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self contained touring weights

Old 10-18-20, 05:20 PM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
When I was making an effort to lighten my load for long-distance backpacking, I learned a couple of helpful phrases. One is, "Pack for a hiking (biking) trip, or pack for a camping trip. Your choice." For the former, the stuff you pack only supports the hiking (biking). The only reason you camp is to sleep. I can tell most touring cyclists enjoy camping, and that pretty much dictates the pack weight.

Another, to help with clothing choice, is that you should be able to wear everything you pack at one time, as part of a coordinated layering system.
...
A couple of my neighbors did the AT. I asked her what her pack weighed at the end, she said 12 pounds, her husbands pack weighed 15. She was curious why I did not ask about the weight at the start, I said it does not matter what it weighed at the start, I just wanted to know what they trimmed down to to get an idea of what they felt their minimum gear load was. She said they each had one set or clothes that the wore, nothing else. (I am sure they had extra socks but we did not get into detail.) And they stopped once a week or so to stay someplace indoors for a night, and at that time one of them wore their rain gear while they did laundry for two.

I have great respect for people that can camp that light and enjoy it, but I would not enjoy a trip like that. Thus, I carry more and cover less distance. And I still come home with a smile on my face.

Last summer I was backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail, I asked several of the through hikers how many days worth of food they would start out with on each leg after re-supply, one couple said that there were a couple legs where they had six days worth but they tried to carry no more than four, but most of the other through hikers never carried more than four days of food.
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Old 10-18-20, 09:28 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
My shelter is a Tarptent Contrail (obsolete, replaced by the Protrail).
Just what has rendered your shelter obsolete?
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Old 10-19-20, 03:44 AM
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Obsolete may mean no longer made and upgraded (similar shape but different) to the Protrail shelter. I had a tarptent virga in 2003.
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Old 10-19-20, 06:51 AM
  #29  
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So much information, thanks all.

FWIW: I used to bike tour with a trailer. I carried the bathroom sink, I was much younger and stronger. Eventually I went relatively ultralight, tarp, minimal clothes, bought food along the way or ate at restaurants. I actually love that part of touring, eating local foods. Due to the virus I decided to self-contain my tour thus my load was heavier than I have felt in a long time. This is where my question about weight came from. I am glad my weight was in the range of most of you. So my difficulties on this trip are most likely my legs or my bike, probably both.
Comments on touring legs, or 'lack of' seem to be right. Since I usually ride (a lot) locally but without weight the increased pounds probably had something to do with it.
I'll try to deal with points raised:

Temps: they were night temps, days were great but I took my summer sleep bag, mistake. I have a nice (heavier) down quilt that does nicely for fall/spring but left it home.

Clothes: this is an important part. Since rain was in the forecast I carried a few extra pieces just in case. I had full rain gear but we all know one can still get wet. I do need to work on this aspect. Summers I might carry 1 extra shirt and shorts but that is it. Since temps were getting chilly I wanted back-up. Some of you guys carry only what you wear, impressive.

Bike: It had trekking style handlebars, while comfy did not allow me to pedal efficiently as my Miyata. I think drop bars allow more of my body weight onto my feel and not my arse. My backside was hurting, never is on the Miyata.

Food: I felt I did well here, I packed my own freeze dried meal (beans, rice, mashed potatoes, jerky etc. Some of it is very tasty. I have been making more and more of my own meals. I like my oatmeal way more than those sugar bombs from Quaker. 4-5 days of food might be my max though, weight but also space.

Pannier space: This is the most carrying capacity I have had in a long time, and was easy to pack and unpack. I was at a camp near a fella that was ultra light, minimal bags (bike packing) and he took much longer than I to break down camp. I was also making coffee and breakfast while packing, he did not. Different styles. I too like having food at camp for breakfast.

Muted cry for help: , not muted
thanks again all.
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Old 10-19-20, 06:56 AM
  #30  
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The reason for the bold text in previous post was due to the fact I always get 'kicked' out of BF when I write a long reply. It has always happened to me, so I copy and paste my message to word doc, then try to re-submit. Sorry
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Old 10-19-20, 07:14 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
Obsolete may mean no longer made and upgraded (similar shape but different) to the Protrail shelter. I had a tarptent virga in 2003.
Exactly right. I also had a Virga in 2003 (which still exists in a friend's gear closet). Been brand loyal ever since.
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Old 10-19-20, 07:26 AM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Every bikepacker I have seen has worn a small backpack, something in the 15 to 20 liter range, which is slightly smaller than a pair of most front panniers. But I have never seen a person with four panniers wear a backpack. But you never see the backpack in the photo of the bike because the person holding the camera is wearing the pack.

I always plan for extra space, but some of my trips are over a week between grocery stores, so I probably need more contingency space than most people because of my choice of trips.

My last trip, I recall seeing some really delicious pastries in a large disposable clear plastic box shaped container, I had about a 25 liter dry bag on top of my rack that had enough space for that box of pastries. They tasted really good for about three days and the box was stiff enough that they did not get crushed.

Also on that trip, it was nice having that dry bag with that much excess volume so I did not have to squeeze down on the dozen eggs to get the drybag closed. Eggs lasted for several days too.
hey there T, good point on the knapsack thing. I dont know about you fellers, but the last thing I want to do is ride with a knapsack.
and yes, my pastry story I mentioned, they came in one of those rectangular hardish clear plastic boxes, hence it looking so good in the morning for the poor hungry neighbour looking at me with my coffee and brioche in hand....
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Old 10-19-20, 07:27 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
The reason for the bold text in previous post was due to the fact I always get 'kicked' out of BF when I write a long reply. It has always happened to me, so I copy and paste my message to word doc, then try to re-submit. Sorry
been there, done that, not for a while though, but its a pain in the keester when it all goes "poof"
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Old 10-19-20, 07:40 AM
  #34  
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To the OP, I agree that eating at local restaurants is a huge part of the enjoyment of touring. It also helps locals' attitude toward cyclists if you spend money in town. But that was pre-COVID--I haven't toured this year. Even on long day rides, I notice the difference, packing lunch and foregoing restaurants/cafes for breaks.

As far as clothing, there's the "stay dry" strategy and the "get wet but stay warm" strategy. I've given up on the former, which led to a great reduction in cost, weight and bulk of rain gear. The hard part is putting your wet layer on in the morning, in the few minutes before your body temp warms it up, stowing the dry layer for the next night's camp. Its a rare day I don't get a break in rain to dry things out a little. With some luck I'll get to a faucet and sink and wash things out, but that means putting the wet stuff on again. It's not for everyone.
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Old 10-19-20, 08:02 AM
  #35  
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Balto--ya, the "touring legs" , for me anyway, is a real factor. Like you, I commute a fair amount, almost every day, but Ive learned now to really expect when riding loaded that I need to work into it and not over exert, downshift a lot and slowly build up the exertion. This aug when I did my 5 day trip, the first day was with some friends and my wife, they all only had one pannier, for a day ride, and I did find that simply from more or less keeping up with them, I overworked my legs a bit, and my one knee felt it. The next day I headed off on my own and made a concerted effort to dial it back and downshift a lot to ease off the legwork, and gradually as the days went along, the touring legs came back.

its always been like this for me, whether 30 yrs ago or now, I guess Ive just gotten smarter and realized the importance of dialing it back at first and listening to ones body and legs better.

re clothes, the one thing with adding some clothes (not heavy jeans) is that the weight difference can be pretty small, but the comfort factor is big. Again, something when we are 20 something we dont think about or care about....

Bike: It had trekking style handlebars, while comfy did not allow me to pedal efficiently as my Miyata. I think drop bars allow more of my body weight onto my feel and not my arse. My backside was hurting, never is on the Miyata.
-- I would say this is a big one. I have trekking bars on my commuter, and while bar height, distance from seat and angle of trekking bars can all be a real factor, I clearly find that my dropbar bikes are more efficient, and as you rightly pointed out, getting that "just right" combo of body position and weight distributed properly onto bars, arse and pedals is a real factor in riding comfort and efficiency.
I put trekking bars on my wifes bike a couple of years ago , and this year without telling her, I moved them down a bit on the steerer (spacers can be moved around, so moved bars down one spacer). I always knew that the bars were too high in relation to her seat to be efficient, but she was fine with it as it was, but isnt someone who pays attention to stuff. This year though, she kept saying that her lower back was sore, and I knew that by lowering the bars a bit, it would help stretch out her back a bit while riding. Sure enough, she never noticed the difference, it helped with her back, and just to be clear , the bars are still a bit higher than her seat, so it is still a very conservative setup. Still too upright to me for best efficiency, but she doesnt ride fast so it works for her--but I was happy that it solved the lower back thing and she is still comfortable shoulder wise etc, so all's cool.
And yes, I told her afterwards, and she even said that she didnt notice the change but it all felt good.
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Old 10-19-20, 09:07 AM
  #36  
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Part of the ítouring legsí thing for me is, I think, even a mental adaptation to going slower when fully loaded.

It takes me a day or two to accept that Iím not flying across the countryside as fast as on my commute... especially getting to a hill and feeling momentum turn into an anchor!
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Old 10-19-20, 11:30 AM
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Part of the ítouring legsí thing for me is, I think, even a mental adaptation to going slower when fully loaded.

It takes me a day or two to accept that Iím not flying across the countryside as fast as on my commute... especially getting to a hill and feeling momentum turn into an anchor!
Thanks Imi--this point is actually a really important one. Touring clearly is at a different pace and takes adjusting ones take on how quickly we "should" be going.
I know without a doubt this has been an issue with me , either in the past, or just a few months ago when I was riding with my very lightly loaded friends and pushing to keep up with them, or even trying to whoop their keesters going up hills....

re the whole "anchor" thing--it has never failed to amaze me how fast a loaded touring bike can go from winging down a hill in top gear at 50 or 60kph and then hitting the uphill and then slamming down the gears as fast as a F1 car and ending up in first gear slogging along like a snail.
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Old 10-19-20, 02:27 PM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
Balto--ya, the "touring legs" , for me anyway, is a real factor. Like you, I commute a fair amount, almost every day, but Ive learned now to really expect when riding loaded that I need to work into it and not over exert, downshift a lot and slowly build up the exertion. This aug when I did my 5 day trip, the first day was with some friends and my wife, they all only had one pannier, for a day ride, and I did find that simply from more or less keeping up with them, I overworked my legs a bit, and my one knee felt it. The next day I headed off on my own and made a concerted effort to dial it back and downshift a lot to ease off the legwork, and gradually as the days went along, the touring legs came back.

its always been like this for me, whether 30 yrs ago or now, I guess Ive just gotten smarter and realized the importance of dialing it back at first and listening to ones body and legs better.

re clothes, the one thing with adding some clothes (not heavy jeans) is that the weight difference can be pretty small, but the comfort factor is big. Again, something when we are 20 something we dont think about or care about....

Bike: It had trekking style handlebars, while comfy did not allow me to pedal efficiently as my Miyata. I think drop bars allow more of my body weight onto my feel and not my arse. My backside was hurting, never is on the Miyata.
-- I would say this is a big one. I have trekking bars on my commuter, and while bar height, distance from seat and angle of trekking bars can all be a real factor, I clearly find that my dropbar bikes are more efficient, and as you rightly pointed out, getting that "just right" combo of body position and weight distributed properly onto bars, arse and pedals is a real factor in riding comfort and efficiency.
I put trekking bars on my wifes bike a couple of years ago , and this year without telling her, I moved them down a bit on the steerer (spacers can be moved around, so moved bars down one spacer). I always knew that the bars were too high in relation to her seat to be efficient, but she was fine with it as it was, but isnt someone who pays attention to stuff. This year though, she kept saying that her lower back was sore, and I knew that by lowering the bars a bit, it would help stretch out her back a bit while riding. Sure enough, she never noticed the difference, it helped with her back, and just to be clear , the bars are still a bit higher than her seat, so it is still a very conservative setup. Still too upright to me for best efficiency, but she doesnt ride fast so it works for her--but I was happy that it solved the lower back thing and she is still comfortable shoulder wise etc, so all's cool.
And yes, I told her afterwards, and she even said that she didnt notice the change but it all felt good.
I actually made seat and bar adjustments during the early part of the trip. Felt the improvements immediately.
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Old 10-19-20, 02:28 PM
  #39  
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You guys are right on the mental part, I am going to go slower, get use to it and don't try to crank real hard. It did feel like an anchor on the back.
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Old 10-19-20, 04:01 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by djb View Post
re the whole "anchor" thing--it has never failed to amaze me how fast a loaded touring bike can go from winging down a hill in top gear at 50 or 60kph and then hitting the uphill and then slamming down the gears as fast as a F1 car and ending up in first gear slogging along like a snail.
Haha! Yes, IKR! 🤣
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Old 10-19-20, 06:03 PM
  #41  
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When my wife and I tour on our tandem, the weight added to the naked bike is ~44 lbs., not counting water or food, but counting rack, panniers and bags, pump, tools, spares, bottles, etc. We camp in relative luxury, but we have only ~2 pounds in civilian clothes, not counting our trail runners. While we save some weight in camp gear, we cook gourmet style, liquid fuel stove, nice pot set, etc., so it's totally possible to get your gear for one person down close to 20 lbs. Just takes money, that's all. You go to REI and throw money at the problem. That's what we did about 15 years ago. We still use that same gear, the same stuff we use backpacking in the mountains. No tarp for us! Light panniers are an issue. Our waterproof heavy ripstop panniers aren't made anymore. That said, there are very good custom bag builders out there.
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Old 10-19-20, 10:15 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Carbonfiberboy View Post
,,,You go to REI and throw money at the problem.,,,.
Not necessarily, and not in my experience. One thing that takes more money to get lighter is the sleeping bag/quilt. Otherwise, much of what's been discussed on this thread is actually cheaper than heavier options. My Tarptent (24 oz) cost $200 and my 30F quilt (19 oz) cost $180 (a decade ago). And the lightest and cheapest option of all is not buying or bringing something, as discussed with extra clothing. Or the stove/cookware/fuel for more extreme cases.

And one can shop seasonal sales and subscribe to steepandcheap.com. I got my $400 Marmot down bag for under $200 there. I got a nice Marmot jacket for half price on eBay. I haven't bought anything other than hiking socks, Platypus bladders, and Nordic ski wax at REI for decades. There are some good cottage industry gear manufacturers, like Tarptent, that aren't carried by REI.
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Old 10-20-20, 05:00 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
The reason for the bold text in previous post was due to the fact I always get 'kicked' out of BF when I write a long reply. It has always happened to me, so I copy and paste my message to word doc, then try to re-submit. Sorry
Not sure I understand correctly, but if I do, why not just go back and edit out the bolding? Also "paste as plain text" is your friend when pasting from other sources like word docs.

It is good to see someone getting out and touring. I am still mostly staying home due to the pandemic. We get out and walk the neighborhood, paddle the local lakes, and visit the nearby state parks on non busy days, but that is about it.
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Old 10-20-20, 09:26 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by balto charlie View Post
You guys are right on the mental part, I am going to go slower, get use to it and don't try to crank real hard. It did feel like an anchor on the back.
I never raced, am not a high wattage rider. So, it was pretty easy for me to get used to touring. My first tour, first day, pedaled up an uphill that was about 2 percent grade for over 20 miles in the bright sun when it was over 100 degrees (F). And it was gravel, so slow going on uneven ground. A few hours of that and I started to get used to touring really fast.

The thing I notice most when switching back and forth to or from touring is that I use front panniers when touring which really slows and stabilizes your steering. When I then get on the bike with no panniers, the steering is all over the place because I am over-correcting for the first hundred feet until muscle memory kicks in.

You get used to using lower gears on the uphills, the more touring you have done the more you get used to shifting more often when carrying a load and the more careful you are when negotiating slow maneuvers.
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Old 10-20-20, 10:56 AM
  #45  
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Originally Posted by imi View Post
Part of the ítouring legsí thing for me is, I think, even a mental adaptation to going slower when fully loaded.

It takes me a day or two to accept that Iím not flying across the countryside as fast as on my commute... especially getting to a hill and feeling momentum turn into an anchor!
While that's always going to be true to a certain extent, it's not that hard to minimize the effect. You know, don't pack blue jeans, etc. As I noted above, we added 44 lbs. to the bare bike weight of our tandem. 44+36+285=365 lbs. total all up weight going down the road, though not counting fluids or food. Of that, about 40 lbs. is weight added above sport ride condition, or 11% of all-up weight. Thus our climbing rate would have dropped by 11%. That's noticeable, but not that big a deal. Our speed on the flat only dropped by .5 mph. That meant that as well as having fun going new places and having new experiences, we also still had fun driving the bike.
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Old 10-20-20, 12:21 PM
  #46  
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You're forgetting that what you carried can't be halved. Some things needs to be carried regardless of you being two-up or solo. Spare tubes and tyres, tent, cooking gear, bicycle tools and spares etc.

When I go camping/bike touring with my daughter, I only add a bit more fuel, her sleeping gear and clothes and a chain splitter for her bike (mine has a belt). The rest is what I'll also carry solo. I do carry an extra tube or two, but then she is on her own bike (i.e. double the wheels of two persons on a tandem).

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Old 10-20-20, 09:25 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
Exactly right. I also had a Virga in 2003 (which still exists in a friend's gear closet). Been brand loyal ever since.
Originally Posted by BikeLite View Post
Obsolete may mean no longer made and upgraded (similar shape but different) to the Protrail shelter. I had a tarptent virga in 2003.
Just seems odd that someone would refer to equipment they are using as "obsolete".
I'd speculate that a lot tourers are pedaling bicycles that are no longer made. Can only imagine the looks you would get, after telling them "Hey Man...Your bike is obsolete"
Thinking that your tent becomes obsolete when you morph into a transformer and your personal shelter is integral to your new body.

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Old 10-21-20, 07:38 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus View Post
My self-contained summer touring pack, good to 30 degrees F, weighs less than 14 pounds.

I've perfected a stoveless travel style over the years....
Could you provide a link to your touring pack list, and travel style, please.
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Old 10-21-20, 08:06 AM
  #49  
andrewclaus
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Originally Posted by Digger Goreman View Post
Could you provide a link to your touring pack list, and travel style, please.
Here's a link to my journal from my last multi-month bike tour: The first few pages talk about gear and style. I've gotten lighter packs since then (Arkel DryLite), lighter lock and tools, and changed a few other things. Recent tours have been shorter, in warmer weather, and I usually don't carry quite as much warm clothing.

Also look at staehpj1's journals, an accomplished light weight tourist, and an inspiration for me.
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