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  1. #1
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    packing list critique

    In about a month I and a few friends will be riding the Katy trail over a week (out and back so about 450 miles), Sunday in a hotel and set off Monday morning and planning to arrive back at the same hotel in St. Charles Saturday night. We'll be staying self supported staying at campgrounds along the route and cooking breakfast and dinner, lunch will be at eateries along the route, groceries picked up at the nearest store before arriving at the camp grounds.

    Being my first tour I want to make sure I bring everything I need but leave the stuff I don't... this ride is going to push me pretty hard (thankfully it's nice and flat) so I've put together a list that sounds reasonable to me... but wanted to get some thoughts of some veteran riders.

    Bike ready to ride/front/rear racks/panniers/fenders)
    Helmet
    Bike lock (cable)
    Sunglasses
    Camp towel
    Bike light (rear only, no need for front as I won't ride at night and will be on a bike path)
    2 cycling water bottles
    1.5 liter water bottle
    Sunscreen
    Chamois cream
    Toiletries
    - Deodorant
    - Soap
    - Extra contact lenses
    - Contact solution
    - Contact case
    - Toothbrush
    - Toothpaste
    - Floss
    - Medication (prescription and pain relievers)
    - Toilet paper
    Camping gear
    Sleeping bag (average low this time of year is low 50’s)
    Sleeping pad
    Tent
    Lighter/fire starter kit
    Flashlight
    Cook kit
    - fork and spoon
    - Bowl or plate
    - Cook pot
    - Stove (and fuel)
    - Frisbee (use as plate or for play)

    Documents
    Photo ID
    Health Insurance Card
    Debit card

    Clothing
    2 cycling shirts
    2 cycling shorts
    Cycling gloves
    2 non cycling shorts
    2 non cycling shirts
    Swimsuit
    Light jacket
    2 underwear
    4 pairs socks (1 warm, 1 waterproof 2 cycling)
    Cycling shoes
    Knee warmers
    Knit cap/hat (nights/cool riding)

    Tools
    Multi-tool (or needed hex keys, flat head and phillips screwdriver)
    Chain quicklink
    Pump
    2 spare tubes
    Patch kit
    Small Leatherman type knife
    Fiberspoke

    Random extras
    Kindle
    Camera
    Cell phone (and charger)
    Phone charger
    Extra phone battery
    Camp pillow (maybe, I'm a side sleeper and in the past have used a stuff sack with clothes, but that wasn't very comfy)


    so thoughts?

    *edit* add to list
    chainlube (dry)
    earbud headphones
    off bike shoes
    Last edited by donalson; 04-13-14 at 09:06 PM.
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  2. #2
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Just bring a bike headlight, and skip the flashlight. And some chain lube.
    Last edited by alan s; 04-13-14 at 08:45 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by alan s View Post
    Just bring a bike headlight, and skip the flashlight.
    This.

    Also, you forgot rain gear (shell, pants, gaitors/booties). Leave out at least one set of non-cycling clothing. Make sure that the jacket/sweater you bring will still keep you warm if it gets wet underneath your rain shell. Use the rain pants for warmth instead of the knee warmers - dual purpose.

    You might need a cable to go with your lock.

  4. #4
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    This.

    Also, you forgot rain gear (shell, pants, gaitors/booties). Leave out at least one set of non-cycling clothing. Make sure that the jacket/sweater you bring will still keep you warm if it gets wet underneath your rain shell. Use the rain pants for warmth instead of the knee warmers - dual purpose.

    You might need a cable to go with your lock.
    ah the lock I intend is a "bike lock" same cable lock I've used for the last 20+ years... riding with a group on a highly bike traveled area so

    for rain gear... any budget considerations?... I've used my jacket in the past in the rain and it's pretty water tight... sure it wouldn't be my fave on the bike but I could make due with it... what budget options are out there? I was planning to ride in my SPD sandals, in cooler weather i've made due with two pairs of socks, for rain I figured some sealskinz socks (waterproof) would work well. For the rest of the rain gear my budget is a concern... any good budget options?
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  5. #5
    Senior Member Nick The Beard's Avatar
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    Id leave the deodorant and most of the clothes at home.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member
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    I use Shower's Pass, but this stuff gets good reviews and is cheaper

    Waterproof Jackets from People Who Really Know Waterproof Jackets!

  7. #7
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    Frog toggs dri ducks (sp?) rain gear was $20 when I bought it a couple of years ago. This does the trick. The fabric isn't super strong but I haven't had any problems. You'll need a band for the pant leg.

    Regarding your list I would bring fewer clothes--one pair of riding shorts, one off bike shorts, 2 pairs of socks (one long for sleeping in, one short to ride in), one underwear. Long underwear are nice to sleep in if the temps dip down at night.

    I am with you on the pillow. This is a wonderful luxury. I suggest a real pillow instead of an inflatable. I love the REI compressible pillow (small).
    Last edited by mm718; 04-13-14 at 10:17 PM.

  8. #8
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    Your tool list might be perfect, but I always say, look at everything on the bike you know how to fix, and could fix on the road, and then match your tools to your bike. A generic multitool may not have the specific stuff you need, and many of them have useless extra weight. Sometimes you need two of something to make certain adjustments. When buying bike parts, I will pay extra for the one that is completely serviceable with small L alan wrenches. For me, all that stuff fits in the palm of my hand. On one Occasion I carried a fairly large pedal wrench, because my return trip required the removal of the pedals.

    I always carry a quick stick for removing tires, and a road morph pump for inflating them. Along with patches, you will almost enjoy patching holes, should you get any.

    I agree about stuff like deodorant, excess clothes. I fall into the group that holds that one should have a real lock, and better still, never leave the bike alone. You will have thousands of dollars of stuff in your bike and quite possibly have nothing if you have it stolen, camera passport, wallet, and all your gear, and changes of clothes could be gone. You can carry everything indoors with you, but it gets pretty cumbersome. Wheel your bike into big box stores, so far, nobody has objected.

    A light option for raingear is a bike poncho with chaps, however, they are hard to find these days. Having some kind of top quality rain gear is key. Rain is the worst thing about touring.

    I occasionally have real trouble with my neck, and I use speacialty pillows at home. I have never needed a pillow on the road. If it is cold, I carry a pile jacket. There are lighter options, but a pile jacket makes a great pillow, and stays warm if you get wet. I just ball some clothes up and stuff them under my head.

    I do the front light is my flashlight thing. Actually around home I use a flashlight as my bike light, I hold it between my fingers. I can point at cars that are off to the side. But on tour, I want all the crap the cops might ask about, if they got shirty. So I have a bell, and I have a front light. In some places lights have to be on bikes even in daylight, never heard that around here, but how would I know about the next town over.

    If I am travelling in areas with stores, I don't carry cooking gear or fire gear. The body is happier with un-cooked food, and if it is readily available, it saves a lot of weight and wasted time. Also, you can only really use that stuff in designated campgrounds. Your not welcome to camp on my property, but I won't hold it against you. Light any fire, even a candle, you are not welcome.

  9. #9
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    It is hard to critique someone else's list, in part because folks value different things. Also unless you are very specific on the individual items the same listed items might weigh 20 or 80 pounds. So I'll just make some general comments.

    You really need very little. I personally minimize clothing, especially off bike clothing. I wouldn't duplicate any of your off bike clothing items and lately I have taken to using the same shirts on and off bike (running tech tees rather than jerseys). I consider a pair of running shorts the main off bike clothing item.

    If you want to trim your list you might find my ultralight touring article useful.

  10. #10
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    Hope you are taking travel sizes of those toiletries. Like another, I would skip the deoderant. What are you going to use to wash your cookware? Might consider a small celo sponge. Also, small bottle of something like CasmpSuds works for washing dishes and the body. Towel? I take a synthetic PakTowel for both body and cooking stuff. Dries quickly. If you are going to preapre food on a Frisbee that has hit the ground a lot, I would make sure it's been thoroughly cleaned. One set of off bike cothes.

    I think by headlight, people mean camping headlamp. More handy than a hand-held flashlight. Extra phone battery? What are the realistic chances you will need one for less than one week? Replace that with bug repellant.

  11. #11
    Senior Member staehpj1's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
    Also, small bottle of something like CasmpSuds works for washing dishes and the body.
    FWIW: One kind of soap for washing clothes, body, hair and dishes is all I take. I have used baby shampoo, camp suds, dr bronners, liquid body wash, and even bar soap. All will work OK for all of those purposes even in a washing machine. I have decided that I actually prefer the baby shampoo. I use it sparingly and find that I can get by with a two ounce bottle for a month or so. Especially if I use other soaps when available. If I get a room or shower somewhere that I can refill the bottle I do so. That way I can go pretty much indefinitely without having to buy a too big bottle. If I do run out I look for sample sized shampoo and if I can't find that I buy the smallest bottle of camp suds I can find.

  12. #12
    Senior Member saddlesores's Avatar
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    trying not to repeat other comments:


    case for them sunglasses
    (i also carry a small eyeglass repair kit)

    diarrhea medicine/small tube vaseline/bengay

    drivers license (is other photo id adequate everywhere?)

    chain tool, spoke wrench

    spare rack/cage bolts

    duck tape/'lectrical tape wrapped around a swizzle stick

    tire boot

    small tube o'lube for squeaky seatposts

    thongs (flip-flops) for campground showers

    delete one spare tube

    ziploc bags

  13. #13
    just pedal donalson's Avatar
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    Thanks for the critiques… will trim down the list a bit more… and modify based on some suggestions here.

    For soap I have a small bottle of campsuds I intend on using for everything.

    My towel is a paktowel type towel… so good on that.

    Flashlight, I’ve been considering a healamp… used them before, hands free makes it easier to use while camping
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  14. #14
    Clark W. Griswold
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    Here is my ditch list:

    Toiletries
    - Deodorant
    - Toothpaste
    - Toilet paper

    Camping gear
    Flashlight

    Cook kit
    - fork and spoon

    Documents


    Clothing
    2 cycling shirts
    2 cycling shorts
    2 non cycling shorts
    2 non cycling shirts
    Swimsuit
    Knee warmers


    Tools

    Random extras
    Kindle
    Extra phone battery

    ------
    Here is what I might replace some of that stuff with:
    Spray crystal deodorant with essential oils added (I generally use a small pump sprayer with citrus oils, you could also use a mix of isopropyl alcohol, water, and oils to kill the funk)

    Toothpowder (it can be much lighter to carry and is great for the teeth and old people get nostalgic about it)

    Baby wipes (I carry a small travel thing of 7th Gen wipes with my for "bathing" and cleaning up downstairs and it is much nicer)

    Headlamp (if you need a flashlight you generally need your hands and you can also use it biking at night...Black Diamond's Storm is now 60 more lumens plus all the other awesome features it has for the same price the older less lumened version was)

    Spork (why carry two when you only need one, I have a tiny Snow Peak Ti spork I carry with me at all times and use it a ton)

    1 cycling shirt
    1 cycling short
    1 pair of convertible hiking pants (they are generally lightweight, non-cotton, quick dry, water resistant, multi pocketed and can be shorts or pants get a dark color and you will worry less about stains)
    1 hiking shirt (same sort of deal as the pants and you can wear it biking as well if need be or in town if you don't want to look like a biker)
    Kavu Big Eddy Shorts (I have a pair I cycle in them with my paddeds underneath and you can swim in them as well, cut down on weight)

    Basically don't take a lot of clothing because you can wear and wash. For underwear I would only go with Exofficio Give and Go. It is the best underwear I have ever worn, hands down. Easy to spot clean meaning even less drying time though it is usually dry by morning if you fully wash it and doesn't get as stinky as cotton or even some other synthetics.

    I would also use Dr. Bronners soap. I use it at home from almost everything and anything. The only thing it isn't great for is toothpaste and conditioning hair but it is not a hair conditioner so that is fair. Campsuds is ok but the ingredients of Dr. Bronners is way better and I think overall Dr. B's is better.

    I generally cary flip flops and I am pretty sure at least one other has mentioned them but they aren't that important. For off the bike shoes you could go with Chacos (I got a older pair on the cheap recently and love them) or Keens. They are both waterproof and allow your foot to breathe and in colder weather put on warmer socks and you are dandy. I know a whole lot of people who thru hike in chacos or keens. Also Keen makes an SPD sandal (or at least did)

    You might also cut down more weight as you do it more often and maybe while packing. Also know unless you are staying away from cities and towns you can probably buy stuff along the way if need be. Plus if you are going to cities and towns you can mail stuff home that you aren't using to cut down on weight.

  15. #15
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    Of course less weight is always better than more weight. But one needs to find ones own sweet spot. This depends on personal preference, length of tour, and the conditions one is touring under. While multi-month touring I run into newbies who have bought into ultra-light, only to end up being miserable.

    For a week long tour in non-inclement weather, one could (should?) go ultra-light. This means having a light weight bicycle and rack-less storage bags hanging off your bike. But if you try to take a long tour with this set-up I guarantee that you will be miserable from time to time even if you plan to bail indoors when possible.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    Of course less weight is always better than more weight. But one needs to find ones own sweet spot. This depends on personal preference, length of tour, and the conditions one is touring under. While multi-month touring I run into newbies who have bought into ultra-light, only to end up being miserable.

    For a week long tour in non-inclement weather, one could (should?) go ultra-light. This means having a light weight bicycle and rack-less storage bags hanging off your bike. But if you try to take a long tour with this set-up I guarantee that you will be miserable from time to time even if you plan to bail indoors when possible.
    The Katy trail is mostly flat so weight shouldn't make a ton of difference. With a rackless set up you'd sacrifice convenience and not really gain much with the lighter weight set-up. Packing for a week shouldn't be that much different that packing for a month--maybe an extra item of clothing or two for colder weather but those can always be sent general delivery.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cyclesafe View Post
    Of course less weight is always better than more weight. But one needs to find ones own sweet spot. This depends on personal preference, length of tour, and the conditions one is touring under. While multi-month touring I run into newbies who have bought into ultra-light, only to end up being miserable.

    For a week long tour in non-inclement weather, one could (should?) go ultra-light. This means having a light weight bicycle and rack-less storage bags hanging off your bike. But if you try to take a long tour with this set-up I guarantee that you will be miserable from time to time even if you plan to bail indoors when possible.
    The Katy trail is mostly flat so weight shouldn't make a ton of difference. With a rackless set up you'd sacrifice convenience and not really gain much with the lighter weight set-up. Packing for a week shouldn't be that much different than packing for a month--maybe an extra item of clothing or two for colder weather on a longer trip but these items can always be sent general delivery.

  18. #18
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    Have a great time!

    I just got back from a months tour and will hit the pedals again in another fortnight when school holidays finishes and all the teenagers are back at school instead of creating demand and pushing up prices at caravan parks.

    Hope you enjoy your trip and have a blast.

    Take your time and smell the roses.

    The trip is about the trip and not what bike your on and not about the destination.
    Be "in" the trip and I believe you'll enjoy yourself heaps more than if your constantly thinking about your destination or
    how hip your ride is.

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