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How heavy is what you carry? Did I overdo it?

Old 11-23-22, 10:57 AM
  #101  
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Feet are sweaty. Wearing socks more than once causes stinky feet. I'm very sensitive to stink so I just can't do it. BO is bad enough. I don't need that foot aroma on top.
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Old 11-23-22, 02:36 PM
  #102  
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Thanks for reviving this thread. Made me search for sources of inspiration. Perhaps others will find ideas in this blog.
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Old 11-23-22, 10:56 PM
  #103  
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I try to ride barefooted in sandals most of the time to reduce the need for socks. But I agree, socks can only be worn once before washing, even if they're merino wool. Home conditions is of course a bit different but touring puts such a sweat strain on everything that even wool socks will stink after a day's riding.
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Old 11-24-22, 10:55 PM
  #104  
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Thanks for the replies. One of the difficulties is the context. In this instance I am aiming to do a tour of a large chunk of South America, which means having things on me that I will not need most of the time but will need some of the time. For example, cooking and camping gear (7kg) is for routes taken out of necessity or/and areas I particularly want to visit that are lacking in accommodation. Sunblock and permethrin (insect repellent) for a sustained period is 1kg alone. Anti-malarials, antibiotics, first aid kit, etc at least another 1kg. Cold weather clothes for colder areas, rain gear, and warm weather clothes for warmer ones (yes, layers, but there are limits to that). A pair of clothes that are decent enough to wear off the bike for when I stop in places for longer periods. And so forth.

Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
My suggestion on that front is minus tent and sleeping gear and maybe some cooking gear and stuff try living off of the stuff you plan on bringing with you and seeing what you need and don't need. You may not get it down much but some people find they are taking 8 pairs of undies and 20 shirts for every occasion and you really don't need quite that much. I would say one to wear and one to wash for cycling wear and undies but everything else you can probably get more time on. Also depending on where you are going you might also just get yourself a box of stuff you think you would need and see if a friend or relative can mail it to you if you need it.

I am a chronic overpacker so I know the feeling. With phones these days you can ditch a lot of the electronics potentially unless you need to work or are doing photo journalism or similar type stuff but these new phones have really great cameras and I have friends who have taken some of their best shots with cheap point and shoot cameras even though they have expensive camera equipment.

Though the weight on the touring bike isn't bad that is pretty average I think mine when last weighed was around that with dynamo hub and lights and charger.
Yeah, I think the bike itself is okay/reasonable, the gear is just too heavy. And it currently seems a mystery as to why it's so heavy 😅 but I've made a detailed list of what was in each pannier when I did the weighing so will start cutting using that. The photographic aspect is too important for me to ditch that equipment for a phone. At least this time I can use SD cards: on my last tour many years ago I was at one point carrying 20 spools of film!

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
I try to do sink laundry almost every day. Two shirts, two pants, two bike shorts, two jerseys, four undies and four socks. One pair bike shoes, one pair hiking shoes. That means a 25 foot clothesline (very thin cord) and a dozen clothes pins comes in handy.

If you had 39 kg of gear not counting the bike, I hope a lot of that was food. I find that a day of food is close to 1 kg.
Yeah, none of it is food at this point... 😬 which I agree will add about 1-2kg (since I will likely want two days' food).

Originally Posted by Miele Man View Post
Uh, are you saying that your total weight thus far WITHOUT food or water is 54kg/119 lbs? Ah, I see that is so. 39kgs/86lbs.

How much food and water do you intend to carry?

Are there any steep or long hills on the route you plan to take? Loose surface roads/trails?

How much loaded bicycling have you done?

Do you have gearing low enough for these weights and routes?

To be honest, I'd try to pare down that initial 39kgs/86lbs weight if I needed to carry much food and/or water. Walking a loaded bicycle up a hill or on a loose surface is NOT fun.

Good luck and cheers
Well, I'm starting in Colombia so that would be: yes to steep climbs 😅 'probably' to trails and loose surface roads. My main experience of loaded riding in this kind of context was my first (and only) long tour in East and Southern Africa, but that was many years ago. My gearing is now much lower than it was (just need to get it tuned properly). Agreed on the advice: need to somehow find a way to cut 5kg+.
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Old 11-25-22, 12:32 AM
  #105  
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Originally Posted by afrowheels View Post
Yeah, I think the bike itself is okay/reasonable, the gear is just too heavy. And it currently seems a mystery as to why it's so heavy 😅 but I've made a detailed list of what was in each pannier when I did the weighing so will start cutting using that. The photographic aspect is too important for me to ditch that equipment for a phone. At least this time I can use SD cards: on my last tour many years ago I was at one point carrying 20 spools of film!
.

Yeah if you are really keen to take really good photos it is hard to ditch the equipment but I think there is probably some savings somewhere, maybe not a lot but probably some but it sounds like you are sort of already gone or near gone. But hey as long as you have a good time and take excellent photos and share them with the class, you are pretty well set.

That is the fun of touring having so much gear or have not quite enough it adds some challenge and with too much gear with stuff you know you aren't needing you can give it away maybe you find a co-op or some village or town or whatever someone who could use that piece and you have made their day and you have made yours as your pack is lighter.

My old Disc Trucker I think is in Central or South America somewhere or at least was last I heard of its whereabouts. I sold it to a friend who then sold it or gave it to someone down there which is awesome so it is going to continue life forever and ever till it finally dies but it's a Surly so not likely.

Have fun out there, I wish I could do some longer distance touring sometime. Maybe I will do something short this winter down to visit a friend about 260 miles so not terrible but colder.
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Old 11-25-22, 07:49 AM
  #106  
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Originally Posted by afrowheels View Post
...I am aiming to do a tour of a large chunk of South America, which means having things on me that I will not need most of the time but will need some of the time.

For example, cooking and camping gear (7kg) is for routes taken out of necessity or/and areas I particularly want to visit that are lacking in accommodation.

Sunblock and permethrin (insect repellent) for a sustained period is 1kg alone.

Anti-malarials, antibiotics, first aid kit, etc at least another 1kg.

Cold weather clothes for colder areas, rain gear, and warm weather clothes for warmer ones (yes, layers, but there are limits to that).

A pair of clothes that are decent enough to wear off the bike for when I stop in places for longer periods. And so forth.
...
...The photographic aspect is too important for me to ditch that equipment for a phone. At least this time I can use SD cards: on my last tour many years ago I was at one point carrying 20 spools of film!
...
... need to somehow find a way to cut 5kg+.
Sleeping bag, tent, sleeping pad, there might not be a lot you can do to save weight without incurring a lot of cost.

Cooking gear, I bring a stove, one big pot (titanium), small pot that is also a mug (titanium), coffee mug (titanium), folding spoon and folding fork (MSR), and of course fuel. Not sure what you have but that might be an area you can trim weight for not much cost.

Sunblock and insect stuff, for a five week trip I might have to buy a second bottle of one of those, I usually carry two ounce size bottles, or roughly 60 to 70ml of each. Not sure why you need as much as I would use in a year.

Other meds and first aid, I think I carry maybe 20 percent the weight you have for a five week trip and I have diabetes meds and a blood sugar meter to carry too.

Cold weather gear, not sure how cold you are talking but I have often been in sub freezing conditions on a bike tour, so a down vest, stocking cap, long underwear, variety of bike gloves for different temperatures, that stuff is not that heavy but it is bulky because insulation takes space. Rain gear is a must but if you are careful in selection it is not that heavy.

Camera gear, I carry a waterproof point and shoot camera, usually use about one battery in two days, they are rechargeable Li Ion, so I also have charger for that. If I anticipate seeing a lot of wildlife too, I bring a superzoom camera that has a huge zoom range. That stuff adds up to maybe half a kg with recharging gear, spare batteries, case for the superzoom, etc. I understand the desire for good gear, if I drive somewhere I have a DLSR or two along, but not on a bike trip.

You have described a lot that many of us also carry but you appear to have the heavy version of a lot of that.

And nobody has accused me of being an ultralight packer. You did not even cover bike tools and spares, I might have a kg of that stuff for travel into remote areas too.
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Old 11-25-22, 08:29 AM
  #107  
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A few observations on the camera stuff... My thoughts are as follows:

For most of the pictures people take on a typical tour the current crop of phones (and even those of a generation or two of models back) can do an amazing job. It is possible to do a good job of documenting the trip with impressive pictures using one. Sure there are limitations, but they are not that severe.

You can go a step further and go with lightweight pro gear. Micro 4/3 stuff is not all that heavy. If I were to take my Olympus OM-D I can still go pretty light. Even If I want/need a lot of capability I can stay quite light considering. The OM-D with a pro 75-300 lens and a pro 40-150 lens weiigh in at a few ounces under 3 pounds. Adding a small dedicated flash, some filters, extra batteries, and other misc. stuff and it can still be under 4 pounds. It is expensive though especially if you go with pro level lenses, but if you already have the gear it is certainly an option.

I figure that if the idea is to document the trip the phone is most likely sufficient. If the purpose of the trip is photography (or at least one very major purpose of the trip) then taking 4# of stuff to support that may make sense It also makes sense that if it is that major of a purpose, cutting weight in other areas to support that purpose might be reasonable.

There are in between answers for in between needs, but I am likely to go to with the phone or the OM-D. I may take less in what goes with the body of the OM-D if the trip is an "in between" one, but if I dropp too much i may start thinking of just using the cell phone.
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Old 11-25-22, 10:14 AM
  #108  
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You mentioned Permethrin. The permethrin that I have bought was used on clothing, not on your body, I applied that to clothing at home before the trip, I do not take it on a trip.

For insect repellant on my skin, I use Picaridin, or occasionally Deet, but prefer Picaridin over Deet for most things.
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Old 11-25-22, 10:48 AM
  #109  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
You mentioned Permethrin. The permethrin that I have bought was used on clothing, not on your body, I applied that to clothing at home before the trip, I do not take it on a trip.

For insect repellant on my skin, I use Picaridin, or occasionally Deet, but prefer Picaridin over Deet for most things.
Yeah permethrin not for pplication on skin. It works great for treating clothing though.

I should probably try picardin. I guess I am stuck in the old days where deet was pretty much the only answer that actually worked.

BTW, in my experience low percentage deet works fine if splashed on liberally and a bit more often than when using the high concentration stuff. So I hve used the low percentage stuff and splashed it on liberally.
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Old 11-25-22, 11:05 AM
  #110  
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Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Yeah permethrin not for pplication on skin. It works great for treating clothing though.

I should probably try picardin. I guess I am stuck in the old days where deet was pretty much the only answer that actually worked.

BTW, in my experience low percentage deet works fine if splashed on liberally and a bit more often than when using the high concentration stuff. So I hve used the low percentage stuff and splashed it on liberally.
Yeah, I am carrying a different repellent for skin and the permethrin for clothes, shoes, tent and other items. Apparently permethrin needs to be renewed approximately every 6 weeks (or 10 washes) and the type (water based) that does not harm equipment like tent netting is not widely available as far as I know. So if one is planning a trip for 10 months it is arguably useful to carry some to renew the repellent.

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Old 11-25-22, 04:01 PM
  #111  
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Originally Posted by afrowheels View Post
Yeah, I am carrying a different repellent for skin and the permethrin for clothes, shoes, tent and other items. Apparently permethrin needs to be renewed approximately every 6 weeks (or 10 washes) and the type (water based) that does not harm equipment like tent netting is not widely available as far as I know. So if one is planning a trip for 10 months it is arguably useful to carry some to renew the repellent.
I personally probably would just start out with an application and forget it for the remainter of the trip for most trips. If going from Alaska to the tip of South America or something maybe I'd rethink that, but in the continental US I definitely haven't bothered. If I did I'd typically buy something like that along the way or have it mailed to me. My trips are typically in the US and not more than coast to coast, so usually not more than 10 weeks so at most I'd do one application. That could be handled by buying some product when needed, using it, and mailing the remainder home. FWIW, Sawyer sells a bundle of six 4.5 ounce bottles with one application sprayer. If I were going to re treat on the road I might have someone mail me a 4.5 ounce bottle via general delivery rather than carry it the whole way. Of course not everyone is as averse to lugging extra weight as I am.
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Old 11-25-22, 06:07 PM
  #112  
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My first tour I carried a load of 25 lbs with my groundcloth, camp stove, fuel bottle, tools, food, and extra clothing. My second tour I knew exactly what was needed an my total weight of what I took was 15 pounds in total. I have never used front panniers and they only make sense if touring from months in the winter.

Now with far more bike shops and usually one in every town there is less need to take much in the way of spare parts. With two people a single camp stove can be shared as well as a groundcloth and tools and first air items.

There is an old adage with backpackers that whatever size backpack you buy it will get filled to capacity. Larger backpacks or double panniers encourage one to take more stuff than is absolutely necessary.
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Old 11-26-22, 12:15 AM
  #113  
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Be careful with deet. Avoid getting it on your phone, camera, or anything you value. I used it a lot in my work, and learned the hard way. I wash my hands after applying it if possible. If I can't wash them, I try to wipe them off.

I had a flat tire on my truck, and one of the lugnuts was frozen on, and I couldn't even loosen it jumping on the tire iron. I squirted it liberally with the military issue deet we used, and after a relatively short wait it came off.

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Old 11-26-22, 06:57 AM
  #114  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Be careful with deet. Avoid getting it on your phone, camera, or anything you value. I used it a lot in my work, and learned the hard way. I wash my hands after applying it if possible. If I can't wash them, I try to wipe them off.

I had a flat tire on my truck, and one of the lugnuts was frozen on, and I couldn't even loosen it jumping on the tire iron. I squirted it liberally with the military issue deet we used, and after a relatively short wait it came off.
That is why I switched to Picaridin, did not want any more Deet damage. Decades ago I bought a tiny little bottle of 100 percent Deet that I occasionally carry. On my last tour (five weeks) used Picaridin every day, but one day when the bugs were really thick, also added Deet later in the day.
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Old 11-26-22, 07:03 AM
  #115  
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Be careful with deet. Avoid getting it on your phone, camera, or anything you value. I used it a lot in my work, and learned the hard way. I wash my hands after applying it if possible. If I can't wash them, I try to wipe them off.
Yeah, I ruined a few plastic items that way. It is especially problematic with the high concentration stuff. Back when I used the 70-100% deet was when I had problems. I didn't really notice issues with the "Summer Splash" type products that were something like 4-7% DEET when I recklessly splashed them on. I probably still should be more careful even with them though. Better yet maybe I should just switch to picardin.
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Old 11-26-22, 07:09 AM
  #116  
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Originally Posted by afrowheels View Post
.... So if one is planning a trip for 10 months it is arguably useful to carry some to renew the repellent.
If you are trying to carry 10 months of expendables, that is where your weight problem came from.

My longer trips are six weeks, not many months. But on a six week trip I bring a few extra ounces of shampoo, a bit more toothpaste, a larger bar of soap and make sure that my 2 oz bottle of repellant is full. And that is about it. I might start with a new chain too. For spares, also bring a set of brake pads. But otherwise I bring pretty much the same thing on a one week trip and a six week trip.

If you are carrying clothing that you do not plan to need for the first half year, if it was me I would either have a friend ship me what I plan to need or would plan to buy later.
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Old 11-26-22, 07:30 AM
  #117  
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
If you are trying to carry 10 months of expendables, that is where your weight problem came from.

My longer trips are six weeks, not many months. But on a six week trip I bring a few extra ounces of shampoo, a bit more toothpaste, a larger bar of soap and make sure that my 2 oz bottle of repellant is full. And that is about it. I might start with a new chain too. For spares, also bring a set of brake pads. But otherwise I bring pretty much the same thing on a one week trip and a six week trip.

If you are carrying clothing that you do not plan to need for the first half year, if it was me I would either have a friend ship me what I plan to need or would plan to buy later.
Yes, I'd definitely try to avoid carrying something that I knew I wouldn't need for the next 6 weeks if possible. Using general delivery, arranging to ship a package to a bike shop, warm shorwers host, or other address willing to accept and hold a package is handy and it is nice to have a chance to do do now and then. You will likely have a reason to get other items from home once in a while any way. It is helpful to have someone at home who knows where your gear and clothing is and can send you stuff. In six weeks when you need some permetherin the climate may have changed and you may want some other clothing or gear to suit it. You may need prescription refills or something that might be easier handled at home. Usually I find that the mail exchanges are a two way street. You get some items from home and mail others home.

If mail or shipping from home is out, buying stuff on the road is another option. The danger is that you can keep accumulating stuff and get rid of none as you go. Personally I tend to mail stuff home if I know I won't be needing it.
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Old 11-26-22, 12:48 PM
  #118  
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I got my core/non-negotiable gear down to 23kg, excluding weight of the actual panniers, water, food, fuel, permethrin. That includes spares (incl. one folding Schwalbe marathon) but no tools other than a multitool.

For the lightweight travellers, the following would explain the differential from what they aim for:
Duffle with tent, sleeping bag, inflatable mat and pillow, sleeping sheet: 5kg
Handlebar bag with DSLR, lens, small binoculars (birdwatching), headlamp: 5kg (add 0.5kg for the bird book...)
Other electronics: small laptop, chargers, plug adaptor, external hard drive: 2.5kg

So yeah, for short 'credit card' tour it would be easy to cut it down a huge amount. For a 10month trip not so much, depending on approach and priorities.

Some replies below.

Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
Yes, I'd definitely try to avoid carrying something that I knew I wouldn't need for the next 6 weeks if possible. Using general delivery, arranging to ship a package to a bike shop, warm shorwers host, or other address willing to accept and hold a package is handy and it is nice to have a chance to do do now and then. You will likely have a reason to get other items from home once in a while any way. It is helpful to have someone at home who knows where your gear and clothing is and can send you stuff. In six weeks when you need some permetherin the climate may have changed and you may want some other clothing or gear to suit it. You may need prescription refills or something that might be easier handled at home. Usually I find that the mail exchanges are a two way street. You get some items from home and mail others home.

If mail or shipping from home is out, buying stuff on the road is another option. The danger is that you can keep accumulating stuff and get rid of none as you go. Personally I tend to mail stuff home if I know I won't be needing it.
Yeah, I will definitely be doing some mailing. Paper maps, for instance. Bird books for different countries (unfortunately too many species in S.America for one book - on my African trip I could just carry one, admittedly largeish one). 2/3rds full bottles of water soluble permethrin, perhaps not.

Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
If you are trying to carry 10 months of expendables, that is where your weight problem came from.

My longer trips are six weeks, not many months. But on a six week trip I bring a few extra ounces of shampoo, a bit more toothpaste, a larger bar of soap and make sure that my 2 oz bottle of repellant is full. And that is about it. I might start with a new chain too. For spares, also bring a set of brake pads. But otherwise I bring pretty much the same thing on a one week trip and a six week trip.

If you are carrying clothing that you do not plan to need for the first half year, if it was me I would either have a friend ship me what I plan to need or would plan to buy later.
The only expendable intended to last at least 3-4months is the permethrin - we can probably save a little time here by assuming some basic sense... You could save weight by using soap for your hair ;P

Originally Posted by Calsun View Post
My first tour I carried a load of 25 lbs with my groundcloth, camp stove, fuel bottle, tools, food, and extra clothing. My second tour I knew exactly what was needed an my total weight of what I took was 15 pounds in total. I have never used front panniers and they only make sense if touring from months in the winter.

Now with far more bike shops and usually one in every town there is less need to take much in the way of spare parts. With two people a single camp stove can be shared as well as a groundcloth and tools and first air items.

There is an old adage with backpackers that whatever size backpack you buy it will get filled to capacity. Larger backpacks or double panniers encourage one to take more stuff than is absolutely necessary.
I propose a norm for this forum that whenever someone makes a statement like this they say where they were touring , for how long, and whether they have any other interests in life (writing, photography, language learning, birdwatching, literature, etc) or can do some work remotely. Otherwise it's pretty much useless. In my case: hoping to do a 10month tour of South America, want the option of camping in natural areas and in more expensive places, photoography is something I take seriously, I'm a very keen birdwatcher, I like to write, and I can work remotely. So that adds at least 10kg: see above. If all I wanted to do was cycle in countries with relatively more infrastructure and resources, I was happy to go from town to town, had no interests, and could not work remotely, then it would for sure be different..

Originally Posted by staehpj1 View Post
I personally probably would just start out with an application and forget it for the remainter of the trip for most trips. If going from Alaska to the tip of South America or something maybe I'd rethink that, but in the continental US I definitely haven't bothered. If I did I'd typically buy something like that along the way or have it mailed to me. My trips are typically in the US and not more than coast to coast, so usually not more than 10 weeks so at most I'd do one application. That could be handled by buying some product when needed, using it, and mailing the remainder home. FWIW, Sawyer sells a bundle of six 4.5 ounce bottles with one application sprayer. If I were going to re treat on the road I might have someone mail me a 4.5 ounce bottle via general delivery rather than carry it the whole way. Of course not everyone is as averse to lugging extra weight as I am.
Yeah, in the US I would be confident I could find the kind of thing fairly often. In S.America not so much. (One also doesn't want to spend a whole day searching a city or town for something every 6 weeks). Mailing unsealed insecticide probably not so easy if postal services are strict. But looking into smaller bottles might be worthwhile. I'm not very averse to lugging stuff but I don't want to do it unnecessarily.
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Old 11-27-22, 01:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64 View Post
Be careful with deet. Avoid getting it on your phone, camera, or anything you value. I used it a lot in my work, and learned the hard way. I wash my hands after applying it if possible. If I can't wash them, I try to wipe them off.

I had a flat tire on my truck, and one of the lugnuts was frozen on, and I couldn't even loosen it jumping on the tire iron. I squirted it liberally with the military issue deet we used, and after a relatively short wait it came off.
Never knew about the destructive nature of that stuff until a can of Deep Woods Off rusted a leaked in my damp basement. It was in a box with some RCA stereo cables. Went looking for something else in the box and discovered part of the plastic coating on the cables had literally turned to goo. Also damaged was old helmet in the box.
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