The art of packing light

Discussion in 'The Perfect Line and Other Riding Myths' started by Drop_Center, Aug 12, 2018.

  1. Drop_Center

    Drop_Center Long timer

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    Lets hear your tips and tricks for getting by with the absolute minimum while still enjoying yourself.
    #1
  2. Drop_Center

    Drop_Center Long timer

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    Light packer:

    [​IMG]



    Not a light packer:

    [​IMG]
    #2
  3. GR0NK

    GR0NK Got some screws loose!

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    Sean :-)
    #3
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  4. Strong Bad

    Strong Bad Former World's Foremost Authority

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    As light as I can go and keep SWMBO happy on the CDR!!! :lol3:lol3:lol3:lol3

    DSCF0132.JPG

    Day trips are one thing, multi-week trips are a whole different kettle of fish!
    #4
  5. dddd

    dddd Long timer

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    Let me talk about the things that got smaller with trial and errors (because the other stuff is just a matter of judicious choices to bring or not) and WE DON'T WANT yet another tools thread...

    a) the tail bag: more compartments/pockets means less space and often less/no waterproofing. I now have a simple drybag and I fit even more for less overall volume.

    b) air pump: I truncated the foot and handle. Added a tiny compressor to the kit since it's so small and I hope to never have to inflate by hand again. Still can't not bring the pump though... trust issues..

    c) lifting the rear wheel: from the old wood plank I now have a simple 14" long tube with one end closed (so it doesn't dig in ground). This doubles as a shifter straightener in case of a fall. I wrap some duct tape on it too (anything you can carry duct tape on without hindrance is good).

    d) toolbox, not tool roll (roll is too fluffy). Add an old sock or rag in to remove the excess rattling.

    e) bow saw that I can fully disassemble. Doesn't beat the versatility of a hachet though... So, no gain if I bring both. But as sawing is concerned, that's better than a regular bulky bow saw.

    f) digital am radio for traffic info: coby cx-90 is the tiniest I could find. It's great because it's digital, loud volume but also because it has a LOCK switch.

    g) no more digital camera! yes. found a good phone.

    ----

    things I really really wished I could make smaller/lighter or find replacement, so I don't bring them unless needed:

    1-rope. 40m of 8mm static rope (bike-lifting-able) is taking about 2-3 liters of space.
    2-ratchet straps. not that effective (short pull) and heavy. winch would be worse.
    3-hip waders.
    4-water reserve.
    #5
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  6. davidji

    davidji bike curious

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  7. D R

    D R Been here awhile

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    Dual purpose or multi-use items, collapsible items. I found REI a good place for such items thou they can be a little pricey.
    #7
  8. Drop_Center

    Drop_Center Long timer

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    What about clothing and shoes?
    #8
  9. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior

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    Your riding gear should be good for the weather. I just carry clean socks and underwear if possible. If you are riding for a ride and not travelling to a social event it should be easy. If you can see the duffle bag behind me in my avatar, that is packed for a week long ride camping the whole way with a 3 day ADV rally in the middle. No hard luggage, use the tank bag for incidentals.
    #9
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  10. dddd

    dddd Long timer

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  11. foxtrapper

    foxtrapper Long timer

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    Gallon sized ziplock type baggies. Put a days worth of clothing in each, squash flat, zip closed. They store well and make morning easy. If you’re good, you can do this with your food too.

    Athletic wear clothing. Yea it snags and stinks, but I sure feel better. It’s light and packs down well.

    Lemonade powder. I tend to never drink enough water. Lots of us don’t. Make the water taste good and I drink more of it. Then I feel better and am stronger.

    MRE type foods/meals. Convenient, quick, lightish. Also expensive. Breakfast and dinner for me. A loaf of hearty bread some industrial peanut butter and jelly can keep me happy for lunch and snacks for several days.

    Teabag coffee or teas. Convenience store packets of sugar, creamer, salt and pepper. They rarely leak, pack small and are easily replenished. Beware the packets of mustard, katsup and the like, they can make a mess. Pack with care.

    Bags and bike packed for weight and use. This really gets overlooked a lot, yet it really helps. The bike is better balanced, and I can get to things I need frequently quickly and easily.

    Quick detatchable bags. When the bike falls over or gets stuck, being able to quickly and easily off the bike makes the bike struggle easier.

    I’m a big fan of large bags, like kayak stuff sacks, they hold things well and squash down nicely. But, separate sub bags or additional bags sure help keep things together and accessible. Handlebar bags shouldn’t have weight in them, so they hold those packets of salt, sugar, etc.

    A picnic table gas grill is huge, light and noisy. They sure cook well, and can hold a lot of your food and cooking gear when on the bike. No matter how you pack it, it rattles and bangs when you ride.

    Packing light is great. But don’t make yourself miserable doing it. If you don’t enjoy yourself, you’re not going to do it again.
    #11
  12. ABBlender

    ABBlender Adventurer

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    Best thing I ever did for packing light(er) was to have smaller bags to begin with. With the limited space available, creativity and critical thinking flows freely before a long trip. I don't pack super light, but I never wanted hard cases as I think they look a bit silly (IMHO). I have wolfman expedition side bags and a 30L mosko duffel at hand with a small pelican waterproof case for a trunk. If it's just me, this is plenty. Add another rider and it gets tight really fast, but still do-able. Keep in mind I'm on a Super Tenere, so a little weight here and there isn't a big deal.

    I like photography, so I carry a good micro 4/3 w/ zoom lens in tank bag with misc tools, first aid kit, lens cleaner, granola bars/snacks.
    Bags have some tools/wrenches/sockets, spare spokes. Down sleeping bags pack small and light, no pillow.
    Rain gear, heated gear(if needed), spare gloves and snacks in duffel bag
    Pelican case takes the food/water, zip ties, camera accessories, and other items that like a waterproof environment or that I might need easy access to at a stop.
    #12
  13. jay547

    jay547 Long timer

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    This is ADV. There are maybe six people on this site who pack light.
    #13
  14. c_m_shooter

    c_m_shooter Ninja Warrior

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    DSCF0113.JPG

    3 day ride, not camping, so 1 saddlebag is plenty. There is an inner tube, pump, tools, 32oz fuel bottle, 32 oz of water, and 2 sets of clothes in there. If I was camping another bag that size is enough for hammock, sleeping bag, pocket rocket stove an snacks. Remember you don't need to carry an entire trips worth of stuff, just enough to get to the next supply stop. Try bicycle touring and you will learn to pare unnecessary gear.
    #14
  15. david61

    david61 Been here awhile

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    Head off to any of the "Ultra lightweight backpacking sites" there's tonnes out there.


    My tent or tarp around 700 grams, sleeping quilt 450 gms, titanium cooking gear about 250 gms, I cut my toothbrush in half and use a kiddies size toothpaste tube already 1/2 empty. And so on and on.

    Everything must be as small/light and dual purpose as possible, makes a huge difference to the quality of the ride, and I enjoy the continual effort to do it lighter next time.
    #15
  16. Ginger Beard

    Ginger Beard Instagram @oneworldcycles

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    Region plays a huge factor as does country. We're a bit spoiled in the USA in that there aren't a ton of places left that are more than 200 miles from a city or town. I use that to my advantage by not carrying much food or extra water on most trips.

    I don't take much food and I don't take more than a couple days worth of clothing. My gear weight is between 30 and 35 pounds depending upon whether or not I'll be seeing cold temps. I could go lighter weight with a less robust sleeping mat and by ditching my tiny camp chair but after years of doing this, I've conceded to having some luxuries at the end of a day and the extra 2.5 lbs means less than a good night's sleep or having a spot to plant my ass and sip coffee in the a.m. I could ditch a bit mote by not bringing the extra clothing but I already smell like a hippie. No need to go full homeless.
    #16
  17. on2wheels52

    on2wheels52 Long timer

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    I don't camp cook. Up early, ride an hour or two to a café. Big breakfast, no lunch. Pick up deli food late afternoon and eat it at the next campground. Granola bars in the tank bag if needed.
    And boxed wine w/o the box; no need for ice/cooler.
    #17
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  18. IronButt70

    IronButt70 Adventurer

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    Met inmate tewster2 for lunch last week and he made me laugh with the line some people go on trips and never leave home because they pack so much stuff. :lol3
    #18
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  19. OrangeYZ

    OrangeYZ Long timer

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    I start out with the shittiest T-shirt I own, and about halfway through the trip put it in a campfire and buy a souvenir shirt from whatever exotic and exciting location is the halfway point of my trip.

    Kind of the same thing with sandals too:
    [​IMG]
    #19
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  20. IronButt70

    IronButt70 Adventurer

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    Chainsaw?
    #20