Author Topic: Need advice from you! (the pros)  (Read 5053 times)

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Offline knolltop

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Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2011, 09:23:26 am »
I'm having mixed feelings about the fact that we'll also be testing our rain gear this weekend.
Likely good to test near home as opposed to afar. ;D
+-+ Michael +-+

Offline lovely_bunny

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #16 on: April 21, 2011, 09:37:21 am »
Yah, no kidding.  We've got the backup motel all scoped out just in case.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #17 on: April 21, 2011, 02:57:28 pm »
If you attach the backpack to a rack, then OK. A backpack on your back places pressure on points where you do not need anymore pressure than you already have. When I was planning my first long tour I tied weights from a barbell onto the rack and rode around like that. If you have panniers, you can fill two one-gallon milk jugs with water, place one in each pannier on the back, and two more in the front if you want, and get the feel of it that way.

Yah, I agree, a backpack is not such a good idea.  I also agree that maintaining a FUN ride is important.  When I'm training (right now!) and I have a day where I really resent being on my bike, I take the next day off.

Another good idea is to do a weekend trip to really test out your gear.  We're loading up the panniers tomorrow with all of our stuff for our x-country trip this summer and taking it out for a weekend of camping.  This way we can experiment with different ways to pack and we can try out some new gear we bought, including a tent and stove.  It would suck to head out on tour and discover that there's a flaw with your gear on your first night.

I'm having mixed feelings about the fact that we'll also be testing our rain gear this weekend.

Don't worry about it. Once you get the feel of it all and you are out there on the open road, and you have gone through the routine of setting up camp and cooking and sleeping out, it will all fall into place. You might find yourself repacking some gear that you will be using more routinely than other gear. But, that's all part of getting used to it and finding out what you will be taking out of your panniers  a lot and what you will need only occasionally or once a day, etc.

You said you got a stove. I am looking for one too, and oddly enough there are not any small, one-burner stoves in this town, not at Sports Authority, not at Wal Mart, not anywhere. What kind of stove did you choose, and what kinds of fuel can it use?

Offline interpopulus

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #18 on: April 21, 2011, 03:40:24 pm »
I'm also looking for a small stove. I haven't had much luck finding the "right one" but know that it's out there somewhere. Any advice from someone more experienced?

Offline lovely_bunny

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #19 on: April 21, 2011, 10:34:48 pm »
We got the jetboil sol.  I've borrowed them from others and used them and they're great.  Compact and easy, boils almost a liter of H2O in 80 seconds.  The burner part screws into the bottom of the cup you boil water in, and the flame is so distinctly and powerfully directed upward that wind is absolutely no issue.  One small canister of propane costs I think 6 bucks and provides one hour of full flame.  The whole set up, including the propane, packs into the cup that you boil the water in. 

You can also buy a frying pan (we did) and a larger pot (we didn't).  We had them both on the last camping trip we did (Lost Coast, Northern CA, it was gorgeous) but found we only used the pot as a large bowl.

Costs about a hundred bucks.     

Offline ronnie421

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #20 on: April 22, 2011, 09:48:50 am »
My I jump in? I also have a Jetboil Flash. I also bought it for about a hundred bucks.  I went back to the store where I originally bought it and found they had it on clearance for 39 dollars! They had two of them. It sucked that I did not have that cash with me, i had to go home and get it. An hour later, i went back for it and both of them were GONE! At that price, I was going to buy both. Awesome little devices. I will have to buy another one for next year's x-country tour cuz I've pretty much worn mine out, but I'm also looking at a double burner stove, very lightweight made by Coleman. Compact as well.   

Offline Awf Hand

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #21 on: April 22, 2011, 04:32:57 pm »
As far as camping stoves go, I'm not a fan of the ones that take a purchased fuel tank.  Mine runs on gas-station unleaded and that is pretty easy to come by where ever you travel.  I have a Coleman single burner that has gone to the field with me (I work outdoors) since 1997.  It is a bit heavy, but I 'know' the unit inside and out and have cooked a couple thousand meals on it.  People have spoken highly of the Whisperlight line in many forums. 

Curious:
Why the aversion to a fanny pack? 

Offline lovely_bunny

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #22 on: April 24, 2011, 06:52:43 pm »
As far as camping stoves go, I'm not a fan of the ones that take a purchased fuel tank.  Mine runs on gas-station unleaded and that is pretty easy to come by where ever you travel.


GOOD point.  We def. have to work around this issue, though it's becoming less of an issue as propane becomes more popular.  It works on camping trips where you take whatever you need and that's it...eg. packing along 5 cans of propane.  But we'll see how it goes this summer when we tour for 3 months.  I suppose if it's an issue we'll have several cans shipped to meet us somewhere close-ish.  And eat sandwiches/restaurant food in the meantime.

Offline Awf Hand

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2011, 08:50:14 am »
Propane is not as bad as you can buy it at any hardware/big-box  store and many convenience stores (in heavy camping areas).  The iso/butyl tanks with the threaded tops have become a bit more standardized, but still can present a challenge for how-many-to-carry and where-to-get the next one...
MSR Whisperlight International will burn just about any combustable liquid motor fuel available in any part of the world.  JP's, K's, Tetraethyls with and w/out lead and probably even a few tequillas can be run through it.

Offline DaveB

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2011, 09:17:41 am »
Propane is not as bad as you can buy it at any hardware/big-box  store and many convenience stores (in heavy camping areas).
Straight propane must be stored under a lot of pressure so the tanks are very heavy and impractical for bike or back packing use.  They are indeed available in any hardware/big box/ home center store as they are commonly used as fuel sources for torches and for tail-gate gas grills.  "Bernz-O-Matic" is a common brand name.  However, even the smallest 14.1 oz cylinders weigh almost two pounds and you don't want to carry these things. 
The iso/butyl tanks with the threaded tops have become a bit more standardized, but still can present a challenge for how-many-to-carry and where-to-get the next one...
Right and these are a lot lighter since the pressure they have to contain is much less. But they are also specialty items and places like Walmart and Sears are unlikely to have them.

MSR Whisperlight International will burn just about any combustable liquid motor fuel available in any part of the world.  JP's, K's, Tetraethyls with and w/out lead and probably even a few tequillas can be run through it.
This is the beauty of the multi-fuel stoves as any gas station is a refueling stop.  Incidentally, "Tetraethyl" is, by definition, lead as the full chemical name is tetraethyl lead.    There is no such thing as lead-free tetraethyl.

Offline Westinghouse

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2011, 11:12:07 am »
I am getting ready for another long tour myself. That's why I asked about a stove. I have a Coleman Feather 442, dual fuel stove I bought in 1994 for an around-the-world bicycle tour. It would not pump up after 17 years of sitting idle, but I found that a little oil stabilizer rubbed into the rubber cup would solve that problem. It's a bit on the weighty side, but about 2 lbs. lighter than the standard Coleman one-burner. It isn,t necessary to carry a bottle of fuel. I can just fuel up occasionally at gas atations, and with 1 3/4 hours burn on high, a tank-full will cook quite a few meals. We brought six cups of water to a rolling boil with it in a few minutes last night. Then, we made macarroni and cheese with mushroom soup and white Albacore tuna mixed in and a few other things.

I have a copy of Donna Ikenberry's, "Bicycling the Atlantic Coast." I am seriously considering following her recommended path, except for the side trips she took to expensive campgrounds. Even though the book was published in1993, I think long stretches of her route follow much of ACA's mapped out route of today. It is still a bit too cool up north to start very soon. I do not want to carry cold weather gear. It weighs and it takes up a lot of space in panniers. Who knows, maybe when I get to to Cape Henlopen Park I will take off west across the Trans Am. NOW! That would be a great ride.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2011, 01:13:50 pm »
The stove thread has popped up before, so search the threads on it.

I used to carry an MSR Whisperlite International.  They work, and yes you can burn almost anything you can buy.

An important consideration is what are you planning to eat.  If you are going to consume stuff that is boiled, then any one of these previously mentioned stoves will work.  If your dinner plans are more sophisticated, then let me put in a plug for alcohol stoves.  The cooking flame is cooler, so it will not win a boil a liter of water contest, but the flame is more appropriate for cooking on.  In the continental USA, alcohol is just as easy to buy as gasoline and kerosine. 

I have made my own stoves but I have settled on a West Liberty.  This is a venerable Trangia burner in a simple aluminumn frame.  I went this way, as I already had some nice MSR pots.  There are all sorts of Trangia kits that include pots and pans.  For boiling water, aluminum or titanium pots are fine, but cooking is best done on stainless steel.

If you plan to live on macaroni or freeze dried slop, any stove will work for you.
Danno

Offline MarkM

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2011, 08:53:51 pm »
I would buy whatever panniers you feel are right for your bike and add weight to them as soon as possible. You can't start training too soon. I havent done any long road trips yet, but I have just recently purchased a touring bike for a trip next summer. I hope to carry no more than 40 lbs of gear so what I have done is added 5 and 1/2 lbs of weight to each of the four panniers. I used bird seed of all things, in large freezer zip locks. Its clean if the bag comes open and I could always dump some out without feeling like I littered if I needed to lighten up for any reason. Then I filled the rest of the space in the panniers with wrinkled news papers inside of 13 gallon plastic trash bags. I wanted the panniers to be fully bulged to get the maximum wind resistance I would encounter on any given day. This fall I will add 4 more lbs of weight to each and train until the summer trip with my actual gross weight. Keeping your loaded weight low on your front rack seems to make good sense as far as handling the bike goes. Using a backpack would bring your center of gravity up and would probably be hot on summer days.

Offline JMilyko

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #28 on: April 26, 2011, 08:16:52 am »
I have a copy of Donna Ikenberry's, "Bicycling the Atlantic Coast." I am seriously considering following her recommended path, except for the side trips she took to expensive campgrounds. Even though the book was published in1993, I think long stretches of her route follow much of ACA's mapped out route of today. It is still a bit too cool up north to start very soon. I do not want to carry cold weather gear. It weighs and it takes up a lot of space in panniers. Who knows, maybe when I get to to Cape Henlopen Park I will take off west across the Trans Am. NOW! That would be a great ride.

I haven't looked recently at the route Donna took back in the 1990's but I would guess that our Atlantic Coast Route has changed since then, mostly in urban areas and in the northeast. I know for sure we made changes to the route recently. You can read about them in a blog post I wrote last spring: http://blog.adventurecycling.org/2010/05/updating-atlantic-coast-bicycle-route.html. There have probably been other alterations over time, both North and South Carolina come to mind. I'd have to pull the maps out to compare.

.Jennifer.
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Jennifer H. Milyko
Adventure Cycling Association
Inspiring and empowering people to travel by bicycle.
800/755-2453, 406/721-1776 x205
www.adventurecycling.org

Follow Routes & Mapping on Twitter: @acaroutes

Offline Awf Hand

Re: Need advice from you! (the pros)
« Reply #29 on: April 26, 2011, 09:01:18 am »
Incidentally, "Tetraethyl" is, by definition, lead as the full chemical name is tetraethyl lead.    There is no such thing as lead-free tetraethyl.

-Brain, fingers, keyboard all combining too early in the morning...  The tireder you early the incorrector seem... :-[