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Starting in the west you may need rain gear and cool weather gear for the mountains. You could encounter snow in the higher elevations west of Denver. Once below Denver mail your cold weather gear. Keep the minimum necessary. Many people will not use a tarp. However, a silnylon tarp is the lightest. Don't buy one. Make one. Instructions are on you tube. The taivek raingear can be had for very cheap and it's breathable. The next lightest shelter is a polytarp. I have used one in summer and winter. No complaints except the bugs. Mosquito coils or bug juice works. The good thing about the poly tarp is you can throw it over yourself and your gear in a sudden downpour and it will keep you dry, to an extent. I am not sure about a several hours long torrential downpour. Nylon bleeds through where it touches. A string tied between trees and some lightweight aluminum tent pegs from Wally Word and you are ready for camp. Wally's also has a blue, closed cell, foam pad for about $7.00. It works just fine. You must use good cycling shoes. Those are a must for those hills and that kind of a load.