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Reduce a newbie's packing list

Old 08-26-21, 05:12 AM
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Cheeseftw
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Reduce a newbie's packing list

Couple days ago I made a thread discussing anti-theft measures and had several people commenting on my packing volume because I'm planning to run with 2x 20L pannier bags plus a 60L dry-pack strapped on top. To be fair, I'm not making full use of the 60L dry-pack and am using rope to reduce size to a minimum, but to be honest I do pack a huge volume despite my best efforts to stick to essentials and so I figured it'd be worth discussing this in a separate post to gather advice.

EDIT: Sorry, forgot to mention. This is for a 2-3 week trip through France that could extend indefinitely into other countries depending on how I like bike touring.

So I'm just going to go ahead and post pictures of my full packing list and see what you guys have to say. Appreciate your advice as always!



Tried to keep clothing to 3 per item plus towel, raincoat, rain pants, bike shorts. I'm considering going with only 1 jumper and the shoes will of course not be packed up. Other than that I don't see much I could drop from this lot. As seen it fills up one of the 20L pannier bags exactly,


This is my tools & spares pile which goes into the second 20L pannier bag. Together with my toiletry bag and laptop (I need to bring my laptop to be available for clients when needed) this leaves my 20L bag roughly half full, which I'm happy with because I can take this bag into shops with me to keep my valuables on me at all times and I can chuck my food for the day right into it as well. Only thing I'm worried about is that, packed as is, both pannier bags weigh about 5kg each, meaning that I'll be off balance once I top one of the bags up with food.


This is all my camping gear which is quite bulky so it goes into the 70L dry-pack. Then using the rope to tie it on top of my rear-rack as tightly as possible. I'm not using the full 70L volume but I still need the dimensions because my tent in particularly doesn't pack very compact. Only thing I could go without is the tarp, but that weighs nothing and is so easy to pack. Once I'm touring I'll only keep 1 spare gas bottle, but starting with 3 because I had them lying around.

Total volume: 2x 20L pannier bag + 70L dry-pack strapped on top.
Total weight: 2x 5kg pannier bags + 7kg dry-pack (plus 1-2kg food/water)

What do you think? How can I reduce it? This seems like a lot of volume/weight but I can't see many options to reduce this unless I splurge on a fancy tent.

Last edited by Cheeseftw; 08-26-21 at 07:03 AM. Reason: Added Info
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Old 08-26-21, 05:43 AM
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3x of clothing? I take 2x undies, one off-bike shirt plus a light pullover if it might get chilly and one pair of light convertible pants. I leave the legs at home if itís likely to be warm. If it could get pretty cold Iíll add a pair of synthetic long Johns. And that looks like a bulky towel. Try a synthetic towel like this:

https://www.packtowl.com/?gclid=CjwK...xoCW6EQAvD_BwE

Outlets like REI sell similar products. I think mine is a medium size.

Three rolls of tape. Are you going somewhere for a long time where there will be no stores should you even need that much tape?

Last edited by indyfabz; 08-26-21 at 05:49 AM.
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Old 08-26-21, 05:52 AM
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Three fuel canisters? Is this a month long trek you're getting ready for?
Not sure how many days your packing for, but if I were looking at all this I think I would get rid of:
1. the whole roll of duck tape (duct tape? .... you say 'potato', I say 'potatoe') (maybe the partial roll of the other black tape. what i do is wrap 5 ~ 10 layers gorrilla tape around part of my handle bars. if I need tape, I take some of that. i've not needed tape....)
2. the silver thingy next to the tooth brush - I don't know what it is, so get rid of it.
3. pink stripey towel. I wouldn't take two towels, but I do take a clean bandana for everyday (if I'm going 4 or 5 days).
4. what's in the TMC sleeve? does it have allen keys on it? If so, get rid of the set of allen keys, or just take the 4mm / 5mm / 6mm keys
5. what's the black handle t-thing? i'd get rid of it, I don't know what it is.
6. Blue-white-black shorts: you need all those shorts? You have some other sporty-looking shorts or pants to the left of those. seems like a lot of shorts / pants to me. The only pants I take are my rain pants. Then I'll have the shorts I'm wearing plus one or two pair of shorts packed to keep dry. For a week long trek, I'll take boxer-briefs where I'll sleep in a clean pair, then it gets worn for cycling the next day. Then at sleep time it goes in a dirty cloths back which mostly has dirty socks, dirty boxers, dirty bandana in it. For a longer trip I'd wear my briefs for more than one day.
7. For 5 days or so, I only get about half way through a large fuel canister. That's about 2 cups boiled for dinner and 2 cups boiled for breakfast. Maybe a little more.
8. Yea.... smaller tent if you can afford and tolerate it. With a laptop, it might not be tolerable.

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cheers.
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Old 08-26-21, 06:13 AM
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Hereís my towel folded sloppily. That board is maybe 5Ē wide.




You can make a pillow by putting your next dayís riding clothes inside your sleeping bag stuff sack. Get a compact travel toothbrush.
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Old 08-26-21, 06:26 AM
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how many days is this for?

For a weekend trip (2 nights) You just need 1 pair of riding clothes and 1 pair of sleep clothes that could double up as two layers riding clothes in case of some temperature emergency. At the end of the day, rinse your riding clothes and hang them out to dry or to waft haha. Get clean and slip into your sleeping clothes. In the morning before You start breaking down the camp and sweat get back into your riding clothes...if they are still damp they will dry out during the work portion of packing. Sleep clothes are (long sleeve top, long bottoms and socks) - to also keep your sleeping bag clean. If you get too hot at night you can slip out of your bag and just use it as a blanket or partial cover.

if You wear biking pants and long johns for sleeping I see no reason to carry briefs or boxers at all in your kit. -- however I attest to having a pair of quick drying shorts in the kit. When You get somewhere where you can actually swim or cleanup in a stream etc ... or to do laundry ... a pair of quick drying shorts and crocks for camp shoes as well as water shoes is a practical thing to have

Unless You plan on riding in total wilderness without any resupply stores or options you can use those stores as an assurance to purchase a garment in case one of your current garments mysteriously disappears or something... civilization means you can buy things along the way :-)

For a weekend of a trip you just need 1 canister of fuel.

What is the giant roll of tape for? If you think you will need tape for something you can just wrap a little bit of it onto something like water bottle ...

Last edited by PedalingWalrus; 08-26-21 at 06:42 AM.
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Old 08-26-21, 07:00 AM
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I don't know what the deal is with taking towels? (at all) I use my Pocket Shower, and use the clothes I was wearing to dry off and then wash them. I've never run into a situation where I wished that I had a towel. (seriously)
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Old 08-26-21, 07:13 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
3x of clothing? I take 2x undies, one off-bike shirt plus a light pullover if it might get chilly and one pair of light convertible pants. I leave the legs at home if itís likely to be warm. If it could get pretty cold Iíll add a pair of synthetic long Johns. And that looks like a bulky towel. Try a synthetic towel like this:

https://www.packtowl.com/?gclid=CjwK...xoCW6EQAvD_BwE

Outlets like REI sell similar products. I think mine is a medium size.

Three rolls of tape. Are you going somewhere for a long time where there will be no stores should you even need that much tape?
The two small rolls of tape I had lying around and they don't take up space. The large one I got for free to fix stuff on the road, but I agree I should just wrap a little of it around a bottle or something and that'll do.

Originally Posted by mrv View Post
Three fuel canisters? Is this a month long trek you're getting ready for?
Not sure how many days your packing for, but if I were looking at all this I think I would get rid of:
1. the whole roll of duck tape (duct tape? .... you say 'potato', I say 'potatoe') (maybe the partial roll of the other black tape. what i do is wrap 5 ~ 10 layers gorrilla tape around part of my handle bars. if I need tape, I take some of that. i've not needed tape....)
2. the silver thingy next to the tooth brush - I don't know what it is, so get rid of it.
3. pink stripey towel. I wouldn't take two towels, but I do take a clean bandana for everyday (if I'm going 4 or 5 days).
4. what's in the TMC sleeve? does it have allen keys on it? If so, get rid of the set of allen keys, or just take the 4mm / 5mm / 6mm keys
5. what's the black handle t-thing? i'd get rid of it, I don't know what it is.
6. Blue-white-black shorts: you need all those shorts? You have some other sporty-looking shorts or pants to the left of those. seems like a lot of shorts / pants to me. The only pants I take are my rain pants. Then I'll have the shorts I'm wearing plus one or two pair of shorts packed to keep dry. For a week long trek, I'll take boxer-briefs where I'll sleep in a clean pair, then it gets worn for cycling the next day. Then at sleep time it goes in a dirty cloths back which mostly has dirty socks, dirty boxers, dirty bandana in it. For a longer trip I'd wear my briefs for more than one day.
7. For 5 days or so, I only get about half way through a large fuel canister. That's about 2 cups boiled for dinner and 2 cups boiled for breakfast. Maybe a little more.
8. Yea.... smaller tent if you can afford and tolerate it. With a laptop, it might not be tolerable.

your free comments from the internets!
cheers.
Thanks a lot for your insights. I forgot to mention my tour plans and edited the original post, but I'm planning a 2-3 week trip that could extend indefinitely. As mentioned the 3 fuel canisters I still have lying around, but once they're used I'll keep an open one inside the stove and maybe 1 spare at most.

2. The silver thingy is a spanner for the spokes.
3. I have 1 towel for myself, 1 towel for cooking, 1 towel for grease. They're also handy to wrap sharp tools and stove into them.
5. It's a chain rivet tool - not needed you think?
6. That's 3 shorts and 3 boxer underwear. Shorts are all I'll be wearing on the bike, so I think 3 is a good amount. Could maybe cut underwear because I'm wearing my bike pants mostly (underneath the shorts).

Originally Posted by PedalingWalrus View Post
how many days is this for?

For a weekend trip (2 nights) You just need 1 pair of riding clothes and 1 pair of sleep clothes that could double up as two layers riding clothes in case of some temperature emergency. At the end of the day, rinse your riding clothes and hang them out to dry or to waft haha. Get clean and slip into your sleeping clothes. In the morning before You start breaking down the camp and sweat get back into your riding clothes...if they are still damp they will dry out during the work portion of packing. Sleep clothes are (long sleeve top, long bottoms and socks) - to also keep your sleeping bag clean. If you get too hot at night you can slip out of your bag and just use it as a blanket or partial cover.

if You wear biking pants and long johns for sleeping I see no reason to carry briefs or boxers at all in your kit. -- however I attest to having a pair of quick drying shorts in the kit. When You get somewhere where you can actually swim or cleanup in a stream etc ... or to do laundry ... a pair of quick drying shorts and crocks for camp shoes as well as water shoes is a practical thing to have

Unless You plan on riding in total wilderness without any resupply stores or options you can use those stores as an assurance to purchase a garment in case one of your current garments mysteriously disappears or something... civilization means you can buy things along the way :-)

For a weekend of a trip you just need 1 canister of fuel.

What is the giant roll of tape for? If you think you will need tape for something you can just wrap a little bit of it onto something like water bottle ...
It's for a longer trip, but I get your point on cutting clothing. I'll also drop the giant roll of tape. Thanks.

Originally Posted by headwind15 View Post
I don't know what the deal is with taking towels? (at all) I use my Pocket Shower, and use the clothes I was wearing to dry off and then wash them. I've never run into a situation where I wished that I had a towel. (seriously)
Good point, I could maybe drop the large towel that way. The two smaller rags are for cooking and greasy bike repairs, respectively. And they are useful to wrap sharp tools into.
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Old 08-26-21, 07:40 AM
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Have you put all of this on your bike and done an overnight test? The first time I toured, I did that and it convinced me to take out a lot of heavy clothes. Instead of all those off-bike clothes, I'd suggest buying a wool t-shirt and a down vest. I also take 2 biking wool jerseys, if I need more layers. I also take 2 pair of quick dry underwear (though I could likely make due with one) and a pair of lightweight cargo pants with zip-off legs. That's it for off bike clothes. Remember that your rain gear can also be worn around camp/town, if necessary (like when you are washing your clothes).

Since you are riding in France, there will be many places for you to buy things you need, including bike parts. I had an SPD pedal fail while riding there. I made it to the next town, found a bike shop and replaced it. France has a great rail network so even if something on your bike failed, you likely wouldn't be all that far from a train station where you could get a ride to the nearest town with a bike shop.

One way to make bike touring less enjoyable is to overload the bike, which not only makes it physically more difficult, also makes it hard to handle, find things, and to deal with all the stuff.
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Old 08-26-21, 08:13 AM
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Now that I know you will be 2-3 weeks in France and possibly longer Euro tour I would stay with my original recommendations plus:

ditch the underwear completely...maybe one pair

replace garments while on tour if necessary by buying it in France.

You can not bring those canisters with You on plane and in general the canisters available in Europe are without the threads ... I would not bring the stove at all and instead buy a stove in France for the common canisters and then buy a canister as needed and skip carrying multiples.

Bring only 2 pairs of socks. One for sleeping and one for riding. Rinse regularly, do laundry sometimes.

I would bring crocks for camp shoes. At the end of the day you want to get out of those riding shoes for various reasons: air them out, dry them out, take the soles out, wear something that does not require socks, wear something into water sources ... rocky beaches, muddy bottom lakes, dirty shower floors, walk on sandy beaches etc
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Old 08-26-21, 08:17 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post

Re: Duct tape:

Buy you a roll of Gorilla Tape brand Duct tape. It is usually more expensive but it is for a reason - it is far superior to conventional duct tape.

As to how to pack it - someone else already mentioned this idea - toss the roll idea and make "flat packs". Pull of a strip how ever long you want, I do mine about 4-6 inches. Wrap the length you want to start with against the part coming off the roll - sticky side to sticky side. Then keep flipping the pack, neatly wrapping another layer of tape on the pack with each flip. Take care to do it so it isn't all wrinkled up and off kilter. Make it neat and lined up with each flip.

I like to have a couple flat packs. I keep one in my bar bag and one in my first aid kit. Last year there was a thread on first aid kits that I posted in and detailed what I keep in there, but the gist of it is my first aid kit is a combination kit that has a lot of things in it for gear repair also - sewing, tape, zip ties, etc. - not just "first aid" for me.

Originally Posted by raybo View Post
Have you put all of this on your bike and done an overnight test? The first time I toured, I did that and it convinced me to take out a lot of heavy clothes.
I agree with the pre-trip trip.

This will do 2 things -
1. Get you familiar with the loading and how the bike rides. Tie off ideas. If you have gear that interferes with you or the bike (does anything rub a tire or run in to the spokes?) you can identify it and straighten it out.

2. You'll have a better idea of the "daily grind" and if there is anything you can do without it might be easier to identify it.

I have a different mind set when "touring" than most people. My thoughts are to be as self-supported as possible. I don't like to stop for resupply. I also like to have a lot of options. I don't like to get in to situations I am ill-prepared for. Most of the time I'd rather have something and not need it than to need it and not have it. That gets back to my shelter options - I take both a complete hammock set up and a good tent. More space and weight? Yep. But they both have their place and I am grateful for having both on tour.

If it were me - I would not restrict your gear too much. Please do a test ride and get the load situated well. That will help you and of course you can change that up as you go also. Changing the weight distribution as you go might help quite a bit. If there is something you are going to fret over not having then toss it in. It's your trip - ride it your way and enjoy it. If you can get by on the bare minimum fine. Just don't cut yourself short. And do give yourself plenty of time. Don't over-shoot your miles. Well, I suppose if you are in Europe that would be kilometers. Don't over-shoot your kilometers.
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Old 08-26-21, 08:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
3. I have 1 towel for myself, 1 towel for cooking, 1 towel for grease. They're also handy to wrap sharp tools and stove into them.
1 towel for grease?

A couple ideas.

I use paper towels or napkins to hold on to the chain when I am doing maintenance/repairs.

Another idea is to have some nitrile/latex gloves.

Napkins and paper towels are always along for a multitude of things in my gear list so that's generally what I use.

Another idea - you can get degreasing wipes. I am not sure if you are in the US or over-seas now. However, the paint department of Lowes and Home Depot here in the US sells degreasing wipes in a small bucket. Get you one and pack 10-15 of them in a couple zip-lock bags. Squeeze the air out and toss it in where ever. Just be careful to not puncture the bags. You don't want them drying out until after you use them.
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Old 08-26-21, 08:29 AM
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Others have made good suggestions on what to cut down or eliminate.

I think you're throwing people's estimate of the volume of your gear by your use of a 60L (or 70L?, you use both values) dry bag on the rear rack. If that's the size you actually have..WAY too big. I think a 30L or 40L would be plenty for your gear & still have room to roll the top and secure it.

Also, the dry bag in combo with a small elastic cargo net to secure it to the bike:


is helpful as you can wash various clothing bits and tuck them under the cargo net to dry while you're riding.
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Old 08-26-21, 09:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
....

Total volume: 2x 20L pannier bag + 70L dry-pack strapped on top.
Total weight: 2x 5kg pannier bags + 7kg dry-pack (plus 1-2kg food/water)

What do you think? How can I reduce it? This seems like a lot of volume/weight but I can't see many options to reduce this unless I splurge on a fancy tent.

i see volume, but where's the weight? dimensions don't really make much difference, within reason, other than wind resistance. how many kg's are you gonna gotta schlepp up and down hills all day long?

pack your stuff in bags and weigh each bag. weigh your bike. weigh yourself in your bike clothes and shoes.

also consider a front rack with small front bags, move some weight off the rear wheel.
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Old 08-26-21, 10:19 AM
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1. I have spent 6 weeks self-supported this summer, crossing an area where re-supplying was challenging at best. Everything did fit in 2x12.5L panniers + my tent & Ursack (for food items) attached to the rear rack (see pictures below)
2. I would suggest that you try to fit everything inside your two panniers while securing the tent to the rear rack. If it rains when you break camp, you don't want your tent to be packed with your gear anyway.

3. Keep in mind that you could start with empty panniers and purchase what you need as you go, as long as you do not start on a Sunday (when most French stores are closed).
4. You plan to carry a LOT of clothing. In essence, a base layer + 2 mid layers + whatever is needed to keep you warm + a shell is enough. Wash when you set camp and it'll likely be (reasonably) dry the next morning
5. No need to carry propane spare(s). When you run out, eat something that doesn't need cooking (plenty of options) or find a nice restaurant. And the nearest Decathlon
6. No need for a full tape roll. Many backpackers will wrap a meter or so on a tent pole. (or bike frame)
7. you can probably get by with a smaller bath towel (I use an ultralight face-size towel -- similar to swimmers wipes) and mechanic rags can be replaced by paper towels that you find at a gas station

8. I see no electronics. No phone/GPS/battery pack/charging cables?
9. I'd suggest a larger pump.




Cooking includes a 700ml kettle, 600 & 450 ml double-walled mugs, folding fork and spoon, ESBIT stove (a marvel if you ask me), an electronic lighter and a few days' supply of fuel tablets.
Hygiene includes a small UL towel, toothbrush + paste, soap bar in a pertex pouch, razor & blades.
Tops includes 1 short sleeve T, 2 long sleeve Ts (1 thermal, 1 lightweight) and 1 3D hoodie (heavier thermal) (minus what I wore that day)
Bottoms includes 1 pair of shorts, 1 pair of running tights, 1 yoga pant, 2 underwear, 1 pair of socks (minus what I wore that day)
Rain gear includes OR Helium jacket and pants, Hydroskin neoprene socks (excellent) & RAIDLight mitts (well....). I also carried an Houdini Air windbreaker.

Misc supplies includes oil, grease, a short lenght of chain (which I've used to remove my cassette), a fiberFix emergency spoke, etc
Electronics includes 2x Petzl Bindi head lights (fantastic), 2x 10 000 mAh battery packs, 2 USB-C cables, 2 USB-C> microUSB adapters, 2 USB-C > Garmin shortened cables + 1 20W PD wall charger. Phone, Kindle and inReach in handlebar bag.

Last edited by gauvins; 08-26-21 at 08:44 PM.
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Old 08-27-21, 02:19 AM
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Originally Posted by saddlesores View Post
i see volume, but where's the weight? dimensions don't really make much difference, within reason, other than wind resistance. how many kg's are you gonna gotta schlepp up and down hills all day long?

pack your stuff in bags and weigh each bag. weigh your bike. weigh yourself in your bike clothes and shoes.

also consider a front rack with small front bags, move some weight off the rear wheel.
I'm not sure what you mean? It says it right there exactly in the two lines you quoted from my original post?

Total volume: 2x 20L pannier bag + 70L dry-pack strapped on top.
Total weight: 2x 5kg pannier bags + 7kg dry-pack (plus 1-2kg food/water)

Also I'm 75kg plus bike clothes and shoes. Bike I have no idea but what would a bike roughly weigh? Like 15kg?

Last edited by Cheeseftw; 08-27-21 at 02:37 AM.
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Old 08-27-21, 02:27 AM
  #16  
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Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
8. I see no electronics. No phone/GPS/battery pack/charging cables?
9. I'd suggest a larger pump.
Thank you so much, your post is very thorough and insightful! I will take a lot away from that, I really wish I could pack that lightly as well and I'm going to try my best.

As to your questions: I've got a kindle and a couple cables stored in my laptop sleeve and I'm using a handlebar bag with phone holder where I keep my phone, charger, powerbank, hand sanitizer, face mask and wallet. Why are you suggesting a larger pump? Aren't we aiming for small packing volume? Will I struggle to get correct pressure in my wheels with the small pump? Thanks again!

EDIT: Looking at the Esbit stove right now, looks very convenient and super cheap, too. Which one are you using exactly? How difficult is it to buy fuel tablets on the road? How much fuel do you go through per day? I'm looking at the Esbit Pocket Stove right now and I'm worried whether the performance will be sufficient for regular cooking without going through lots of fuel tablets.

Also, how's the Thermacell? Does it actually keep you mozzy bite free?

Last edited by Cheeseftw; 08-27-21 at 05:38 AM.
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Old 08-27-21, 02:46 AM
  #17  
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
I'm not sure what you mean? It says it right there exactly in the two lines you quoted from my original post?

Total volume: 2x 20L pannier bag + 70L dry-pack strapped on top.
Total weight: 2x 5kg pannier bags + 7kg dry-pack (plus 1-2kg food/water)

Also I'm 75kg plus bike clothes and shoes. Bike I have no idea but what would a bike roughly weigh? Like 15kg?

really? that's fully packed weight? saddleybags with all your stuff stuffed insides?
well, okay then. gotten used to seeing the crazy heavy kg numbers of thick waterproof bags,
thought those might'a been empty weights........or maybe i misread pounds....
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Old 08-27-21, 04:34 AM
  #18  
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If you want to keep volume and weight under control start by eliminating multiples of things. You don't need lots of clothes. I have one set for riding and another set that I wear off the bike, but that I can also wear while riding. I wash clothes every night as I'd rather do that than carry extra weight or smelly clothes.
My unloaded bike weights 19 lbs (~9kg) and here is my packing list: volume 30 liters, weight 19lbs (9kg)

Rear Bag Carradice Camper
Front Bag Ortlieb Classic
Tarptent
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Pillow
Stove
Spork
Fuel bottle
Pot
Windscreen
Lighter
Cup
Long Sleeved T-Shirt
Convertible Trousers
Underwear
Socks
Kung-Fu Shoes
Nylon Backpack
50' cord
Insulated Jacket
Balaclava
Rain Jacket
Parts/Spares 2 x tubes
Multitool
Umbrella
Wash Kit
Small Microfiber towel
Sunglasses
First Aid Kit
Smartphone
External Battery
Radio
Cables and earphones
Head Lamp
Rear light on saddlebag
Nylon straps on saddlebag
Wallet
Pen and notebook
Pump
Lock
Gloves
2x 1L water bottles
One set of on bike clothes that I wear

Last edited by nun; 08-27-21 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 08-27-21, 06:41 AM
  #19  
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I bring two tubes. It is rare, but occasionally I have a valve stem disconnect from the tube or other tube failure that can't be patched.

Not sure how you are getting to France, but your photos show three puncture type stove cannisters. If you are flying to France, those will be confiscated and you could get in trouble with the security people. Unless you are already located there, I suggest a new stove, and buy a couple cannisters when you get to France. On this forum, it has been noted that in France the Decathelon stores sell threaded cannisters that most modern butane mix stoves use. But in France it has been noted that the unthreaded Gaz cannisters are common. Primus makes a stove that works on both threaded and unthreaded cannisters, the MSR Superfly also works on both types.

I usually bring one small roll of plastic electrical tape.

Is that long skinny thing a foam sleeping pad? Bike touring, I use an air mattress that is roughly one liter in volume. Those that use a foam pad usually pack that outside their other bags.

You commented:
I have 1 towel for myself, 1 towel for cooking, 1 towel for grease. They're also handy to wrap sharp tools and stove into them.
My stove fits in a small nylon stuff sack that came with it, but my stove is not attached to a cannister when I travel. I use a folded bandana when cooking as a hot pad, otherwise no towel needed. Grease, use disposable paper towels, not sure where the grease is from, is this from the bike or from cooking? I carry one towel for me, it packs down to maybe a half liter in volume.

Some suggested that you cut to a small number of socks. I however like to carry four pair (total, including what I am wearing), as at times you need a dry pair. A friend of mine tried to minimize his weight, only brought one pair of shoes that got soaked in the rain, he had foot problems later from having his feet in wet shoes and wet socks for too long.

The further you get from France the more likely you will need a threaded type stove that takes threaded cannisters. Stoves are cheap, buy a good one early instead of holding out until you can't buy a puncture type cannister. That is not a volume suggestion, it is more of a overall suggestion.
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Old 08-27-21, 07:07 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
Will I struggle to get correct pressure in my wheels with the small pump?
Well, in my experience a larger pump makes a significant difference, and being stored on the bike frame, doesn't take more space to carry. This being said, I've used my pump once 1 six weeks. So doesn't really matter much
Thanks again!

Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
EDIT: Looking at the Esbit stove right now, looks very convenient and super cheap, too. Which one are you using exactly? How difficult is it to buy fuel tablets on the road? How much fuel do you go through per day? I'm looking at the Esbit Pocket Stove right now and I'm worried whether the performance will be sufficient for regular cooking without going through lots of fuel tablets.
I have this one. Actually, a Chinese knock off that I felt to be a tad better fit to support my kettle. WRT to fuel tablets - They come in a few sizes. 4g tablets are more expensive per gram but I felt they were more convenient (and less smelly) than the larger ones. I'd use the stove in the morning (oatmeal & coffee) and evening (ramen/couscous/etc. & tea) only. I used 3-4 tablets/day (16g). (This past Summer I've relied on Coghlans', larger and cheaper but probably not available in Europe and you can't carry them in your luggage -- 2 per day was usually enough). Look at Esbit's site to find retailers. I got some from Amazon.fr. You can easily carry 3 weeks worth of tablets with you and resupply after that if you find it convenient. (OCD ultralightists claim that a fuel tablet system beats propane for trips of less that 21 days (you don't carry a container). Probably underestimated, because most will carry a spare. Greatest benefit of fuel tablets is that you know exactly how much fuel is left. Greatest drawback is that boiling water requires patience (10 mins for 500ml or so).

Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
Also, how's the Thermacell? Does it actually keep you mozzy bite free?
Fantastic. I was in Northern Ontario, where mosquitoes can be incredibly abundant (you kill 5 with one slap of the hand on your leg, and they are replaced by another squadron landing immediately afterwards). The thermacell essentially got rid of them. Not sure it is worth carrying one in Europe, but if you travel in bug-infested areas, thermacell is an excellent solution.

[All this being said, not to worry too much about this equipment thing -- it is the journey that matters. Things can be discarded or acquired along the way.]
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Old 08-27-21, 07:23 AM
  #21  
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I think the most common pumps that are recommended on this forum are the Road Morph G or the Lezyne Micro Floor Drive. A few years ago I wrote up a comparison of the two at this link:
Comparing Topeak Road Morph G and Lezyne Micro Floor Drive Pumps.

After I wrote that, some other manufactures also made similar ones with a hose that are small and light.
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Old 08-27-21, 07:53 AM
  #22  
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The Lezyne pumps are great. I use the small Pressure Drive and can pump my tyres up good and hard with a few mins of slowly paced pumping.
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Old 08-27-21, 08:20 AM
  #23  
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Some of this has probably been said by others above, but here are my observations:

1. Only see I pair of biking shorts. Might consider taking two.
2. 0-1 pair(s) of underwear is good.
3. Don't need 3 pars or shorts. I take 1.
4. REI microfiber towels don't cost much, dry fast and save a lot of space. Ditto a washcloth... look for one that advertises that it "never needs washing." I have this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1 and am very happy with it.
5. Too much tape. Roll some on a pencil or your pump. Easy to get on the road if needed.
6. Instead of towel in tool kit, cut up a couple of pieces of cloth for cleaning/lubing chain. Add several disposable wipes for cleanup. Bring blue disposable gloves (I like the think ones from Harbor Freight that can be used over and over).
7. Ditch the bulky, heavy tarp in favor of a piece of Tyvek.

All of the items above are either free or cheap. You could also replace both sweatshirts with one polyester thermal top for riding, although this would cost money.
Additionally, you can't take the fuel on the plane. Some research is in order regarding purchasing fuel in France.

EDIT: Here if Tyvek by the foot:
https://www.ebay.com/itm/19094068819...hoCgY8QAvD_BwE

Last edited by timdow; 08-27-21 at 08:30 AM.
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Old 08-27-21, 08:25 AM
  #24  
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Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
.... I'm planning to run with 2x 20L pannier bags plus a 60L dry-pack strapped on top. To be fair, I'm not making full use of the 60L dry-pack and am using rope to reduce size to a minimum, ....
Originally Posted by Cheeseftw View Post
Total volume: 2x 20L pannier bag + 70L dry-pack strapped on top.
A 60-70L dry sack is a BIG bag.

For reference - the 2x large yellow dry sacks on the back of my bike, pictured below, are 20L each, or 40L. 60-70 is more than 3x of these.

I will say - having plenty of extra interior dry storage space is a great thing. I used black trash bags on the trek last fall. They worked, but they are not very strong and you have to get real creative with lashing. A proper dry sack would be a better solution. Think re-supply here. Where are you going to put the extra groceries if all your bags and panniers are full?

Another BIG note - you need to keep the weight low. That is why the dry sacks (front and rear) are off to the sides. If you put the weight on top of your racks then balancing the bike becomes problematic.

With the gear you have laid out thus far I don't think this will be an issue for you, period, but be aware of it - if your balance is off you can get a "death wobble" in the handling of the bike. Even though you may be able to balance and ride the bike the loading being "off" can cause a "shake" in the tracking that you can not remove, other than changing the balancing of the loading. I've had that issue before - not on the trip the pictures are from. I learned what it was a few years back so I know how to get rid of it now.

Dealing with the weight and balance is a prime reason for a pre-trip trip. Learn what the weight does to how the bike rides. You will likely need to change things around on the trip, also, so have some options in mind for how do shift things. As always - keep gear out of the tires and spokes. It is imperative you keep extra cordage tied up away from wheels. A piece of 550 cord getting wrapped around a hub going down the trail can cause a lot of issues once it gets tight. If it doesn't break - it will break something else and cause a sudden stop.





Yes, that is frost you see on the bike, bags, and ground.
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Old 08-27-21, 08:22 PM
  #25  
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I have been touring since '85, I just had A few thoughts: I highly suggest that you do a "pre-tour" before going over seas. I am about to shove off for Spain (hard to beat for a $500 round trip price), All tourists come up with a set up that works for them. I have heard/ met tourists with what I consider to be all sorts of crazy ideas over the years. From talking to a guy who was lugging a whole socket set with him. I mean really where on a bike does a bikes take sockets? Well, anyway he was convinced of it's importance. I always chuckle about the tourist who was planning to haul six or seven sets of cycling clothes, and was planning on finding a laundromat every seventh day, to do his laundry. I use to do 100 mile days and stop at fast food places mid day and do "sink washing" with yesterday's clothes and strap the stuff to the back of my bike. (it's amazing how fast stuff dries.) I live on the Southern Tier, so I have met my share of (strange) tourists. I once read about a guy in Spain, He had a keyed padlock. He stopped for lunch. He managed to loose the key. He ended up really stressed out about his missing key/ worried about getting his lock cut off, and then having to find another lock. At that time I felt so lucky that I take a combo cable lock, so I never have to go through anything like that. I noticed that you are putting all of your gear on the rear of your bike. There is a high chance that you will overload the back of your bike. I went touring in Colorado a month ago and even with some gear on the front, I broke several rear spokes, I hope you have better luck. I hope this helps (a little bit).
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