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Ah more learning curves: packing

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Ah more learning curves: packing

Old 04-27-13, 07:18 PM
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Ah more learning curves: packing

Well the last few days have brought about a little "controlled" panic. My bike should be ready in about a week and my first tour start in mid may. I was/am hoping to get an overnighter in but it will come down to timing. I will get some rides in though regardless but if I can't get an overnighter in, no worries. The first tour is a three night, four day tour with mid range miles.

So the last few days, I've been getting some stuff that I might think I ill need. Remember, I have no flipping clue what I will really need so it's all a shot in the dark to be frank. Then tonight I had the hinkering to try to organize it in the panniers. So I had everything laid out nicely on the floor, the cats rolling around, playing with this and that while my wife sits down and shakes her head. Lol

I do think there is an art to packing. What I thought I needed has proven thus far to yield no more room in the panniers and no room for clothes so the first round of taking stuff out went quickly. The second round was a little tougher and I think I really need to do another round.

This adventure will be very interesting to say the least. I am a real big guy so stuff like clothes take up a lot of room and I haven't even tried to pack them yet. Everything takes up so much room..... Tent, sleeping bad, cpap stuff. Grrrrrr.

I don't honestly know how you all do it.
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Old 04-27-13, 07:24 PM
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post your list, your type of touring (camping? cooking? hotel?), expected weather conditions, and number of panniers. we are here to help.

you better tell us how big the cpap stuff is too, since that's not an item everyone carries.
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Old 04-27-13, 07:35 PM
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So ... you haven't ridden your touring bicycle at all ... it won't arrive till early May and you leave mid-May. That's cutting it a bit tight for getting the fit and setup right! However, I guess since your first tour is a short one, it won't be the end of the world. Be sure to bring tools so that you can make fit adjustments as you go.


Anyway, about packing ... this is the setup I've used since I started touring, and because it works, I've kept it:

Pannier 1 - clothing and medical/toiletries
Pannier 2 - bedding and dishes
Carradice Nelson Longflap - tools, rain gear, cold weather gear, sandals
Handlebar Bag - documents, camera, light snacks, and other personal items

I could add a tent on the rack behind the Carradice if I were travelling alone.

My Packing List ... and no, I don't bring it all, but I do consider it all: https://www.machka.net/articles/packinglist.htm


What are you planning to bring?
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Old 04-27-13, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by Machka
So ... you haven't ridden your touring bicycle at all ... it won't arrive till early May and you leave mid-May. That's cutting it a bit tight for getting the fit and setup right! However, I guess since your first tour is a short one, it won't be the end of the world. Be sure to bring tools so that you can make fit adjustments as you go.


Anyway, about packing ... this is the setup I've used since I started touring, and because it works, I've kept it:

Pannier 1 - clothing and medical/toiletries
Pannier 2 - bedding and dishes
Carradice Nelson Longflap - tools, rain gear, cold weather gear, sandals
Handlebar Bag - documents, camera, light snacks, and other personal items

I could add a tent on the rack behind the Carradice if I were travelling alone.

My Packing List ... and no, I don't bring it all, but I do consider it all: https://www.machka.net/articles/packinglist.htm


What are you planning to bring?
yes, cutting it close for sure but I will ride as much as possible to figure out the fit before hand. Since riding, I've worked with a great shop that has hooked me up with fittings on all three bikes so far. I do wish I had more time but this opportunity came quick, it's free and 20 plus other touring cyclist will be there too.

Ill throw up a list and pictures tomorrow.
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Old 04-27-13, 07:43 PM
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Originally Posted by valygrl
post your list, your type of touring (camping? cooking? hotel?), expected weather conditions, and number of panniers. we are here to help.

you better tell us how big the cpap stuff is too, since that's not an item everyone carries.
thank you. I will throw up a list and pictures tomorrow.
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Old 04-27-13, 08:22 PM
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weight balance on the front is noticeable when its off, steering pulls off.. rear, less so..
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Old 04-28-13, 01:45 AM
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Originally Posted by chefisaac
20 plus other touring cyclist will be there too.
There is your answer. Check with them about what to take. Some of them must have done similar tours previously. One of the prime factors in deciding what to take is what temperatures and other weather concerns you need to deal with. They will know.

Check also to see whether someone will have some tools you can borrow in camp so that you can take only the tools you might need out on the road.

The actual packing - placing the items in the panniers - is by personal choice and there is no secret we have that would result in providing extra room. The trick is to come up with a system that allows you to remember what is packed where and you will only learn how to do that with practice.

Good luck.

Edit: I realize not everyone knows about where to place the heavier objects and I found advice on that on another site:

Loading gear on a bike is similar to packing a backpack, what you take and where you put it are important considerations that can radically affect handling and balance. A balanced load in a backpack is an issue of comfort. On a bike it can be a matter of life and death when the trail narrows to steep single track or that 18 wheeler rolls up next to you at 65 mph. The first issue of loading a bike is where to focus the load. There are many options. It is best to experiment before any big trip and do what works best for you. The following is an overview of the major options.

Rear only, or front and rear? The school of balanced riding says front and rear is best to distribute the load more evenly and keep your front-end down. With front racks, there is an additional choice of high or low mounting racks. The general rule is high for off road conditions and low for paved surfaces. Low racks will give much better handling, but are dangerous for off road riding, where clearance is the major issue. Front suspension aficionados, and riders who value a full view of the road/trail, must opt for rear panniers only. You will need larger bags if only one set is used, but, if you are not comfortable with bags on the front fork, this is your only real option.

Once you have decided on rear only or rear and front panniers, there are several general rules that apply equally to both systems.

Keep heavier items low, inboard and toward the rider. (Fig.1). Heavy items should go in the bottom of the pannier, next to the frame sheet, forward in rear bags, back in front bags.



Pad hard/sharp objects. Put extra clothing in the bottom and sides of bags to act as a cushion to any road hazards or crashes that may occur.

Keep necessities and emergency items (tools and first aid) accessible in seat wedges, pockets or handle bar bags.

Sleeping bags and pads generally go on top of the rack between the rear paniers.

As with backpacking, experience is the best teacher. Experiment with different loading methods. If something doesn't feel right, it isn't; so stop and move things around.

Last edited by 58Kogswell; 04-28-13 at 12:11 PM. Reason: more information
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Old 04-28-13, 01:55 AM
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Ah more learning curves: packing

fwiw, I pack the stuff I need during the day; stove, food, tools, toiletries in right pannier, and stuff I only need in the evening; sleeping bag, off-bike clothes, in left pannier.

This helps when laying bike down on left (non-drive) side for getting to the stuff I use during the day,

Oh and handlebar bag for snacks, camera etc
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Old 04-28-13, 04:09 AM
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I think there is a knack to actually putting stuff in panniers.
I stuff socks etc right into the corners, this helps distribute stress and prevents wear on the fabric.
Put any books/maps against the backplate.
Put any long objects into the corner BUT ensure that hard surfaces, edges and ends are padded with fabric (esp at the base).
Keep the stuff you want to use during the day at the top.
If your panniers are not waterproof and you expect rain, line them with a trash bag or put vulnerable stuff into a thin nylon drybag (not the thick canoe-style ones) inside the pannier.
Wrap electronics/optics etc in clothing.
If you are putting sleeping bag inside the pannier, compress it really tight, kneel on it. Tents can be wrapped in parts to distribute. If putting them on the rack-top, I keep the tent packed as normal and the bag compressed less tightly, protected by another nylon drybag.
Shoes are the big space hog, esp for big guys. I take Teva sandals lashed to the outside. Flipflops, crocs, race running shoes also work.
You want the weight balanced and heavy stuff close to the backplate if possible. The pannier should be packed very firmly, there should be no empty space in the corners or edges and you should never be able to feel the outline of hard objects.
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Old 04-28-13, 05:00 AM
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I don't know if this will help, but ...

This page talks about my thoughts regarding what I took on Rowan's and my 2007 European Tour:
https://www.machka.net/pbp2007/2007_PBPTouringGear.htm
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Old 04-28-13, 05:33 AM
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Machka's lists are going to be way off the mark for chiefsaac's needs.

this is a first time bike tourer, with lots of gear and medical equipment.

Traditional, 4 pannier and a handlebar bag bike touring allows you to carry a lot of gear with you if needed.

That isn't even a lot of stuff, but you get the idea.

chiefsaac hasn't yet posted what his gear list is, so that's a problem in sorting it out.

but generally speaking,

1 pannier for cookset and food
1 pannier for clothes
1 pannier for sleeping bag and clothes
1 pannier for raingear, extras
essentials and valuables in handlebar bag

if needed, move the sleeping bag to the back rack as well. The "euro" or world tour packing method uses a waterproof duffel mounted sideways across the panniers and rear rack to maximize cargo capacity.

using 4 panniers and a handlebar bag, you should be able to fit tons of stuff on your bike. not sure what the problem is. I'd suggest getting a vertical compression sack for the sleeping bag, and another for any bulky clothes.
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Old 04-28-13, 05:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Bekologist
Machka's lists are going to be way off the mark for chiefsaac's needs.

this is a first time bike tourer, with lots of gear and medical equipment.

chiefsaac hasn't yet posted what his gear list is, so that's a problem in sorting it out.
I now have to carry quite a pile of medical stuff with me too. I actually had to up the size of my panniers to accommodate it all on our last tour. Life changes, medical conditions change.

And just because this is a first tour doesn't automatically mean he'll have lots of gear. I carry a lot of gear with me ... he could very easily have less than what I carry.

Meanwhile yes, we're waiting for chefisaac (he's a chef named isaac ) to post his gear list.
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Old 04-28-13, 06:42 AM
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oh, i'm sure your list is fine. the distribution is totally non-traditional, and not relevant to the chef's packing method.

Originally Posted by machka
Pannier 1 - clothing and medical/toiletries
Pannier 2 - bedding and dishes
Carradice Nelson Longflap - tools, rain gear, cold weather gear, sandals
Handlebar Bag - documents, camera, light snacks, and other personal items
It sure sounds like he has a lot of gear.

Originally Posted by chefissac
What I thought I needed has proven thus far to yield no more room in the panniers and no room for clothes so the first round of taking stuff out went quickly. The second round was a little tougher and I think I really need to do another round.
maybe he's trying it with only two panniers.

yes, let's see what chefissac ( I think i'm disylexic) has on his list, his bike photos, and how it all fits so far.

Last edited by Bekologist; 04-28-13 at 06:47 AM.
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Old 04-28-13, 08:11 AM
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Make sure that you ride the bike fully loaded several days before the start. If you have any rack problems, pannier fitting problems, etc., you want time to deal with the problems. I recommend blue locktite on all rack bolts.

If you get a bit of shimmy when fully loaded, try moving front panniers forward or backward, you want the center of gravity to be at the front hub (or immediately above the hub). But if weight is too far forward or back from that, you can have handling issues.

First few times you ride the bike fully loaded, anticipate stop signs, road intersections, stop lights, steep downhills, etc. Your brakes will not be as good as they are on an unladen bike.

I like to use a duffel on top in the back, I usually carry it half full but it has extra space in event I need that space later. Best to plan to have more volume capacity than you need.

If you carry a cell phone (and everybody does these days), check coverage map on internet before trip. Then if you are in an area with no coverage, you were not surprised when it happened. My entire tour last year was in an area with no coverage.

No crisis is unsolvable when you carry a credit card. Don't worry too much, life is too short for that much worrying.
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Old 04-28-13, 09:22 AM
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Chef - I'm riding the BikePacking trip with Peter C. Does your CPAP operate on battery power? You should be able to score a campsite at River's Edge that has electric, but Dravo Cenetery is a primitive site -- no electric. Last year, Peter just left his CPAP at home, if that's an option for you for a 4-night trip, you might want to consider it.

I carry a fairly conprehensive first-aid kit, tool kit (Peter carries one as well), and frame pump. I'm willing to share my canister stove if you want to heat something to eat. There are plenty of food options in the Connelsville area (as you'll find out), but around Dravo you'll need to plan ahead 5-6 miles before camp.

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Old 04-28-13, 09:59 AM
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Bob had everything but a kitchen sink.

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Old 04-28-13, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Bob had everything but a kitchen sink.

I used 4 panniers, one with food (Old Hurricane Food to use up)
Total gear weight 56lbs

I don't cook or use a sleeping bag.
10 nights 600 miles.

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Old 04-28-13, 10:42 AM
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Originally Posted by Machka
So ... you haven't ridden your touring bicycle at all ... it won't arrive till early May and you leave mid-May. That's cutting it a bit tight for getting the fit and setup right!
How much of a difference in fit is there between a road racing/commuter bike and a touring bike?

When I was forced into getting my new bike last year, road racing style frame, the bike shop set everything up the same as my old bike in terms of seat height.

Day 1: 74.8 miles
Day 2: 95.1 miles
Day 3: 202.3 miles
Day 4: 56.7 miles
Day 5: 71.0 miles
Day 6: 111.3 miles
Day 7: 101.4 miles

In the first 7 days of having the bike I rode over 700 miles. Granted this wasn't loaded down touring but it was still 700 miles in the first 7 days.

The only thing I will say toward packing is to remember less is more. The less stuff you take with you the more you'll enjoy the trip. Other than sleeping clothes and a spare pair of cycling shorts and a spare t-shirt the only clothing I took with me was for the week off I knew I was going to have spending time with family. I took spare shoes only for the week off. While riding I never took the cycling shoes off other than during the night time. If I walked in a store I walked in in my cycling shoes. I always do.

I had around 35 pounds of equipment on my trip last year and I'm hoping to drop 5-10 pounds off that this year by getting a sleeping bag versus extra bulky sleeping clothing that I took with me last year. Also I am planning to swap over from a one man tent to a homemade bivy with bug net. The big item, 8-10 pounds was the laptop computer.

You don't need half of what you are taking with you. I will say that prior to seeing you list. I put all my stuff into a backpack and still had room left over. This year I hope to have ton of room leftover.

Less IS more.
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Old 04-28-13, 01:30 PM
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Ok all, here is my list so far. It is no where near completed and I know I am missing stuff like tools, etc. Feel free to comment, ask questions, or give mr heads up. PLEASE I would like this to be constructive feedback versus a firing squad. Lol

Info: three night four day camping trip self supported.

Sleeping


Tent
Poles
Foot print
Air mattress
Down quilt
Air pillow
Cpap
Cpap battery
Extension cord (for cpap to recharge in campground)
Headlamp

On bike clothes


Cycling bibs-4 ea
Jerseys- 4 ea
White socks- 2 ea
Cycling hat
Commuting pants
Wind breaker
Cycling shoes

Off bike clothing


Underwear- three pair
Socks- two pair
Shirt- two
Shorts- one pair
Hat
Long sleeve sweat shirt
Shoes






First aid/ etc


Mosquito net
Sewing kit
Fire starter
After bite
Deet spray
One person medical kit
Allergy meds
Ibuprofen
Benadryl
Tums
Naproxen
Aspirin
Sun screen

Bathroom/ shower


Towel
Hand towel
Sink stopper
Clothes line
Tooth brush
Tooth paste
Deodorant
Soap




Kitchen


Trangia set
Small nalgene with fuel
Insulated klean kanteen with coffee attachment
Coffee grinder
Spice rack
Can opener
Kitchen sink 5 liters
Plate
Bowl
Cup
Kitchen set (small cutting board, oil container, scrubby, spatula, spoon, whisk, scraper, towel, silver wear set)
Soap





Misc


Camp chair
Ball bungees- 4
Mini hook bungees- 4
Head lamp
Clippers
Sunglasses
Clear glasses
Cell phone
iPad
Chargers
Camera
Camera charger

Last edited by chefisaac; 04-28-13 at 01:44 PM.
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Old 04-28-13, 01:37 PM
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Here are only a few pictures


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Old 04-28-13, 02:06 PM
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Here is what I am thinking in the tool realm

Tools


Pump
Tubes
Patches
Tire levers
Tire boot
Multi tool
Brooks saddle wrench
Chain tool
Chain links
Locks
Spoke wrench
Oil
Gloves
Fiberglass spokes
Blue towels
Flat duck tape
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Old 04-28-13, 03:47 PM
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How much does the Cpap, battery, etc weigh?

The main thing that sticks out for me is it looks like you might have too much clothing. I would suggest.

1 bibs
2 jerseys
2 wool socks total (on and off bike). Wool is a good choice (less odor)
0 underwear
1 off bike shirt instead of 2
Zip off pants instead of off bike shorts?
Maybe a lighter substitute for the sweatshirt?
Do you have a rain jacket?

--How much does the camp chair weigh?

--Tyvek may be several ounces lighter than other footprints.

--I don't know if you have a handlebar bag but I found a full sized bag with a heavy mount to be overkill. You can save more than a pound by getting a lightweight smaller handlebar bag.

--I know some people have got to have their coffee but that just seems like a lot of extra work when you are trying to get out of camp (not to mention the weight).

--You mention silverware. Is this and your other cookware lightweight? Knives?

--Many would say skip the deodorant.

--How much do your off bike shoes weigh?
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Old 04-28-13, 04:07 PM
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Cycling bibs-4 ea
Jerseys- 4 ea
You may want to cut those to two each. Just hand wash the dirty ones in the shower with you or in a basin after the day's ride and let drip-dry overnight. I usually use the jersey as a washcloth. Use a dryer at a laundromat for 15 minutes if the weather the next day is wet. If it's warm, dry weather, it's possible to get by with one set of riding clothes and one set of off-bike duds.

Forget the clothes line, just hook your bungees together to make one if necessary, though a branch will do in a pinch. I'm not really fond of bungees, anyway, the elasticity can let items move around on the rack. I like straps with the Arno buckle, myself, such as these: https://www.campingsurvival.com/36straps.html

If that towel is a full-size cotton behemoth, leave it behind and use a couple of microfiber mini towels from the dollar store. They will dry much quicker and can be used to pad cookware, stoves, electronics, and so on. If they get soaked, wring them out and they will continue to soak up moisture.

That camp chair...yes, it's great to have it, but how much room is it taking up?
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Old 04-28-13, 04:25 PM
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Originally Posted by mm718
How much does the Cpap, battery, etc weigh?

The main thing that sticks out for me is it looks like you might have too much clothing. I would suggest.

1 bibs
2 jerseys
2 wool socks total (on and off bike). Wool is a good choice (less odor)
0 underwear
1 off bike shirt instead of 2
Zip off pants instead of off bike shorts?
Maybe a lighter substitute for the sweatshirt?
Do you have a rain jacket?

--How much does the camp chair weigh?

--Tyvek may be several ounces lighter than other footprints.

--I don't know if you have a handlebar bag but I found a full sized bag with a heavy mount to be overkill. You can save more than a pound by getting a lightweight smaller handlebar bag.

--I know some people have got to have their coffee but that just seems like a lot of extra work when you are trying to get out of camp (not to mention the weight).

--You mention silverware. Is this and your other cookware lightweight? Knives?

--Many would say skip the deodorant.

--How much do your off bike shoes weigh?
Great info.

All of the cook wear is light weight. I have not picked out what knife yet but I will for sure.

The off the bike shoes are light weight. I bought them for that purpose. https://www.salomon.com/us/product/techamphibian-3.html

The chair is nice too. Sorta need it. Have some back issues probobly from working n ghe kitchens too long lol https://www.bigagnes.com/Products/De.../chaironeblack

i would agree on the coffee. Sounded good at the time. Perhaps tea. I like the coffee mug and built in filter but I think I can put away the grinder. Lol

my rain jacket is too big really. I use it to commute with but it's too bulky. I might have to use a trash bag for this trip.

Thank you so much for your feedback.
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Old 04-28-13, 04:27 PM
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RE: towels. I use the lightweight, synthetic backpacking towels found at REI and other such stores and find that there is no disadvantage at all. They even have a little cloth loop at one corner to make them easy to hang up to dry. Much lighter, less volume and faster drying.

Here is one:

https://www.rei.com/product/832932/re...towel-36-x-165

and they also come in other sizes.
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