Touring: Advice on essential kit

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
leelovesbikestoo
Posts: 20
Joined: 14 Jul 2012, 2:27pm

Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby leelovesbikestoo » 14 Jul 2012, 2:31pm

I'm heading off for a few nights soon on my first cycle-camping trip. Not going too far from home, just a few relaxing days in beautiful surroundings around the Kintyre peninsula. I'm in the process of building a kit list based on my own extensive experience of camping, which usually involves a car, taking similar stuff but just smaller and lighter!

What, in your opinion, would be recommended in addition to my list below?

Batteries/charger
Bivvy bag (for extra bag protection. It's Scotland, remember)
Clothes (warm/wet
Cook utensils (Bottle/tin opener, stove, fuel, collapsible cup, spork,etc)
Dry bags
Food (assorted dry food, tin etc, most to be bought on the way as needed. And tea bags/coffee sachets)
GPS
Insect repellant
Lights
Lock - lightweight
Maps
Sleeping bag
Sleeping mat
Space blanket
Tent
Tools/tubes/etc
Torch/headtorch
Travel towel
Wash kit

User avatar
horizon
Posts: 9982
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 11:24am
Location: Cornwall

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby horizon » 14 Jul 2012, 3:21pm

I would buy a luggage weighing device (to be left at home of course), forget the torch (you have bike lights) and think very carefully about those clothes - that is where the weight is. Decide on how much you want to carry and how - your kit list may need front panniers. Assemble it roughly and then prune to keep within your weight limit. 18kg is a good maximum but many people try to go lower than this - more difficult if you are travelling solo.
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

leelovesbikestoo
Posts: 20
Joined: 14 Jul 2012, 2:27pm

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby leelovesbikestoo » 14 Jul 2012, 3:27pm

Thanks for your advice. I reckon I'll get away with two large waterproof panniers and the tent lashed to the bars to distribute the weight. I've got a set of fish-scales (no pun intended!) so will keep an eye on the weight.

I have a good selection of technical clothing so will take walking trousers/shorts (depending on the weather in a few weeks) and use base layers & thermal jerseys on top to keep it light. A pair of Crocs for off-bike activity too, but to be honest I don't plan on doing much except cycling and chilling by the tent!

theenglishman
Posts: 106
Joined: 10 Jun 2012, 5:01pm

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby theenglishman » 14 Jul 2012, 3:32pm

leelovesbikestoo wrote:Batteries/charger
Bivvy bag (for extra bag protection. It's Scotland, remember)
Clothes (warm/wet
Cook utensils (Bottle/tin opener, stove, fuel, collapsible cup, spork,etc)
Dry bags
Food (assorted dry food, tin etc, most to be bought on the way as needed. And tea bags/coffee sachets)
GPS
Insect repellant
Lights
Lock - lightweight
Maps
Sleeping bag
Sleeping mat
Space blanket
Tent
Tools/tubes/etc
Torch/headtorch
Travel towel
Wash kit


In addition??? :shock:

1. Why take a bivvy bag AND a tent? If you don't trust your tent, either get one you do trust or stay in a B+B. Or just sleep in a bivvy bag.
2. Batteries/charger? You're camping. 13A sockets don't just appear in the middle of the road, do they?
3. Lights. Small cycle lights, perhaps but your front light doubles up at a night time torch. Why take lights and a torch?
4. Sleeping mat? What's wrong with pitching your tent on some long grass?
5. Lock? In Scotland, in the middle of nowhere? Are sheep *that* villainous?
6. GPS? It's Scotland, there's not that many roads. 1 sheet of laminated road atlas is plenty.
7. GPS AND maps? Seriously? What are you doing? A geological survey?
8. Take some lightweight trainers - wear these as opposed to your (wet)cycling shoes when you're off the bike (and in the pub)
9. Food. Just take breakfast and buy everything else. And so ditch the cooking stuff.
10. Take a decent leatherman/Swiss Army knife and a spoon. Sporks don't do anything well.

Oh - and throw half of what you do decide to pack away as you'll never use most of it.

And have fun :D

leelovesbikestoo
Posts: 20
Joined: 14 Jul 2012, 2:27pm

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby leelovesbikestoo » 14 Jul 2012, 3:37pm

Haha, cheers englishman!

Like I said, first trip. Will prune away unneeded or duplicated kit as necessary.

swscotland bentrider
Posts: 217
Joined: 3 Aug 2008, 4:38pm

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby swscotland bentrider » 14 Jul 2012, 4:18pm

A variation on advice I've read elsewhere:

When you have finally honed your kit down, lay it all out on the bed along with your money. Then halve the kit and double the money. You won't be far out! :D

thirdcrank
Posts: 28686
Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby thirdcrank » 14 Jul 2012, 4:41pm

swscotland bentrider wrote:... When you have finally honed your kit down, lay it all out on the bed along with your money. Then halve the kit and double the money. You won't be far out! :D


+1

Very sensibly, your first tour will be a short one and if you are never too far from home, your decisions won't be too critical this time out. As soon as you get back, review your experience. I suspect you will find all sorts of pruning is possible, but there may be something you missed (or would have missed on a longer tour.) Make a detailed note while it's all fresh in your mind. Then, learn from your own hard-won experience.

User avatar
matt2matt2002
Posts: 896
Joined: 25 Oct 2009, 7:45pm
Location: Aberdeen Scotland UK

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby matt2matt2002 » 14 Jul 2012, 5:01pm

swscotland bentrider wrote:A variation on advice I've read elsewhere:

When you have finally honed your kit down, lay it all out on the bed along with your money. Then halve the kit and double the money. You won't be far out! :D

:lol:
Nice one.
May I add my 2p worth?
Dosh n nosh....
Re dosh.. keep 2 or 3 amounts in different parts of your kit. I lost my wallet near Loch Lomond and only got the train home coz of a tenner in my back pocket.
Re nosh, keep a meal and a half back. A ferry I was due to catch off of Islay was delayed by storms so I was glade of the extra food
2018 Ethiopia.5 weeks.
2018 Marrakech 2 weeks.
On a Thorn Raven/Rohloff hub.

User avatar
honesty
Posts: 2550
Joined: 16 Mar 2012, 3:33pm
Location: Somerset
Contact:

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby honesty » 14 Jul 2012, 5:58pm

Not done any bike touring but have done a lot of long distance hiking.

Essentials:
1 set of dry clothes and socks double wrapped in plastic bags
A Swiss army knife and a spoon
A lightweight gas burner, gas, and a light weight saucepan. I always used the camping gaz burners that sit right on the gas bottle but I've heard good things about the current vango ultralight burner.
waterproofs
Lightweight tent, foam roll mat, light weight sleeping bag
High energy compact emergency food, kendal mint cate etc.
Water
Extra underwear, other spare clothes are optional.

jags
Posts: 584
Joined: 3 Oct 2007, 3:11pm

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby jags » 14 Jul 2012, 6:56pm

small radio :wink:
3/4 pks soup oxtail/mushroom/country veg .tomato. :wink:
woolie hat
socks
caldecene powder for your bit and bobs
buy yourseld a small tiny lantern to hang on inside of tent gret piece of kit.
have fun and if you have room left take a wee camera and post a couple pics of your adventure.
cheers
jags.

User avatar
foxyrider
Posts: 4650
Joined: 29 Aug 2011, 10:25am
Location: Sheffield, South Yorkshire

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby foxyrider » 14 Jul 2012, 8:08pm

theenglishman said pretty much what i was going to.

For Kintyre you barely need a map let alone a GPS - you will have trouble getting lost.

Do take a lightweight stove - use it for supper and a morning cuppa. Take single portion coffee (includes milk/sugar), pot food just needs hot water, noodles for tea and porridge for breakfast! Get a water filter - you'll be less reliant on carrying loads during the day if you can fill up from streams as you go. I'd lose the Crocks, they are too bulky, try deck/pool shoes instead.

Yes you can learn by trial and error but why bother when we can give you advice :D
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!

mattsccm
Posts: 2885
Joined: 28 Nov 2009, 9:44pm

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby mattsccm » 14 Jul 2012, 8:27pm

You haven't mentioned it but I bet its there.
Ditch the phone. People spend hudreds of quid to save a few ounces then carry that and more with an electric security blanket

johnb
Posts: 793
Joined: 28 Jun 2007, 8:05am

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby johnb » 14 Jul 2012, 9:06pm

leelovesbikestoo wrote:I'm heading off for a few nights soon on my first cycle-camping trip. Not going too far from home, just a few relaxing days in beautiful surroundings around the Kintyre peninsula. I'm in the process of building a kit list based on my own extensive experience of camping, which usually involves a car, taking similar stuff but just smaller and lighter!

What, in your opinion, would be recommended in addition to my list below?

Batteries/charger
Bivvy bag (for extra bag protection. It's Scotland, remember)
Clothes (warm/wet
Cook utensils (Bottle/tin opener, stove, fuel, collapsible cup, spork,etc)
Dry bags
Food (assorted dry food, tin etc, most to be bought on the way as needed. And tea bags/coffee sachets)
GPS
Insect repellant
Lights
Lock - lightweight
Maps
Sleeping bag
Sleeping mat
Space blanket
Tent
Tools/tubes/etc
Torch/headtorch
Travel towel
Wash kit


You seem to have it all covered with your gear list. No need for a Bivy bag if using a tent.

You mention that you have extensive camping experience so the only thing you will be doing different to what you usually do is cycling so a few tools, spare tube and Assos chamois cream (or similar)should see you right.

Do take a phone, you never know when an emergency might crop up, it could save your or someone else's life.
Do take a GPS, using one gives you a complete record of where you have been, distance travelled, elevation, etc. And a few batteries weigh only ounces.

If you were going to Asia, Arfica or other far flung places I would agree with a water filter, but in Scotland, shops, churches, pubs, houses will all be sources of fresh water.

Dont get too hung up on this whole lightweight thing, cycletouring is all about enjoyment not depravation, you might be tempted to take too much but the next time you wont. And its easier to look at something than go looking for something.

Most importantly, enjoy yourself.
The lead Greyhound never has to look at another Greyhounds derrière.

nmnm
Posts: 470
Joined: 14 Nov 2010, 6:03pm

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby nmnm » 14 Jul 2012, 9:08pm

Camping in Scotland at this time of year? Midge net and insect bite cream. I suppose if you're a hiker you know this. Long sleeves too, and a thin pair of gloves. Trousers of some sort, thin trousers.

I would question the use of the bivvy bag but maybe it'll stop any midges that get past the tent defences. Good thinking.

Don't take a radio. The midges will hear you.

Is there anywhere else in the world where the cyclist welcomes a light headwind, I wonder. :D

User avatar
stephenjubb
Posts: 674
Joined: 20 Jan 2008, 12:23pm
Location: East Yorkshire

Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby stephenjubb » 14 Jul 2012, 9:53pm

I'm in scotland at the moment and from the papers there are seven times more of them at the moment than last year.

I tried marmite, brewers yeast, electronic measures, mosquito coils, camping 30 metres from a lake last week the mozzy curls didn't work and before I knew it there were hundreds of the buggers.

My midge net did not protect me.

In a fit of frustation I got some wood to start a fire but as it had been raining the ruddy thing would not light.

So I poured some white spirits over it, set it alight, shoved some foliage on top and hey presto smoke. Got rid of them.

The fire only lasted ten minutes so I finished putting tent up ensuring it went to the ground, lobbed all my kit in and sealed myself in and watched the little blighters attack my tent. They did not get in but it was covered in midged in the morning.

So I am not camping that close to water again. Lesson learned. I was knackered at the time and it was getting dark, and thought 30metres was ok. How wrong I was. :roll:

It's sods law that next day 200 metres up the road was a large field where I could have camped far enough from the river to not be bothered. Doh! :oops:

So if in Scotland watch them midges. They're defeating everything this year.


Edit

Also forgot the 50% deet did not work either, there too many of them calling all their mates over saying heres lunch, hurry up!!!