June 21, 2019

How to pack for your week-long bicycle camping trip.



You could do that, couldn't you?

45 comments:

Darrell said...

Bringing your wallet is easier.

traditionalguy said...

Warning:Man in shorts. Don't try this at home.

rehajm said...

He claims he's whittled down his gear list but it still looks like bunch a big unnecessary heavy items. All that for a week? It's not on your back but ya still gotta pedal all that weight up the hills.

Here's how you do it:

(warning: man in really, really bad shorts. NSFW bad...)

Nope's AT thru hike gear list

rehajm said...

I see you're spared Nope in shorts in the video above. For thrillseekers and those with strong dispositons here's Nops in shorts. He has an Instagram, too:

Nope in shorts

Humperdink said...

No sunblock? Change of clothes? Soap/deod? First aid kit? Rain gear?

rehajm said...

Bringing your wallet is easier.

This is the thru hiker strategy, too. Where's that biker going, the moon? He's going to pedal by boxes of couscous every few miles.

Big Mike said...

No first aid kit? I guess for guys like him everything always goes right?

AllenS said...

I always get a laugh out of people driving their cars with a bike mounted on the back. Get your ass out of that vehicle and get on the damned bike and start pedaling.

rehajm said...

Some friends did one of those group bike treks through Tuscany with accommodations just above camping stage. Kind of roughing it but you didn't need to haul your own stuff from place to place. Bike, stop at a winery for some wine and bread, simple meal at night spartan accommodations, repeat next day. Well, on day three they stopped midday at a beautiful winery and were surprised to see a huge spread waiting for them- bowls of handmade pasta, exotic cheeses, prosciutto and salami, fruit, never ending wine pours, the works. The spread was attacked with vigor by the group. When it was time to leave the bikers watched a rather heated discussion in Italian between their tour guide and the winery manager. Apparently there was a miscommunication and the spread was intended for the biker group what was just arriving. Their group couldn't have pedaled away faster...

Heartless Aztec said...

Van life and bikes work well together. We camp and urban bike historic neighborhoods all over America with our geared beach cruisers. Of late and particular note - the ante-bellum homes of Beaufort, SC and then camping at the beautiful beach campground on Hunting Island and also the Creeper Trail in south west Virginia. Althouse would love, Love, LOVE the Creeper Trail.

Brian said...

I did a lot of backpacking as a teen and in college. Solo. I liked being alone.

I went through a journey in my my planning of what to bring. After you've done it a few times you realize you don't REALLY need much. A lot of things will make your trip more comfortable, but usually only at the places when you are stopped. And you find out that that comfort is at the expense of the actual movement part. It forces you into certain paths.

Some of my happiest trips were very minimalist trips. No tent, no sleeping bag, just me in nature. Those were also some of the more spur of the moment trips. Class canceled on Friday?

I started doing trips with friends more though, and it's hard to do minimalist outings unless you are solo. One can travel only as easy as the heaviest burden in your party. So I'd have all the negatives of limiting movement with none of the comforts at the end of the day. So then you find yourself "matching" the level of the other person and bringing a 4 pound camp chair because you don't want to be sitting on the ground while he's on a chair...

Angle-Dyne, Samurai Buzzard said...

Bah, I'm too old to enjoy camping much anymore, want my creature comforts after a long day hiking. No sleeping bag or tent makes for a lighter pack, set the day's route to reach a charming village with a nice b&b. Pack snacks, though. Need my snacks.

But yeah, where's the sunscreen and first-aid kit?

rehajm said...

also the Creeper Trail in south west Virginia. Althouse would love, Love, LOVE the Creeper Trail.

Here's a fun perspective of the Creeper trail from my NoBo AT hiker friend Mulligan:

Mulligan on the Creeper Trail

Bob Boyd said...

The idea of peddling all day down the side of a busy road, waiting for the rearview mirror on a motor home to hit me in the back of the head, never appealed to me.

Otto said...

That's why they invented cars.

EDH said...

Dude needs to chill, chill, chill.

Not an oldster. said...

A whole week in the same position? Good for the legs and lungd, but your crotch wasn't designed for that...
You could do it though.

Ralph L said...

Fenders! What's the thing on the front axle?
Flip flops?

The Minnow Wrangler said...

I am getting too old to be happy "roughing it". I need a decent mattress and air conditioning.

When our kids were young we did a lot of backpacking and spent a lot of time, energy, and money lightening our loads. A light pack makes the trip much more pleasant.

The kids learned how many things they could do without and still have a really good time. They could set up and tear down their own tents, etc. and were not afraid to hike in the dark or pee in the woods (harder for girls).

Cyclist said...

Hi y’all! Been a long time Althouse groupie, now finally moved to post a comment. Three summers ago my partner and I rode our bikes from Seaside, Oregon to Bar Harbor, Maine. It was the trip of a lifetime. I still put myself to sleep at night recounting all the towns we stayed in. We think there are several hundred cross country cyclists every year, so it is not a rare event. That said, we did get a write up in a journal called “Adventure Cyclist”.

The best part was making the journey together, a manageable but demanding accomplishment. The second best was all the great people we met. And during the trip I checked in on Althouse every day. We did not camp, but did carry everything we needed for motel stays.

If someone can scoop me on how to like to our write up I will make it happen.

Cheers!

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Where's that biker going, the moon? He's going to pedal by boxes of couscous every few miles.

We have bikers going through our 'scenic' rural area all the time in the spring and summer. Many of them stay on the less traveled highways and on the side roads.

As to food. It is many many miles between stores or even houses. The nearest store/community to ours is about 30 miles or more in each direction...and we live in the populated area of the county. To get an idea the population density throughout the county is approx 7 people per square mile and the county area is about 4800 square miles. Almost as big as the State of Connecticut! You'd better pack a lunch and take some water with you! when the next place to get supplies is 50 miles away.

Nevertheless the bikers are just a giant pain the ass to people trying to drive on the roads. We already have to dodge loaded logging trucks, hay trucks, monster RVs, semi trucks on long hauls going to Idaho, combines and tractors, and on the more rural roads herds of cattle being driven from one are to another.

Most roads don't even have shoulders that you can pull over to avoid bikers or on coming giant traffic. Many of the more rural roads have cliffs on one side. Yikes!!! Winding roads that you cannot see around the corner until WHAM...several touristy bikers taking up most of the road.

I enjoy traveling. I enjoy the scenery. I appreciate the freedom feeling of biking and that other people love to do it........I don't enjoy almost killing someone or being killed myself by oncoming traffic, because the (many of the )bikers are clueless and think they are entitled or invincible.

Birkel said...

What firearm did he pack?
(Yeah, I didn't watch the video.)

hawkeyedjb said...

I'm heading out today for a month of biking on the west coast. As recommended above, the heaviest thing I'm carrying is my water bottle, and the second heaviest is my wallet. And when the road gets too rough or narrow or steep or busy... a car will be involved.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Don't get me wrong. We (locals) don't dislike the bikers or try to discourage them. It is nice that people want to enjoy the area and appreciate the beauty.

IN fact every year our immediate area sponsors a Century Bike ride and people come from all over because the ride is beautiful and challenging. They also have other less than 100 miles routes for the less accomplished and less hardy :-)

The difference is that the routes are known, flagged, marked and people/locals are prepared for the riders. The sponsors set up water/rest stops. There are events and food events too. It is a lot of fun for all.

The issues are the random groups of people biking who don't seem to be aware of their surroundings, to be considerate of other people's use of the roads, or the danger they present.

Curious George said...

The son of our lake association president did this. Was the first amateur. Crazy.

"The Great Divide Mountain Bike Route (GDMBR) is a 3,083.8 mi (4,962.9 km), off-road bicycle touring route between Jasper, Alberta, Canada and Antelope Wells, New Mexico, USA. Completed in 1997, the GDMBR was developed by Adventure Cycling Association, who continue to maintain highly-detailed route maps and a guidebook."

Curious George said...

Here's a video...crazy. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhrtPyr1KQI

NCMoss said...

While biking on the Olympic Peninsula from Canada down to CA, the logging truck drivers seemed to be competing how close they could get to us. "Share the road, bro!"

Humperdink said...

"What's the thing on the front axle? "

I asked question of myself also. Tow bar (sarc)

rehajm said...

You'd better pack a lunch and take some water with you! when the next place to get supplies is 50 miles away.

Long haul bikers do that in a morning. They won't miss lunch.

Linda said...

I know a couple that are currently in North Dakota biking across America on the northern tier. They started in Seattle around May 30. Camping mostly, but they are also staying at Airbnb and hotels. Both just retired. This is actually something I have wanted to do, but my husband isn’t quite the bike enthusiast.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Long haul bikers do that in a morning. They won't miss lunch.

They will if they get run over by a logging truck or sucked under by the back-draft of a loaded double trailer hay truck.

:-)

Jay Vogt said...

I'll throw my lot in with the "Mastercard and a bottle of water" crowd.
There's no need to load up if you don't have to.
A top-heavy bike ruins the whole experience.

Meade said...

I'd prefer to camp/ride across country like this . Fewer cars and trucks.

Danno said...

Blogger AllenS said...I always get a laugh out of people driving their cars with a bike mounted on the back. Get your ass out of that vehicle and get on the damned bike and start pedaling.

Don't be so hard on me, Allen. Though my bike(s) are hidden in my van. I've ridden the Stower Seven Lakes Trail that runs through your neighborhood, as well as some of the back roads around Dresser, Osceola, and Nye, even more frequently.

Ralph L said...

The first ten miles out of DC would ruin the trip.

Jim at said...

A week-long bike trip? Simple.
Load up the truck and toss the bike in back.

Darkisland said...

My wife and I just returned from doing our bit to help replenish the CO2. Spokane, Kalispel MT (for Glacier National Park) Calgary (for Banff & Lake Louise) then back to Sandpoint and Spokane and home. It was a great 10 days. Fantastic weather the whole time.

A lot of the area was pretty unpopulated, it was all pretty rugged and mountainous. One of the things I noticed was how many bicyclists there seemed to be. We'd be on a road in the mountains, sometimes the only car visible in either direction and we'd come across bicyclists huffing and puffing up a 5% grade, bikes loaded down with front saddlebags, rear saddlebags and perhaps a backpack. The idea of carrying money might be well in the east but some of these roads you could go a pretty long way with nothing at all other than what you carry.

Seemed like an awful lot of work and I do not see the point of bicycling like this. My idea of bicycling is 50 minutes each night in front of my computer, watching a movie in my air conditioned office. To each his own, I suppose.

The packing reminded me of my wife.

I almost never travel with more than 2 bags. On backpack for laptop, papers, cables and so on. And one hard side carry on.

No matter how long the trip, I seldom carry more. 6 dress shirts to wear into the client, 1 for each day plus a spare. 3 pair pants, plus travel pants, skivvies, socks a pair of gym shorts for lounging around the room and sleeping, a couple of T&non-dress shirts, toiletries, safety shoes.

Most hotels have a laundromat (All Hamptons do) so if I am more than a week, I do a load of wash on the weekend.

My wife managed to fill, to the point it was difficult to close, a larger, mid-size suitcase. Coming back we also have a duffle bag for the Trinkets and souveniers. I've learned the hardway to carry the duffel bag. It is pretty neat as it folds and zips into a compact flat pack.

My daughter learned about traveling from me and, when traveling alone, is like me with one carry on and a backpack. No matter where she is going or for how long.

Of course with a 1 and a 3 year old, any trip, even across the street, involves logistics that make a trip up everest look simple.

John Henry

Darkisland said...

Our idea of roughing it is to stay in a Motel 6. I stay in the 3-4 nights a year. For all the jokes about them I find them a great bargain. As Tom Bodett says, they are clean comfortable and reasonable.

We got to Spokane about Midnite, stayed in a Motel 6 nearby for about $60 and got on the road to Montana about 9 or so.

John Henry

Will Cate said...

I could, and I have. But it's been about 15 years.

MOFD said...

The thing on the front axle is a rack. You can carry panniers (the yellow bags) on the front as well as on the back of your bike.

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rhhardin said...

I always bike alone. Back in the day I'd to 100 miles each Saturday and each Sunday, and sometimes packed a Gerry tent if I wanted to double my excursion radius, but it was more trouble that it was worth. I settled into a regular 100 mile day-route and that was fine.

They used to let you bike on the interstates, which had a nice wide shoulder and were great bike routes, but they started using the shoulder for another traffic lane in NJ and that was that. The interstate was a fast way back from whatever the farthest point you reached was.

No toll on the interstate bridges over the Delaware River for bikes, back then.

rhhardin said...

Also I favored uphills over downhills. Downhills are an annoyance, wastes brake shoes.

stlcdr said...

If that’s what floats your boat, then it’s fun.

However, the climate you are in is an extremely big factor for both comfort and fun-ness.

stlcdr said...

Oh, and this is another form of self sufficiency. It can be quite fulfilling to be able to live with and on what you can carry - specifically, though, it does highlight what you have that you can’t carry.

Personally, I’m of the age where a truck and travel trailer has a few more luxuries (I.e. comfort).