Touring equipment, cycling and noncycling gear. Suggestions?

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Touring equipment, cycling and noncycling gear. Suggestions?

Postby Caelum » Mon Dec 01, 2008 5:22 pm

What are your thoughts on the below, with consideration that i'll be touring Aus for 3-5 months?

Pedals: I have M324's as well as M540's that i can use. Would i be better of going with the M324's, as they are platform/spd, rather than just pure spd?

First aid kit: What size and features would you suggest? I'm generally pretty experienced with camping, and have done a first aid course, but i've not had to consider the needs for a long-term trip like this before.

Sleeping mat: I'm thinking that i'll go with a Thermarest prolite mattress, or similar. Any other suggestions?

Tent: I'm looking into ~2 person (ultra)light tents, as i wouldn't mind being able to move around a bit inside the tent at night, rather than just using it to sleep in, it'll be something i can lay back and get comfy in too. Haven't really done much research into this item yet though. Don't really want to go overboard and spend a fortune.

Cookset: I'm thinking that i wont need very much - a couple of pots, a frypan, mug etc. Suggestions for something low-weight, but not super expensive?

Pannier racks: I probably won't use them much, so i'd more be after something light-weight rather than heavy duty, but the ability to strap lightweight things on top of them would be a bonus - most gear will go behind me in the trailer however.

Multifuel stove: I've bought myself a tiny butane stove(Kovea Titanium with igniter), however i'd definitely want to be able to use kero, diesel, unleaded etc in the more remote places i'll find myself. So far i've looked at the MSR range, and the Primus Omnifuel(which does both liquid AND butane), however thought others may have some experiences to share.


Will add more as i think of what else i'll need to be buying, i guess :)


Cheers all!
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by BNA » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:02 pm

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Postby banjo » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:02 pm

Caelum, here's my opinions:

Pedals: Personal preference but I use pure spds but I can see the benefit in the spd/platform combo.

First aid kit: I don't tour that far from civilisation and help so a small kit with basics will do. A couple of field dressing to cover serious grazes and injuries. A couple of bandaids and some pain killers. Your mobile phone is the key if you hit trouble, or letting someone know when you'll arrive.

Sleeping mat: I burned through 2 in about 4 weeks on my last tour. Not happy Jan! The denali from anaconda lasted 8 nights, the next job, a Hike lite was garbage. Both were about $70 I think. Go with the thermarest you're looking at, thats what I'll get next. And use a good ground sheet under your tent (which you probably already know being a competent camper).

Tent: Don't get sidetracked by weight. A super light weight tent that has no room will drive you mad. I bought a Vango Tornado 200 from Wildearth online. (Theres a link in one of my posts to tour photos that shows it.) The tornado was outstanding. About 3.1kg I think but plenty of room and plenty of storage room in a huge vestibule. highly practical bit of kit that I highly recommend. It was a pleasure to crash in it every night. (And no I do not own shares in Vango) About $400 delivered

Cookset: Can't beat a Trangia set and a plastic mug. Uses kerro and is very simple. Kerro is cheap and you can buy it everywhere. The set will last forever (yes I said forever). Covers your cookset and stove in one package. Mines 10 yrs old but they're about $100ish

Panniers: I use Ortielb backroller classics. Top notch and won't let you down. If you're using a trailer you'll get away with cheaper stuff but someone else will have to give you some advise on those.

When are you heading off? and whats the plan? 3-5 months is sounding good already.
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Postby Caelum » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:30 pm

Heading off in march, is the plan so far. Plans after that = none.

Just going to tour aus, follow the coast, basically, from perth, down to marg' river, and across to adelaide, melbourne, sydney, then brisbane. Probably going to keep going after i hit brisbane, if i still have any money left :P

As far as the first aid kit goes - i'll be doing the nullarbor... now while there are roadhouses every now and then - i could be 200km from my nearest/next one, so i wanna be prepared for that, if i need to do a serious patch-job on me.

I dare say gaffa tape will come in handy in such situations :P (i have previous on-the-job qualifications regarding gaffa-tape first aid!)
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Postby banjo » Mon Dec 01, 2008 7:42 pm

gotta love the gaffa tape! Crossing the Nullabor is a whole different kettle of fish from my experiences but I'm sure a number on the forum have done the trip and will kick in with some advise. There are a lot of web sites around too that should be able to offer some info.
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Gear

Postby Zac150 » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:26 am

Caelum

Regarding the first Aid kit, I would go to the Travel Doctor and get one of their travel kits. The kits include some heavy duty antibiotics for all sorts of bugs; The kit is not small, don't come cheap and need to be topped up with extra bandages etc but cover everything from Giardia to chest infections.

Stoves, Triangia make the best all purpose stoves which include pretty much everything you need (pots and pans), they also have gas conversions kits so you can pretty much use any form of fuel. Otherwise the MSR stoves are great.

MSR, Salewa, Sierra Designs, Northface or Mountain Design all make great tents. When looking at a lightweight tent make sure you look at what has been removed to make it light. Removing the floor, using lighter fabrics / poles can reduce weight but also make the tent less durable (and warm). I would also make sure the vestable is large enough to keep your gear in, their is nothing worse than sleeping in a small tent made smaller by all your gear.

I have a North Face Tadpole which is about 2kg and offers plenty of space , the MSR Hubba is also a great tent.

Hope this helps
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Postby Caelum » Tue Dec 02, 2008 8:43 am

Cheers Zac, welcome and thanks!
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Postby lemmiwinks » Tue Dec 02, 2008 11:02 am

I've got a Kovea Titanium too and personally wouldn't bother with anything other than a spare gas canister. A dixie set will set you back about $10 and contains a little frypan, saucepan and plate/saucepan lid which you eat straight out of and it folds up into itself when you're done. I use a Mountain Designs "Microlight long" full length self inflating mattress, had it for years and no problems so far (touch wood). Tent is a "Cycle 2" from Rays Outdoors (probably discontinued). Weighs 2 or 3 kilos but room inside (it's two person = comfortable for one person) and a nice vestubile out front.
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Re: Touring equipment, cycling and noncycling gear. Suggesti

Postby twizzle » Tue Dec 02, 2008 12:48 pm

Caelum wrote:Pedals: I have M324's as well as M540's that i can use. Would i be better of going with the M324's, as they are platform/spd, rather than just pure spd?


I've had both of those, and nothing but trouble. Pretty much all of the Shimano pedals use a light-weight ball bearing setup that loosen up and requires special tooling to adjust. The M324's the the worst because you have to remove the platform to adjust the bearing, and the internal hex in the bolts end up rounding out. The strongest of the Shimano's is the DuraAce, which uses a needle roller bearing in addition to the ball bearings at each end, but it's not exactly a touring pedal.

Note : I weighed around 120kg when I was having problems with both the M324 and the M540, but I was almost never out of the saddle so I don't think rider weight is the issue.


I use the CB Egg Beaters - almost no moving parts, simple and robust, and easy to rebuild with only a few tools. And the only part that plays up is a plastic bush bearing on the inner end that loosens up - but it won't self destruct if left alone, unlike a loose ball bearing setup. I've rebuilt mine twice in around 7000km, but I've realised now that they loosen up pretty quickly and I should have just left it alone.
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Postby Caelum » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:33 am

Ok, well i've just nabbed myself a Garmin GPS, which should do me nicely for my journey :)

To do:

Tent
Additional stove
First aid kit
new helmet?
Cookset
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Postby banjo » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:36 pm

Been looking at the GPS units for some time but advise I've received to date is that they are of no real value for touring. However if it tracks elevations etc I can see value in it. Probably still bottom of my lis though.

A good helmet though is a must. And by good I mean meets the required standards (as most do) but is comfortable. No good having pressure points for 8 hours a day weeks on end.

Back to the GPS, I'd be interested in your feedback on the unit and how useful you find it.
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Postby Caelum » Wed Dec 03, 2008 3:58 pm

Yeah, if i wasn't going on such a long tour, in some remote locations, i probably wouldn't bother with one either.

Model i got was a Garmin eTrex Venture cx

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll ... 0323324246

price was right, and will be good for many years into the future. The fact it runs on AA's makes batteries easier, too.
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Postby Caelum » Wed Dec 03, 2008 5:50 pm

Yep, there are.
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Postby geoffs » Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:31 pm

I've done a wee bit of touring and after 19yrs since my first one, this is a rough guide of what works for me.

Ortleib panniers and H/bar bag.

Stove - I like to cook and like something that wont run out of fuel and can simmer. MSR dragonfly runs on unleaded or kero. (trangia's run on Metho not kero) Buy online from the US and avoid the stupid price the local importer charges. Leave the stove connected to the fuel bottle and avoid contamination.

Cookset - MSR coated pots and a 10' frypan. pack very carefully.

Tent - Salewa Sierra Leone Ultra - seems good so far. design is great but i haven't used it for long enough to say how tough it is. Even traveling by myself I still had a 2 man tent. great for rainy days or for playing cards with 5 travellers on a rainy day.

Sleeping Mat - Thermarest. My 18yr old light weight long is about to be replaced with a Pro-Light 3 regular. My feet will just have to get used to hanging over the end.

Sleeping bags- we bought Macpac escapade 350 but everyone is diferent. You must use a silk liner if you done want your bag to stink.
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Postby il padrone » Wed Dec 03, 2008 11:10 pm

geoffs wrote:Stove - I like to cook and like something that wont run out of fuel and can simmer. MSR dragonfly runs on unleaded or kero. (trangia's run on Metho not kero) Buy online from the US and avoid the stupid price the local importer charges. Leave the stove connected to the fuel bottle and avoid contamination.

I've become a bit of a convert to the new gas canister stoves like the MSR Pocket Rocket or Kovea Titanium Mini Stove. Very light, quick and easy to set up and use, and great simmer control. I've found that one 330g canister will do me for a 4 day camping tour.

geoffs wrote:Cookset - MSR coated pots and a 10' frypan. pack very carefully.

I tried the MSR - coating started to flake off after a year or two. Now using the GSI Bugaboo set which has lasted longer. It has two lids, and much more durable teflon coating (real Dupont teflon I believe), but you still need to pack it carefully - use synthetic chamois-type cloths to line it and as tea towels.
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Postby Caelum » Thu Dec 04, 2008 12:21 am

I've already got a slick sleeping bag, so that's covered - nice ultralight jobbie which does nicely down to around 0-5 degrees without many issues for me, and packs down to about 2/3 the size of a football.

And yeah, i'm looking into what stove to get - definitely want one that'll run on normal motor fuel, as well as kero(and butane, perhaps too, when closer to civilisation.)
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Postby geoffs » Thu Dec 04, 2008 7:27 am

MSR make 2 different ranges of cookware. Blacklite and the Duralite which is what we have. The Duralite is a harder coating and still looks like new after being used every day for 6 weeks. We pack them very carefully and only use a silicon spatula to stir to avoid scratching. Silicon spatulas are fantastic!!
Our 10" GSI frypan needs replacing though as I was using it to cook toast to have with the smoked salmon a few too many times. Using a pan on high heat without a liquid in it is not recommended for longevity.
I bought a couple of snowpeak titanium plates because........ and ended up mainly using them for somewhere to put food as I was chopping things up in preparation for cooking. Bit of a waste but they don't weigh anything.

I know they are easy to light but I just don't see the point in using gas canisters. On our last unsupported tour we would have gone through 9 or 10? going by the one canister to a 4 day tour. Negatives are weight, space, waste, cost and buying them when there's no camping store nearby.
Cooking porridge in the morning and a three course meal at night we used on average 100ml of unleaded a day. So if petrol is even $1.50 a litre I'm only using 15 cents of fuel a day.

Another great thing to take when camping are Vargo titanium nails http://www.rei.com/product/709914
These things will go into any hard ground short of concrete without bending. Virtually indestructible. I've been on a few too many campsites that the ground has been hard and the aluminium tent pegs have all bent.
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Postby il padrone » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:44 pm

Funny how experiences can be so very different :wink: :lol:

geoffs wrote:I know they are easy to light but I just don't see the point in using gas canisters. On our last unsupported tour we would have gone through 9 or 10? going by the one canister to a 4 day tour. Negatives are weight, space, waste, cost and buying them when there's no camping store nearby.
Cooking porridge in the morning and a three course meal at night we used on average 100ml of unleaded a day. So if petrol is even $1.50 a litre I'm only using 15 cents of fuel a day.

The greater bulk of my touring trips are 4-5 days or less, so the canister is ideal. Weight and space is very similar to what you'd need with a Trangia, shellite may be less bulky. But I have had considerable trouble buying shellite in country towns and even in the city supermarkets in the past 10 years. As for using unleaded, you'll need the right MSR and I have reservations about the health issues of the additives put into that fuel. :?

geoffs wrote:Another great thing to take when camping are Vargo titanium nails http://www.rei.com/product/709914
These things will go into any hard ground short of concrete without bending. Virtually indestructible. I've been on a few too many campsites that the ground has been hard and the aluminium tent pegs have all bent.

Looks a great idea, but I've not had any problems with my Wilderness Equipment alloy 'channel' pegs. I've put them into all sorts of hard clay and rocky ground and the only problem is getting a rock big enough to hammer them in.
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Postby lemmiwinks » Thu Dec 04, 2008 2:49 pm

il padrone wrote:As for using unleaded, you'll need the right MSR and I have reservations about the health issues of the additives put into that fuel. :?


Yep, me too. Any motor fuel for that matter (yes, kero too but especially ULP).
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Postby Caelum » Thu Dec 04, 2008 3:47 pm

lemmiwinks wrote:
il padrone wrote:As for using unleaded, you'll need the right MSR and I have reservations about the health issues of the additives put into that fuel. :?


Yep, me too. Any motor fuel for that matter (yes, kero too but especially ULP).


Not being able to eat in the middle of nowhere without any other fuel being available has higher health risks.
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Postby il padrone » Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:46 pm

Sticks, matches :idea:
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Postby Caelum » Thu Dec 04, 2008 5:48 pm

Yeah, my survival skills are up to scratch... but i'd rather NOT have to rely on them if i don't have to :P


edit: on a related note, i grabbed myself a Primus MultiFuel stove.

does LPG, kero, unleaded, etc etc $150 inc delivery.
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Postby lemmiwinks » Fri Dec 05, 2008 9:38 am

Caelum wrote:Not being able to eat in the middle of nowhere without any other fuel being available has higher health risks.


Muesli bars, trail mix... :wink:

I know it's too late now, but I didn't think of it earlier. I've been reading Jill Lundmark's journals over on crazyguyonabike.com (currently down) and she uses a Sierra stove which I find fascinating though too expensive for my taste. [edit: actually they're not that expensive, maybe they came down in price or the postage kills it]
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Postby il padrone » Sat Dec 06, 2008 6:04 pm

Caelum wrote:Yeah, my survival skills are up to scratch... but i'd rather NOT have to rely on them if i don't have to :P

Generally, when I'm in more remote locations (National Parks excepted) I'd rather light a small campfire for cooking on. Especially if travelling with companions. Saves my fuel, and gives added warmth/soul comfort/conversation focus. In these sorts of areas firewood is not usually a problem.

This one was a wet trip, and the fire was needed for some warmth!

Image
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Postby Caelum » Mon Dec 08, 2008 1:08 pm

absolutely - specially when traveling in the cooler climates of aus, or in the wet. Though i'd likely rather jump inside my tent in a sleeping bag if i'm cold in the wet :)


Looks like a proper camping site that one - not sure how many of those i'll come across on my trip... in the more populated areas(ie, not in the middle of the desert) probably fairly often, and in those cases, yep, fire would be welcome if there's no ban.
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