Author Topic: Gear list: am I on the right road?  (Read 1784 times)

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Offline New Jawn

Gear list: am I on the right road?
« on: August 11, 2021, 12:15:50 pm »
I've never done a long tour before, so this is my first iteration of a packing list for a solo TransAmerica (central route) starting late spring/early summer.  If they are available, I hope to use Ortlieb High Viz rear panniers and a 7.5L handlebar bag. 

For those who've done a long tour, am I on the right road?

Riding clothes: 2 pair padded underwear, 1 mtn. bike short pants, 2 socks, 2 shirts.

Camp clothes: 1 pair convertible mtn. bike pants, 1 underwear, 1 pair socks, 1 long sleeve tee-shirt.

Inclement weather clothes: rain jacket and pants.

Shelter and sleeping: Tarptent Double Rainbow, Tyvek ground cloth,  Western Mountaineering Summerlite bag, Therma-Rest pad, headlamp

Cooking: BIC lighter, Snowpeak Giga stove w/ 220 gram propane cannister, Snowpeak titanium bowl and mug, spork, cutdown scrub pad

Shower kit and meds: travel-size tooth brush and paste, dental floss, travel-size soap and cut-down nylon Japanese scrub cloth, disposable razor, travel-size deodorant stick, PeptoBismol tabs, Advil, Chamois Butt'r packs

Bike repair: 2 thorn-resistant tubes, chain oil, chain break tool, multi-tool, tire irons, zip ties, 2 spokes

Food: Coffee, Emergen-C, powerbars, 2 ramen

Junk drawer: Halt! dog repellant, power pack, paperback book, notepad and ballpoint pen, maps, earbuds, Leatherman multi-tool, cell phone

On the bike: front and rear rechargeable lights, pump, 2 water bottles, orange triangle attached to pannier

Explanations:  I tried to pick camp clothes that could also be used for riding.  If temps turn cold, raincoat and long-sleeve tee would hopefully be enough.  By "food," I mean stuff that I will carry everyday to use if/when I can't find a store/restaurant.   For bike repair, I'm thinking only what is necessary to keep me on the road and moving until I can find a bike shop (I have a Surly Disc Trucker, and there is a place on the frame to carry spokes).  I plan to camp as much as possible. 

I intend to carry the tent, sleeping bag, and pad in a stuff sack bungee'd to the pannier rack.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks in advance.



Offline John Nettles

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #1 on: August 11, 2021, 12:53:10 pm »
What gear you bring with you is a highly personal decision.  I know people who do an overnight tour with literally 50 pounds of gear.  I know others who cross the country with about 15 pounds.  It all is a personal give and take.  Someone told me something that sort of stuck with me.  "If it makes you smile, bring it."  By this they meant that if I want to carry a floor pump with me and I don't complain about the weight, bulk, etc., then bring it.  If I want to carry the pump but complain about the weight, leave it at home.  I know a guy who brings a french coffee press, a little grinder, and an instant thermometer so he can make his perfect cup of coffee a couple of times a day.  I personally think he is nuts but he LOVES his coffee, he carries his own gear, he doesn't complain about it, so who am I to tell him to bring it home.

That said, looking at your list, one thing I would ask is how do you plan to do laundry/clean your clothes?  If at a laundromat, what will you wear if your camp clothes are dirty as well as your riding clothes.  I personally would bring another pair of shorts (maybe a swim short) and another T-shirt. Additionally, you have no shoes listed and I assume you are not doing this barefoot. Do you have cycling shoes and camp shoes and/or shower flops?

The thorn resistant tubes are big and bulky.  It is easy to patch a tube in camp.  A patch kit and 2 spare regular tubes probably weigh less and have less bulk than 1 thorn resistant tube.  If you have good tires, you probably won't have that many flats, less than a handful I would guess.

Lastly, bringing a couple of bungee cords or webbing straps is not a bad idea in case you need to strap something to the packs.

Otherwise, to me, this looks pretty good.  Others will say you need to bring a full-sized Park bike repair stand while others say you only need 1 set of clothes and a debit card (with holes punched in it to make it lighter). Take my suggestions with what makes you smile.

Tailwinds, John

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #2 on: August 11, 2021, 01:58:04 pm »
BTW - you can wear rain gear when doing laundry.

One thing I am experimenting with, especially when travelling with my wife, is an 8-port USB charger that plugs into a single outlet. The upside is we can charge everything when we are at a campground, dinner, etc. with a single outlet. We also eliminate a 1/2 dozen wall plugs.

Downside - traveling by myself it is a toss up on weight and a single point of failure. I am frantically ditching weight for my planned TransAm trip next year. The irony is that when I backpack for a weekend I typically carry 10 lbs more then when I hike for a month. Somehow it is easier to justify a few luxuries for a few nights.

You look like you have gotten down to the essentials but may want to do some shakedown rides. I would also add Imodium AD or some anti-diarrhea medication for when disaster strikes.

Here has been my process - I have been doing multiple week long trips over the last month or two to scale BACK down to essentials. I am looking at my smartwatch, which I love, and wondering how it enhances my bike travel experience? Time is supplied by both phone and GPS, heart rate on phone, if I want, along with everything else. One less thing to carry, one less thing to charge, one less thing to forget in a hotel somewhere.

Flashlight? Why, my bike light is brighter and weighs about the same. Jetboil French press has given way back to the coffee filter bags I carry hiking. On a bike that C-Store just down the road sells fresh coffee. I lived for 6 months in the woods with just a spoon and pocket  knife, so the fork and knife are again out of my cook kit. Ounces don't seem like much but they quickly become pounds. Also, you are hauling your TOTAL weight uphill, so I plan to jettison 10 pounds of my fat butt.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline GrnMtns

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2021, 02:56:58 pm »
Yes, you're on the right road.  A lot of people will bring something like crocs for camp, sunscreen and sun sleeves, and a long tour will probably be chilly at some point so something like a fleece shirt or down sweater to wear under the rain jacket and in camp might be a good idea.  A light pair of gloves help on a cold rainy day,and a helmet cover or liner cap will probably get used often.

Offline John Nettles

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #4 on: August 11, 2021, 03:05:42 pm »
Also, you are hauling your TOTAL weight uphill, so I plan to jettison 10 pounds of my fat butt.
That is the best advice!  I once carried a watermelon back to camp.  I am guessing 8-10 pounds.  It was a fairly noticeable difference to me.  That made me realize that I was carrying probably 2-3 watermelons extra on my body.  That made me start to lose weight.

 

Offline John Nettles

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #5 on: August 11, 2021, 03:08:43 pm »
....and a helmet cover or liner cap will probably get used often.
A cheap lightweight shower cap does wonders.  I also use them for seat covers on my leather saddle.  That said, you rarely "have" to ride in the rain.  Frequently, rain passes by in an hour or less so you just have to keep an eye on the radar and be patient.  I would guess less than a handful of times will you be required to don the full rain gear if you do the above.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #6 on: August 11, 2021, 05:16:54 pm »
My choices are very different, but I don't see why yours wouldn't work.  You can adjust as you go if you find you want different, or more or less stuff.  Things can be bought and mailed to or from home

Offline jwrushman

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #7 on: August 11, 2021, 05:35:18 pm »
Ear plugs - weighs next to nothing and will help you to ignore the bear, road noise, raccoon, noisy campers, mountain lion, chipmunk, outside your tent.  (I have a vivid imagination).  (And am a light sleeper).

A watermelon-and-a-half too heavy :(
« Last Edit: August 12, 2021, 06:50:08 am by jwrushman »

Offline New Jawn

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #8 on: August 11, 2021, 07:57:44 pm »
Many thanks for reading through my initial packing list and for the helpful comments. 

I have Schwalbe Marathon tires.  I've never used, and for that matter only heard of last week, thorn-resistant tubes.  If they're heavy and stiff, I'll just carry two regular tubes.  Or perhaps start with a thorn-resistant set on and two regular spares.

I never thought about carrying a pair of swim trunks, which would be useful for when doing laundry, particularly if I can find a pair that could almost pass for normal short pants. 

The multi-port USB thing sounds great. Better to charge devices concurrently than consecutively.

I use racing flats, so I'll have just one pair of shoes.  If I've extra room and weight to spare, maybe add a pair of flip flops to wear around camp and in public showers.

Yes, ear plugs.  A 2 oz. bottle of gelled alcohol, Imodium tabs,  sunglasses, extra pair of regular glasses, and an inflatable pillow added, too.  I'm drawing the line at the coffee grinder and espresso machine, though.    But on a serious note, I think that I'll be in good shape keeping things somewhat light.

Thanks again.  Additional suggestions always welcomed.

Offline hikerjer

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #9 on: August 11, 2021, 08:17:52 pm »
Looks pretty good to me. Several other things come to mind.  Take plenty of plastic sacks -grocery store and bread sacks ones work well. That way you always have something to put wet or grungy stuff in.  I always have an extra freeze dried meal in the bottom of my panniers for apprpriate use - like when I'm real tired, the weather's lousy or whatever. Not the best eaing but fairly norishing and easy to cook. It'll get you through the night.  I find a reariew mirrow indespensible.  Add a pairof tweezers to your repairk to remove glass or thorns inbedddd in your tire. Bring extra bolts, screws, nuts, etc. for your bike and gear including for your shoe cleats if you use them. I didn't see sun screen or eye protection mentioned.  A single edge razor blade can come inhandy and weighs almost nothing.

Have a great trip.
« Last Edit: August 11, 2021, 08:27:03 pm by hikerjer »

Offline John Nelson

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #10 on: August 12, 2021, 02:04:16 am »
I don’t think you have enough warm clothes. You might wake up with ice on your tent. Do you think the rain jacket is enough to make you warm? What about descending Hoosier Pass at 40 MPH in 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Going to be comfortable?

Offline John Nettles

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #11 on: August 12, 2021, 11:16:20 am »
.... What about descending Hoosier Pass at 40 MPH in 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Going to be comfortable?
I tend to agree but when I was in a similar situation (eastbound Going to the Sun in fog), I stuffed some discarded newspapers under the jacket and that helps tremendously.  Better to be prepared but in a pinch, it does work.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #12 on: August 12, 2021, 11:19:30 am »
I pack a North Face Thermo-Ball Jacket. I also find that once I stop riding and the sun starts to set I get cold quickly even on a warmer day. I think a lot has to do with dehydration. Once rehydrated and in my tent I tend to be a warm sleeper.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966

Offline BikeliciousBabe

Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #13 on: August 13, 2021, 03:54:35 pm »
.... What about descending Hoosier Pass at 40 MPH in 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Going to be comfortable?
I tend to agree but when I was in a similar situation (eastbound Going to the Sun in fog), I stuffed some discarded newspapers under the jacket and that helps tremendously.  Better to be prepared but in a pinch, it does work.

Funny. The second time I did GTS I went up and back down the west side. Cold rain on the way up. I was over in a corner swapping some clothes for the descent when a ranger opened the door to what turned out to be sort of a break room. She invited me inside. There was a fire going. Looked over and saw a cardboard box full of newspaper for kindling. She allowed me to help myself. Lined my jersey and leg warmers with paper. Between that and my rain jacket, I was warm enough.

Pro tip for some of you: The ACA maps make great chest insulators for descents. I first tried using one on Loup Loup Pass in WA on the Northern Tier. It was sunny but on the cool side, and I had gotten quite sweaty on the climb. Partially unfolded one of the maps and put it between my chest and jersey. Instant windbreaker.

Offline HikeBikeCook

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Re: Gear list: am I on the right road?
« Reply #14 on: August 13, 2021, 05:58:16 pm »
I did a TDF tour in 2005 and one of the joys was getting to the summit ahead of the pack (and caravan) and handing newspapers and cardboard to the professional riders for the descent.
Surly Disc Trucker, Lightspeed Classic, Scott Scale, Klein Mantra Comp. First touring bike Peugeot U08 - 1966