Author Topic: Essentials for on tour  (Read 677 times)

dogcart

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Essentials for on tour
« on: May 29, 2018, 09:48:51 PM »
I tend to go on short tours, a few days to a week, in the UK. Work still gets in the way of pleasure.
I may go cycling or I may hike but usually wild camp when away. Even for a few days having lightweight gear is important but it got me thinking about weight saving on long trips, especially if you are going to be a long way from a supermarket.
What do people take and how much? It was doing the washing up of all things at the weekend that got me thinking. Do you take a litre bottle of Fairy Liquid or if not what do you take? Wild camping in northern England or Scotland is easy, sphagnum moss is abundant in the wilds and makes an excellent pan scrub with no need for Fairy. By the time you have packed liquid fuel, plenty of water (can reduce that with the fancy water filter bottles that get rid of bugs from muddy puddles), food that isn't dehydrated stuff, washing essentials (personal and pots/pans) you can soon be carrying several litres = several kilos of wet products.
I remember reading about a long distance walker who cut down his toothbrush and drilled holes in the remaining handle to save a few grams. Maybe a bit extreme but I'm interested in anyone else's tried and tested weight saving ideas for long trips in remote places.
Maybe just get fitter and traverse the remoteness quicker!

Mike Ayling

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #1 on: May 30, 2018, 02:30:46 AM »
One school of thought says that if you did not use an item on your last trip you can remove it from your packing list.

Do not skimp on your rain jacket, tent and sleeping bag. These items could save your life.

Mike

StuntPilot

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #2 on: May 30, 2018, 04:40:36 PM »
Or you can set of with a tent, sleeping bag, mat and credit card and only buy what you need on the way  ;D

I came across this interesting article today which is a good read when it comes to packing for a tour ...

http://www.bikepacking.com/gear/bikepacking-bags/panniers-vs-bikepacking-bags/

Oggi

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #3 on: May 30, 2018, 05:13:19 PM »
Having spent a lifetime climbing and backpacking all over the world I would always have three things to ensure you get right. Tent, sleeping bag and mat, the bags they go in (rucksack for backpacking). Get the lightest and most compact of these and you are off to a good start. As for the rest, weigh it all and decide if it is essential for life or the bike, necessary for comfortable living, or nice to have. The nice to haves are your last to pack and first to take out. Doug

bikepacker

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #4 on: May 30, 2018, 05:38:06 PM »
When I go backpacking I take the bare minimum because it is on my back. Cycle camping I treat differently as the bike is taking the weight not me.  Here is my cycle camping list: http://www.bikepacker.co.uk/List.htm

Often I go on long tours between 1 and 3 months so I want to be comfortable on the campsite. Also I differ from many on this and other forums because I believe the extra weight makes very little difference to my cycling as I only ever ride at a leisurely pace. I have climbed many of the notable cols and passes both with an unladen bike and with a loaded bike. My feeling is there not a lot of difference and I wasn't much slower.
If you want to be happy learn to be alone without being lonely.
If you want to enjoy the world see it from the saddle of a bike.
If you want to experience beauty camp alone in a spectacular place.
If you want release your anxieties cease excuses and take actions.

dogcart

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #5 on: May 30, 2018, 08:09:31 PM »
Thankyou for the ideas. I have to agree about getting a good nights sleep in comfort. Top quality tent, bag and mat are essential. Hilleberg tents for me everyday now. I get down clothing and bags from PHD, very light and warm as toast. Ive been very pleased with a lightweight sleep mat from Alpkit. It has cut outs in the foam to get it to pack down smaller which is a plus for a rucksack, less important on a bike but has been warm enough still when sleeping on frozen ground and in snow holes.
My silly train of thoughts was making me wonder if taking dishwasher powder would be better than washing up liquid, same with soap powder for clothes!

bikerta

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #6 on: May 30, 2018, 08:37:56 PM »
When I go cycle touring all my washing up liquid, shower gel etc go into the very small travel bottles. You can either buy the small bottles separately and fill them with whatever you need or buy the actual small bottles of shower gel, shampoo etc. I usually then keep these and refill them for each trip. I find if you use one of those small scrunchies in the shower, then your shower gel lasts for ages and I managed to do a 3 week JOGLE with one of the travel bottles. 

martinf

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #7 on: May 30, 2018, 08:55:13 PM »
Do not skimp on your rain jacket, tent and sleeping bag. These items could save your life.

Nowadays I would add a mobile phone as being essential. I did once get a case of very bad gastroenteritis while on a family holiday. If on a solo tour I would have had to call for help.

There may be other essentials, depending on where you tour - if really remote you should probably have a spare pump and spare tyre so that if you rip open a tyre you can cycle to civilisation before your food/water runs out.

So far I have never been anywhere where I couldn't have walked out in the event of an unsolvable breakdown.


Danneaux

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2018, 02:18:29 AM »
Quote
There may be other essentials, depending on where you tour - if really remote you should probably have a spare pump...
+1 in agreement on this, Martin. I always take a spare pump if touring solo. One time while touring with my late father in a very remote area I stepped backwards and onto my pump, shattering the barrel (it was a Silca Impero). If we had not had his as a spare, we'd have been in trouble. Things happen and you can't account for all possibilities, but this is one "spare" I always take when alone.

Best,

Dan.

Neil Jones

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #9 on: May 31, 2018, 08:06:40 AM »
Just got back from a few days walking/camping. I find that Sea to Summit's Wilderness Wash pretty effective. It's very concentrated and you can use it for hair/body, clothes and washing pots and pans so you don't need to take multiple items. I usually decant some into a small Nalgene bottle. I did try soap leaves once but found them very poor.

The best way to save weight is to choose items that have multiple uses, it not only saves weight but reduces bulk as well.

Regards,
Neil

jags

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #10 on: May 31, 2018, 11:48:00 AM »
take any Photos Neil ;)

Anto.

PH

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #11 on: May 31, 2018, 12:08:42 PM »
My musings on carrying weight when camping in another thread.  As it says I don't do expedition stuff, so it doesn't cover the long trips in remote areas as that's not the sort of touring I get to do.  If I did, then the longer and more remote the plan was the less priority I would give to weight.
http://thorncyclesforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=12905.msg96633#msg96633

Whatever the debate on how much difference load makes to effort, that isn't the point for me, I enjoy riding a lighter bike and the choices about what to carry determines the bike I ride.

John Saxby

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #12 on: May 31, 2018, 02:37:50 PM »
Essentials for
Quote
long trips in remote places.

Mmmm, depends...on how long is long, and where is remote.

If different climate zones are part of the tour, especially mountains, then your tent, sleeping bag and clothing have to take account of that.

I don't do winter touring/camping, so my gear is all of the two- or three-season variety. In recent years, I've cut back on weight and bulk in tent, bag and mattress by buying new stuff.  It's pricey, but for the quality and weight/space saving, it's good value. (Examples: one-person Tarptent; Western Mountaineering 0/32F bag; and Thermarest Neo Ultra light mattress.)

One thing I use, not mentioned so far, is a lightweight (ripstop nylon/silicone) tarp, about 7' x9', weight 400 gms. I like to have extra shelter from wind and rain, so that I have a dry space outside my tent.

Does your "remote" mean no settlements/farms, etc.?  My hiking or paddling in such country (Southern Africa and Canada) means carrying food for, say 4 - 14 days.  This requires a lot of dehydration, and/or caching supplies beforehand.

I don't cycle in those conditions, but there are parts of Eastern Ontario, where I live, where I might not pass an open food store in a day's ride.  In those situations, I usually carry food for a couple of days.  Similarly, on a monthlong trip in the Rocky Mountains & Cascadia two years ago, food stores & places to eat were sometimes few and far between (though more common than in many parts of rural Ontario).

One key consideration is water.  On my Rockies trip, I had water bottles with 2.5 ltrs capacity, and had a 2 ltr bladder as backup -- I used that a couple of times.  I took along water purifying tablets as well, and used those a couple of times.  (Check Dan's budget for carrying water, however, on his trips into the Great Basin of eastern Oregon -- that's a wholly different proposition.)

On my cycling trips in Eastern Canada, conversely, I don't take extra water capacity, as I'm rarely in areas where there are no people for any length of time.  On paddling trips (in W Québec), I refill my bottles from the lakes, and carry a filter just in case.

Cookware:  If you're doing any complex cooking, I'd recommend a stove such as the multifuel MSR Dragonfly, which has a good simmer capability. With that, however, you have to plan your carrying capacity (the stove is very light on fuel, tho'), as well as the availability of fuel.  I use my MSR on paddling trips, where weight is less of a consideration than on my bike.

If your cooking is mostly boil-water-and-add-dried-stuff, then a Trangia alcohol stove is very light & compact, though it doesn't really simmer. I use the Trangia on my cycling tours, where I usually find a place to eat once a day, sometimes more often.

Hope that's helpful.

Cheers,  John

Neil Jones

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #13 on: May 31, 2018, 05:28:23 PM »
Hi Anto, yes I did.

As it was a walking holiday and nothing to do with Thorn it's probably best if I email a few to you directly.

Will sort them out tonight or tomorrow.

All the best,
Neil

PH

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Re: Essentials for on tour
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2018, 06:11:28 PM »
Hi Anto, yes I did.

As it was a walking holiday and nothing to do with Thorn it's probably best if I email a few to you directly.

Will sort them out tonight or tomorrow.

All the best,
Neil
I'm sure it's alright to share them on the muppets board, I think that's what it's for. 
I'm interested in others camping experiences.