Author Topic: Weighing in  (Read 6710 times)


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Weighing in
« on: May 05, 2018, 04:41:17 pm »
Iím off tonight for a couple of days camping, which also includes a couple of Audax (Maybe three if the legs are up to it) so while having a lazy day Iíve been weighing the kit as I packed it.  Not that I am in any way bothered, oh no ???
Iíve been pretty meticulous and included everything that isnít bolted to the bike, Iíve based it on unsettled three season weather and only discounted the minimum clothing Iíd be wearing, so for much of the time some of this weight will be worn rather than carried. Thereíd be some +/- depending on the weather, but Iíve erred on the side of caution.  Iíve included the bags and empty water bottles.
Day rides Ė this is the stuff I rarely leave home without, I wouldnít carry it for utility riding, but then again I'm unlikely to be using this bike either.  Packed in a small Carradice saddlebag and top tube bag.  Kit includes tools & spares, cafe lock, waterproof, arm/leg warmers, spare gloves, Garmin & phone, camera (1 Lens) Total  2.8 kg
Overnights in accommodation Ė Iíve added lightweight off bike clothing (But not shoes), Iíve assumed I can wash and dry the cycle kit overnight.  It needs my larger Carradice saddlebag to fit it in.  Total 4.1 kg
Camping for a few nights Ė As above but added a change of cycle kit, better lock, wash kit and towel, battery packs for the gizmos.  Plus the basic camping kit, tent, mat, quilt, torch.  No cooking kit or luxuries Ė this is for the ride, sleep, ride sort of camping, where Iím taking a break in what Iíd consider the same ride, rather than camping between rides (Not an easy distinction to explain, but I always know which of those sorts of ride Iím on!)  It needs two panniers  (Ortlieb front rollers) plus the smaller Carradice to pack, though thereís a bit of capacity left.  Total 9.45 kg
Leisurely touring Ė Well by my standards anyway!  Iíve added enough clothes not to have to do laundry every day, non-cycling shoes, better camera and a couple of lenses,  charging gizmos for the gizmos,  a lock Iím happy with leaving the bike out of sight with, and enough cooking kit to make a coffee and heat stuff up.  Two panniers, larger saddlebag and tent on the rack. Total 13 kg

None of this is expedition stuff, I like the idea of that, but the reality is Iím a bit soft, after a couple of weeks Iím ready for home.

Although Iíve always had an idea of how much Iím carrying, this is the first time Iíve weighed it item by item, a bit of an eye opener.  Particularly how much the luggage itself weighs, of the 9.45 kg Iím carrying this weekend, 2 kg of it is the bags!  Iíve been looking at lighter tents for overnighters (Current one weighs 2.1 kg) I havenít found anything that I like enough that has a significant weight saving, Iím now thinking I ought to look at lightening the luggage itself.  The Ortliebs and Carradice are excellent long lasting kit, but I have a sewing machine (And an idea how to use it) I might make something in a similar design in a lighter fabric, with the expectation that it would be easily replaced every few tripsÖ

I didnít mean this to be such a long post!! Iím probably writing it as much for myself as anyone else, but comments welcome.
« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 04:46:06 pm by PH »


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Re: Weighing in
« Reply #1 on: May 05, 2018, 06:08:01 pm »
Iím probably writing it as much for myself as anyone else...
Oh no, Paul; to the contrary, weight discussions are always interesting to me and I have lists - lists of lists! ;D -- made over the years comparing loads for every occasion.

For awhile my mantra was "Cut that weight! Cut that extra bulk!" and I did both, but found what worked well at home did not always work so well when trying to pack quickly in a downpour at 04:50 so I could be off at 05:15. Now, I go with a more casual but quickly stored approach I really do have the tent, bag and pad stowed and everything packed and on the bike with a bit of food in me in just under a half-hour, ready for the day. It (the load) is a bit larger and heavier than before, but worth it in terms of time and dryness to me. A quick departure is also helpful for getting some distance in before the heat of the day starts in earnest at 08:00.

I've been interested in your audax weights as well. My most-favorite randonneur bikes (three from another now defunct brand but more Club Tour than Audax in execution) are 700C-wheeled tourers with full racks and lighting and  all weigh about 14.5kg dry. To that I add about 2l of water, a spare wool wind-faced cycling jersey, tights, wind jacket and  some nibble food for 200-300km jaunts and if it is a self-supported 400km day ride I'll add a space blanket and possibly my Klymit O-zone mattress so I can grab an hour's sleep within the 24 hours or so it takes me. I'm not the fastest, but the last go had 85km of 5% upgrade to the Santiam Pass Junction of the Cascades followed by several kms of 8% so I can't complain too much about the time.

For light touring, I'm now enjoying a lighterweight ("ultralight" compared to my expeditionary kit) setup so I can explore things at the far end of a very long day instead of simply turning around halfway for the return home. I've put in 700mi/1127km touring weeks with heavier gear and this will make it much easier: If I could ride in an area where there was ready resupply (not gonna happen in outback Oregon), I could go for several weeks with this setup. If I do another extended European tour or double-crossing, this might well be my kit of choice.

Waaaay at the other end of things is the kit I've assembled for my extended, self-supported desert tours away from resources, resupply and comms. My camping gear is still selected for lightness and minimal size, but I have to make concessions for need, so I add a folding chair (pavement melts in the heat and sticks to bare legs causing scalding burns if you sit on it direct) and lot of food and of course, water. The last is my biggest weight, as I usually consume about 8l/day for drinking alone, plus some for cooking. Typically, I carry 6.5l on the bike, another 1.5l in Ortlieb bottle cages on my panniers, and two MSR Dromedary 10l water bladders for a total of about 28l/28kg plus container weight. Of course, the Nomad is the mount of choice for these trips as it can handle the weight of the gear plus itself (20kg dry) and me (~78kg) without complaint.

Best wishes for a lovely and enjoyable camping trip, Paul.


« Last Edit: May 05, 2018, 09:23:44 pm by Danneaux »


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Re: Weighing in
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2018, 02:48:52 am »
A couple of decades ago I was frustrated with how heavy my pack was.  For the next trip, I weighed my camping gear and put it all into a spreadsheet.  That way I could compare item against item when I put together my equipment list to try to cut out weight without cutting out any items that I would want to have.  I think I cut about 4 to 5 kg out by choosing some of my stuff that was lighter.

I have been expanding that spreadsheet over the years.  When I am planning a trip, I can pull up the list from prior trips where I took similar stuff along and use that as a template to start putting together my list for the next trip.

Having the weights of each item comes in handy when planning a trip where I will fly and have to get my checked luggage under a certain limit.

il padrone

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Re: Weighing in
« Reply #3 on: August 11, 2018, 08:13:45 am »
My standard touring gear (minus any food) weighs in at about 23 kgs. That is clothing for most seasons, camping gear (tent, sleeping bag, mat, and a few extras like tent-light and Helinox camp chair), cooking gear to do good meals (stove, mess-kit, cutting board, and other extras. I do not carry a big camera nor extra lenses..... a Lumix compact does me just fine. With food added for a few days the weight goes up to about 35 kgs, and on my outback tours when we have needed to carry food for 6-8 days, plus all water for 3 days, the approximate weight has come out to 55-60 kgs.

It all depends upon what type of touring you are doing, the terrain you are crossing, the duration of your travels, and the need to carry supplies. And of course, your fitness. Ultimately carrying heavier loads is not a huge problem when touring on a bike, as long as the terrain does not get too mountainous.