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Old 07-19-11, 06:47 AM   #1
Wheelmonkey
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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?
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Old 07-19-11, 07:12 AM   #2
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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.
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Old 07-19-11, 07:38 AM   #3
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Thanks! I'll check it out for sure.
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Old 07-19-11, 07:57 AM   #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.

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Old 07-19-11, 08:02 AM   #5
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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.
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Old 07-19-11, 09:08 AM   #6
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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 09:12 AM.
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Old 07-19-11, 09:31 AM   #7
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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?
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Old 07-19-11, 10:26 AM   #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.
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Old 07-19-11, 03:04 PM   #9
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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.
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Old 07-19-11, 03:21 PM   #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 03:32 PM.
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Old 07-19-11, 11:07 PM   #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.
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Old 07-19-11, 11:18 PM   #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
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Old 07-19-11, 11:22 PM   #13
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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?).
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Old 07-20-11, 04:59 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Bike Touch Up Paint
Lots of stuff on your list that I would leave behind, but touch up paint! Really?
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Old 07-20-11, 07:31 AM   #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.
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Old 07-20-11, 07:45 AM   #16
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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
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Old 07-20-11, 08:00 AM   #17
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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.
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.
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Old 07-20-11, 08:43 AM   #18
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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.
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Old 07-20-11, 09:36 AM   #19
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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.
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Old 07-20-11, 11:13 AM   #20
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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.
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File Type: jpg carradice with essentials..jpg (45.8 KB, 28 views)

Last edited by Bekologist; 07-20-11 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 07-20-11, 05:25 PM   #21
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Revised: Date – 7/08/10 Tour Name –
Bike Touch Up Paint
First time I've ever seen this on a list.
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Old 07-20-11, 09:44 PM   #22
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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.
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Old 07-20-11, 09:48 PM   #23
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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.
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Old 07-21-11, 10:04 AM   #24
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What kinda pad is that? Its tiny!
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Old 07-22-11, 12:24 PM   #25
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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 in this photo. The Thermarest Neoairs are even smaller but they are really air mattresses and not foam.
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