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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    Seattle
    Posts
    3

    Touring packing lists

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    What do all y'all take with you for a tour? How do you vary your gear if you're supported or unsupported? Credit card touring, or visiting the back of beyond?

    After a two month tour through Italy, Spain and France, I've been reviewing the list of what I had (and the gear I shared with my taller half), and thinking about what changes I would make. We spent a good portion of the trip camping, but stayed in hotels every few weeks. I just blogged about the whole packing list, but here's the five things I really loved having along.

    A quick drying button up shirt
    I could quickly take it on or off and never had to mess with my helmet to adjust it. I could unbutton the sleeves and roll them up, and leave the front unbuttoned as well for temperature regulation. When it was clean, I could wear it as "civilian" clothing off the bike. It also wadded up, with other clothing, for a pillow on camping nights.

    Canari gel liner shorts
    The gel pad on the liner shorts covers a smaller area than some of the padded shorts I left at home, but having the versatility was key. I was able to easily swap around between longer and shorter length of shorts and capris, without exposing my derriere on the side of the road. The pad didn't absorb water, so after a rinse with me in the shower, the shorts could dry overnight. Depending on your modesty, they could probably be worn by themselves as short shorts.

    Shea butter
    I went on a fruitless search for Hoo Ha Ride Glide in the days before we left, couldn't find it, but then read on the forums here about the wonders of shea butter. I got 2 oz. of shea butter from Whole Foods, and transferred it from a fancy glass jar to a sturdier plastic jar. It was applied to saddle sore prone spots, used as chapstick and as skin moisturizer, fulfilling my desire for multipurpose items, and working fairly well on all accounts. I did have some saddle sores at the beginning, but I believe it was due to not enough opportunity for washing.

    REI Halo 40 degree down bag and Women's Prolite Thermarest
    After the first week or two, it was warm enough that this bag was overkill. I have slept cold so many times in the mountains, though, that I found it really luxurious to sleep with a bag unzipped. The taller half had a much thinner summer weight bag and was occasionally cold; because I was extra toasty I was able to keep my bag unzipped and wrap part of it over him, giving back some of the body heat I have leached from him over the years. I returned a 1 inch Thermarest for a 1.5 inch pad before we left, and I have no regrets. Really, sleeping comfy in the tent for several weeks was key to a successful trip.

    Bungee cargo net
    The taller half got this and although I wasn't impressed at first, I now find it one of the most awesome things ever. It held the tent to the back of my bike, and I could easily take off a layer and stick it under the net without having to mess with a pannier. When we had damp laundry, I put it in a mesh bag under the net to air out during the day. It was incredibly useful.


    The taller half and I had a discussion towards the end of the trip about what was most useful for its weight. We first decided that his smartphone (unlocked so we could get new sim cards in each new country) had been the best, but then later we realized that we had gotten a ton of help out of the smallest item - a credit card!

    What have your most useful items been?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    S. Dak.
    Posts
    490

    Tour Packing

    My favorite piece of apparel was my Patagonia Houdini wind jacket. Very light and packable, but great at blocking wind, keeping me warm early mornings, ac cafes, and keeping bugs at bay. The hood is formed perfect to fit under your bicycle helmet. Thankful I didn't have to test out the waterproofness. I sent home my rain gear since we experienced good weather.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,193
    I'm about to take off on my Seattle-to-Lincoln ride, so I'm not sure what I'm going to find most useful for this trip. I've gotten my gear pretty much dialed in with S24Os and backpacking experience, so I'm not looking for big, unpleasant surprises.

    That being said, I'm adding things I've never toured with before. My smart phone and an inflatable pillow won't add much weight, but will help me (and my husband) sleep better at night. I'm also taking a bear cannister, as much to keep all my "kitchen" Stuff in one place as anything else. I've noticed that a lot of bike tourists lose much food to raccoons, etc. As for keeping bear out - um, I hope I don't get to find out about that. Also, it makes a pretty good camp stool.

    I'll write up a better summary when I'm back.
    Give big space to the festive dog that make sport in the roadway. Avoid entanglement with your wheel spoke.
    (Sign in Japan)

    1978 Raleigh Gran Prix
    2003 EZ Sport AX

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Buffalo, NY
    Posts
    194
    What kind of tents have any of you taken on a tour?
    Savra

    2006 Specialized Dolce Elite/Specialized Stock Saddle
    2011 Surly LHT/Brooks S Flyer

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Location
    nomadic
    Posts
    7
    REI cirque ASL 2 tent. It's a 3-4 season so decent in about anything.

    Has anyone used a bob trailer? i'm thinking this might be easier than the overstuffed panniers...
    2012 Specialized Dolce Sport
    2003 Specialized Hardrock

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Nebraska
    Posts
    1,193
    As for tents, I'm not sure what mine is, beyond being advertised for 2 people. I tend to just watch Steep and Cheap and grab gear that looks like it will work. This tent is easy to erect, and big enough for me and a fair amount of gear, so I'm happy.

    My last tent, BTW, was supposed to be a 2 person tent, which I suppose is true - if the two in question were emaciated hobbits who are very much in love. That tent is not coming on this expedition.

    As for trailers, I ride a long wheelbase recumbent. A trailer would just be too much, although some do it. I feel I can overpack easily enough without a trailer in any case.
    Give big space to the festive dog that make sport in the roadway. Avoid entanglement with your wheel spoke.
    (Sign in Japan)

    1978 Raleigh Gran Prix
    2003 EZ Sport AX

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Puget Sound
    Posts
    140
    I've used a BOB for S24 trips and a 4 day trip. It worked well. I haven't used panniers, so can't compare. I do like the visibility of the BOB.
    We do not take a trip; a trip takes us - John Steinbeck

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Bedford, MA
    Posts
    212
    We are using a 3 person backpacking tent -- the Big Agnes Flycreek UL-3. It is just barely enough room for my rather large DH and me. It was not cheap, but we got it on sale at REI. It is great on weight though, about 3.5 pounds with the footprint. The fly on the tent works well too through the thunderstorms we have experienced. So far, it has been a good overall tent. If I have the extra hundred dollars or so, in retrospect I would have gotten the four person tent.
    "Why walk when you can bike?"
    Luna Eclipse
    Fuji RC Supreme
    Fuji Touring
    Centurion Le Mans
    All have Selle SMP TRK saddles.
    My blog: www.thepolkadotjournal.blogspot.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Location
    Boise Idaho
    Posts
    1,192
    my micro fiber towel
    one of my favorite tours I used a front basket zipped tied to my nitto rack, with a cargo net and I sure enjoyed the ease of access to everything in the basket. Wouldn't want to do it if weather was iffy though
    Sky King
    ____________________
    Gilles Berthoud "Bernard"
    Surly ECR "Eazi"
    Empowering the Bicycle Traveler
    biketouringnews.com

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    3
    Hi all

    I am currently on tour in South East Asia (Malaysia at the moment) and in the 3 months we are have been on the road I have found my Sweaty Betty bra top to be on of my favourite piece of kit- it is a very comfortable fit and after a long hot and sweaty day on the road it really has no odour which is great if you aren't able to wash it straight away.

    I also have a sarong which I use after a shower to let everything 'air' .

    Tent wise, we use a Vaude 3 man tent and haven' used it much on this trip but it is a great little tent.

    moo

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2012
    Location
    London, United Kingdom
    Posts
    3
    Hi all!

    My favourite piece of kit is my Sweaty Betty bra top - it is super comfortable and even after a hard, sweaty day on the bike here in Malaysia it has no smell which is good if you aren't able to wash it straight away.

    I also love having a sarong with me - I use it after a shower to air everything out .

    Tent wise - we use a Vaude 3 man tent, although we haven't used it much on this trip, its a great little tent.

    moo

 

 

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