17
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
    I do a lot of weekend trips and carry the same for them as a week long tour. I pack as if I am backpacking except that I don't carry meals with me.
    I tend to think that is the most sensible approach. There are probably some differences in what I pack on a tour vs a backpacking trip, but mostly the list is pretty similar. Oh and yes mostly the same stuff whether a short trip or a multi-month trip.

  18. #18
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by irwin7638 View Post
    I do a lot of weekend trips and carry the same for them as a week long tour.
    Pretty much the same here, although I don't take a journal to write in on a long weekend trip.

    Also agree about variances in the list due to possible weather extremes. Just got back from Montana two weeks ago. Looking at the forecast, we had to be prepared for a few nights around 40 if not colder. (One area was still experiencing snow showers the week before we were to be there.) Rain was also a distinct possibility, especially since it had been a very wet winter, spring and early summer. This all added a few items to the load. It did get down to 40 three nights, but we got lucky and hit the first dry spell of the year.

  19. #19
    Senior Member blaise_f's Avatar
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    As i drifted afar to dreamland, I recalled a very important thing I meant to mention of touring in general, but ultra-lightning for sure.

    All-in-one soap. Learn to love it. I personally use Dr. Bronners or "One" for everything on the road, from toothpaste, to laundry/dish soap, and of course, cleaning my bodily possessions. Bronners can be a pain because it's a liquid; though you could use the bar, I generally dislike bars while touring/traveling. The one exception is "One" (which I can't seem to find a website for, because their name is stupid), which you can get in a travel tin. The tin has drain holes in the bottom, so it dries out, which is unremarkably nice.
    http://bygonebicyclist.com
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  20. #20
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    boy, when it comes to going light for a few days, less is certainly more. Pic on right shows medium Carradice with sleeping bag, shelter, foam pad, ground cloth, trowel, stove/cooking cup in side pockets, and plenty of extra room. shelter, sleeping system and stove with room to spare.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Bekologist; 07-20-11 at 12:23 PM.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  21. #21
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by RepWI View Post
    Revised: Date – 7/08/10 Tour Name –
    Bike Touch Up Paint
    First time I've ever seen this on a list.

  22. #22
    Senior Member RepWI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spike57 View Post
    First time I've ever seen this on a list.
    I tend to add things I need in the future. I had a list and did not delete this item before posting. I also have a list of my tours that I keep on the list as well. I did delete those.
    1974 Mizutani Super Seraph Road Bike
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker

  23. #23
    Senior Member RepWI's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
    Lots of stuff on your list that I would leave behind, but touch up paint! Really?
    I don't take it all. My list is comprehensive, one that I adapt to the tour and expected conditions. The touch up paint is not to go on tour, but rather a future purchase need.
    1974 Mizutani Super Seraph Road Bike
    2010 Surly Long Haul Trucker

  24. #24
    Senior Member zeppinger's Avatar
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    What kinda pad is that? Its tiny!

  25. #25
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zeppinger View Post
    What kinda pad is that? Its tiny!
    If that's to me, the pad IS tiny, it's a Thermarest Prolite 3/4 length pad.

    It's in the orange stuffsack underneath the purple, green and buckskin stuffsacks carradice with essentials..jpg in this photo. The Thermarest Neoairs are even smaller but they are really air mattresses and not foam.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

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