What this blog is about

Bicycle commuting, bicycle touring, bicycle racing; bicycle ADVENTURING.
To the grocery store, up a mountain, across the country or to the finish line--
it's all an adventure.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Bicycle Touring Packing List: IN REVIEW

Back in May, before my bicycle tour across the country-- this is the list I came up with. Here are my {thoughts in retrospect.}

  • 2 sports bras {could bring just one, plus a swim suit to wear while doing laundry}
  • a synthetic shirt {SENT HOME. Replaced with a long sleeve SPF shirt which worked great to circulate air and keep me cool. Eventually cut the sleeves off when it got humid.}
  • a thin wool shirt (cool even in hot weather) {fantastic. Would do this again, but with Smartwool or IceBreaker instead of Patagonia. The Patagonia shirt-- surprisingly-- fell apart.}
  • a WWR jersey {brought it to publicize my sponsor. Would ride w/o a jersey next time.}
  • ..kinda tempted to bring a tank top, too. You know-- for the tan. {If I brought it, I definitely sent it home.}
  • arm skins (SPF protection and COOLS you off rather than keep you warm) {These things actually do kinda work.. but didn't need 'em once I had my SPF shirt, which was more appealing to wear anyway, as it was billowy.}
  • arm warmers {I wear arm armers a lot in everyday riding, I don't think I used them very often during the tour, though. Debatable. Depends on other clothing items.}
  • long sleeve wool jersey, medium weight {Worked great, though could substitute with medium weight short sleeve + arm warmers.}
  • wind jacket {Brought a bright yellow, convertable kind. Used it a lot and draped it over my load on the rear rack for increased visibility.}
  • rain jacket {YUP.}

  • 3 pairs of underwear {Yup.}
  • two pairs of cycling shorts {Yup.}
  • gym shorts {Yup.}
  • synthetic knickers {Did I really bring these? I think I ended up bringing long pants. Better choice. Or some convertables.}
  • knee warmers {Yup. Sent 'em home once it got hot though, of course.}
  • 50/50 wool/poly long john/tights {Nights can be surprisingly cold! Would bring again.}
  • Probably not rain pants.. but MAYBE some quick-drying MUSA pants. {I don't think I brought rain pants.. }

  • shortie bike gloves {YES.}
  • and.. a windproof? a liner AND windproof? {I brought some really basic long fingered gloves. Worked most of the time, except when wet AND descending. Will go with wool next time and a Gore Tex shell.}

  • helmet. duh. {Yes.}
  • cycling cap-- keeps rain out of eyes {Or a helmet with a visor.}
  • beanie-- keeps whole body warm and a back up for a wet cycling cap {YES.}
  • visor > I love this visor in hot sunny weather, so it's coming! {Haha, gave it to my touring buddy when I bought a cowboy hat! Really great for cooling off when you're in a desolate stretch with no shade.}
  • sunglasses, with a light and dark lens set {Oh definitely yes. Love my Rudy Projects.}

  • 2 thin short cycling socks, hot weather
  • 1 thin tall wool socks, cool weather
  • 1 thicker tall wool socks, cold weather and post-rain ride {Yes on all the socks. Sent the warm ones home once it got hot.}
  • cycling shoes {YES. I like it better to have a performance cycling shoe that's more efficient, then to take those shoes OFF at the end of the day and cool them off in something else. I don't like the one-shoe-for-both thing. Not for me.}
  • booties {YES.}
  • Keen sandals {Replaced them with flip flops. Will replace with Crocs for next tour. Keen's were too heavy and unnecessary. We didn't do any more walking than we needed to.}

  • MSR Whisperlite
  • Fuel bottle
  • Matches
  • {Yes to all. Also bring lighter as back up to matches. Even if they're "waterproof."}
  • 1 pot, 1 pan {Ended up with 2 pots, happy with that.}
  • Spatula {Yes.}
  • Wooden spoon {Ended up with a folding spoon.}
  • Cutting knife ..and a mini-knife sharpener (I'm a snob. And I like safety.) {Didn't bring the sharpener. :) }
  • Spices {At one point, we had a LOT of spices. Then we narrowed it down to what we could use most often. Only carried a few: salt, pepper, garlic, cinnamon, and one or two others.}
  • Hand-sanitizer {Oh, yes.}
  • Mug/bowl {My mug/bowl was one mug nestled inside another, which was handy. Plus it has measuring marks.}
  • Frisbee/plate/cutting board {Used a real thin-type cutting board after questioning the food-gradeness of the frisbee.}
  • Fork/spoon {Read: fork and spoon.}
  • 1/2 sponge
  • Camping Suds {Yup.}
  • Iodine {Yes, good for back up! Used it once, though we ended up finding water anyway.}
  • 2 small bladders (for when our water bottles aren't enough) {YES. Takes no space and no weight, it's just a no-brainier.}
  • Plastic bags {Ha-- we saved any useful looking plastic bags that we came across.}
  • Cord to hang food {YES. Not just for bears-- but for raccoons, too!}
  • 2 person tent w/ fly & tarp ground cloth {My 2-person was more like a 1-person. We were gifted a 3-person tent with MAJOR ventilation when we were halfway across.}
  • REI sleeping bag {20degree}, eVent compression sack {Yes.}
  • Thermarest or Ridgerest pad (undecided) {Went with Ridgerest foam pad for speed and it was comfy enough for me.}
  • Thermarest compressible pillow (YES, I'm BRINGING the pillow.) {And I'll bring it again!}
  • Cotton liner (an old bed sheet) (This is to keep my bag from getting stinky and also for those hot nights that a sleeping bag is just too much.) {Will buy a nice silk one next time. My sheet was haphazard and heavy.}
  • Bandana {Used one as a pee rag. :) }
  • Tent patch kit {Never used it, but glad I had it! Useful for patching other things besides tents.}
  • 3 tire levers, patch kit 
  • Mini pump
  • Huge Alien multi tool that has EVERYTHING
  • [except] very miniature pliers
  • Lube, 1/2 blue rag, small bottle of degreaser
  • {Yes to all. Definitely USED those pliers. That's a kind of leverage that's hard to come by otherwise.}
  • Mini Leatherman {I think we used this, but we didn't really need it. We had other tools to replace it.}
  • Brake and derailleur cable
  • Spare tube, tire boot
  • Extra bolts for rack, shoes
  • Brake pads
  • Zip ties
  • Hoseclamp
  • AAA batteries for bike lights
  • {ADD: Spokes! and a Tire!}
  • Curly combo lock {Yes, we brought one each, used them both to lock our bikes to each other and to something else. Often, though-- the bikes were unlocked. Really, I'd like to see someone just TRY and ride away on a fully loaded touring bike.}
  • Bungees {Yes, infinitely useful!}
  • Duct tape & electrical tape wound around a pencil {Yes. We nearly used it up!}
  • Reflective triangle {Definite YES.}
  • [Wind jacket is neon yellow]
  • Rear flashing light
  • Front light
  • {Yes & yes. Even if you don't plan to ride in the "dark," fog, rain, dusk and dawn are all low light conditions requiring lights for safety!}
  • Pepper spray
  • {Yes. ADD: Dog spray! We never sprayed it (very nearly did a few times), but pulled it out often in Kentucky. Some dogs recognized the can and gesture and went high-tailing the other way!}
FIRST AID *all in mini-packets
  • MEDS: Pepto-bismol, midol, sting relief wipe, benadryl, ibuprofen, poison ivy wipe, eye drops, Neosporin
  • ROAD RASH: alocohol, iodine and saline wipes. Gauze pads and mini roll. Band aids.
  • HOT/COLD: Hand warmers, chemical ice pack, icy/hot patch {Ditched the last two.}
  • TOOLS: nail clippers and very pointy tweezers
  • BLISTERS: mole skin
  • {Used a fair number of this, would still bring all of it.}
  • Travel towel (super thin, light, dries fast) {Yes, but I could bring a smaller one. Mine was full size! A luxury.}
  • Terry wash cloth 
  • Toothbrush, toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Razor
  • 'Feminine products' and a coffee bag to keep stinky ones in
  • Dr.Bronners for soap/shampoo
  • Butt'r chamois cream {YES! Although I would bring Belgium Budder, as it's Paraben Free.}
  • Bug spray
  • Sunblock, SPF chapstick
  • MAYBE a lotion bar {Don't think I brought this-- or I sure didn't use it!}
  • {Yes to the rest!}
  • Driver's license
  • Medical and car insurance card
  • A card with my medical info written on it
  • Debit card, credit card, checkbook, cash
  • Stamps and addresses
{Yes to all. Plus a blank notepad for writing notes, addresses, scratching out math etc.}

  • Camera, 3 batteries, extra memory card, charger and a tiny thingy that plugs your memory card into a computer {the cord that plugs the camera to the computer would have been fine as opposed to the other plugger thingy. Although the plugger thingy worked without needing a charged battery!}
  • Add: Joby! My lil' bendable tri-pod. This enabled SO many self-timed photos!
  • Phone, charger -- I am NOT bringing a phone on this trip. I am letting my cell plan expire and will rely on my touring buddy's phone for emergencies. {I BROUGHT MY PHONE! Kept it off most of the time to conserve battery.}

  • 1 paperback {I would bring one only if I were traveling alone. My traveling buddy was way to entertaining to need a book.}

..to read my "full explanation" as to why I'm bringing FOUR journals, click here
  • A Moleskine graph journal to make charts/graphs out of our trip
  • A panoramic drawing journal for landscapes
  • A square drawing journal for interviews
  • A mini drawing journal for everything else
  • Various pencils, erasers, colored pencils, sharpener, pens
{If I were traveling alone.. MAYBE. But definitely sent these all home! I know, I know..}

  • Kite! :)  {and it never flew. We threw the frisbee once, though. Sent that home too.}
  • Rubber bands. We used these to keep food closed, etc.
  • Clothes line, the kind that doesn't require any pins to use.

And there you have it! As I prepare to go on some shorter trips, I'll review what I've packed in a (somehow) more streamlined way.

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