Author Topic: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?  (Read 21365 times)

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Offline Tourista829

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #30 on: April 07, 2011, 08:51:44 am »
I know this will go against the culture of the above but there are things to compromise on and things not to. Start up costs can be steep, if you have the resources, there is no substitute for quality. I have gone the Nashbar route with panniers. The price is attractive but the quality is not always up to snuff. Others have had no problems but I did. Being on a four month tour and having to use duct tape to secure the rear bag, to your bike, is not a good thing. I'd go with Ortlieb or Arkel. (I like Ortlieb because they are waterproof and durable) On racks, I like Tubus. They are light weight, chromoly, and very durable. In general, if you purchase a tent, get the best lightweight one you can afford. There is nothing worse than having and inch of water, on the floor of your tent. I would get a good sleeping pad 1"1/2 to 2" thickness, I use a Therm a Rest. Sleeping bag, depending on the time of year you travel, I would again purchase one that is light weight, the size that fits you, and durable. (Kelty is a good one like they have in the ACA store) A sleeping bag liner may get you through the cold times at altitude. Look at it as an investment, one that will last you for many years if you maintain and take care of it. If you look at the cost over a 5 to 10 year period, it will not be all that bad. It is better to do it right the first time, have fewer problems, than to have to focus your energy on fixing things or that you are not not happy with your choices. When I tour I want to have the best chance to enjoy it and having peace of mind and knowing I can rely on my equipment is important to me.

Offline paddleboy17

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #31 on: April 07, 2011, 01:15:17 pm »
I agree with an earlier post. You need to look into going light.  It will save you money, decrease the weight of your load and make your tour much more enjoyable. The most expensive items on your list will also be the heaviest so research lightweight tents (single layer silnylon) sleeping bags (800 fill down) and panniers/racks (no need for bombproof ones beacuse your load can be under 20#)  will save you serious weight and dollars.  Adventure Cycling's how-to department(www.adventurecycling.org/features/ultralight.cfm) and backpackinglight.com are good resources.
Less is more.

There is light, and then there is stupic light.  Sometimes you have to buy a grade of stuff that will take some abuse. My Big Agnes tent was available in a lighter weight version.  The weight savings was not that great, and I was concerned about the lighter weight tent making it through a good storm.  The lighter ground cloth looked like I could destroy it in one useage on something other than a golf course lawn.

Buy good stuff, and especially guy good stuff that serves double duty, liek a rain coat that you can also wear if it gets coold.  If it looks like good stuff  is going to weigh too much, then think about what you are taking.  I would never take a paella pan, a DSLR, lap top, fishing gear, or a tripod, but people do.  If you want to go lighter consider buying your meals so you can ditch the cook gear.  Or stay in a hotel, and you don't need the camping gear.                                                                   
Danno

Offline Ike

Re: GEAR - It's adding up! Where can I compromise?
« Reply #32 on: April 07, 2011, 06:15:58 pm »
If you really want to know where you can compromise, be sure to take a short weekend tour. This isn't a new idea (many, many members of this forum have suggested this on other threads), but I think it is one of the most important steps you can take. Of course once you buy some items and use them over a weekend, you might not be able to return them to the store. However, you may be able to determine what clothing you need to bring.

Pick a weekend when the weather is wet and cool. This is the absolute best test for your clothing, fire starters, and tolerance of poor weather. For myself, the only way to know if I really need rain pants or just warm tights is to get out and get wet.