Touring: Advice on essential kit

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
PH
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby PH » 14 Jul 2012, 10:28pm

theenglishman wrote:2. Batteries/charger? You're camping. 13A sockets don't just appear in the middle of the road, do they?

9. Food. Just take breakfast and buy everything else. And so ditch the cooking stuff.


If you can find somewhere to buy stuff, you can find somewhere to plug a charger in, pub, cafe, shop, campsite, even in Scotland they have electricity :?

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horizon
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby horizon » 14 Jul 2012, 10:30pm

johnb wrote:[
Dont get too hung up on this whole lightweight thing, cycletouring is all about enjoyment not depravation,


Hmmm... some people might consider it depraved... :wink:
The experience of travel is something that you have to pay for but can never buy. Ho Ri Zon Chinese philosopher

largeallan
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby largeallan » 14 Jul 2012, 10:37pm

The reward for suffering is, more suffering.....I enjoy the self loathing and misery that a cycle tour brings!

shotaway
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby shotaway » 15 Jul 2012, 1:51am

How about a first aid kit? i like to carry some strong pain killers too not that ive ever needed them but makes me feel safe.
A good thing to have with you if you think it might rain lots is a small tarp i use the diamond shaped fly cover from my mosquito hammock with this you can sit outside and stay dry. cooking in ya tent is a recipe for disaster altho we have all done it..
Put every thing in rubble bags(tough plastic bags) inside your panniers so it. stays dry I like to sit on my pannier bag that has my clothes in it unless there something better about.
I dont think there anything wrong with taking a GPS and a map hell it not much.. The Gps breadcrumb trail a great to look back over or geo tag ya pics.
I just use my head torch for everything dont have a proper bike light at the front..
waterproof some swan matches to take with you. old innertube to start fires.

chrisc
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby chrisc » 15 Jul 2012, 7:39am

A rear view mirror.

I do not cycle without one these days. Check behind without wobbling. Keep an eye open for approaching txting motorists etc. I use a 'Cateye BM-300G Race Mirror' which vibrates very little and does not stick out too much from handlebar end. £5.99 from Evans Cycles, et alia, and weighs next to nowt.

Less important but useful I have found are superglue and duct tape.
Tourer : 2010 Giant CRS City 4.0
Other : 1963 Denton retro (now back in the loft!)

eileithyia
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby eileithyia » 15 Jul 2012, 7:52am

Ditch the bivvi bag.
Decide if you really need chargers and gps.
Double up bike lights as torch.
Unless very remote, buy food daily except staples; tea/coffee/sugar/breakfast cereal
Defo take a basic First Aid kit with insect repellant and after bite relief.

Enjoy
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby Vorpal » 15 Jul 2012, 9:16am

I agree with eileithyia. And, I normally carry at least one meal, just in case. I've been caught out a couple of times. Once when I got stuck in the middle of nowhere after a couple of punctures, and once when I arrived at my destination only to find the local shop was closed for the owner's holiday. The next closest open shop was 11 miles away (and down a mountain that I had already climbed once that day). It turned out okay. I had few things left from the day before, and I was staying in a youth hostel where there were others in the same situation. When we pooled our resources we were able to put together a decent meal.
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Mick F
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby Mick F » 15 Jul 2012, 9:44am

chrisc wrote:A rear view mirror. I use a 'Cateye BM-300G Race Mirror' which vibrates very little and does not stick out too much from handlebar end. £5.99 from Evans Cycles, et alia, and weighs next to nowt.
Worst mirror in the world!

My comments on it:
Well, just got back from a frustrating 25miles.
The weather was perfect, the bike was perfect, I'm nearly prefect, but the mirror was useless!
I spent most of the time looking to see where it was pointing. Slow riding, it was fine, but as soon as I got a lick on, the damn thing would point at my muscular thighs or my manly ankles and once or twice at my chainset.
Even when it is in position, it's either covered in sweaty fingermarks from being constantly adjusted, or it can't be seen because my arm is in the way. On the drops, it is terrible and my arm actually hits it
.

There's a long thread about it, I won't bore you with reading it all, suffice it to say that I had a go at modifying the clamp arrangements to make it tighter. No matter what I did, it would move - I had tightened the screw until the threads were in danger of stripping!

Also, read this:
http://cycleseven.org/mirrors
Mick F. Cornwall

leelovesbikestoo
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby leelovesbikestoo » 15 Jul 2012, 3:53pm

Thanks guys for all your comments, some good stuff in there!

jags - like the radio and lantern idea. Chamois cream is in the personal hygiene bag.
foxyrider - also have a water filter attached to a bidon and some purifying tabs, just in case I have to use stream water.
mattsccm - take the point about the phone, but I have an old one which is really thin and lasts for days. The other half will worry if I don't check in so worth taking IMO.
nmnm & stephenjubb - I've recently discovered Smidge, the midge repellant. Awesome, worth every penny. And yes, don't camp near standing water if midges like you.
ph - the charger was referring to a small AA powered phone charger, but taking the old phone I won't be needing this. But yes you're right, even the far West of Scotland recently joined the Grid.
shotaway - good shout on the first aid kit, even for just some essentials. My favourite is Mellolin dressings for road rash!
chrisc - I've never been a fan of mirrors.
eileithyia - the bivvy bag is really small and worth the extra protection against unexpected cold and water ingress. The groundsheet should be ok, but for the sake of 100g I'd rather be comfortable! I would invest in a better tent but I really can't afford it just now. Yep, a head torch will replace bike light and camping torch - and perfect for book-reading at night.
vorpal - i've bought a few freeze dried food packs which weigh about 100g each to see me through the first day and as an emergency.

bikepacker
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby bikepacker » 15 Jul 2012, 5:25pm

The essence of cycle camping is to enjoy both the cycling and camping, in order to do that you need to evolve you own kit. Your previous camping experience has given you a good grounding and you seem to have covered the essentials. If you intend to do further cycle camping tours, my advice would be to go with your original list and fine tune after your first trip. Make notes of what you miss having and what you are carrying and not using. When you get home adjust your kit accordingly for the next tour.

What some of us carry is not what others would want; my list is on my webpage. I suppose I am of the old school with mobile phones and SatNavs definately off the agenda. I know some who’s wash-kit and electronic gadgetry would take up all of my two front panniers and none of it enhances the cycling enjoyment.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

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hondated
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby hondated » 15 Jul 2012, 6:38pm

shotaway wrote: cooking in ya tent is a recipe for disaster altho we have all done it..


and I would add " change your gas cylinder in the tent half asleep in the morning." Oh dear I did !

chrisc
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby chrisc » 15 Jul 2012, 9:09pm

Mick F wrote ;

Worst mirror in the world!


.. in relation to the Cateye BM-300G Race Mirror that I recommend.

Summat wrong there, Mick. I have just bought my third Cateye this past week for an extra bike ! I have had no trouble at all fixing it rigid. I am talking on flat bars here, not drops. Very surprised to be honest :? .
Tourer : 2010 Giant CRS City 4.0
Other : 1963 Denton retro (now back in the loft!)

gloomyandy
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby gloomyandy » 16 Jul 2012, 1:56pm

Personally I'd add a kindle touch. You can use it for books (I love to read when I'm away, I try to select books that have a connection with the place I'm visiting), and you can scan things like guide books, ferry timetables, and more detailed maps than you would want to carry. If you turn off the WiFi the battery will last for weeks. I'd also add some cable ties and a few zip lock bags. Also worth taking a few spare nuts and bolts for things like your pannier rack (they always seem to work loose). Personally I wouldn't bother with a water filter etc. but would take a fold up bladder of some sort, fill it up with water late on in the day and you will have plenty for your overnight stop.

As to midges I've just come back from a week on Harris and didn't see any sign of them there or on Skye... Far too windy for them.

leelovesbikestoo
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby leelovesbikestoo » 16 Jul 2012, 2:34pm

gloomyandy wrote:... I'd also add some cable ties and a few zip lock bags. Personally I wouldn't bother with a water filter etc. but would take a fold up bladder of some sort, fill it up with water late on in the day and you will have plenty for your overnight stop.

As to midges I've just come back from a week on Harris and didn't see any sign of them there or on Skye... Far too windy for them.


I always carry zip ties and electrical tape in my extensive tool kit. Good idea with the Camelbak, it could also double as a campsite shower too I guess.

Lucky with the midges, they've been brutal on the West side of the mainland. And I mean Brutal! I have recently discovered Smidge, and the Scottish outdoors seems viable again.

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Mick F
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Re: Touring: Advice on essential kit

Postby Mick F » 16 Jul 2012, 2:50pm

chrisc wrote:Mick F wrote ;
Worst mirror in the world!

.. in relation to the Cateye BM-300G Race Mirror that I recommend.
Summat wrong there, Mick. I have just bought my third Cateye this past week for an extra bike ! I have had no trouble at all fixing it rigid. I am talking on flat bars here, not drops. Very surprised to be honest :? .
Dunno.
I can only state what happened with mine.

Actually, as a further experiment, I removed the the supplied screw and replaced it with an Allen bolt and a nut for the inside. Originally, the screw just screwed into the plastic boss and as you tightened it, the boss expanded the outer housing to grip the inside of the 'bars. I couldn't get it tight enough as the screwdriver was slipping and damaging the screw head I was trying so hard, so with the Allen bolt and inner nut in place, I could really swing off the tension.

Guess what?
It didn't hold the mirror tight enough even then - why? because the basic idea is awful. The whole gripping idea is reliant on the wedge of the boss gripping the inside of the 'bars AND the outer plate to hold the mirror ball+socket. The tighter you screw to get it to grip, the more the outer plate bends and gives. I could give Cateye the benefit of the doubt here - maybe my problem is that my old fashioned Cinelli 64 bars are the wrong gauge for it.
Poor design IMHO, but what do you expect for £6. It was ok at low speed, but as soon as the wind blew or I got over 15mph, the mirror would move.

Pay for the B+M mirror instead, far better.
http://www.sjscycles.co.uk/busch-and-mu ... prod16565/
Mick F. Cornwall