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Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 6:03pm
by thornie1543
I guess this is for the campers among you who need to carry all your stuff(not saying credit card touring isn't good but its not what I,m looking at).So then,what did you take on your first tour that you didn't need/use and what did you not take that you wished you had? I've read that people say never take to much but then when they show a pic of their bikes they have two big back and two front panniers and a bar bag most of the time,so now I,m a bit confused as what to take,i know most of the obvious as I've been cycling awhile but what kind of tools do you take(besides a bike tool pump,maybe chain links,iNner tubes).I realise it depends where you are touring but I will be in france and maybe spain for a first tour so not exactly the middle of nowhere..And if anyone can point me in the direction of a decent cheapish camping stove I would be grateful.Sorry about the rather rambling post,guess I,m thinking/typing aloud:).Oh and I have the tent/sleeping bag and panniers:),i,m thinking of stuff I may not realise I need that you found really useful.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 6:31pm
by jags
ok saying your not going to be stranded because u tour in france or wherever but pop into a bikeshop there and it could cost you a lot of money to get moving again, :shock:
just think what tools fit our bike as in spanner for racks allan keys for everything else multi tool with plyers few zip ties and your away in a hack.
extras. 2 spare tubes.

radio .. bike cable lock
camera ...batteries
sweets....snacks this lot whice weighs nothing and will fit in barbag.
everything else fits in 2 rear panniers,easy on the cloths you take there bulky take up loads room.
you have your sleeping sorted so enjoy

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 7:12pm
by Galloper
My biggest mistake was in taking too many clothes. Oh! I'd better take another top and what about some spare shorts and a heavier top and jacket.....

As to the stove, have a look at Cotswold otdoor, they very kindly give 15% CTC discount. My one suggestion would be to buy a Primus cook pot with a heat exchanger. It cooks/boils more quickly and saves fuel. The gas cannisters used by Primus and Jetboil can be difficult to find in France but Decathlon stock them.

Enjoy your trip.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 7:16pm
by manybikes
In Spain you can be miles from anywhere. In the 1980s riding between Madrid & Lisbon my companion was very glad that we had taken a crank removal tool as it would have resulted in many mountainous miles walking in great heat.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 7:32pm
by thornie1543
I,ve done 4,000 miles in 6 months on my deroe external bottom bracket,it's really lasting well,was told they were rubbish but this one seems ok,but I will fit a new bb before I go,but I guess for the extra half a pound weight it maybe worth taking the removal tool,but then where do I stop? spare rear derelier? spare chain? .But that's why I,m asking the question I suppose.Thanks for the replies so far.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 7:45pm
by robing
On my first tour I took too many clothes. Camera also redundant as phone camera was good enough. Also took a mini TV which I thought would be good for camping but was complete waste of time.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 7:51pm
by beardy
On the specific point of the external BB removal tool, I would not bother.

The bearings will not fail quickly and catastrophically, most people replace them because they dont like the play or noise, not because they can no longer cycle. Also you do not need a special tool, so long as they went on with copper grease and not decades ago they will come off with a choice of domestic tools and at ten quid a set it doesnt matter if they get damaged.

The number of tools needed to tackle every thing reasonable on a bike is pretty small, normal workshop tools can be replaced by much smaller, lighter tools such as the NBT2 cassette remover. They have always come back unused but it gives you a degree of confidence.

Normally the bulk of the stuff which goes with me and doesnt get used is clothes.

You can pack with the "I might need that so I will take it" attitude and fill four panniers or the "Is it probable that I will need that" attitude and just fill two panniers.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 7:59pm
by al_yrpal
Clothes are what I used to take too many of. Think very carefully. I know it sounds daft but weigh each item of clothing you are thinking of taking, it helps you sort them out. If you can find cycling shoes that double as evening shoes that is good. Take a smartphone, its a camera, a radio, an emailer, texter and a map and navigation device. With a big auxilliary battery its all you need. It does take a couple of trips to sort out what you should take, so do a couple of weekends first, then all will become clear.


Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 8:31pm
by andrew_s
thornie1543 wrote:if anyone can point me in the direction of a decent cheapish camping stove ... e=78708790
If you are going to Europe, it's worth getting an adapter for the unthreaded blue Camping Gas canisters, which are commoner than screw-on in many areas

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 9:55pm
by Sweep
Interesting question OP and i look forward to more replies.

The recurrence of the point on clothes is very interesting and a lesson for me.

Note to self: take few clothes and ones that are light, tough, wash easily (in the shower with you if need be) and can stand a certain amount of abuse. In the latter respect cheaper stuff often better I feel.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 10:19pm
by bikerwaser
about the stove, this is my video of my Hi Gear stove.

it's almost identical to the Vango one but the Vango has the piezo starter .
Very good stove (small, low centre of gravity, reliable, very good heat control) but it has the screw on thread which isn't compatible with camping gaz cartridges which is why i bought an Edelrid converter which allows conversion from thread to push on canisters : ... apter.html

about other stuff to bring... if you're not going for a while , why not get out on a 2 or 3 day trip fairly locally and see what you may need. i know it's different from a month or 2 month trip but it would really help. it's amazing what you will learn from it.
and really , a lot of this is personal choice so what one person takes another wouldn't .

check my blog out about a couple of trips i've done down to Spain:

cheers !


Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 10:35pm
by thornie1543
Thanks for all the replies so far folks and for the stove links,all very helpful food for thought.I agree its interesting about too many clothes coming up a lot,something I will take on board .Regarding the tools to take,i guess it is in my mind about having a mechanical miles from anywhere,but I know you can do wonders with a bike tool(change cables,adjust gears,brakes,split chains etc) but that voice in my head is still asking me shall I put a spare freehub or mech etc in my panniers,but then i'll need a cassette remover aswell.Think i'll have to reign myself in,i,m not going around the world after all:).Oh and I will sure to take some good tyre levers as my marathon tyres are buggers to get off as I've found to my cost:).Thanks for taking the time to reply everyone.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 10:42pm
by bikerwaser
I had problems with my freehub on my first trip down to Spain but that was only because it was a very cheap bike.
since i've had a Deore freehub i've never had problems.
maybe it's better to fit decent components before you go so you can reduce your carrying of spares.



Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 16 Feb 2015, 10:53pm
by thornie1543
Hi bikerwaser,i have some new 9 speed deroe chainrings cassette and bottom bracket that I bought about a year ago when I spotted a good deal so I will put them on and maybe change a few cable inners,so hopefully the bike will be in pretty good nick(well as good as I can hope,it is an oldish but looked after bike).I have all deroe drivetrain bits on there now aswell and they have lasted well,about 5000 miles so far so I cant complain but I have this new stuff in the shed so it would be silly not to put it on.

Re: Question for seasoned tourers

Posted: 17 Feb 2015, 1:08am
by psmiffy
I find skimping on clothing strange - Its often said that "you can buy it as you go along" - I tend to find that If I need extra - I need them NOW

I always take "enough" clothes - lots of bike stuff but also something different to wear off the bike - also one change for eating or travelling in civilized company

Generally more warm weather clothes because they get sweaty and horrible quickly - being summer weight the advantage is that they are relatively low volume and weight, and easy to wash and dry - my tours nearly always have a mountain element - and it is rare that even in the summer months that I have not experienced three season weather - spring and autumn often more like 4 season from time to time - so a good selection of warm clothes and decent longs at the bottom of the pannier - always a decent fleece for the cooler evenings and to double as a pillow slip over a pannier - and never ever leave home without a full set of waterproofs.

If i have gone through a three week tour without digging out the warm stuff or using the waterproofs - well happy - :D never regret carrying the extra kilo or three