If you can’t figure out by the fact that I’ve taken three different bike camping trips on three consecutive weekends this month (and plan on doing a lot more in the near future), this whole bicycle camping/bicycle touring thing has been on my mind a lot lately. So much so that I have been procrastinating in other departments. So much so that I’m obsessively looking at web pages talking about alcohol stoves.
I’ve talked a little bit about my nouveau set-up a couple weeks back in the post Modifying the Bike Camping/Touring Setup but since all this camping stuff is fresh on my mind (and I got inspired by this post over on Pushing the Pedals Ed. Note 1 Oct 2022: The site has gone dark.) I’m going to talk about it some more. (If you only like reading about me talking about Raleighs and all that biz-ness, you can probably skip over this post and go check out posts tagged with Raleigh. Or go check out this blog instead.)
First off, while I like reading other people’s packing lists for bike touring/camping, I’ve never published one of mine. Maybe because I don’t want to be judged (cue bearded old guy on the Icefields Parkway saying, “You’re carrying too much!”) and maybe because I hate making anything that sounds definitive or authoritive. I don’t want people to look at the list and think they have to do it a certain way. Nope. So I’ll preface it all and say this is what works for me.
My current setup for the forseeable future, since I don’t plan on doing any big-big tours this year is my Carradice Nelson Longflap transverse saddlebag in the rear, two small Route 7 panniers by North St. in the front. For more capacity there is the (theoretical) handlebar bag (more on this later) and/or switching out the Route 7s for my set of North St. Avenue B bags. And if push comes to shove, I can throw the rear rack back on and have both front and rear panniers. But for now I’m only going to use front panniers.
The Carradice currently hauls the “house” stuff, a job it is particularly adept at doing.
And what is the “house” stuff right now?
Clockwise, starting with the green thing in the bottom left corner:
- Cocoon Air Pillow (inflatable)
- Cocoon sleeping bag liner (silk/cotton blend)
- Outdoor Research Alpine Bivy (the tent type thing)
- Domex Travel 550 down sleeping bag (obscure New Zealand company)
- ME Kelvin 3.8 regular sleeping mat (“self-inflating”)
- Plastic camping plate with spork and spatula/knife-type-thing
- Camping sponge. Nothing more than a regular sponge cut in half!
- Coffee infuser, this one be a GSI H2Joe!
- Trangia backpacker set, contained inside: Trangia alcohol burner with “windscreen”, 0.8L aluminum pot, non-stick frying pad/pot lid, and pot/pan grabber
- Platypus 2L bag
- In the center is a Ziploc screw-top container. I use this as a bowl, and it is a great way to store liquidy foods or things like berries because it’s leak-proof and the lid won’t pop off.
- Small lightweight cutting board
- Coffee grinder (Hario Slim Mill)
- Esbit Coffee Machine
- Esbit stove
- MSR 1.5L non-stick frying pan
- Knit hat. The ability to tie this hat to head is great if I need it while sleeping.
- Thermal bottom layer
- Longer socks
- Thermal top layer
- Flannel button-down shirt.
- Bug Spray
- Deodorant (Crystal in the small size)
- Travel pack o’ Tylenol
- Small bottle of Dr. Bronners soap. This serves as body wash, shampoo, and dish wash. Will also work as laundry soap.
- Toothpaste. Normally I use the travel size but this tube is mostly empty
- and in the center a travel toothbrush.
- North St. hip pouch
- Small flashlight (Princeton Tec)
- Obligatory snack stand-in
- Earbuds for iPod
- Eating utensils (yeah, I pictured this twice, so sue me)
- Strap for headlamp
- Not Pictured for Painfully Obvious Reasons: Camera