Hi I am in the LA area and I am thinking about doing some group 1 night bike camping trips. They bike about 25 mile to campgrounds where the participants set up their own tents.
I have a touring/road bike with rear Blackburn Expedition 2 rack mounted. (I actually have more than 1 of these sorts of bikes with racks.) Right now I am just riding locally recreationally and occasional bike commuting, and i mounted a rectangular milk crate on the rack on 1 of my bikes.
To do the 1 night overnight camping trip I would need: tent, sleeping bag, sleeping roll (I think) and would have to bring misc stuff ie clothes, jacket, flashlight, etc. I would not be bringing cooking eqpt., i would rather eat packaged food.
I do not yet own any panniers. I have a Chrome Citizen messenger bag and I put this in the milk crate on the rack on my bike when i dont feel like having the bag on my back.
I am wondering if i need panniers for overnight camping-- if i could just put the needed eqpt in my milkcrate and also add a front rack that takes a basket (like the racks and Wald basket rivendell bike sells).
I dont understand if i had panniers made for touring, if my tent and sleeping bag would go INSIDE the panniers or on top of them. I also dont know if my tent and sleeeping bag and sleeping roll would be a good fit for my milk crate or on top of the milk crate.
I dont currently own a tent, sleeping bag or sleeping roll. I figure id like to get a 2 person tent because i dont like to be cramped. So id be looking at a lightweight 2 person tent made for bike camping. I dont know any models of tents, sleeping bags, or sleeping rolls so i dont know sizes or weights or how they would fit on the bike.
Any suggestions as to panniers v. using my milk crate instead, and v. using a basket mounted on a front rack rather than front panniers, would be appreciated.
My preferance would be to not use panniers at all but keep my milk crate on back, and get a front rack and wald basket for the front from rivendelll, because i feel that for general use around town the baskets are more useful than panniers. For one reason is that i park my bike on streets all the time so i cant leave panniers on the bike around town due to theft concerns. Thats why for bike commuting i put my messenger bag in the milk crate and then take the bag into work.