Weight when touring - how much is too much?

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simonineaston
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby simonineaston » 15 Sep 2015, 12:10pm

Each to their own - if I tried to take anything approaching 25 kilos of gubbins with me, I would be soooohh unhappy. :shock: I'm simply not built to deal with that sort of load! On the other hand, if I sallied forth into the Great Unknown without a key item, I would be equally unhappy - Key Items of course, vary from person to person... years ago when I first started this sort of malarky, I used to go away with a Good Chum from work and we quickly realised that his Essential Equipment was very different from my Essential Equipment.
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(currently enjoying a Moulton TSR & a nano Brompton...)

wearwell
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby wearwell » 19 Sep 2015, 10:12am

OK each to his own but it becomes critical when push comes to shove. 7pm you are knackered and still 20 miles to the next campsite (if it is still there) up a steep hill carrying your evenings shopping in case of there being no more shops, then weight suddenly becomes an issue and you start wishing you'd left a few things behind!

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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby Vorpal » 19 Sep 2015, 10:25am

How much are you happy carrying? It's too much when you think it is. You're the one who has to haul that lot around.

If you think it's too much, try cycle camping with kids :mrgreen:
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foxyrider
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby foxyrider » 19 Sep 2015, 12:36pm

Too much is when you need help lifting your bike to get on the train!

In Germany last month a French couple arrived late evening on the campsite, from their tans they'd been on the road at least a couple of weeks. They each had a BOB) Yak trailer well laden and I sat bemused at what they pulled from them. Their tent was a Decathlon pop up which would certainly not have survived the thunderstorm two days later but that's just me being equipmentist. No it was the rain cover for the bikes, one each for the trailers over the waterproof bags that provided most amusement.
I had expected seating but no the ground was good enough but on the other hand they had China crockery, full size saucepans and more groceries than Sainsburys. Neither looked particularly happy and barely spoke to each other - they weren't having a fun time!
The point is they had a ton of stuff that they thought was essential - it might have been too much but they thought it was right for them.
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

slowpoke
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby slowpoke » 19 Sep 2015, 2:43pm

Each time we go we take less. If you meet us on night one we will look exactly like we do on night 15 (old, moth-eaten, bad hair). But fitter!
We do it like this. We handwash clothes at night. One set of underwear on, one perhaps still drying from the night before, one spare. Same with socks. If everything is wet we go to the laundromat in our rainsuits and NOTHING ELSE (hint for old people: please own opaque rainsuits...). We take a teeny tent and sleeping bags divided onto two bikes and a shortie self-inflating airmattress each. Sleeping bag liner. Inflatable pillow. No fly. No cooking stuff - lightweight bowl, spork, mug and a shared knife. 1 pair zip-leg convertible pants. Half a bath towel each with minimal soap etc. Swimsuit, one pair cycle pants, one set of long underwear, shortsleeve shirt, longsleeve shirt and a fleece (gives 4 layers plus rainsuit). Gloves - inner and outer. Ski balaclava and ski neck gator. One pair sandals with toes (when they are wet, putting on dry socks feels okay and can be washed in laundromat with everything else). Foot covers. First aid kit. Wipes. That's about it. We buy maps as we go and mail the used ones home every couple of days. I (67 years old, female, lazy but sturdy) can carry this bike up the stairs to get across railway platforms and put the bike in trains by myself. My only luxury is a tiny hairdryer - a ridiculous thing born of vanity.

It all fits into two fairly small panniers apiece with a couple of dry sacks on top with tent and sleeping bags. We look like we're just out for a picnic - but we can go for weeks. We eat from the grocery store with pub treats for the odd hot meal. Occasionally we get a room - preferably with radiators!

A Bike Friday folding tourer plus this luggage weigh in at about 25 kilos. We go to Europe from the US. The airline allows only one free piece of luggage each and an limited onboard bag. The bikes go in a carrybag or suitcase (depending whether we're going open jaw or not) with a few other things around them. The tent and sleeping bag go as cabin luggage (in a big IKEA bag taped up to be the right size).

The interesting thing is that we never feel deprived of anything.

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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby simonineaston » 19 Sep 2015, 4:05pm

foxyrider wrote:Too much is when you need help lifting your bike to get on the train!
Not funny! In Brittany I watch anxiously as the train approaches to see if it's one of the new ones, with decks so low I can wheel the bike straight on, or - Dread of Dreads - is it one of the old stock with three steep steps up to the deck - I can just manage them if I get a good grip on the seat post in the right place!
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foxyrider
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby foxyrider » 19 Sep 2015, 6:39pm

simonineaston wrote:
foxyrider wrote:Too much is when you need help lifting your bike to get on the train!
Not funny! In Brittany I watch anxiously as the train approaches to see if it's one of the new ones, with decks so low I can wheel the bike straight on, or - Dread of Dreads - is it one of the old stock with three steep steps up to the deck - I can just manage them if I get a good grip on the seat post in the right place!

Have the same thing in Germany and even in bike friendly Holland this year. By comparison the UK with regulated platform heights and rolling stock are a dream!
Convention? what's that then?
Airnimal Chameleon touring, Orbit Pro hack, Orbit Photon audax, Focus Mares AX tour, Peugeot Carbon sportive, Owen Blower vintage race - all running Tulio's finest!

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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby syklist » 20 Sep 2015, 8:41am

foxyrider wrote:Too much is when you need help lifting your bike to get on the train!

My version of that is "Can you still carry your bike down from the plaform to the tunnel under the station and then back up to another platform". If not then you are probably carrying too much, that, or towing a kiddie trailer behind your bike.

The easiest way to save weight is to carry less water. That saves the weight of water, bidons and bidon holders. Take a small bidon/water bag, say 500ml for drinking water whilst cycling, and a water filtration system. Filter water when you stop for lunch or a cuppa and drink some before you get going again. Note that this method is not suited for trips in desert areas or other places where there is limited access to water :)
So long and thanks for all the fish...

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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby simonineaston » 20 Sep 2015, 9:32am

That's a good point - at 1 kilo a litre, my three water bottles, if full, mean the water's the next heaviest single item after me and the bike! Northern France is awash with water, as it were, with supermarkets and tabac selling bottled water cheap and every church yard having a mains water tap for the flowers, ostensibly, but no one's ever objected to me filling up...
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psmiffy
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby psmiffy » 20 Sep 2015, 10:29am

Not a good point at all - even in France there is quite often times it is easy to dispose of the contents of a couple of litres of water between refilling points when the weather turns warm and or you are climbing - plus being able to carry a couple of litres of water turns what can be an unpleasant dry wild camp into a comfortable evening camping sauvage - add in that in quite a lot of europe finding surface water to filter can be difficult

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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby syklist » 20 Sep 2015, 11:22am

psmiffy wrote:Not a good point at all - even in France there is quite often times it is easy to dispose of the contents of a couple of litres of water between refilling points when the weather turns warm and or you are climbing - plus being able to carry a couple of litres of water turns what can be an unpleasant dry wild camp into a comfortable evening camping sauvage - add in that in quite a lot of europe finding surface water to filter can be difficult

I can easily drink 4 litres of water on a hot summers day in Norway too. So if I wanted to have a couple of litres for the evening then I would be carrying 6kg of water at the start of the day. I have started the day with 4kg of water on the bike which is sufficient extra weight to be noticeable on a bike.

Most of the time there is water along the way in the form of brooks or standing water, although occasionally smaller valleys can be dry. A small one we cycled up near Naustdal only had one small trickle of water in the last ten kilometres. If you use a filter that takes out everything including bateria and viruses then even marsh water can be turned into safe drinking water. A French WarmShowers guest basically used a filter for all his water needs when he cycled from France to Nordkapp. I think he had just one bidon on his bike.
So long and thanks for all the fish...

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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby pwa » 21 Sep 2015, 9:07am

You obviously tailor the amount of water you carry to the conditions you are touring in. In cool weather in a not too remote are you can rely on finding drinking water to refill a single bottle. In southern Europe in summer you are likely to need two bottles or more to guarantee you don't run out between refills. On hot rides I prefer to risk carrying a bit too much water, rather than risk having too little.

Yes, if you are into filtration systems you can get your water from nature, but most of us will want to avoid that extra complexity if possible. And I don't know of any filtration system that will deal with contaminants such as heavy metals present in some springs. You need to exercise a bit of caution doing that. I would be very careful in areas where mining of minerals has taken place in the past.

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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby Vorpal » 21 Sep 2015, 9:20am

I've been know to ask for water at farms. I've generally found farmers to be helpful and happy to fill a water bottle. If you know a bit of the local language, they are also good sources of information about wide a variety of things, including places to camp or buy fresh local food. :D
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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby sabrutat » 21 Sep 2015, 11:35am

One of my raison d'etres is being able to stop and camp on a whim, sometimes for several days if the weather turns bad or the view is to die for. So I typically carry 6-10 litres of water to enable this, in addition to a water filter for emergencies.

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Re: Weight when touring - how much is too much?

Postby syklist » 21 Sep 2015, 3:24pm

pwa wrote:And I don't know of any filtration system that will deal with contaminants such as heavy metals present in some springs. You need to exercise a bit of caution doing that. I would be very careful in areas where mining of minerals has taken place in the past.

www.drinksafe-systems.co.uk filters claim to filter out heavy metals. I use one of these filter systems.
So long and thanks for all the fish...