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Reduce a newbie's packing list

Old 08-28-21, 04:32 AM
  #26  
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
...


....
If the dry bag in the top of the photo is your 60 or 70 liter dry bag, that looks smaller than 60 to 70 liters to me. You might want to fill it up and close the end, measure the diameter and length of the cylinder and calculate a volume.

My dry bag on the rear of my bike in the photo below looks pretty big but it is rated as 31 liters.



I have used that 31 liter bag several times on airline flights as a carry on, it meets most airline specifications as a carry on size.

As noted by KC8QVO, sizes of drybags can be deceiving at times.

My bag above is designed to be strapped to my panniers, I still do not know how you plan to attach the dry bag to your bike.

Five days ago I stated the following in the thread you started on locks, still have not gotten answers to that.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
...
A 60 liter drybag??? Are you sure it is that big? Have you tried to strap it on so that it stays where you put it? On some trips I use a 31 liter bag, but that straps onto my panniers and does not shift when I hit bumps or anything like that. Bike racks are not really designed to hold something that cumbersome.
...
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Old 08-28-21, 05:24 AM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post

My bag above is designed to be strapped to my panniers, I still do not know how you plan to attach the dry bag to your bike.

Five days ago I stated the following in the thread you started on locks, still have not gotten answers to that.
Sorry about that, I got several people commenting on my packing volume and figured I'd best start a separate thread. Yes the black bag is the 70L dry-pack, I think it's got something around 35 cm in diameter and haven't measured height when it's rolled up, but it just barely fits the tent because the tent doesn't pack very compact (it's the long, green roll in the picture).

I have bought a paracord that I'm planning to use to strap the dry-pack to the rear rack and possibly also loop around the pannier bags to make them a little more theft-proof. I have never actually strapped the thing on there, in fact, I'm planning to return the dry-pack and my gas stove in the coming days and find better solutions after the advice I've received here from y'all.

Btw, I'm in Europe already. No overseas flight or flight of any kind required. I'm taking off with my bike from my doorstep in Germany.

Really really appreciate all your advice and information so far, I'm so grateful that everyone here is spending their time to help me make the most out of my upcoming journey!
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Old 08-28-21, 05:58 AM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
....Yes the black bag is the 70L dry-pack...
There's an error somewhere. That bag is closer to 17L than it is to 70L. Look at the gas cans for scale. I have 30L & 40L dry bags. Your "70L" bag full could fit inside them with room to spare.
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Old 08-28-21, 08:10 AM
  #29  
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I've just measured the thing and it came out to 38cm diameter and just about 60cm height when rolled up. Did the math and came close to 70L so checks out? Anyway, only reason I went for this large size is because I needed something that will fit my tent, which is 60cm in length. I'm going to return the 70L bag and order an Ortlieb PD350 35 liter bag, it's got the 60cm height I need but should be much more compact and easy to handle.

Originally Posted by fishboat View Post
There's an error somewhere. That bag is closer to 17L than it is to 70L. Look at the gas cans for scale. I have 30L & 40L dry bags. Your "70L" bag full could fit inside them with room to spare.
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Old 08-28-21, 08:33 AM
  #30  
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When my tent poles are too large to fit in a pannier, I use a tent pole bag and strap that on the rack, the rest of the tent can be packed elsewhere. In photo below, the green bag on top of the rear rack is a tent pole bag. The rest of the tent and everything else is packed in panniers.

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Old 08-28-21, 10:39 AM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
Anyway, only reason I went for this large size is because I needed something that will fit my tent, which is 60cm in length.
You may prefer to secure your tent to your rack, by itself. It'll allow it to dry (assuming a day without rain). And if it rains, it'll be wet anyway.
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Old 08-28-21, 11:05 AM
  #32  
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If you're not opposed to wool in some way, I really like how long you can wear a pair of wool briefs and socks before you really need to wash them. Maybe figure on one spare pair in case what you're wearing gets wet or otherwise dirty, and you're set.
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Old 08-28-21, 03:12 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
You may prefer to secure your tent to your rack, by itself. It'll allow it to dry (assuming a day without rain). And if it rains, it'll be wet anyway.
FWIW, I always found that a tent rolled with the floor on the outside and put in it's own bag was never wetter or drier after riding on the top of the rack. I always carried mine that way when I used a tent and it worked out well. I have often put it away with ithe inside wided out as dry as possible and if the fly was really soaked I left it out of the roll. Days when the tent was really wet if there was a chance for some decent drying in the sun, I'd pull it out during a break in the afternoon and let it dry out.

THe bad news is that no matter how you pack it it isn;t going to dry very much while packed. The good news is that the tent doesn't really get wet when rolled with the florr on the outside even when on top of the rack all day in the rain.
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Old 08-28-21, 04:35 PM
  #34  
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OP - you forgot a bunch of Fed Ex forms for all the stuff you're going to ship home.

I did a 6 week trip of the UK and Ireland with about 20 lbs per person with full camping gear and it all fit into 40 liters of panniers plus a handlebar bag. Current bikepackers would look at my set up and be amazed at how much extra I had.

Change your methodology - Start with the volume you have to work with and work backwards from there (and ditch the huge duffle bag). Get synthetics that dry fast and you can wash them when you take a shower - that eliminates all the duplicate sets beyond 2 of everything. Synthetics also tend to roll up pretty tight. Everything has to be dual use, plan on layers for cold, not bulking single layers, and keep it simple. On your coldest day, you should be wearing everything you have if you did it right.

You can't take fuel canisters on the plane. You can buy fuel canisters all over Europe. We were most recently camping in Norway and Iceland and had no issues finding the screw on kind. For two of us, we tend to use just over one canister for about every 10 days if we're careful. The stove I have - Optimus Optifuel - will use gas canisters or even unleaded gas. So I don't worry about fuel.

J.
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Old 08-28-21, 06:14 PM
  #35  
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I'm coming late to this thread and I haven't read every post, but this is a topic I enjoy. One rule of thumb I've used to reduce packing volume and weight is to be able to wear all the clothing I pack at the same time, as part of a coordinated layering system. Rather than extra identical jerseys, for instance, I'll carry a light one and a heavy one, either of which can be worn separately, or both together if needed. I generally carry extra socks and briefs, but I suppose I could double them up to comply with my rule.

The other main method is managing consumables--food, water, and fuel. Don't carry more than needed, especially food, especially in a developed area.
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Old 08-28-21, 07:26 PM
  #36  
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I tell people these days to take everything you think you will need and live off of it for the time you are going to be out, If you find you don't use that item, don't bring it. Obviously some things you may not use like some tools but make sure you know how to use the tools and think you might need them. If you are taking something you haven't used yet in time riding and you make sure your bike is in good working order a month or so out and right before you leave (but don't start replacing things before you leave do it that month ahead so you can readjust as needed).

With clothing generally one to wash one to wear for cycling clothing (at least especially for your chamois) and for walking around probably just one of each. Get good quick dry stuff and for underwear I recommend ExOfficio Give&Go, it is the best underwear on the planet and doesn't get so funky after a day of wearing and if need be can be washed and dried fairly quickly or can be spot cleaned. If you keep your underwear area nice and clean you may not need to clean your undies as much and also reduce saddle sores and such. That is small and light enough especially in the Sport version that I could carry a second pair without much penalty.

In terms of stove I would recommend something with a fuel bottle that can run a variety of fuels that way you don't have to take canisters or if it can run both you can carry just one canister for when you really can't find fuel that runs in it. I hate uni-fuel stoves but I will say the stove part can be quite a bit lighter and smaller so it depends but if you run out of stove canisters you may be in trouble hence why I recommended that.

I would probably ditch the SAK and just go with a small folding knife that locks into place somehow. Unless you need the other tools on it I don't care for my SAK for knifing duties these days and on tour I really don't need most of the other stuff on it or can make do with just a knife. Sometimes camping it is handy and certainly is a fun knife to have but if I need wine I can do a screw top or figure out something and things like screwdrivers I want on my multitool. Scissors I can probably get by with the knife an the saw is pretty tiny on mine and the file I really don't need so much other than for maybe my nails but I can do a lightweight emory board if I really cared. Tape and such I would wrap around something and carry less unless I use tape a lot in my daily life which I really don't aside from at work for boxes and tags sometimes.

A huge +1 on a PakTowel or similar I have a bunch of them I usually carry a washcloth size for pots and pans and other random cleaning and then a large towel for my bathing but I have longer hair and like a big towel but with the quick dry stuff it takes up less space and dries quickly. Keep the cotton at home it stay wet a long time doesn't wick moisture and is just not useful for touring and camping and stuff like that. It is fine for casual wear and in the home but travel, no.

Also a lightweight pair of sandals(flip flops are excellent) on top of your rack is nice. Having a second pair of footwear is nice so your feet can breathe a little and you aren't always having to stuff it in the same shoes. I would recommend maybe using some crinkled newspaper at night if you have really sweaty feet and most especially if you are encountering rain or puddles. It may not be a long term cycling solution but you may find a light pair of sandals (flip flops not so good) nice in the rain and save your shoes for drier weather as well. I have known people to do that.
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Old 08-28-21, 07:52 PM
  #37  
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The bottomline hers is you have multiples of things and the things you have are heavy. So get rid of multiples, you can buy more on the road and reduce the weight of your "Big 4" items: shelter, sleeping system, cooking gear and your bags/racks. As an example you've been talking about strapping a tent across your panniers and if you want to really reduce volume and weight use a single wall tarptent and put the fly in a compression sack and get poles short enough to fit in your bags.
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Old 08-29-21, 05:15 AM
  #38  
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Originally Posted by JohnJ80 View Post
OP - you forgot a bunch of Fed Ex forms for all the stuff you're going to ship home.
Yep.

That is one way most of us learn how to pack. We take too much and adjust. Hopefully we trim the list to something reasonable before the first trip, but the trimming often continues long term. I started packing pretty heavy and over the years wound up being a pretty minimal ultralight packer. Part of that process was going over lists again and again, but part of it was also mailing things home.

FWIW, I generally found the USPS to be cheaper and more convenient than FedEx or UPS. Depending on what was being mailed home we usually found a flat rate box was cheaper, but generally asked for help in deciding and small town postal clerks were alway helpful in figuring that out and getting our stuff sent home.

It is also helpful to mail things home as seasons or geography changes on long trips.
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Old 08-29-21, 10:00 AM
  #39  
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Thanks a ton again for all the continued support and advice! I've just spent another couple hours sorting through things and playing tetris and I've now managed to reduce the load significantly. As it stands I've got:

1x Pannier bag (full) with clothes, sleeping gear & bike repair stuff. Weight: 5kg
1x Pannier bag (half full) with electronics, toiletries, stove. Weight: 5kg

Then I'm only left with my tent (2kg) plus my emergency 2x3 meter tarp (0.5kg) that I'll tie on to my rack. I'm considering dropping the tarp as well, but I can see it possibly being useful (a) in case my tent isn't fully waterproof (b) I'm making camp on bumpy ground (c) I want to conceal my tent better. If I don't end up using it I can easily give it away, thing only cost me 5 bucks.

Now I'm wondering: I'm planning to take the half-full pannier bag with me when going shopping, because (a) this bag contains my most valuable items and (b) it's where I've left room for food to go in. As it is the bags both weigh exactly 5kg, but if I throw 1-2kg of food into the half-full bag, I'll be slightly off balance (5kg left vs. 6-7kg right). Is this something to worry about or not noticable?
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Old 08-29-21, 12:03 PM
  #40  
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
Now I'm wondering: I'm planning to take the half-full pannier bag with me when going shopping
In larger stores (e.g. Carrefour/Leclerc/Auchan) security will probably ask that you leave your bag at the courtesy desk. In smaller ones, you may have to waste time at checkout for the cashier to inspect what is in there. I wouldn't worry unless you put a sign on your bags advertising their valuable content

Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
As it is the bags both weigh exactly 5kg, but if I throw 1-2kg of food into the half-full bag, I'll be slightly off balance (5kg left vs. 6-7kg right). Is this something to worry about or not noticeable?
Unlikely. Worst case -- if you can no longer ride in a straight line or struggle to exit roundabouts -- switch a few items to get a more even weight distribution.

Have fun
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Old 08-29-21, 01:06 PM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
...
Now I'm wondering: I'm planning to take the half-full pannier bag with me when going shopping, because (a) this bag contains my most valuable items and (b) it's where I've left room for food to go in. As it is the bags both weigh exactly 5kg, but if I throw 1-2kg of food into the half-full bag, I'll be slightly off balance (5kg left vs. 6-7kg right). Is this something to worry about or not noticable?
Or maybe a small drybag with your valuables instead of the pannier? Or small backpack if you have a lot of electronics? The drybag or backpack can be inside the pannier on top. I use a handlebar bag for valuables that I bring into a store or restaurant.

I have often ridden around town with one pannier on my bike for groceries, or gym bag or something like that. It is amazing how off balance a rear rack can be and not impair handling at all.

You will need some empty space for groceries.
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Old 08-29-21, 02:27 PM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
Or maybe a small drybag with your valuables instead of the pannier? Or small backpack if you have a lot of electronics? The drybag or backpack can be inside the pannier on top. I use a handlebar bag for valuables that I bring into a store or restaurant.

I have often ridden around town with one pannier on my bike for groceries, or gym bag or something like that. It is amazing how off balance a rear rack can be and not impair handling at all.

You will need some empty space for groceries.
Actually the only really valuable thing in there is my laptop, but that wouldn't fit in a handlebar bag and if I brought along a backpack it fits into then I would've to pack a backpack almost the size of the pannier bag. I'd just have a backpack instead of a pannier bag with shoulder strap to carry around shopping so I think in my case that wouldn't make much of a difference. Space for groceries is currently in the half-full pannier bag.
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Old 08-30-21, 02:59 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
Then I'm only left with my tent (2kg) plus my emergency 2x3 meter tarp (0.5kg) that I'll tie on to my rack. I'm considering dropping the tarp as well, but I can see it possibly being useful (a) in case my tent isn't fully waterproof (b) I'm making camp on bumpy ground (c) I want to conceal my tent better. If I don't end up using it I can easily give it away, thing only cost me 5 bucks.

Now I'm wondering: I'm planning to take the half-full pannier bag with me when going shopping, because (a) this bag contains my most valuable items and (b) it's where I've left room for food to go in. As it is the bags both weigh exactly 5kg, but if I throw 1-2kg of food into the half-full bag, I'll be slightly off balance (5kg left vs. 6-7kg right). Is this something to worry about or not noticable?
instead of the full tarp, cut out a tent footprint....same shape as the tent but a couple inches SMALLER on all sides. otherwise you'll be sitting your NON waterproof tent on top of a FULLY waterproof barrier. set up your tent in the bafftup with the drain plugged, turn on a light rain, and.........

don't take my word for it that you won't notice a few more pounds on one side. load up one pannier with ten pounds stuff and go for a spin. it's easy. try it!
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Old 08-30-21, 04:32 AM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
instead of the full tarp, cut out a tent footprint....same shape as the tent but a couple inches SMALLER on all sides. otherwise you'll be sitting your NON waterproof tent on top of a FULLY waterproof barrier. set up your tent in the bafftup with the drain plugged, turn on a light rain, and.........
I suggest skipping the footprint or ground sheet. I found that I get very little wear there and generally my tents will fail in some other way before the floor fails, but my strategy would be to waterproof and patch as needed and ultimately use a ground sheet inside if needed (I never have needed to).

Maybe it is because I take care in how I use my tent, crawl onto the sleeping pad, and mostly only sleep or read in there, but the floor gets very little wear. It isn't like I am crawling around on the bare floor much or at all. Thses days i am mostly using a bivy, but I have used a tent plenty and still do for other types of trips.
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Old 08-30-21, 06:03 AM
  #45  
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Foot print, that is just used to protect the tent floor where the ground could damage the floor. There is a local store here that has very heavy duty large plastic bags for large items, similar in size to garbage bags but a stronger plastic. Bag weighs a couple ounces. I have cut and taped the bag into a great tent footprint that is about 30 inches wide. I only use that footprint about 5 or 10 percent of the time when I would be camped on gravel or something that could harm the tent floor, and then the plastic sheet only goes under the part of the tent under me, not under the whole tent. Weighs less and takes less space than my tent stakes.
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Old 09-02-21, 05:57 AM
  #46  
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Here's the tent I got. What I'm worried about is that when it's raining, I can't open the tent (or leave it open) because it'll rain straight inside the tent. I'd like to at least have a little space for me to sit outside without getting wet while I'm in camp, that's why I want the tarp for cover. What do you guys think? Maybe you have better solutions?
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Old 09-02-21, 09:15 AM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
... What I'm worried about is that when it's raining, I can't open the tent (or leave it open) because it'll rain straight inside the tent. I'd like to at least have a little space for me to sit outside without getting wet while I'm in camp, that's why I want the tarp for cover. What do you guys think? Maybe you have better solutions?
Good rain jacket, rain pants, possibly shoe covers. I have not gone on a bike tour now for two years, I do not recall if I brought a rain hat for use in the campsite or only used my hood for that. I might have brought one that crushes down to minimal volume.

Bike tours, I have never carried a tarp, even on days when I chose not to travel, if I wanted to sit I went into the tent and sat. That in part is why I never used a bivy.

Your tent is not a high end tent. After you use it for a while and figure out exactly what you want in a tent, go shopping for another.

When riding, I also like a rain cover for my helmet. My helmet has a visor, the rain cover over the helmet and over the visor keeps the rain from running down my forehead into my eyes.



My rain jacket has a hood but I never use a hood on the bike, I wanted the hood only for campsite use.
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Old 09-06-21, 10:50 PM
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Airfehr
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Like others have said do a shake down trip. A climbing friend use to tell me the key to getting lighter is when you return home spread out all your stuff. Throw away anything you didn't use. Drill holes in the rest. More of a parable than a rule.
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Old 09-06-21, 11:25 PM
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Might want to consider adding a toothpick, razor blade, and an unopened tube of Super Glue to your flat fix kit...
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Old 09-07-21, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by zandoval View Post
Might want to consider adding a toothpick, razor blade, and an unopened tube of Super Glue to your flat fix kit...
I've never carried/used any of the three in a patch kit. Care to elaborate on their use?
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