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General Discussion / Re: A weighty question
« on: January 15, 2022, 04:00:54 pm »
I plan on using both, a GPS and maps because that seems to be the conventional wisdom from others I've talked to here, on other forums, as well as face to face. 

I didn't have time to read all the responses so maybe this has been addressed, but if the bulk of carrying double sided map stack is too much, then have you considered putting two pages on each side, so that would be 4 pages of maps on one sheet?

I was looking at those maps and they don't seem near as good as the ones you buy from Adventure Cycling, maybe that's something to consider? unless those downloadable maps cover areas that the AC does not, but they have very little information.

I still have 2 years before I go, so I haven't purchased a GPS only because I'm hoping a better one will come along during that time period that isn't really expensive, with a long battery life, and one that does not have to be Bluetoothed to my phone.

General Discussion / Re: Solo Trip Cooking Logistics
« on: January 09, 2022, 05:15:56 pm »
Has anyone used Huel? Supposedly you can make as much or as little as you want and they have some appealing flavors = green curry, mac and cheese, etc. Just add hot water. .... I guess

I never heard of them, at first it appeared that 3 meals were $75!  I was LMAO until I found out in the fine print that there were 7 meals in each bag, thus you have to buy 3 bags and get 21 meals for a cost of $3.76 per meal.  Assuming those meals are filling after being on a bike all day, then that's a good deal.  Problem with this sort of stuff is that if you're touring you can't take 3 months' worth of food with you, in fact you wouldn't even be able to carry 3 bags, not sure how big those bags are but probably at the very most you could carry is 1 bag or 7 days of dinner only meals, or 3.5 days of lunch and dinner.  So once you run out, you'll have to go to a store and buy food, so you might as well go on YouTube University and find out how to eat backpacking food cheap by shopping grocery stores because you're going to end up in a grocery store having to buy that sort of food.

I also noticed Huel was plant-based protein, some people, like myself, cannot extract enough protein from plants to sustain themselves and will be always low on energy.  I tried a vegan diet when I was racing years ago for about 6 months, it was the worst 6 months for energy I ever had, even after our vegan expert friend tweaked it to increase the protein, I still was very low on energy, once we got off the diet my energy levels went back to normal.

The other thing is that Huel is high in fiber, some people will get diarrhea from too high of fiber, not something you want to deal with while touring.  I'm not sure if what their using is too high or not, but remember, everyone is different, what's fine with one person could be too high for the next.  In addition to that they use a lot of hot spice, probably in an attempt to cover up the nasty taste that their food has on their own without spice, but those spices can cause diarrhea in some people as well, as does curry and coconut have that potential.  So, you have a quadruple whammy for diarrhea potential.  So, you would need to buy it and try all the meals BEFORE you go on a trip so you will know whether or not they would make you sick.  Even too much energy drink while cycling like when touring can cause diarrhea issues.

I think you need to learn what to get at a grocery store since that's where you'll end up pretty quickly into a tour, and start your tours with that same food without buying special camping food.  Always try out food and drink before going on a tour, especially camping specific foods, and energy drinks, and when trying it out ride your bike for a 5 or so hours like you would do touring except you would circle back home, then eat and drink that stuff and see what happens. 

Regardless, you should always carry Imodium AD as part of your emergency stuff, just in case.

General Discussion / Re: Solo Trip Cooking Logistics
« on: January 07, 2022, 07:31:06 pm »
You're lucky that fuel didn't get into the food and or pots and pans, or clothing, etc, that would have made you very hungry or without clothes.

I put my fuel cannister in a plastic zip lock bag, even though supposedly they can't leak if you don't have your stove screwed into it, but a friend of mine had their fuel cannister leak and there was nothing screwed into it, got that fuel all over their pots and pans and they had to wash them several times to get that stench off the stuff.  I'm weird though, I have a lot of my stuff in zip lock bags to keep stuff from leaking and getting on something, and or stinking up and staining the inside of the pannier, but to also make sure my panniers doesn't get stained and stinky I line them with trash bags. 

I also line my handlebar bag with a trash bag that I've cut to size, but the Topeak Tour Guide DX I have is water resistant it is not water proof even with the rain cover on it!  Ask me how I know.  So now as extra precaution against water getting in, I lined it with a trash bag then roll it shut over my stuff then close the bag up and no more wet stuff.  Then anything I want to make sure not to get wet I put those in zip lock bags.  All that bagging seems crazy, but I want to make sure nothing gets wet and ruin something.

I use a heavy-duty trash bag made for outdoor gardening trash, I tried a trash can liner and it was too thin and developed holes in it, that has not happened with the outdoor heavy-duty trash bags.

Sorry for the side notes.

General Discussion / Re: coffee coffee
« on: January 06, 2022, 12:30:59 pm »
Melita makes a lightweight plastic cone, which, equipped with a paper filter, fits onto a mug. Hot water is poured over coffee in the filer and decent coffee drips into the mug. It's lightweight and a good alternative to other methods. In a pinch, Starbucks makes little instant coffee packets called Via. Could be worse.

It can't get much worse than instant coffee! 

Problem with a plastic cone is that it doesn't fold flat thus takes up space, plus you need to carry paper filters which not only weigh a little bit but they also take up space.  The GSI Ultralight folds flat and then fits under a fuel cannister so it completely takes up no space, and it requires no paper filters. 

General Discussion / Re: Advice for Newbies about the Weather.
« on: January 05, 2022, 12:40:00 pm »
Keeping an eye on forecasts at least every 4 hours while you're up of course can be a lifesaver.  There is another thing you can do to, there are websites on how to tell the weather without any outside aid just observations like they use to in the old days, now a lost art but still very accurate for forecasting in 12 hours, a lot memorizing and practicing the stuff to get accurate with it.

General Discussion / Re: Water?
« on: January 03, 2022, 11:01:10 am »
From what I've read N America supposedly doesn't have major issues with heavily metal polluted water like you will run into in Europe, so you could be right about the heavy metal thing for N America, however Mississipi river is known for it's high concentration of heavy metal in the water.

Keep in mind, heavy metal is not primarily from pollution, it was in water going back to before the industrial age, but we've added to it with pesticides, and industrial dumping.

The iodine solution is a good one, but some people are allergic to it and won't know it till they purify some water with it, then they get the diarrhea, but I haven't found any instances of problems with Chlorine Dioxide found in Aquamira as long as you follow the directions to the letter and not try to over dose the water thinking more is better.  Boiling water will kill all the stuff that the iodine and chlorine dioxide will kill; also, a cheaper alternative to Aquamira is simply using household unscented bleach, 3 or 4 of drops and wait a half hour, make sure the bleach you use is brand new stuff, if bleach sits around too long it can become useless.

So how do we get heavy metals out of the water?  A little digging, I found out you can distill the water, but distilling isn't as simple as boiling a pot of water than drinking it, it's the steam from the boiling that needs to be captured and recycled into a bottle, and if you boil it at too high of temp those contaminates will simply go into steam and be in the water you thought was clean.  So that can be a complicated process, not alone the equipment needed to carry with you to make it work, at that point it would be better to have the Grayl filtering system. 

I can't find anything on the internet saying that since a person is backpacking and they drink water with heavy metals in it you can flush it out by drinking clean water.  I ran out of time to check that out more thoroughly, maybe someone can do that and provide websites for us to read.  Overall, in N America the risks of drinking water with heavy metals in it to a poisonous degree should be quite limited.  The Mississippi river area could be bad, but there is plenty of civilization around that river you can find good water from without resorting to taking it out of that river.

General Discussion / Re: Water?
« on: January 02, 2022, 10:41:24 pm »
I saw the larger one too, it is a unique system that's for sure.  Not sure if backpackers would want something like that due to the weight, but they have to carry the weight of water in bottles anyways, so not sure what they would think of that system, but when I see my backpacking friend again, I'll ask him if he's heard of it and if so, what his thoughts are concerning it vs the Sawyer Mini he uses.  He researches camping stuff really thoroughly, so I think he's heard of it, just not sure why he chose the Sawyer over the Grayl.

Breaking down the price like you did doesn't make it sound so expensive, the problem is do I need something like that if all I ever do is use it once in 5 or 10 years, and if I use it so infrequently than I don't think I can justify the price, especially considering let's say I use it once, then it gets unused for over 3 years which means I have to spend $25 for a filter, so that really mean it cost me $90 for a single bottle of water and $25 per bottle after that, whereas the filter I use now doesn't have time limit.

General Discussion / Re: Water?
« on: January 02, 2022, 03:23:28 pm »
No I don't use a large heavy filter, it's the smaller Sawyer Mini model so it hardly weighs anything and it takes up very little space.  I'm still out on a limb if I will continue to carry it or not, I've read all the post here and most are against it, but others that I know are for it, that's why I'm out on a limb about carrying it or not.

Some of you have noted that in parts of the US water can be loaded with heavy metals, I Googled filters for this and ran into a water bottle filter that is rated for anywhere in the world, and will remove heavy metals, plus a host of other stuff you can go to the website and check it out.  It also supposedly from reviews had the best tasting water of any other filter they tested.  But the short coming to that filter is that it will do 40 gallons then you have to replace the filter, but in an emergency you're not going to need 40 gallons, just enough water to get you to place where you can get water, but once you use it for the first time you have 3 years before you have to get a new filter at a cost of $25.  This thing is shaped like a water bottle so it would fit a water bottle cage IF that cage is like my Arundel adjustable cages I use, I'm not sure if it would fit standard non adjustable cages.  Being that it only holds 16 ounces it could fit in handlebar bags that have the bottle holder pocket on the outside of the bag.  The unit is expensive at $90 though; it's called the Grayl 16.9 oz UltraPress Purifier Nature Edition.

General Discussion / Re: Water?
« on: January 01, 2022, 08:40:40 pm »
I agree, I think a bit of planning will keep you within comfortable riding distance to water, and all touring people I've ever spoken to have all acknowledged that, but even then, a few said they packed a filter.

Personally, I'm not sure what to think, I have a friend who backpacks, which I know is different than bike camping/touring, but he insists that I should take a filter.  The Sawyer is light weight and takes little space, so I'll just keep carrying for a while.

General Discussion / Re: Water?
« on: January 01, 2022, 03:16:53 pm »
I've heard from other touring people I spoke to that they carry about a 1/2 a day of extra water just in case, and they are aways stopping to refill even if only one bottle is empty.  I carry currently about 176 ounces of water, that is the water I start out with and it lasts all day and into the morning the following day and into mid day, but for backup I put 2 store bought plastic water bottles in my panniers, just in case, and I have that filter.  But I always plan the trips so that I will be near water.  I'm sort of at a loss myself if I was out in the desert and it took 3 days to find water!  Ouch!  But I would think with prudent route planning that shouldn't become a problem.

I carry the filter because I know people who have done extreme backpacking and bike camping and they all recommended having one just in case.

In the desert you have to learn survival skills to find water, which I'm admittedly not really good at, but they do have stuff on the internet that one should research if they know they're going to be in that situation.  I think if I were about to head into that sort of situation, I would start out by stocking up on water, yes water is heavy but so is carrying out a dead body!  So, I would probably put 4 store bought plastic bottles of water in the bottom of each pannier, so that would be 8 bottles, with two more going into each of my handlebar bag bottle holders, a lot more weight but as one person said you would be going through the water and eventually losing that weight.   But using survival skills to find water in a desert is a last-ditch effort to stay alive, and what water you do find, especially during the dry seasons, is scant to none!  you might get a few drops from certain plants, but not enough to sustain you for a day, and digging into the desert sand near a plant will yield nothing.

I don't like carrying a Camelback so I probably wouldn't do that, since that will make your back not only tired but hot.  I have one of those, a small 70-ounce version I used when I lived in the Mojave Desert of Calif, but I never liked it except for it carrying the extra water I needed, but I didn't have a touring bike back then so I relied on by two water bottles that the bike could carry plus the Camelback.  Now my touring bike can carry 5 bottles on the frame and fork, I use those Arundel bottle holders and can carry 4 32-ounce bottles, plus the underside of the down tube can carry a 16-ounce bottle.  Plus, the two 16.9-ounce store bought water bottles. 

I sort of mislead in my earlier post, my Arundel bottle cages can carry up to about 41-ounce bottles, I don't have any 41-ounce bottles, I only have 4 32-ounce bottles and one 16-ounce bottle I use on my camping trips, those are insulated steel bottles too so I don't have hot water to drink an hour or two into a ride.  The bottles are kind of heavy but I was willing to pay for the weight penalty to avoid hot water.

I went bike camping all that year of the covid shut down, and I was able to find water.  I went into a McDonalds that had the drive thru only open, and rode the bike up to the drive thru and they gave me a large water with ice for free and I filled up an empty bottle with it that I had finished off during the ride up to that point.  Gas stations with mini marts stayed open too so they could sell gas, they had water not only in bottles but at the fountains and even outside spigots could be used if necessary, in addition to plenty of ice and other assorted drinks in the fridges. the state parks had their stores open and they had water, other drinks, not to mention water at the spigots around the camp grounds, and they had plenty of ice which melts down into water.  Plus, those campgrounds had lakes, but I didn't have to use the filter anyways since there was plenty of water.

I wouldn't personally map a route where I know I could be without a source of water or any sort, or some other liquids for more than 2 days during the ride.

General Discussion / Re: coffee coffee
« on: January 01, 2022, 01:47:23 am »
But to pack 3 pounds of gear to make coffee is crazy to me


1. Stove.
2. fuel
3. pot
4. coffee.
5. grinder (optional - mine's 300 g)

It all adds up to about 3 pounds.

The stove I carry weighs 91 grams, a full fuel can weighs 220 grams, you can't count the pot because the pot is used for other cooking stuff, but for sake of argument the pot weighs 50 grams, weight of the coffee is a bit tricky, but I take somewhere around 10 tablespoons of coffee so about 50 grams of coffee, and I don't take a grinder, so that's around 411 grams rounded it up to 450 grams for error is only one pound, where you get 3 pounds from I don't know.

General Discussion / Re: Water?
« on: January 01, 2022, 01:19:18 am »
Water is everywhere, usually anyways.  Any fast-food place, or a one of those gas/food quick marts, will let you get water out of the soda fountain without charging you.  However, if you want to make sure you can always get water then you need to buys a water filter, and the best one is the Sawyer, you can read about it here:, there are two different ones, the one I showed you in that link is unlimited filtering capacity, they make another one called the Mini and that one will filter up to 100,000 gallons, the Mini cost $20 or so, and the other called the Squeeze Water Filtration System cost around $50; they both filter just as much stuff as the other.  For cycling I think the Mini is fine.  So with this system you can take water out of any lake, river, or stream, and filter it and drink it.

The other thing you can do is to get a set of adjustable water bottle cages so that you can carry larger water bottles instead of the standard bottles that are not really made for long distance riding.  The cage I use and like is the Arundel Looney Bin, this cage will fit bottles from 65 to the standard 73mm bottle that all cyclists use, and all the way up to 95mm, that means that the largest bottle it will hold will carry about 41 ounces instead of 21 ounces for the max in a standard plastic bottle.  If you have a second water cage bosses on the underside of the down tube you probably won't be able to put a big bottle there due to size constraints where the top of the water bottle will hit your tire and or fender.

You can also get a twin bottle holder that can mount onto the rear seat, but usually if you're touring that probably won't work since you will probably have a saddle bag of some sort back there.  There is also a seat bag now on the market that has a bottle pocket built in, the problem with this seat bag is I don't know what the quality of the bag is, they claim it's water resistant, but when touring you will find out if it's truly water resistant.

Another option is to carry a Camelback on your back, but the problem with that is the weight of the water on your back for hours while you ride.

There are plenty of ways to carry water, and to get water.  If you plan your route carefully you shouldn't have any problem getting water, but I would carry the Sawyer filter for sure.

General Discussion / Re: coffee coffee
« on: December 27, 2021, 02:04:57 pm »
The caffeine in coffee, if you drink it every day for how long? I don't know, but it can lead to headaches once you stop, so that day that you don't have coffee you will have a headache, and you will have a headache every day for about a week to 2 weeks.  Due to that happening to me I now only drink coffee once every other to every 3rd day.

Headache medicines like Excedrin have caffeine it to help speed up the delivery of the meds.  While you could treat a headache brought on by cutting coffee with Excedrin, all you are really doing is still taking caffeine, so you're not getting off the caffeine addiction by taking Excedrin.

As far as acid goes, yes, dark roast has less acid and less caffeine than light roast.  However, the least amount of acid you can get, besides going to low acid roast, is cold brew, cold brew coffee made by steeping the coffee grounds for 12 or so hours, not by cooking the coffee then pouring it over ice method, the steeping method reduces acid by an estimated 60% over cooking.

The other interesting thing is, it is a well-known fact that caffeine can improve the performance of a cyclist, as well as other sports, BUT, if you drink caffeine (coffee) every day your body gets use to the caffeine intake and you won't see any performance improvement, the only way that works for performance is if you rarely drink coffee or any other caffeine product.

General Discussion / Re: coffee coffee
« on: December 22, 2021, 09:41:26 pm »
McDonald’s has some kind of coffee. Starbucks coffee tasted different from McDonald’s. The small coffee shops brew The best coffee. They brew up a mean cup of coffee in Ukraine. East coastal Italy had excellent coffee. I could not stop drinking it, and I rarely slept. As for myself, I am not what you would call a coffee drinker. I drink it occasionally I actually rarely and when I do I Keep it to the minimum.

When McDonalds first came out with coffee, and for about 10 years after that they had the most unique tasting coffee that got rave reviews with some people saying it was better than Starbucks, but then for some reason about 10 years ago they changed the coffee to a regular type of coffee.  McDonalds still makes espresso though, but you have to ask for it because it's not on the menu anymore.   The best espresso I ever had was at an Italian restaurant in San Francisco, I can't recall the name of the place, but the espresso was like having dessert.

General Discussion / Re: coffee coffee
« on: December 22, 2021, 07:28:16 pm »
I tried that method for cowboy coffee too, except for the eggshells because I know when I'm camping eggshells will not be around.  I watched a lot of videos on how to make cowboy coffee and this method you mention is the most common but they all tasted nasty.  Maybe it's just my taste preferences?
If you really must make coffee in camp why not drip or french press?

The GSI Outdoors Ultralight Java Drip is 11 grams, about $9 and doesn't require paper filters.  There are other similar choices from other brands.

There are a number of choices for french press.  Your cup/pot may have a press option available.  Something like the $$$ Snow Peak Titanium French Press is nice and makes good coffee.

If I were to take something I'd probably opt for the GSI drip one, but I haven't been making coffee on tour on most tours (bought coffee at a diner if available or did without).  Backpacking I used Via on my most recent trips.

I did mention in an earlier post that I ended up first trying an AeroPress but found it too bulky, so then I found the GSI Ultralight pour over and this is PERFECT, extremely lightweight and it takes hardly any space, and it makes a decent enough coffee for camping.  Its only drawback is due to it being so light I'm careful with the slide on fasteners that attach the legs to the cup, I'm afraid those could snap, but it's cheap so even if it broke it wouldn't be a big deal.  Oh, no paper filters are needed, you put the coffee grinds in, pour hot water slowly over the grinds, once all done just flip it inside out and shake the grinds out, then rinse with water.  I just put the grinds on the grass, it's good for the grass.

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