gloomyandy wrote:Another thing to think about is where you are going and where you plan to camp. If you will be camping on an organised site, with water, a picnic table, perhaps even cooking facilities and a shop on site or nearby and/or a pub cafe to eat in and other shops/cafes along the way, then you will probably be fine.
However if you need to carry a day or more water and food, want to have somewhere to sit etc. then you may find that you struggle to fit it all in. I like to wild camp and travel mainly in NW Scotland. Although there are cafes and shops they can be closed/far apart and so I often have to pick up water at some point in the day, and sometimes carry a few days food. I find having extra room in the panniers makes this much easier.
My advice would be to try a couple of short overnight trips close to home, you soon work out what you actually need and what you can leave at home. You will also find out how well your packing arrangements work for you. When I started out I had pretty much the same setup as you do. These days I use four panniers and a bar bag, nothing on top of the rack. I find it much easier to get to things this way, but you may find two bags work fine for you. Just give it a go!
This was what I was thinkin, not gonna be this year tho due to it coming to winter, plus I have no more leave anyway. I never do tours in winter, but I did once find that a Scottish night got so cold I ended up sleeping in my motorcycle leathers. I'm also a useless cook, so I would always try to find nearby pubs or shops.
Thanks for the replies everyone . Also what do you do for security? I can lock my bike up but how do you secure your accessories when camping? Like when you go to a pub?