Bikepacking!

Discussion in 'Outdoor World' started by yotacowboy, Oct 7, 2019.

  1. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    So, between you and me, I think I need another hobby. Bikeen plus Campeen. <meme>Why not both?</meme>

    Right now, my daily driver commuter is basically a decommissioned para-military Toyota Hilux of gravel nonsense that I've turned into a mild bling-fest with gold anodized bits. Spec. Sequoia with Campy; tubeless 44mm kush monster tires. 52x36 x 11x30 which will probably rape me on the hills, but whatever, I race bikes so I should STFU. I'll be grabbing a seat pack and frame pack based on total base volume, then pack food into h-bar/TT feed bag. Camp mess will likely be limited to hot coffee. That's already sorted.

    So, I think I'm going to try to put together a sub 12lb camp kit to try and do the bikepacking thing. I'm a little high on the estimated base weight cause I've got a 2-person tent already - i think it sits around 2.4lbs sans rain fly, so, kinda weighty. but here's my list of stuff I'm considering that I'd be looking for feedback on:

    The big spend: trying out a top quilt: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07F1YCSJL/?coliid=I3V9GERK9N8WDA&colid=2DBGGGDC3XTBQ&psc=1

    how miserable are quilts? freezing asses?

    Pad: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00KMJTLEA/?coliid=IOFIN1XJ5RPFS&colid=2DBGGGDC3XTBQ&psc=1

    Charger: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B07MR5RPLL/?coliid=IO67GMSCODN1D&colid=2DBGGGDC3XTBQ&psc=1

    Headlamp: https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B01N0DAKDQ/?coliid=I3PJM0N75IXVC9&colid=2DBGGGDC3XTBQ&psc=1

    Anybody got any definite "don't buys" for relatively inexpensive lightweight gear? Stuff will probably see 3-4 overnighters per year, and only 3 season use. Nothing near freezing, or +90. Remember, it's not just being able to sleep, it's getting the proper recovery rest so you can actually do something productive the following day(s).

    TIA!!
     
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  2. ergopower

    ergopower Friend

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    You could do a lot better for a pad for moar $. 2.4 lbs is heavy, and there's no R rating given. Plus do you really want to be out in the back of beyond with a no-name Amazon pad? No insulation underneath you with a quilt, so pad deflating would really suck.
    A Klymit Insulated V Ultralight SL is 1 lb and R 4.4. Amazon has it for $85. Massdrop has their own version for maybe $70?
    Thermarest Neo Air X Lite is even lighter, 12 oz, R 3.2. But even spendier.
     
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  3. JK47

    JK47 Guest

    Quilts are legit, but you may want an insulated sleeping pad in the cooler times of year. I'm 5'11" and 205-210lbs depending on which way the wind is blowing, and have a regular length and long length Enlightened Equipment quilt, both wide models (no way I could live with a regular width), one is down, and the other is synthetic. I prefer the long model, because on colder nights I can hide completely under it, keeping my head warmer. The down model is definitely lighter and packs down smaller, but doesn't keep as warm in damp environments.

    I'm a Snow Peak addict so I'll recommend their titanium mini solo combo cook set that can hold a 110g fuel canister, their Giga Power stove, along with a titanium spork. I'm sure you are familiar with all this kind of stuff already though.
     
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  4. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    that Klymit looks like it'll do the job. Stuff size is a little more important than weight, and staying under $100 is perfect.

    Prolly gonna keep with my older MSR cook set. But if it starts to get cranky, I'll take a look at the Snow Peak stuff.
     
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  5. fraggler

    fraggler A Happy & Busy Life

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    @JK47 How hard is it to cook on titanium? Pretty sure I can handle boiling water, but was wondering more about skillet stuff. Eggs, veggies, maybe even pancakes.
     
  6. JK47

    JK47 Guest

    It is somewhat tricky, titanium heats up and cools very quickly. I doubt pancakes would turn out well. If you’re on top of things scrambled eggs should be ok, but I personally wouldn’t try sunny side up. Veggies shouldn’t be much of an issue.

    I have the Snow Peak nesting mini cast iron set, the duo, which is quite pricey, but I bought it for 30% off. It is very compact and can handle pancakes, eggs, rice, and pretty much anything that would stick. I also have their larger nesting Dutch oven combo.

    https://snowpeak.com/products/cast-iron-duo-cooker

    I hoard Snow Peak gear only when it goes on sale, at Backcountry, Moosejaw, or Campsaver online retailers. Generally it’s easy to get 25%-30% a few time a year around major holidays.
     
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  7. hikergrl

    hikergrl Friend

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    I only have very limited bike-camp experience (did Pittsburgh to DC on GAP and C and O bike-camping) so my thoughts may not be worth much.....
    We decided not to take any cooking equip to save weight (although we always cook when backpacking). For caffeine fixes took powdered "energy" drinks (pour powder into water bottles). Peanut butter, bagels, tortillas, "American sliced cheese", gorp, crackers, energy bars (all "health" foods, HaHa).

    Klymit has an ebay store where they sell "blemished" pads much reduced (the ones we bought were fine with v small marks).

    Need lots of spare inner tubes!! (and repair patches).

    Can use a less warm/lighter sleeping bag if also wear thermal underwear (the synthetic fleece ones are very lightweight, don't get smelly and can also be used around camp in evening).

    Sansa clip and cheap iems, and ibuprofen (for tunes at night, and to ease muscle pains).
    Toothpick to remove squashed bugs (happy biker jest :)).
    [We also biked Erie Canal Towpath (Albany to Buffalo) - but by bike-motels.]

    You'll have an awesome time!
     
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  8. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    perfect - C&O from Pitt to DC is what i think GF and I will tackle first. Amtrak out to Pitt, spend a couple days out there, then "downhill" all the way home. We've both got plenty of wool baselayer stuff so i'm thinking we pack heavier on the wool stuff than 30 degree bags or top quilts since wool stuff is like majiks. GF is a Skratch brand ambassador, so unless we get tired of eating the same bars from Skratch for 4 or 5 days, i think we'll just pile on with their bars. Their parmesan/dried tomato/black pepper bar is like eating a slice of pizza on the bike - so delish.

    Edit: Also, since I'm going co-ed, would a two-person top quilt be a thing worth pondering through?
     
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    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  9. hikergrl

    hikergrl Friend

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    We really enjoyed the Pitt - DC ride. Nice thing is that you do ride past quite a few towns so can easily get more food and supplies (and it was the first time I had partaken wine from cans - like beer).
    Camping on C+O was really easy - they have pocket camp sites every 5 miles with water pump (although water tasted of iodine - so need powdered drink to cover taste), porta-potty, and no need to book ahead for camp-site (ride until tired).
    Camping on GAP took more planning (fewer sites).
    We rented a car one way DC to Pitt (there was a Hertz drop off about 0.5 mile from start of GAP) we squeezed 2 bikes into back of economy car. This ended up being much cheaper than Amtrak (and less hassle with no "boxing up" bikes, etc to deal with).
    Also, bring swim suits (or "decent" underwear) to splash in Potomac along C+O (for "showers" and to rinse underwear!)
    It really was a very fun little ride, you'll have a terrific time.
     
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  10. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    This is gonna be more of a "superbestcookingfriends" response, but the trick with ti cookware is figuring out how to cook low and slow. Google "french style scrambled eggs" - once you get the technique down at home, doing the same over low flame using camp mess is super easy. I think the go to vid is from either gordon ramsay or jacque pepin. IIRC, there's a quote somewhere that the consistency of the cooked eggs should be like dog slobber.
     
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  11. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    ah! good call!
     
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  12. hikergrl

    hikergrl Friend

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    We used "decent underwear" method in August and did not have any problems (saw nobody, and also needed to carry fewer clothes) - but kept to shallows as Potomac is supposed to have some swift currents.

    Edit - forgot to add - we covered more miles/day on GAP and fewer miles/day on C+O. Much of the GAP surface is smooth (and faster) whereas the C+O although much flatter was rougher (also more tiring on hands and forearms due to being bumpy). We didn't hurry (its supposed to be fun) and had only a very approx schedule (sometimes you don't feel like cycling far, especially after wine from a can!).
     
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    Last edited: Oct 8, 2019
  13. crazychile

    crazychile Eastern Iowa's Spiciest Pepper

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    My only bikepacking experience goes back to my early 20s when a buddy and myself did a 60 mile ride to a campground, stayed overnight, and returned home the next day. I remember somewhat regretting taking a large cast iron skillet, but not regretting a case of beer plus ice crammed into rear panniers. At least the ride home seemed easy after all the beer was gone.
     
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  14. ergopower

    ergopower Friend

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    Here ya go. There's an insulated version available for an extra $20
     
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  15. yotacowboy

    yotacowboy McRibs Kind of Guy

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    Since I started this thread, and thanks to some suggestions, I think we've got our gear sorted. Today I did a little shakedown run to make sure nothing fell off, or rattled, or made squeaky noises that would drive me insane on a 3 day trip.

    Pics for clicks!

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    Amazon started carrying the Rockbros brand, which I had had my eye on. So, to finish the rig I picked up the seat pack, frame bag, and small h-bar bag for snacks. I'll come back and edit this with a bulleted list of the full gear list. Fully packed the bike weighs 35lbs, so not too bad.
     
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  16. Tchoupitoulas

    Tchoupitoulas Friend

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    I saw this story in the news and thought it might appeal to you bikepackers:

    "Homesick Student Cycles From Scotland to Greece During the Pandemic"
    It took the 20-year-old Kleon Papadimitriou 48 days to travel from Aberdeen to Athens, riding more than 2,000 miles as the coronavirus shut down other modes of transport.

    Of more specific interest, the article mentions some of his equipment, as does his Instagram account.
     
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