Pack up your Troubles………

Ok here’s the first volume of what might out to be a continuing series: Terry’s Top Tips:

Packing stuff for 3 months cycling:

All packed up

When it’s all packed up it should look something like this…

Leave it until the last possible moment … this focuses the mind …. also it’s too late to buy anything you’ve forgotten … or just want, so you don’t have to spend any time worrying about that travel hairdryer or even those third pair of sunglasses that would go so well with your new Rapha cycling top. You can only pack what you’ve got.
You will still go through the ‘how much do I need this?’ versus ‘how heavy is it?’ process … only with fewer things. (As you are grinding up yet another mountainside into the rain and a howling headwind you will have plenty of time to reflect upon just how many times you have actually used any of those essential, but oh so suddenly very heavy, long lenses on your DSLR … or even your DSLR for that matter.)

‘If in doubt leave it out’ works for me …. it’s America we’re going to, goddam it … you can always buy it out there. (I have obviously fallen foul of my own frugality though … I once ended up going round a synagogue in India dressed in a borrowed long skirt (no trousers) and a shawl (no long sleeved top). Evidently I looked quite dashing.)
I also tend to stick to the ‘wear one, wash one, one ready to use spare’ mantra, so I need never carry any more than three of anything. The ‘I’ll put it in … it doesn’t weigh much’ argument is a tad specious too … lots of ‘it doesn’t weigh much’ kit will weigh a lot and take up precious space in those panniers. And don’t just fill them up because you can … you will always accrue stuff on your travels … daily food, extra water, sun tan lotion, travel hair dryer … leave space for it.

So here’s a list of what I am taking:

For cycling:
shoes (SPD)
socks (2 pairs)
padded shorts (2 pairs)
padded undershorts
short sleeved top (x2)
long sleeved top
lightweight showerproof jacket
waterproof jacket

Off bike:
lightweight shoes
socks (2 pairs)
pants (2 pairs)
T shirts (x2)
thin fleece (x2)
lightweight insulated jacket

Wild Country Zephyros 2 person tent
2 season hollowfill sleeping bag
sleeping bag liner
Thermarest Ultralite
foldaway stove

spokes (x6)
innertube (x2)
tyre levers
puncture repair qkit
small adjustable spanner
link extractor
Superlink (x2)
chain links
5mm bolts, various lengths
brake cable inner (x2)
gear cable (x2)
insulating tape

lock extender cable
first aid kit
phone (useless)
dog Dazer

(It may be interesting to see what my kit list is upon return? It may not.)

Written by Terry Wooller

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