Packing roundup

Standard

It’s been almost a week now since my accident, and that’s one week without any cycling at all :p That will hurt my weekly average a lot 🙂 I’m supposed to get my repaired bike end of this week, or early next week. I’m also waiting for the final bike, which will come very late… But more on that one later.

So, no biking as of late. In the meantime, I’m checking my packing list. Almost everything is accounted for at this time, apart from the bike, the trailer or panniers, spare parts, security stuff, food & cleanliness items, & payment methods.

All of the rest is already quite a lot of stuff !

stuff_roundupHere I have all the camping equipment on the right, clothes in front, electronics & maps on the lower right, and tools & first aid kit on top right. In terms of volume it’s already quite a lot. And it ends up just a bit below 12 kilos. That’s including the clothes I’ll be wearing, which I did not count in the previous post on the subject, but also missing some critical elements, notably a few liters of water.

So, at this stage, three weeks before departure, I’m still not completely decided about going with trailers or panniers. I’m edging towards a trailer. Once I get my bike back, I’ll go back to the shops who carry one and decide there. That’s a major weight on top of the current one. But to me the pros of the trailer outweigh the pros of the panniers.

Spare parts, I’ll decide once I take a couple classes on bike maintenance. But I need a bike for that 🙂 There are a few classes around here, once or twice a week.

Security stuff will also be a huge weight. I’ve found very nice & strong (and expensive) U locks, but they’re above a kilo each.

Food & soap and all, I’ll buy when I start. It should also be a huge weight with at least 3 liters of water.

Payments methods (a credit card and a bit of cash) should be very light on the other hand 🙂 But that requires a trip to the bank, planned right after mid april, when I’ll have my departure from work signed.

So what am I doing these few days ? Resting from the crash first, I have very nice bruises on both legs, on top of the small brush on the knee. The back of my right calf is almost green :p I’m also gathering boxes for moving my stuff out, and have started packing my comics. Half of them done, 15 boxes already. On top of that, I’m selling some leftover items, like a dvd player, wicker chairs, my old PC that I refurbished from scratch (and was still working flawlessly after three years in the basement – so long, old friend ! 😉 ), a lot of cables, etc. Finally, I’m almost done on “google map route”, where I take screenshots along the road I’ll be following. It’ll make a very nice movie, that I should post during the week end.

It’s impressive how much you got to do when you’re not working 🙂

 

Advertisements

Weighing my options

Standard

I’m working on a particular piece of preparation : weight. Not especially my own, no, although it would help in said subject. I’m weighing all of the stuff I’m planning to carrying around on the bike.

When thinking about that point a month ago, my rule of thumb was that I shouldn’t be carrying around more than the weight of the bike, so about 15 kgs (or 33 lbs). That seemed to be already quite a lot.

Then a couple days ago I started writing down the weight of the stuff I already had, and the stuff I’m planning to get. And figures started building up *very* quickly.

Camping equipment, only the tent / sleeping bag / mattress was already closing in on 5 kgs.

After putting all clothes on the scale it was showing 4,5 kgs.

I have a good kilo of electronics :p

electronics

 

The bike equipment (cleaning, maintenance, spares…) I estimate at 3kgs.

I was astonished to see that front & rear panniers, plus handlebar alone were about 5kgs.

Food-wise I’m counting 2 liters and another kilo of snacks / canned food.

All of the health equipment is a bit less than 2kgs.

Finally all of the 13 maps and business cards is a bit more than half a kilo.

So, all in all I’m clocking more than 23kgs !! Way more than what was already too much. And in this count I’ve already struck down many items in my initial list : sketching book, chair, headlamp, walking shoes, hand sanitizer, cooking equipment, …

 

I’ve searched around and found some amazing stuff like this guy : http://ultralightcycling.blogspot.fr/ who goes around all over the planet on a TOTAL, bike included, of 15kgs.

Other resources on the subject :

http://www.adventurecycling.org/adventure-cyclist/online-features/ultralight-touring/

http://www.worldbiking.info/wordpress/bicycle-touring-gear-list-world-biking/

http://www.bikepacking.net/

 

A second look on the drawing board and I’ve reduced the total of the gear to 18kgs, down 5kgs :

– I’ll be looking for lighter panniers, a smaller tent, lighter / fewer tools

– I removed from the list the clothes & stuff I’m wearing – kind of a cheat, but I’m used to its weight already

– Also fewer change items (the guy doing the ultra light only has a spare set of socks !)

Well that’s about it for now, I still have a long way to go to reduce it all another 3 or 4 kgs.

The count by family would then be : camping 4, clothes 2, electronics 1, bike tools 2.3, panniers 3.5, food 3, health 1.7, maps/cards 0.5

 

A good rule of thumbs I’ve read is to use panniers to carry more than three times their own weight – in other words, panniers / containers should be less than a quarter of the total weight. So with a 15kgs objective, panniers should be around or less than 3,5kgs.