/ cycle touring equipment
I'm hoping to start cycle touring in a month or so and wondered what equipment people carry with them. To be clear, which stoves (for example) are reccommended, or which tents etc. I'm looking for lightweight but not silly expensive. I have a jetboil but reckon that it wouldn't be much use for big amounts of food. It's designed more for quick hot liquid as far as I can judge.
Any tips, kit lists you have found successful, good literature, websites etc would be much appreciated.
By 'long distance' I mean Aviemore to Portsmouth.
My first few long distance rides were done with a bag of lightweight clothes and a credit car. that worked very well. Managed 255 miles in 2 1/2 days and a total of 16 hours cycling. Booking B&B's ahead proved to be not such a good idea so I then went on to lightweight touring equipment as follows
1. Event bivi bag
2. Tarp and string for a rain shelter.
3. Feather sleeping bag.
4. 3/4 length carry mat
5. credit card.
The kit has seen me from Bristol to Folkstone around the coast via Lands End so far (5-600 miles).
That all fits in one pannier bag, so can be supplemented with some food and water if it doesn't look likely that I'll be able to buy a meal in a pub (never happened so far!).
There are of course people of would regard this as cheating!
best bit of kit I use is the free gloves you get from the side of diesel pumps - to keep you hands clean when you need to pop the chain back on or fix a puncture
- very light
because the planned distances never seem to work out - either too short or way to long. better to keep cycling for as long as its still enjoyable and crash into the nearest B&B or live under the nearest hedge for the night.
Planning to take the outer skin of my tent and my bivi bag, should keep off the worst weather.
This list is similar to what I take (so far I've done two 1000km trips in Brittany and NW Scotland):
< http://northernwalker.wordpress.com/2011/05/14/a-kit-list-for-cycle-touring/ >
that's masochism in my view, but I guess everyone has their own approach. Mine being that acknowledging the universal availability of food, and the fairly universal availability of bicycle shops makes carrying either unnecessary. Pubs might be expensive but how about using supermarket cafes instead (all you can eat for £2.50). Actually I much prefer garden center cafes as they are usually generous with the quantities. I've had my fair share of mechanical problems (snapped cable in Lyme Regis and incredibly annoying squeaky suspension seat post that was driving me mad for hour after hour, collapsed pannier rack, etc) and I've always been able to get them fixed even on Sunday morning without having to carry anything but an allen key.
Buy your food in local shops, heat it up in the microwave of your nearest petrol station. Bivvy bag for when you can't find a b&b, travelodge, hotel etc. cooking equip can add a lot of unnecessary weight .
I've tried this and decided against doing it again after a couple of nights in crap weather. It doesn't neccessarily save much weight and IMO it's worth the extra weight for added comfort.
Stove wise a lightweight gas one is easy and clean and fine for the UK. If you go to more remote areas then petrol / multifuel is the way to go. We had a nightmare finding gas canisters in Newfoundland despite having brought every adaptor under the sun.
> I've tried this and decided against doing it again after a couple of nights in crap weather. It doesn't neccessarily save much weight and IMO it's worth the extra weight for added comfort.
Also, not an issue at the time of year you're talking about but it's worth taking an inner tent in summer just to get away from the midge.
A couple of cameras:
Me and my mates tour round Europe. It was EPIC - cycle touring is the business!
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