Over the years I've honed my gear list to what suits me. I've done some lightweight weekend bike camping trips and been fine with less gear and front panniers only. But when I do long tours (6-12 weeks) I'm back to my Long Haul Trucker, four panniers, and some comfort items. These are items that I realize I could live without, and have. That said, I use and enjoy these items and I've never felt burdened by carrying them. I do concede I that travel a little less each day because of the additional 18 pounds.
Here's my comfort list with additional weight in ounces.
- Large Tent +25 : instead of my solo tent
- Fleece Pillowcase +2.5 : instead of using a stuff sack
- Foam Sit pad +1.4 : could live without but nice to have
- Water Filter: + 6.3 : instead of purification caps
- Fork, Spoon & Knife +1.3 : instead of spork
- French Press Mug +7.4 : fresh coffee whenever!
- Large 1.5L cook pot +6.2 : instead of .7L mug type pot
- Canister stove set +6.6 : instead of alcohol stove set
- Fleece Layer +18.5 : comfy camp-wear, but bulky and I never wear all my layers at once
Extra Clothes I could live without & for more likelihood of having a clean/dry item
- Extra pair of wool socks +2.2
- Extra pair underwear +4.2
- Extra pair padded shorts +4.9
- Stuff Sacks for organization +2.4 : could live without but nice to have
- Hyperjuice Lithium Battery +9 : could use my cell phone less
- eTrex GPS +7.1 : could use paper or cell phone instead
- notebook & pencil +1.5 : could use cell phone
I also have have tendency to carry too much food including bulky/fresh food. I'm not including it in the weight measures but it is another comfort I carry. Cutting down on extra/bulky food and eliminating/reducing the above gear I could eliminate my front panniers.
- Front Panniers +47 : to carry my comfort items
- Front Rack: +17 : for front panniers
I've toured using a lightweight aluminum frame/carbon fork bike (Specialized Tri-cross) and could do so again, but I prefer the comport of my rocking solid Long Haul Trucker with fat tires, sprung saddle, and upright seating position.
- Bicycle +118 : LHT instead of lightweight cross bike
TOTAL COMFORT WEIGHT = 18 pounds
Supplemental information about my “touring style”
- My tours are on paved and unpaved roads and I particularity enjoy back-county exploration.
- I camp virtually 100% of the time with the vast majority wild camping.
- I've used hotels or Warmshowers, but primarily at the beginning or end of a tour that includes travel.
- I cook the majority of my meals, but do use some restaurants too
- Although my bike+all gear+supplies weigh 80 pounds, my low gearing allows me to pedal any paved mountain road without pushing.
Anyone else have comfort items?