Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

What’s your "can’t live without" gear?

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

What’s your "can’t live without" gear?

Old 08-22-23, 08:51 AM
  #26  
saddlesores
Senior Member
 
saddlesores's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Location: Thailand..........Nakhon Nowhere
Posts: 3,626

Bikes: inferior steel....and....noodly aluminium

Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1045 Post(s)
Liked 318 Times in 214 Posts
Originally Posted by tcs
......Holmes tells Watson to bring his cannot be mentioned on Bike forums for an overnight trip away from London........
you can mention accordions.
saddlesores is offline  
Likes For saddlesores:
Old 08-22-23, 11:12 AM
  #27  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 8,341

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, 1982 Stumpjumper, Alex Moulton AM, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i8, 2021 Motobecane Turino 1x12

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1520 Post(s)
Liked 1,582 Times in 935 Posts
An addition the last few years: my Kindle (E-reader). An entire library smaller and lighter than a single paperback, useful for rain delays and downtime; guidebooks and pre-researched local history; pdf's of map details, contacts and resources; instruction/repair manuals; travelogs from folks who have ridden the same area/route; recipes with shopping lists.
tcs is offline  
Old 08-22-23, 12:47 PM
  #28  
79pmooney
Senior Member
 
79pmooney's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2014
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 12,415

Bikes: (2) ti TiCycles, 2007 w/ triple and 2011 fixed, 1979 Peter Mooney, ~1983 Trek 420 now fixed and ~1973 Raleigh Carlton Competition gravel grinder

Mentioned: 121 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4463 Post(s)
Liked 3,543 Times in 2,304 Posts
Originally Posted by andrewclaus
My favorite bike touring camping gear purchase ever was a 30F down quilt. Then comes clothing that will keep me warm while riding in cold rain--polypro layers as needed.

I'm a minimalist camper. Camping is just a break from cycling. No stove/cook kit, no camp shoes/clothing, no chair--so my input is minimal as well.
I was a fan of polypro in the early '80s until ( bought a pair of expedition weight Patagonia Capilene; top and bottom and wore them for the first 5 days of a trans-Artlantic sail. Lots of bad weather. Day 6 was nice. Put my clean and dry polypro on. 24 hours later I could not stand the feel against my skin and put the soggy Capilene on and wore it another 5 days.

Their Capilene has only gotten better and their grey synthetic T-shirts are worth every dollar of the ~$80 price. (Next to my skin on almost all my outdoor ventures.)

So, to the topic: haven't toured in many years but if I did, I'd pack enough of those grey Ts to always have a pair ready to go.
79pmooney is offline  
Old 08-23-23, 01:27 PM
  #29  
KPREN
Full Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2021
Location: Wadsworth, Ohio
Posts: 370

Bikes: 2008 S Works Stumpjumper FSR Carbon, 2016 E Fat Titanium Bike Custom built by me.

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 135 Post(s)
Liked 201 Times in 117 Posts
Gear I don't leave at home on bikepacking trips, as strange as it may seem, is this tiny four pound poodle

Miss Maggie
KPREN is offline  
Likes For KPREN:
Old 08-25-23, 02:07 AM
  #30  
bunnyberg
Newbie
 
Join Date: Jan 2023
Location: Stuttgart
Posts: 11
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2 Post(s)
Liked 6 Times in 5 Posts
Good coffee: fresh roasted beans, manual grinder, V60 or Moka pot or AreoPress Go
bunnyberg is offline  
Likes For bunnyberg:
Old 08-25-23, 06:40 AM
  #31  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 8,341

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, 1982 Stumpjumper, Alex Moulton AM, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i8, 2021 Motobecane Turino 1x12

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1520 Post(s)
Liked 1,582 Times in 935 Posts
Not exactly 'gear', but I carry plans-went-awry calories.

That little restaurant can be closed on Tuesdays. The owner of the tiny grocery store might have had a death in the family. Or, cycletouring in France, the cafe might be closed for lunch.

So I carry backup food: calorie-dense, good shelf life. We've discussed before what might be appropriate and personal: lembas bread, cram, pemmican, jerky, hardtack, gorp, nuts & nut butters, Cliff bar, Greenbelly, Ka'chava, Kate's bar, Huel, Soylent...

I leave from home with it. If I get back home with it still in the saddlebag, great, didn't mind one bit carrying it but not using it.

Last edited by tcs; 08-26-23 at 08:59 PM.
tcs is offline  
Old 08-25-23, 07:38 AM
  #32  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 10,761

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3250 Post(s)
Liked 1,322 Times in 1,038 Posts
Originally Posted by tcs
Not exactly 'gear', but I carry plans-went-awry calories.

That little restaurant can be closed on Tuesdays. The owner of the tiny grocery store might have had a death in the family. Or, cycletouring in France, the cafe might be closed for lunch.

So I carry backup food: calorie-dense, good shelf life. We've discussed before what might be appropriate and personal: lembas bread, cram, pemmican, jerky, hardtack, gorp, Cliff bar, Greenbelly, Ka'chava, Kate's bar, Huel, Soylent...

I leave from home with it. If I get back home with it still in the saddlebag, great, didn't mind one bit carrying it but not using it.
My touring partner and I did Pacific Coast with a day or two of freeze dried meals in the bottom of a pannier. Never used them and they are still in storage somewhere, but having them meant we never had to obsess about where the next grocery store was. We almost always were starting to wonder where the next Safeway would be, just before we saw one.

But, several of my tours have been in food deserts, so I got accustomed to carrying several extra days of food.

My Canada trip in 2019, I think this was the first grocery store I saw in over a week.

Tourist in MSN is offline  
Likes For Tourist in MSN:
Old 08-26-23, 08:46 AM
  #33  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,093
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17728 Post(s)
Liked 14,040 Times in 6,669 Posts
Originally Posted by bunnyberg
Good coffee: fresh roasted beans, manual grinder, V60 or Moka pot or AreoPress Go
Totally forgot about good coffee, although I take mine pre-ground. And I use a Bodum Travel Press combination French press and mug. Matches the panniers.


indyfabz is online now  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 08-26-23, 10:21 AM
  #34  
robow
Senior Member
 
robow's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 3,834
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 582 Post(s)
Liked 263 Times in 177 Posts
I'm not a coffee drinker and so it's hard for me to grasp this worship of the dark beverage but I will say, the most popular gentleman within my little touring group every morning, is my buddy who hauls along his coffee press each and every ride. It should be rule #1 in any book titled "How to Make New Friends While Touring"
robow is offline  
Old 08-26-23, 11:09 AM
  #35  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 10,761

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3250 Post(s)
Liked 1,322 Times in 1,038 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz
Totally forgot about good coffee, although I take mine pre-ground. And I use a Bodum Travel Press combination French press and mug. Matches the panniers.

I think mine is GSI. Lexan, not glass. I can't remember how old it is, quite old. They have made several generations since.




That said, I leave it at home on bike trips, only carry the French Press on canoe trips.

On bike trips, I use <insert grimace here> instant.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Likes For Tourist in MSN:
Old 08-26-23, 11:19 AM
  #36  
sloar 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Elwood Indiana
Posts: 7,484

Bikes: they change so much I'm tired of updating this

Mentioned: 168 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1191 Post(s)
Liked 1,025 Times in 396 Posts
I like good coffee, but I’m ok with instant while camping or touring.
__________________
Semper fi
sloar is offline  
Old 08-26-23, 02:35 PM
  #37  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,093
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17728 Post(s)
Liked 14,040 Times in 6,669 Posts
Originally Posted by sloar
I like good coffee, but Iím ok with instant while camping or touring.


My morning challenge is to see if I can get the coffee brewing before I have to take a leak. #Multitasking

And after perusing the PNW thread, Iíll add a corkscrew.



Last edited by indyfabz; 08-26-23 at 02:40 PM.
indyfabz is online now  
Old 08-26-23, 03:33 PM
  #38  
Paul_P
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Posts: 133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 26 Posts
Another coffee addict here. I use a french press at home, but decided to go back to filters for my touring. I just bought a collapsible cone and a reusable filter from GSI :



Paul_P is online now  
Old 08-26-23, 03:49 PM
  #39  
zandoval 
Senior Member
 
zandoval's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Bastrop Texas
Posts: 4,151

Bikes: Univega, Peu P6, Peu PR-10, Ted Williams, Peu UO-8, Peu UO-18 Mixte, Peu Dolomites

Mentioned: 11 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 806 Post(s)
Liked 1,381 Times in 887 Posts
Originally Posted by sloar
...What’s your can’t live without gear?
That's gotta be that 34T ring on my crank...

Yep... That's it... I spend more time on that one then any of the others...

As for gear gear... Well that's gotta be my Mini Pump and Flat Fix Kit. Oh, and gotta call Mommy for a ride home cell phone... Waaaahhh...
__________________
No matter where you're at... There you are... Δf:=f(1/2)-f(-1/2)
zandoval is offline  
Old 08-26-23, 08:57 PM
  #40  
tcs
Palmer
 
tcs's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Parts Unknown
Posts: 8,341

Bikes: Mike Melton custom, 1982 Stumpjumper, Alex Moulton AM, 2010 Dawes Briercliffe, 2017 Dahon Curl i8, 2021 Motobecane Turino 1x12

Mentioned: 36 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1520 Post(s)
Liked 1,582 Times in 935 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz
And after perusing the PNW thread, I’ll add a corkscrew.




Ever wonder why Leatherman multitools don't have a corkscrew?



YouTube tip from a cycletourist who uses the handle Lady Brompton: box wine, leave the box @ home (or at the store) and pack the bag into your panniers!


Last edited by tcs; 08-26-23 at 09:07 PM.
tcs is offline  
Old 08-26-23, 09:19 PM
  #41  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,093
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17728 Post(s)
Liked 14,040 Times in 6,669 Posts
Chateau Lafita Rothschild doesnít come in a box. At least as far as I know.
indyfabz is online now  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 08-27-23, 12:13 PM
  #42  
Paul_P
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2023
Posts: 133
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 94 Post(s)
Liked 40 Times in 26 Posts
Originally Posted by sloar
I’m starting to collect some more gear and need some ideals and make sure I’m not forgetting anything. I’ve toured before but it’s been awhile. I’ve got a tent, mat and bedroll. Micro stove burner. My trusty cooking cup/pot combo and a few other bits. So what can’t you leave on tour without.
I've been reading threads like this for weeks now and have assimilated an enourmous amount of information and traveled several times around the world from the comfort of my arm chair.

One thing that is not mentioned is that if you put everyone's great ideas together on a single bike, they weigh quite a bit !

I'm going to test ride an almost finished setup later on today and I can see that without food, water or fuel I'm getting pretty close to 50 lbs for the panniers and gear, not the bike. I've acquired some lighter versions of what I already had, and added or renewed a bunch of other things, but I guess for the moment my style could be summarized as car camping on a bike. Just so many things I'm not yet ready to give up. We'll see after a few hills...

My body has lost around 10 lbs since the spring so I get the 4 panniers and handlebar bag more or less for free.
Paul_P is online now  
Old 08-27-23, 02:15 PM
  #43  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,093
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17728 Post(s)
Liked 14,040 Times in 6,669 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul_P
I've been reading threads like this for weeks now and have assimilated an enourmous amount of information and traveled several times around the world from the comfort of my arm chair.

One thing that is not mentioned is that if you put everyone's great ideas together on a single bike, they weigh quite a bit !

I'm going to test ride an almost finished setup later on today and I can see that without food, water or fuel I'm getting pretty close to 50 lbs for the panniers and gear, not the bike. I've acquired some lighter versions of what I already had, and added or renewed a bunch of other things, but I guess for the moment my style could be summarized as car camping on a bike. Just so many things I'm not yet ready to give up. We'll see after a few hills...

My body has lost around 10 lbs since the spring so I get the 4 panniers and handlebar bag more or less for free.
But not everyone takes everything others take. The coffee example above is an example. Several different approaches among several different people. As another example, some people donít mind wearing the same shoes in camp. I rode across the country with a guy like that. I, on the other hand, like/need to have separate shoes for camp and walking around town. Some people take pillows. I donít.

One piece of advice I can offer is donít try to replicate as many creature comforts of home as possible.
indyfabz is online now  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 08-27-23, 02:35 PM
  #44  
sloar 
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Elwood Indiana
Posts: 7,484

Bikes: they change so much I'm tired of updating this

Mentioned: 168 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1191 Post(s)
Liked 1,025 Times in 396 Posts
I like to rough it, I leave a lot of unnecessary comforts at home. I’ll choke
down instant coffee, one pair of non bike shoes, and very few non riding clothes. No pillow or
chair. I do like to have my Kindle and my phone with earbuds. I always have my desert boonie cover I wore in the Marines while deployed to Somalia.
__________________
Semper fi
sloar is offline  
Likes For sloar:
Old 08-27-23, 02:45 PM
  #45  
GhostRider62
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2021
Posts: 4,083
Mentioned: 6 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2332 Post(s)
Liked 2,091 Times in 1,310 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul_P
I've been reading threads like this for weeks now and have assimilated an enourmous amount of information and traveled several times around the world from the comfort of my arm chair.

One thing that is not mentioned is that if you put everyone's great ideas together on a single bike, they weigh quite a bit !

I'm going to test ride an almost finished setup later on today and I can see that without food, water or fuel I'm getting pretty close to 50 lbs for the panniers and gear, not the bike. I've acquired some lighter versions of what I already had, and added or renewed a bunch of other things, but I guess for the moment my style could be summarized as car camping on a bike. Just so many things I'm not yet ready to give up. We'll see after a few hills...

My body has lost around 10 lbs since the spring so I get the 4 panniers and handlebar bag more or less for free.
Not everybody tours heavy. I used to carry everything. In the lower 48, one can usually get coffee at some commercial establishment en route and in Europe, it is easy peasy. There are some decent single serve instant coffee that are pretty good cold. I would never take the time to make coffee or fumble around in the dark making it. I do take one means of disinfecting water and sometimes two because I can't live without clean water
GhostRider62 is offline  
Old 08-27-23, 05:50 PM
  #46  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,093
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17728 Post(s)
Liked 14,040 Times in 6,669 Posts
Originally Posted by sloar
I like to rough it, I leave a lot of unnecessary comforts at home. Iíll choke
down instant coffee, one pair of non bike shoes, and very few non riding clothes. No pillow or
chair. I do like to have my Kindle and my phone with earbuds. I always have my desert boonie cover I wore in the Marines while deployed to Somalia.
We sound somewhat alike, except for the coffee thing.

Cutting down on non-riding clothes can really help with bulk and weight. When I got back into loaded touring after a 9 year break, I first carried a lot more of that stuff than I did during my 3 long trips in 1999-2000. I remember going to Montana in 2011 with a couple of short sleeve tees, a long sleeve tee and a bulky fleece. Iíve pretty much cut it down to a pair of convertible pants, one synthetic tee, a light, long sleeve pullover, one pair of light, synthetic long Johns, a light pair of off-bike shoes, one pair of warm socks and a wool cap if it might get chilly, and two pairs of underwear. If I wonít be going out anywhere, Iíll often leave the pants legs at home as I can wear the shorts over the long Johns. Not worried about making a fashion statement. All of that stuff plus my sleeping bag fits in my right, rear Ortlieb Back Packer Plus with plenty of room to spare if I have to carry food.

Love my Kindle Fire. Got tired a burning through headlamp batteries reading at night, and itís less bulk and sometimes weight. (Try carrying For Whom the Bell Tolls around the mountains of Southern Spain.) The battery lasts a long time, it recharges quickly and I can add a new book if I get Wi-Fi access on the road.

Last edited by indyfabz; 08-27-23 at 06:03 PM.
indyfabz is online now  
Likes For indyfabz:
Old 08-27-23, 07:41 PM
  #47  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 10,761

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1966 Perfekt 3 Speed AB Hub, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad MkII, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 45 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 3250 Post(s)
Liked 1,322 Times in 1,038 Posts
Originally Posted by Paul_P
... One thing that is not mentioned is that if you put everyone's great ideas together on a single bike, they weigh quite a bit !

I'm going to test ride an almost finished setup later on today and I can see that without food, water or fuel I'm getting pretty close to 50 lbs for the panniers and gear, not the bike. I've acquired some lighter versions of what I already had, and added or renewed a bunch of other things, but I guess for the moment my style could be summarized as car camping on a bike. Just so many things I'm not yet ready to give up. We'll see after a few hills...

My body has lost around 10 lbs since the spring so I get the 4 panniers and handlebar bag more or less for free.
Then start out with 50 pounds. Next trip after that, might be 45 pounds, or might be 55 pounds.

My light touring bike, below:



My heavy touring bike, below:



The weight on the two bikes is pretty similar, although the trips and bikes and locations were quite different.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 08-27-23, 08:19 PM
  #48  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 2,208

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 13 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 433 Post(s)
Liked 216 Times in 150 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz
But not everyone takes everything others take. The coffee example above is an example. Several different approaches among several different people. As another example, some people donít mind wearing the same shoes in camp. I rode across the country with a guy like that. I, on the other hand, like/need to have separate shoes for camp and walking around town. Some people take pillows. I donít.
I am one someone with one pair of shoes. That was an issue on a 2016 tour when these shoes started to fall apart. Fortunately, duct tape held for a few days before I bought new shoes in Fernie BC...

No need for coffee either.

​​​​​​However, still end up taking a bunch of stuff so I'm touring on the heavy side still. Typically more than average repair/spare parts and a set of tech toys e.g. laptop and phone and kindle etc.

As far as the can't live without gear goes there are foundational items (e.g. rain jacket, tubes/patch kit/tools, bike clothes,...) that I expect everyone has... So my slightly more offbeat item is even when I anticipate staying in motels, I'll bring a lightweight tube tent.

All things being equal, I like finding a bed and a shower to sleep inside. However, I dislike having to nail down a set schedule of reservations too much in advance and ideally like to find a place as I go along.

So the tube tent and lightweight sleeping bag are a good backup for staying mostly in motels but keeping flexibility for basic camping as needed.
​​​​​​
mev is offline  
Old 08-27-23, 08:39 PM
  #49  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
indyfabz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 38,093
Mentioned: 209 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17728 Post(s)
Liked 14,040 Times in 6,669 Posts
Iíll bet that shop in Fernie is where we got chain lube back in Ď09 on the second day if the trip, which is something we forgot. Of course, it rained the first day.
indyfabz is online now  
Old 08-28-23, 03:57 PM
  #50  
dvdwmth
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 75
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 23 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 17 Posts
Mini foot pump with gauge (holy **** do I ever hate hand held mini pumps)

collapsible stool (as I learned changing a flat in the blazing Sun, feeling like barfing from bad lunch choice, and back crazy stiff from sleeping on ground. Also while making fire. If youíre 20years old disregard)

binoculars (my favourite non essential bonus thing)
dvdwmth is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.