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how do you pack your big items?

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how do you pack your big items?

Old 02-12-09, 02:42 PM
  #1  
mervynyan
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how do you pack your big items?

I have a 4-season mountaineering sleeping bag, even in a compressed form, it is still big and can barely fit in my back roller classic. Same goes the one-person tent, footprint and sleeping pad. Do you carry these items on the rack or in your panniers? Where can I find a large water-proof bag? My local bike shop doesn't carry touring equipments.

Thanks,
merv
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Old 02-12-09, 02:53 PM
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For a while, I was carrying my tent and thermarest in a large stuff sack strapped to my rack.



You can get stuff sacks from any online seller of camping equipment. (I usually order from REI, for what it's worth.)
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Old 02-12-09, 03:42 PM
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For 20 years I have used a large roll top dry bag for clothes, sleeping bag,tent . Outdoor Research [OR], Sea to Summit and several others make large light weight roll top dry bags of 35 to 50 Liters that have been durable and kept my equipment dry while strapped on top of my rear rack.
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Old 02-12-09, 04:16 PM
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I would reccommend using a canoe/kayak dry bag over a regular waterproof stuff sack, as they tend to be more durable. My one has lasted many years through a lot of rough stuff.
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Old 02-12-09, 04:47 PM
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I pack that stuff on top of the rack, in a roll top dry sack. Got one at Canadian Tire for $16. Mine goes horizontal, though.

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Old 02-12-09, 06:03 PM
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I leave my 4 season mountaineering bag at home and cycle tour with a lightweight 3 season down bag. The sleeping bag goes on my rear rack, too.

Seriously, unless you're camping in winter temperatures a 4 season bag is not a good idea. You'll sweat like crazy, end up dehydrated in the morning, and all that sweat will make the bag less effective and shorten it's life.

Any store that sells mountaineering or backpacking equipment will have a selection of stuff sacks for any budget. If you're worried about your stuff sack keeping rain out a plastic garbage bag will make the leakiest stuff sack waterproof.
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Old 02-12-09, 06:34 PM
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It varies a bit for me, but I often have the sleeping pad sideways (like in Valygrl's picture) on the rear rack. I always carry the tent sideways on the rear rack. My sleeping bag generally goes inside a pannier, and depending on space the pad may as well.

The tent always stays out and doesn't require a waterproof bag since I roll it with the bottom on the outside. It doesn't seem to get any wetter even if it gets rained on all day when rolled that way. The tent or at least the fly is damp often enough that I never store it inside a pannier where the moisture may migrate to drier items.
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Old 02-12-09, 07:15 PM
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I don't carry anything particularly large when I tour.

My sleeping bags for example, roll up to about 6-7 inches long and about 3-4 inches in diameter. I've got two of them.
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Old 02-12-09, 07:20 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
I pack that stuff on top of the rack, in a roll top dry sack. Got one at Canadian Tire for $16. Mine goes horizontal, though.

Beautiful picture and bike/setup.
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Old 02-12-09, 08:59 PM
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I have always packed the sleeping bag into one rear pannier and stuffed the tent (less poles) into one front pannier - Keeps me from overpacking heavy stuff in the bags
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Old 02-12-09, 09:55 PM
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I have found that putting the rear bag lengthways works better, as you can access the rear panniers without taking anything off, and the weight is centred better:
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Old 02-13-09, 12:41 AM
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Visit thetouringstore.com and you can buy ortlieb brad dry bags like the one you want.
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Old 02-13-09, 07:11 AM
  #13  
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I'm not going to give a good answer to your question as I don't carry big items. Unless you are biking in an area where you need a 4 season bag I'd just buy a smaller bag that will take you down to 32F. Same goes for the tent. I pack my sleeping quilt in my saddlebag and strap my tent under my saddle.
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Old 02-13-09, 07:44 AM
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Originally Posted by DukeArcher View Post
I have found that putting the rear bag lengthways works better, as you can access the rear panniers without taking anything off, and the weight is centred better:
Not knocking that, but there are situations where crosswise makes sense.

Where I think there can be a drawback to putting the rear bag length ways is when the load on top is long and the weight winds up being farther back as a result. When in a group and carrying a 4 man tent, I really like to have the weight of that heavy tent as far forward as possible. That means sideways as close to the seat post as possible was best for me at least in that case. This is true to a much lesser extent when carrying a solo tent.

Access to the rear panniers isn't a big deal to me since I try very hard to pack in a way that everything I might need during the day is either in the handlebar bag, the front panniers, a jersey pocket, or under a flap of the rear panniers where I can reach in and pull it out without moving anything. I don't recall a time I needed to dig into a rear pannier while on the road.

One way or the other probably isn't universally better, but so far for me cross ways works best.
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Old 02-13-09, 08:18 AM
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For a 5-week trip in the Himalayas, I had my sleeping mat (Exped Downmat 7LX) and bag (4-season, down) in the rear panniers, and there was plenty of room for clothes and other bits & bobs in there too. I had Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus on the back, Front Roller Plus on the front, no handlebar bag (I used a small bumbag instead), and the only thing I needed to keep outside the bags was the tent (Hilleberg Nallo GT3).

If yours is a down-filled bag, and you put it in a compression-sack, you'll be amazed at how small it'll pack up. Mine kept me warm at -10degC in the tent (with a silk liner), but the compression-sack squashed it down to something like the size of an American football. Brilliant.

My preference is to keep as much as possible inside the panniers, even if it does make access a bit of a faff on the rare occasions I'd need to get at something under all my clothes and the sleeping bag. It hardly happened though, because like Staehpj1 above I kept all the frequent-access stuff in the front panniers. I really don't like having stuff piled up on the bike, like a bird's nest with straps & bungees everywhere.
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Old 02-13-09, 08:37 AM
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Originally Posted by mijome07 View Post
Beautiful picture and bike/setup.
Thanks! The grey bag is my tent, the yellow stuff sack has my thermarest, sleeping bag and down jacket. It's not a compression bag, so it could be a lot smaller, but it doesn't seem to matter.

I really like that it's yellow, for visibility.
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Old 02-13-09, 10:19 AM
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Does it make a difference if the rear rack has that 2nd top rail for placing the pannier load lower? Does that additional clearance make it easier to load the top of the rack?
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Old 02-13-09, 10:40 AM
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For compressing sleeping bags I find that the sea to summit eVent stuff sacks are the best by far. With previous compressible waterproof sacks I've used the air is not released from the bag when you compress it. The eVent bag on the other hand lets the air out, resulting in a smaller package.
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Old 02-13-09, 11:29 AM
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ultra light

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Old 02-13-09, 11:45 AM
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Originally Posted by DukeArcher View Post
I have found that putting the rear bag lengthways works better, as you can access the rear panniers without taking anything off, and the weight is centred better:
+1 I use to lash my tent and sleeping bag cross ways, but they would tend to twist back and forth from the straps only being ~5" apart. Now I put them length ways (I have to now because of pockets on top of the panniers), and the straps are ~12" apart making the load more secure.
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Old 02-13-09, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
Thanks! The grey bag is my tent, the yellow stuff sack has my thermarest, sleeping bag and down jacket. It's not a compression bag, so it could be a lot smaller, but it doesn't seem to matter.

I really like that it's yellow, for visibility.
Thanks for the description. Looks like you got everything you'll need.
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Old 02-13-09, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl View Post
I pack that stuff on top of the rack, in a roll top dry sack. Got one at Canadian Tire for $16. Mine goes horizontal, though.
I forgo the dry sack



And since I started using a Big Agnes pad I have the pad inside the sleeping bag



Or, if my wife is along and won't sleep on the ground...I go nikked

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Old 02-13-09, 06:28 PM
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I bought a waterproof stuff sack for my sleeping bag from Campmor. So far it hasn't leaked a drop. It's a lot lighter than a heavy dry sack (like the ones I have for canoeing - made out of the same-type stuff as Ortlieb Classics.) My tent's bag seems to be pretty waterproof. I usually carry a few plastic kitchen-type garbage bags for just in case. I've used them for my sleeping bag, tent, and other stuff lots of times. The work great. You have to be careful not to tear them, but if you do and you have some spares, you just whip out another one. It's the budget method.

I now carry my tent and sleeping back transversely, but I've also carried them lengthwise. Either is fine with me.
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Old 02-13-09, 07:53 PM
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This is a pretty good photo of how NOT to do it. Notice all the weight in the rear, resulting in poor balance and a poor handling bike. Also not a bad idea to have the opening of the dry bag pointed toward the seat so if it were to open accidentally, you're not as likely to lose something. Guy must have been a real bozo

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Old 02-13-09, 08:06 PM
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Originally Posted by robow View Post
This is a pretty good photo of how NOT to do it. Notice all the weight in the rear, resulting in poor balance and a poor handling bike. Also not a bad idea to have the opening of the dry bag pointed toward the seat so if it were to open accidentally, you're not as like to lose something. Guy must have been a real bozo
Actually, having the weight in the back does not affect the handling as negatively as you might suppose.

And the stuff in those panniers could actually be fairly light. I'm not sure which Axioms they are, but at most mine only weigh about 12-13 lbs each.
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