Firstly - I like this new section of the forum!
Now the main theme: as a beginner tourer I pose the question which non-standard item would you not leave home without? Standard covers all the obvious things like BIKE and panniers. Non-standard is some natty thing that you've added as an essential item to your packing list that you think makes life on the road better.
All my camping gear I only take what I consider essential or that which adds to the enjoyment of the tour, e.g, Exped Pillow Pump.
I'm looking at ways to lighten my load, and I'm pliable on most things, but the one essential non-standard item for me is my Thermarest Compack Chair. I find it so good to lean back into a chair at the end of a day's ride. It's good on the ground, but equally great on picnic benches, both to keep you from chilling your bum and to provide a back rest.
I haven't used it often with my NeoAir, but it does work.
Same idea and advantages as the Thermarest chair kit, slightly different uses - we get lots of use out of our Coghlans tripod camping stools. Taken every trip.
They have become pretty much de rigeur on our camping tours. Most people find them very handy at dinner time.
Walkstool is a similar, more sophisticated (and expensive) version that is height adjustable and comes in different sizes.
Don't leave home without one
1 - Beko nose guard (although it kind of defeats the purpose if you have a puny brimmed cap like this and insist on wearing it back to front)
(couple of different products like this - If I had a bit of thin leather lying around I would have made one myself)
2 - 3/4 length riding pants
3 - cheap arm warmers (but actually thin UV prtection) from ebay
(used with a short sleeve shirt - my fav is a light high viz industrial style polo you can pick up for peanuts virtually anywhere - you get a bit of air circulation running up your arms of the polo shirt that you wouldn't otherwise get with a long sleeve shirt or jersey)
4 - and an almost burqua'esque hat
(few different products to choose from but the Outdoor research cap has draw strings that you can draw over most of your cheeks and mouth without it getting blown flapping away behind your ears)
I mostly only use sunscreen to clean my hands after messing around with the chain.
(according to sun position most days you can away with not using sunscreen if you wear the brim nice and low (which tends to raise the neck flap a little and leave the neck exposed ... which is where the collar from the high viz polo comes in handy), even in the most brightest conditions - maybe just a little on the upper cheeks and zinc on the lips )
5 - (minus dog and dog seat frame) .... Instead of a camping stool I use a dog seat synthetic canvas thing I got from Kmart to sit on (basically something like 1.2m squared of rugged light weight material). Its good to have a bit of space to dump fiddly stuff next to where you are sitting so you don't lose it on the ground during low light morning/evening conditions.
6 - gamcha
just a bit of thin cotton that you wrap around your lower body - enables you to take a bath in a public place while mostly avoiding sexual misconduct/public indecency laws or whatever - after a few days on the road with rationed water baths it can transform the humble water tap into a 5 star motel
7 - and a thin ice breaker merino wool shirt to sleep in (so you always have something somewhat cleaner than yourself to sleep in at night ... )
GO! RUN!! GAAAH!!!
Wouldn't want your stand holding up your bike when you want to sit around?
Hmmm - you have picked up the very weak point in my idea...... What an doofus!
I find the ground, log or rock does the trick ... I do carry a bit of blue foam sleeping mat now days and it comes in handy when there are lots of thorns on the ground but that is it.
Get a stool Andrew. Once you use one you'll wonder why you went without, and never begrudge the light weight of the stool. Coghlans tripod alloy stool is only about 470g, more than worth the weight for its benefits.
Friends of mine took it one step further, packing a couple of childs camp chairs like these on their bikes for an Adelaide to Darwin tour. Personally I reckon that's too much - while they'd be comfy with a backrest, these stools are rod steel frame and much heavier.
Rob and I did have discussions on the merits of designing a bicycle tourists' folding lightweight table A new market opening perhaps ???
Compack chair is only 191g, and is like sitting on the ground, except comfy and with something to lean back on...
Yes, I know the Thermarest/Exped chair kits are light, but they are still sitting on the ground. I like to get some altitude and get myself off the ground at camp.
Other touring equipment that I find of great value
Camping pillow..... with a pillow case (I'd never have it blown up this tight though)
My Ortlieb 5L folding bucket! Use it to: wash clothes, hand wash dishes, cool off beer, keep dessert cold until after dinner etc.
Check out my practical cycling and cycle touring website: VELOPHILE AUSTRALIA
I DIDN'T EAT FOR THREE DAYS SO I COULD BE LOVELY
I haven't seen a single thing mentioned so far that I use, or couldn't do without.
But one thing I do find indispensable is my iPhone - it's by far the most frequently used and the most useful item I have.
Sent from Kurow, Otago, New Zealand on my indispensable iPhone.
If you tour with a Big Dummy cargo bike you can have breakfast all laid out on the deck at the back of the bike. I did this when I did the Great WA Bike Ride, there were no tables or chairs free at dinner or breakfast time most days so I ate off the bike. Even cut up watermelon on the deck.
I've a Walkstool, take it every tour that I'm not taking a recumbent trike on. There's a few things I always carry: A FiberFix replacement spoke, some glueless patches in with the normal patch kit (ever tried to glue a patch in the rain?), some electrical tape, lots of maps (love maps), a headlamp, some chewing gum (keeps your mouth shut on hot days so you lose less moisture, keeps you amused on other days) and tissues. Anything after that depends on how far I'm going or carrying and the weather.
The thread title is things you wouldn't leave home without. I could probably do a reasonable tour without panniers, without a tent, without a sleeping mat.... heck, maybe even without a bike!
But would I?
Exactly! My introduction to bike touring was on a 10-speed 30-year old steel frame that I bought cheaply in a second-hand bike shop in London and then set out to ride it to Paris. Luggage consisted of backpack with tentpoles in it bashing the back of my helmet when descending! It is possible to tour on all kinds of setups..... but obviously some are better than others So I thought with the bike, panniers and tent sorted out it would be interesting to see what additional items the more experienced tourers are taking along. I'm really enjoying reading the various ideas people are contributing.
Good bit of kit crocs are there part of my set-up.
Tsk, tsk, such nit-picking.
To keep you happy, I'll try to express my statement a little more plainly.
Yesterdays camp in the upper Hakataramea Valley...and not a single indispensable camp stool in sight.
Each to their own.
My camp stool gets used, ever tour, nearly every campsite. A mobile phone is one thing that I can happily do without. On the recent outback tour it was pretty pointless and switched off for long periods - no reception most of the time.
The utility of a mobile phone is limited much more by the imagination (or rather, the lack of it) than by the lack of reception.
For my current tour my phone carries a complete copy of the LP South Island guide, the LP NZ Cycling Guide, the South Island camping guide plus lots of other reference information about the places I will visit, and also my itinerary and my wife's Nepal itinerary, airline flight information, travel insurance documents, blah, blah, blah.
It provides navigation capabilities anytime and when synced with my Delorme Inreach alllows me to send and receive messages at any location on the globe. I received such a message from my wife yesterday, from a location near Junbesi on the trail to Mt Everest, when I'd had only intermittent reception for two days. I can also trigger an emergency beacon with text backup if necessary.
And it controls my GoPro camera and provides a viewer for the captured video.
I could go on and on, but none of this needs mobile reception to be functional. And when there is reception I get access to the www and all the services and information it can provide.
I could at a pinch do without almost any of the gear I'm carrying, including my phone, but it would be the last thing I'd jettison, and not the first, unlike the camping stools I've seen abandoned beside the trail in Nepal.
Ebook reader, I have a Kindle. Battery lasts for ages and can store heaps of reading material on it. I would never go on tour without it now that I have one, also very handy for doctor visits
Masi Speciale CX 2008 - Brooks B17 special saddle, Garmin Edge 810
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