Balancing comfort when packing

 

Packing for a bike tour is about finding the balance between being comfortable on the bike and comfortable off the bike. The more stuff you bring, the easier your life will be in camp or when visiting various cities along the way. The less weight you are carrying, the easier life will be on the bike as you are cycling between camps and cities. 

I went with option one and definitely overpacked!

I am justifying this in a number of ways: 

  1. I will be cycling through all seasons and weather conditions so I had to be prepared for whatever mother nature may throw at me.

  2. This trip was more about seeing the world than just cycling through it, so I figured I should bring enough stuff to enjoy my time in each of the countries.

  3. My most important justification for bringing too much stuff: Any extra weight carried is only going to add to my training process and make me stronger. Imagine stepping off a fully loaded 40kg steel framed tank after eight months onto a 7kg carbon fibre road bike! I’ll be flying! That thought alone justifies any extra weight that I may be carrying.

Ultimately you can bring as much or as little as you want on a bike tour. The super light bike-packing rigs are cool and very easy on the eyes, but the full touring four pannier system worked out better for what I needed. Mine came from a German company called Ortliebs, that makes pretty high quality waterproof bags.

See below for a breakdown of what’s in my bags:

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Front Right:

In this pannier, I pack all my cooking stuff: stove, utensils, fuel, and any extra food that I may pick up along the way.

Front Left:

 Here we have all my electronics such as drones, speakers, solar panels and various cables to keep everything charged.

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 Rear Right

This is home to my camping gear. I have my tent, sleeping bag, and camping mat here.  

Rear Left

This one is my wardrobe. I have all my winter clothes packed down at the bottom, followed by shoes, cycling gear, and regular casual clothes. 

Rack Pack

Here I throw everything that needs to be easily accessible. Toiletries, rain gear, a little day pack ,and random stuff that I pick up on the journey.

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Frame+Pack.jpg
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Frame Pack

Tools, a pump, and extra water.

Little Top Tube Bag

 My battery pack, phone, wallet, keys, and snacks. Basically my pockets when on the bike. 

Hope that helps people understand a little better my set up on the bike and how I go about day-to-day packing. I am sure this system will be fine-tuned as the months pass. I’ll be sure to update you of any efficiencies that I develop along the way.