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Old 05-01-24, 09:31 AM
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Packing list

[in reaction to the rear rack thread, where cavernous panniers are contemplated...]

Backpackers often share their packing list via lighterpack. If anyone uses this in the context of bike touring, I'd love to peruse them.

I am finalising my packing list in anticipation of a 2+ months tour in Western Europe (i.e. were supplies are abundant and conditions benign). The kit weighs under 12kgs, including the 2 kgs for the luggage system (rack & bags) and fits into 2 x 5.5L fork packs and 2 x 5L dry bags. Food and other transient items go in a 10L (nominal) bear bag.

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Old 05-01-24, 11:47 AM
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I break it down into several sublists.
Repairs, to bike, to me, first aid
Navigation and Communication
Clothing, on bike, off bike
Tent, Toilette, and Sleeping
Cooking, Snacks
Miscellaneous, eating, etc.
Then I pack the panniers according to when I might need the stuff, e.g. en route, on the left side, in camp, on the right.
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Old 05-01-24, 11:53 AM
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I am impressed by your dedication to this. My own packing strategy involves raiding my closet for whatever gear I need, throwing them into a pile on the ground, and attempting to cram them into my panniers. Most of my stuff is 10+ year old beat up crap long past their prime, and none of it is "ultralight" or even "normal light".
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Old 05-01-24, 12:00 PM
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My equipment list from an 18-month Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks ride - (http not https link) - Equipment - A bicycle ride across the Americas

A few items of note:
- I was swapping a few items, e.g. I left Prudhoe Bay with extra warm clothes and extra food given the remote nature. I mailed home some of these items at Fairbanks and in return picked up a "Fairbanks" package I had mailed myself
- I was swapping my Trek 520 bike for a mountain bike in Banff so I could ride more of the GDMBR. I had planned my Extrawheel trailer, but forgot the hitch so did that with panniers. As it turned out, I continued on the mountain bike all the way down though I started to favor more of the paved roads
- Another swap I would have done in hindsight is using heavier sleeping bag for coldest parts (Alaska, Altiplano in Peru/Bolivia) but considered something lighter in-between e.g. Central America

For shorter trips, I typically start with a saved equipment list from a longer trip (e.g. Canada, Russia, Americas, Australia) and pick a subset that makes sense.
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Old 05-01-24, 12:42 PM
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Why a bear bag, for a place with virtually no bears? They are useful for keeping lesser critters out, of course, but so are much lighter alternatives.

Your packing list is very different from mine. You have a lot more money to spend on ultralight gear than i do, which is cool, but you then carry almost as much weight as i do, but with way more things, especially tools and electronics. And i think that not many carry prescription drugs that weigh almost as much as their sleeping bag. I guess i am fortunate that my prescription drug needs for a three-month tour weigh 9.5 grams inclusive of container (just checked).

Your clothing list seems very minimal, especially for such a long tour. You have literally zero "normal" clothes. Am i correct that you will bring only one pair of socks, and no shoes at all, but only sandals? I cannot imagine finding room for a chair, and an umbrella, and more than half a pound of some kind of electronic insect repellent system, but not a second (or third) pair of socks on a 2+ month tour. Or doing without shoes for more than 2 months.

In general, this list seems very much like an exercise in minimalism/masochism, eliminating a lot of comfort for the sake of not using conventional panniers, but with odd areas where you are traveling very heavy indeed (electronic air-mattress pump (!!!), 3 lbs of electronics, 1.78 lbs of tools (but no tire pump?), 2.36 lbs kitchen (includes no food), 1.69 lbs chair/umbrella; these items are 1/3 of your total).

Different strokes for different folks, obviously; we do things very differently. Thank you for posting this list, which ought to inspire a lot of interesting discussion,. And i was not aware of lighterpack, so thanks for that as well.
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Old 05-01-24, 01:00 PM
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My packing list for a long weekend away:
Tailfin aeropack: tent, poles, pegs, stove/pot/gas/mug/spork/small hand towel. Space for food
10 litre mini panniers: sleeping bag and pillow one side, sleeping mat, towel, baselayer on the other
Frame bag: 1.5 litre bladder, coffee, snacks,
Top tube bag: phone, card wallet, snacks
downtube bag: tools and spares
Handlebar bag: spare kit, socks, layers, powerbank, cable, usb wall plug
Hip pack- first aid kit, toiletries, snacks
rain jacket is easy access in a pocket
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Old 05-01-24, 02:17 PM
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This is a dynamic list. This was close to the final for a 3-month tour.
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Old 05-01-24, 02:58 PM
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Originally Posted by ignant666
Why a bear bag, for a place with virtually no bears? They are useful for keeping lesser critters out, of course, but so are much lighter alternatives.
(1) Insignificant weight difference (2) indestructible; (3) I have it

Originally Posted by ignant666
i think that not many carry prescription drugs that weigh almost as much as their sleeping bag
Totally inappropriate and condescending. Try diabetes for a while and get back to me WRT sleeping bags.

Originally Posted by ignant666
one pair of socks
There is a small 2 at the end of the line, Socks usually come in pairs so it is customary to refer to 2 socks as one unit, in my part of the world

Originally Posted by ignant666
only sandals?
Yep. And guess what -- at the end of the first section of my tour I give a formal talk. But being academics, these people usually do not comment on footwear.

Originally Posted by ignant666
I cannot imagine finding room for a chair, and an umbrella
Yeah... unusual... to each his own

Originally Posted by ignant666
half a pound of some kind of electronic insect repellent system, but not a second (or third) pair of socks on a 2+ month tour.
Perhaps Google Nitecore EMR20. Might surprise you, (socks again??)

Originally Posted by ignant666
but no tire pump?
Sorry. Beta. I have not listed the pump (Lezyne micro floor) because it lives on my frame. Perhaps I should add the three stainless bottle cages as well?

Originally Posted by ignant666
i was not aware of lighterpack, so thanks for that as well.
np. FWIW I was asking for lists. Will eventually write a summary

Last edited by gauvins; 05-01-24 at 03:48 PM.
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Old 05-01-24, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Doug64
This is a dynamic list. This was close to the final for a 3-month tour.
Thanks for your list.

1. I usually toured with a "reasonable" rain outfit. This summer I'll perhaps see if a windbreaker with DWR (and "similar" pants) will do. I could never really stay dry under day-long semi-heavy rain, wearing conventional rain gear, so my aim is to just stay warm enough, and if the weather really sucks, to pitch my tent (if no roof is available) or put my poncho and hide under my umbrella if in the middle of nowhere. Only once in... 6-8 months over several tours (I've lost count) did I (mildly) fear hypothermia.

2. Curious - what is a "Ferry strap"
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Old 05-01-24, 03:14 PM
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Bear bag:

Originally Posted by gauvins
(1) Insignificant weight difference (2) indestructible; (3) I have it
...
Good answer. I am planning a backpacking trip on an island that has no bear, but it has other small critters and I have been thinking back and forth on the Ursack.

I think I will bring it along for the small critters. It will be eight days with zero chance of resupply, I do not want to get that hungry.
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Old 05-01-24, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by rivers
Tailfin aeropack:
Interesting. It is everywhere in my feeds. Was mildly interested, but not to the point of taking a second mortgage (well -- actually not necessarily, but you get the idea).

Then, yesterday I came a vlog (not possible to embed; link below) where the vlogger's companion deals with a broken Tailfin. Not entirely clear what to make of it (was it abused, looks like customer service was above reproach). So I'll stick with Tubus at least for now.

WRT mini panniers -- usually lost of faff to put them on/off the rack.

---

Interesting list. Will read again. Thanks

---
vlog:
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Old 05-01-24, 03:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN
Bear bag:



Good answer. I am planning a backpacking trip on an island that has no bear, but it has other small critters and I have been thinking back and forth on the Ursack.

I think I will bring it along for the small critters. It will be eight days with zero chance of resupply, I do not want to get that hungry.


Not 100% clear what's best. Ursack warns that small rodents can open holes in the kevlar. My understanding is that these holes are small (teeth size) and your food is more or less safe. Looks like the more definitive answer is a steel mesh ratpack or the Almighty . OTOH -- I've never run out of food due to wildlife.
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Old 05-01-24, 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by mev
My equipment list from an 18-month Prudhoe Bay to Fairbanks ride - (http not https link) - Equipment - A bicycle ride across the Americas
Unfortunately unable to follow your link. in Chrome. Not even possible to edit https > http.

Thanks for you very comprehensive list.

Question of the moment -- you write "moist towelette" (AKA wipes I assume). If you can expand a bit? Baby wipes come in HUGE packs, makeup wipes seem to be available in smaller quantities (online at least). I remember being offered samples in a drug store (for free, somewhere in Europe). All of this to say -- wipes are extremely convenient, but perhaps a couple of towels and a some solvent (alcool) would be a better alternative. Just now I notice that this is under REPAIR -- I was thinking about the shower substitute after a long day where there is no running water to wash the dirt and "stuff"
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Old 05-01-24, 03:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Yan
I am impressed by your dedication to this.
...

Not entirely clear. Like body weight. Not paying attention, to many burgers, you become overweight. Paying too much attention, strict diet, you become anorexic.

As I said, I was motivated to post my Q&D packing list in reaction to the 130L packing system that was mentioned. I've ditched my panniers over the past 3-4 years. Back at first, front this past summer. And I can only tell that a lighter kit has meaningful impact when you board a train/plane or when you have to jump a fence, walk upstairs, etc. (In some/most airports you can use caddies across terminals - that's the pits).

Anyhow.
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Old 05-01-24, 03:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Pratt
I break it down into several sublists.
Repairs, to bike, to me, first aid
Navigation and Communication
Clothing, on bike, off bike
Tent, Toilette, and Sleeping
Cooking, Snacks
Miscellaneous, eating, etc.
Then I pack the panniers according to when I might need the stuff, e.g. en route, on the left side, in camp, on the right.
Same process here.

I've noticed that for the first trip (2-months long with kids) I overestimated what is "necessary". I carry less than a third of what I would have, back then. And the process is probably not over yet -- for example, I used to carry a spare tire even in Western Europe/Western America. Which I no longer do -- Restrap boots could have repaired every tire damage I've had in years.

On the fence WRT chain. Obviously available anywhere, but I have a strong preference for the Wippermanns, assuming that they last longer. And not obvious WRT fuel. Two years ago I was cooking on Esbit (most compact, but smells, difficult to find supplies under way, wasteful). Past summer was planning on small (think Jetboil) gas canisters. They were out of stock across France and the UK at the start of the season (post COVID??). So I plan on carrying a spare. Perhaps not necessary at all. And there is the umbrella -- game changer when hiking, but obviously you won't pedal holding an umbrella and at rest you can usually find some cover. But it weighs next to nothing, takes no meaningful space (lash alongside a dry bag) and it *sometimes* a benediction...
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Old 05-01-24, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
Question of the moment -- you write "moist towelette" (AKA wipes I assume). If you can expand a bit? Baby wipes come in HUGE packs, makeup wipes seem to be available in smaller quantities (online at least). I remember being offered samples in a drug store (for free, somewhere in Europe). All of this to say -- wipes are extremely convenient, but perhaps a couple of towels and a some solvent (alcool) would be a better alternative. Just now I notice that this is under REPAIR -- I was thinking about the shower substitute after a long day where there is no running water to wash the dirt and "stuff"
Yes, baby wipes. They also come in small packages of ~10-20 wipes in a small pack. It is with my repair items since the most common use is to clean my hands after having done something with the bike, e.g. adjusting chain, replacing a tube. Inevitably I can get my hands dirty and before touching my hands to face I like to have them clean again. For me that use case has been more common than as a shower substitute. I did the shower substitute on supported Africa ride with one of those containers but mostly solo touring and semi-frequent places with running water on other trips - or more isolation.
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Old 05-01-24, 06:58 PM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
Totally inappropriate and condescending. Try diabetes for a while and get back to me WRT sleeping bags.
Sorry to offend you. A thing that you could do, if there are things you carry that you find it offensive for folks to comment about, is to leave them out of your publicly-posted packing list, the one that you have posted a link to here, and requested comments on.

I am pretty sure that diabetic medications are available throughout Europe, and that a US prescription would be honored; you could also do mail-ahead, rather than carrying a multi-month supply. Getting healthcare in Europe in my experience is very very easy, and incredibly cheap and simple by US standards. But yeah, utterly your business, and none of mine, until you post a packing list, and ask for comments on it.

Originally Posted by gauvins
There is a small 2 at the end of the line, Socks usually come in pairs so it is customary to refer to 2 socks as one unit, in my part of the world
I am unable to tell what you are saying here? Maybe you are taking 2 pairs of socks after all? But then you have to have socks that weigh 18.5 g/pair for 2 pairs to weigh 37 g? My lightest socks (that suck) weigh 32.5 g/pair; the merino wool socks i actually take touring weigh 59 g/pair.

Originally Posted by gauvins
Yep. And guess what -- at the end of the first section of my tour I give a formal talk. But being academics, these people usually do not comment on footwear.
This is a truly extremely bizarre comment. I am a retired academic myself, so i can say that the idea that academics are, as class, unaware of the clothing or footwear of others, or that academics would never comment on these things, or even notice them, is just really bizarre and dead wrong. I was an ethnographer, and one of my favorite questions to ask folks was "What kind of shoes are you wearing today? Why are you wearing that particular kind?" I certainly have never met or spent more than a few minutes with any person without noticing what they are wearing (or not wearing) on their feet. If you mean that they will be cool with you wearing sandals, well, groovy, man.

And again, the context here is that you have asked for comments about this list of stuff. If you are so offended by folks commenting about things on this list, why did you post it?

Originally Posted by gauvins
I have not listed the pump (Lezyne micro floor) because it lives on my frame. Perhaps I should add the three stainless bottle cages as well?
Well, you do include the weight of your "Rear rack Tubus Cargo" at 681 g, which presumably also is attached to the frame. It just seemed a notable omission from this very detailed list.

You know, that list you posted, the one that you asked for comments on?
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Old 05-01-24, 07:08 PM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
Thanks for your list.

1. I usually toured with a "reasonable" rain outfit. This summer I'll perhaps see if a windbreaker with DWR (and "similar" pants) will do. I could never really stay dry under day-long semi-heavy rain, wearing conventional rain gear, so my aim is to just stay warm enough, and if the weather really sucks, to pitch my tent (if no roof is available) or put my poncho and hide under my umbrella if in the middle of nowhere. Only once in... 6-8 months over several tours (I've lost count) did I (mildly) fear hypothermia.

2. Curious - what is a "Ferry strap"
A Ferry strap" is a 4' long piece of 1/2"-5/8" tubular nylon webbing with quick release buckles sown on the end. It is used to secure bike to the hull or fittings in ferries and trains. It is also good for strapping firewood to the rear rack.



The ferry straps in use on our daughters' bikes. The red strap on the left and the blue strap on the right are holding their bikes to the hull of a ferry. The velcro bands on the brake levers are their parking brakes.



P.S. The uncut steerer tube on the silver bike was cut later when the height was dialed in

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Old 05-01-24, 11:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ignant666
I am pretty sure that diabetic medications are available throughout Europe, and that a US prescription would be honored; you could also do mail-ahead, rather than carrying a multi-month supply. Getting healthcare in Europe in my experience is very very easy, and incredibly cheap and simple by US standards. But yeah, utterly your business, and none of mine, until you post a packing list, and ask for comments on it.
I think Gauvins is Canadian so he already has affordable healthcare, wouldn't save much buying drugs in Europe.
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Old 05-02-24, 05:47 AM
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Here's a link to my packing list and weights from my last cross-US tour. That was 12 years ago and I didn't even carry a cell phone. I had just completed the Triple Crown of US long distance hiking trails and had my pack weight down to a minimum. (Eight pounds +/-, when traveling by foot. I was surprised at how much gear the bike required, and how much panniers and racks weigh.) I also developed an effective stoveless camping method.
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Old 05-02-24, 06:06 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
[in reaction to the [url=https://url=https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/1292470-rear-racks.html]rear rack thread, where cavernous panniers are contemplated...]

Backpackers often share their packing list via lighterpack. If anyone uses this in the context of bike touring, I'd love to peruse them.
Well, there you go; I have an account at Lighterpack ... maybe I should fill it out.

For what it is worth, touring = bikepacking = touring to me. I carry the same items, the only difference being the use of panniers on the Long Haul Trucker.
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Old 05-02-24, 06:25 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
Interesting. It is everywhere in my feeds. Was mildly interested, but not to the point of taking a second mortgage (well -- actually not necessarily, but you get the idea).

Then, yesterday I came a vlog (not possible to embed; link below) where the vlogger's companion deals with a broken Tailfin. Not entirely clear what to make of it (was it abused, looks like customer service was above reproach). So I'll stick with Tubus at least for now.

WRT mini panniers -- usually lost of faff to put them on

---
vlog: https://youtu.be/3WCQ1ItLb1k?si=K-oAm5nhS5Dn2zYJ
Not sure why it broke, but apparently, reading the comments, Tailfin sent out a replacement absurdly quickly. Their customer service is excellent.
their offices are based in Bristol,where I live. When I was debating buying the rack, they invited me to their offices to test the fit (I have a 46cm bike), and offered me a demo until before I bought one. It is hands down, the best bike related purchase I've made. I did sell some of my old scuba equipment to fund the purchase, so it didn't hit my wallet too hard.
I have no issue with the mini panniers either. They attach and detach in less than 10 seconds. No faff
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Old 05-02-24, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by andrewclaus
Here's a link to my packing list and weights from my last cross-US tour. That was 12 years ago and I didn't even carry a cell phone. I had just completed the Triple Crown of US long distance hiking trails and had my pack weight down to a minimum. (Eight pounds +/-, when traveling by foot. I was surprised at how much gear the bike required, and how much panniers and racks weigh.) I also developed an effective stoveless camping method.
Thanks for the list.

​​​​​​Could you elaborate on your silnylon jacket? I assume that it is close to 100% waterproof. Vented?

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Old 05-02-24, 08:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Yan
I think Gauvins is Canadian so he already has affordable healthcare, wouldn't save much buying drugs in Europe.
Provisioning prescription drugs in Europe for non EU residents is a crap shoot. Regulations stipulate that pharmacies must honor prescription written by a doctor who is licensed in a EU member country. So the official process would be to get a prescription from a European doctor, first. In practice, an understanding pharmacist may sell you prescription drugs, assuming that the drug is available under the same name, or the generic equivalent clearly identified.

I've never tried to resupply my prescription meds in Europe. I've asked pharmacists and got more or less what I've written above. One caveat would be that drugs would have to be paid in full and claimed to your state/private insurance when back home.

Last summer, my daughter forgot her orthodontic elastics while we were traveling in France. On first try we were unable to purchase equivalents. On a second try, (second orthodontist office), we were given a box for free, presumably out of "compassion", and because the system would block an outright sale.
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Old 05-02-24, 11:13 AM
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Originally Posted by gauvins
Provisioning prescription drugs in Europe for non EU residents is a crap shoot. ....
Fortunately my meds do not require special handling or refrigeration, so I can carry them for over a month without issue. I put pills in a plastic bag and then put that bag into a labeled bottle, the plastic bag is mostly to reduce the chance of them turning to dust after many hours of vibration in a hard container.

If I anticipated wanting to buy prescription meds in a foreign country, I would try contacting my govt State Dept and ask them for a contact in the country I plan to visit, and contact that person in that country to see if they had any advice, or if they knew of a pharmacist that accepted my home country prescriptions.

If I recall correctly, for your UK trip, you put your meds into plastic bags with labels provided by your pharmacist with no difficulty. I followed your suggestion, yesterday asked for spare labels for my next trip and the pharmacist was happy to provide them. Thanks for that suggestion a year ago.
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