Author Topic: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear  (Read 9230 times)

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Offline LongTallEandM

From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« on: May 31, 2014, 12:41:37 am »
 ::).  After 2 weeks on the transamerica, our least used items are headlamps, collapsible kitchen sink, book/kindle.  I've used the headlamp only once, to move our food pannier to a locker in the middle of the night when a coon was trying to get into them.  We do laundry more often in laundromat or wash bike shorts when we shower. We're generally too wiped out to read, even though averaging 45ish miles per day.  No rest days so far.  Most appreciated gear:  steripods for toothbrushes to keep them off grimy surfaces; super cheap, light flip flops for campground showers; rok straps (instead of bungies) for rear rack (see cyclosource store); hoo ha ride glide (female specific skin lubricant); helmet mirror; good quality non stick GSI cook kit and fry pan (cleans up super easily), tiny bottle T9 chain lube.

Offline John Nelson

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #1 on: May 31, 2014, 11:46:30 pm »
I have found a headlamp invaluable. Maybe that's because I sometimes ride so late that I need it to set up my tent.

Some of my "least used gear" is important nevertheless, such as my tools and spare parts. I'm very happy not to use them.

A clothesline is one of my most-appreciated pieces of gear. I also occasionally really appreciate my eye mask, especially when camping under a light. And my iPod is much appreciated to quiet my mind before I go to sleep.

Offline JDFlood

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #2 on: July 03, 2014, 04:47:36 pm »
I have found the headlight invaluable. For 3oz, you can get one that is USB rechargable, several different beams, flashing, red, and can use on helmet, in tent, around camp. I like the USB, because the batteries are lighter, and compatible with a USB power source (battery) that I can use on iPhone, iPad mini and flashlight. I like the Black Diamond ReVolt (great choice in names, not).

Offline staehpj1

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 05:55:31 pm »
::).  After 2 weeks on the transamerica, our least used items are headlamps, collapsible kitchen sink, book/kindle.

That matches my experience with those items as well, except I never carried a collapsible kitchen sink.  My solution for the headlamp was to substitute a 0.2 ounce light (eGear Pico light) that I wear on a lanyard around my neck with a couple other items.

I skip the book/kindle and if I have time to read listen to an audio book on my phone.

Offline JDFlood

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #4 on: July 03, 2014, 07:07:25 pm »
I actually have a Pak-Lite, it is a little cap you put on a rectangular 9v battery... it is miniscule and does 600 hours on low... amazing functionality. I think it may be the ultimate in light and functional. Although I imagine it is a litttle heavier than the elite. but this is all battery. But for bicycling I don't get quit as fanatical as I do with backpacking.


http://www.9voltlight.com/


but I can't find it... it may be too small for me.

Offline johnsondasw

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #5 on: July 03, 2014, 08:59:12 pm »
My most appreciated items are mirror, headlamp and book.  I usually read well into the night, and sometimes when waking up in the middle of the night.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline staehpj1

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2014, 06:07:22 am »
I actually have a Pak-Lite, it is a little cap you put on a rectangular 9v battery... it is miniscule and does 600 hours on low... amazing functionality. I think it may be the ultimate in light and functional.
Interesting.  I can see where it might work well for some.

It isn't particularly small or light when you include the battery, so unless you need that kind of battery life it might be over kill.  My little eGear Pico claims 17 hours of battery life and that is enough for me to tour a very long time since I typically use it only a few seconds at a time.  The same batteries lasted me for a coast to coast trip, a week long tour, and a couple week of backpacking.

Those who use their lights a lot will probably not like the Pico because of limited battery life (17 hours).  For them the 600 hours of the Pak Lite may be just the ticket.  It would allow long hours or reading in the tent.

Me, I could probably cross the country 20 or more times on 600 hours of battery so I see no reason to carry a 1.6 ounce battery.  For me, the Pico seems to be just about the right battery life (17 hours), weight (0.2 oz including batteries), price ($10), and convenience (it is on a cord around my neck).

I really like having it on a lanyard.  When I used a headlamp it was never handy when I needed it, so usually I just did without.  With the Pico I have that 5-10 seconds of light  that I need right at my fingertips.  With other lights I have used, when I need 5-10 seconds of light I'd need to spend 2-3 minutes finding the light, so I usually didn't bother.

Offline BikeFreak

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2014, 05:49:04 pm »
This is a highly interesting thread. I use my headlamp every day. I never carry a book, kindle, tablet, netbook, phone or similar ... and I am happy with it. Also, I don't carry a stove like you do. Something I really appreciate is my woolen cap and my gloves for chilly mornings. However, during summertime on the trans am you would never need that. Then there is my metal spoon, non foldable, and my foldable cup which I use for cereals every morning.

Lucas

Offline staehpj1

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2014, 05:59:18 pm »
Something I really appreciate is my woolen cap and my gloves for chilly mornings. However, during summertime on the trans am you would never need that.
Not necessarily true.  In the Rockies you can get a short cold snap or even snow in any month of the year.  We did the TA an especially hot year and still had a few cold mornings and a freezing afternoon/evening once as well.  I took my light gloves and cap and used them in the Cascades and Rockies.

Offline John Nelson

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2014, 06:39:11 pm »
Something I really appreciate is my woolen cap and my gloves for chilly mornings. However, during summertime on the trans am you would never need that.
Not necessarily true.  In the Rockies you can get a short cold snap or even snow in any month of the year.  We did the TA an especially hot year and still had a few cold mornings and a freezing afternoon/evening once as well.  I took my light gloves and cap and used them in the Cascades and Rockies.

+1

It was 27 degrees F when I set out from Guffey, CO on a June 15.

indyfabz

  • Guest
Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #10 on: July 10, 2014, 02:32:22 pm »
Something I really appreciate is my woolen cap and my gloves for chilly mornings. However, during summertime on the trans am you would never need that.
Not necessarily true.  In the Rockies you can get a short cold snap or even snow in any month of the year.  We did the TA an especially hot year and still had a few cold mornings and a freezing afternoon/evening once as well.  I took my light gloves and cap and used them in the Cascades and Rockies.

+1

It was 27 degrees F when I set out from Guffey, CO on a June 15.

+2. I was just riding on and near the TA route in MT last month. I got caught in a rain/hail/wet snow event the second full day of summer. A few days later, I got got caught in a very cold rain. Surpised it didn't start snowing. Both those times involved descents of over 20 miles. And a few of the mornings were chilly. Glad I had my wool cap. My hands survived with polypro glove liners and a pair of light, full fingered gloves, but they got very cold.

Offline RandomGuyOnABike

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2014, 01:54:00 pm »
Most used (under-appreciated) gear: 550 cord (aka:paracord). Used it to lift/swing the bike over a fallen tree, used it to secure my tent, strap stuff on the bike, it is handy!!

Least used: First aid kit, Emergency kit (flint/firestarter, light anywhere matches, emergency fishing kit)

I tend to go through the "limited" backcountry here in Ohio, so if something should happen where my fun trip turns into an.. interesting.. trip, then at least I won't starve/freeze to death.

+1 on the headlamp; it makes doing bike repairs, setting up camp, finding the way to the urinal after dark much more tolerable! :D

Offline pptouring

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #12 on: August 02, 2014, 04:50:26 am »
::).  After 2 weeks on the transamerica,... We do laundry more often in laundromat...

Really? Two weeks and you're already doing laundry?  Funny. Try using your sink to hand wash your stuff and then it won't be under used. ;-)

Ok, we'll give it a go. After 17 months on the road now, here is what we have.

Most valuable/used - MSR International stove, GSI Backpacker cookset, cups, sporks, headlights with white & red lights (except when we were in the Arctic Circle and had 24/7 daylight/ red lights used for wild camping and to save your night vision), pack towels for that once a week shower, baby powder for the bum, boonie hat & Walz Cap, wool Buffs, everything Merino wool, kitchen sink (used to keep beer/wine/food chilled, washing clothes, washing us, washing dishes), our stuff sacks that dub as pillows, Crocs, Thermarest Z-Lite pads, 550 cord, tarp, Helinox Chair One, Leather Man tool, bike mirrors, just to name a few items.

Least/never used (but valuable) - first aid kit, spare spokes, cables, tubes, helmets, cycling shorts, Seal Skinz waterproof socks, Steripen, just to name a few items.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2014, 04:57:21 am by pptouring »

Offline mbattisti

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #13 on: August 05, 2014, 09:41:43 pm »
Just got back from a 4 day tour of Vermont's NE Kingdom with the guys.  Needed to outfit one of the guys with a bike and set of panniers.  He was slightly offended when I showed up with a set of my home-made "kitty litter" bucket panniers for him.  However, during the course of the trip not only did they keep his gear dry, but doubled as a firewood carrier, beer and ice cooler, and camp chair.  Plus the subject of many interesting conversations with the locals!

Offline freightbike

Re: From the road: least used gear, most appreciated gear
« Reply #14 on: August 08, 2014, 10:46:57 pm »
I recently did a ride from Portland OR to Bismarck ND over a three and a half week time period. Among the items I wish I'd had would be ear plugs. I was at a town called Arlington OR camped out at the marina with a RR crossing a hundred feet away and interstate 84 fifty feet beyond that. One item I didn't use was a water filter pump system. I thought about using it when I got short on water but couldn't bring myself to imagine that I could actually drink the water that was presented in some scummy smelly ditch out on the range somewhere. I could have left my cell phone at home because I couldn't get it to work anywhere, even downtown Bismarck. My most appreciated stuff would be my Moss Starlet tent, REI Incamp insulated air pad and my medium weight sleeping bag. And also that lifetime of songs and ditties floating around in my head to keep me supplied with tunes throughout the day.
May the wind at your back always smell like home.
                  MORG