- sleeping bag,
- sleeping pad,
- cooking equipment,
- and - last but definitely not least - clothes.
|2009, wild camping in Canada.|
Sleeping bag. Down sleeping bags are the way to go. They are warm, light and can be packed to small volume. 1 kg is a good starting estimate for a down bag for sleeping temperatures to -5 C, and extremes to -10 C with your warm clothes on.
Sleeping pads. As a final step in the evolution of my sleeping kit I now have a body-sized strip of bubble-wrap as a sleeping pad (less than 100 grams). This might look too extreme, but I really don't remember being any more comfortable on a 5 mm foam pad that I had previously. As a great example of multiple use, the bubble wrap serves me also as a wrapping material to provide structure and waterproofness for my rear stuff bag. The bubbles don't pop or flatten that easily. You can have the same strip for 50++ nights. And by the time the bubbles flatten you will be trained - in the manner of great Asian martial artists - to sleep on hard packed ground without anything beneath.
Carriers. Don't underestimate the weight of carriers or 'containers'. These things, i.e. panniers, bags, backpacks, etc., are larpourlartistic inventions for storing other, presumably valuable, things. They are nevertheless necessary (unless the number of things that you are carrying is less then 4), so choose them so that the ratio of content weight to container weight is as high as possible, but not less then 3,142 (also known as 'pi'). Carriers deserve a post of their own - see the post below.
Clothes (and shoes). Clothes as a colective item is one of the 7 big ones - in most cases the second big one, after the bike. So you should definitely take into good consideration what clothes you choose. Take a scale with you to the shop when you buy clothes. The people will laugh at you, for sure, but believe me - you will save a lot of money. The most expensive items are not always the best nor the lightest.
Never take two items for the same purpose, e.g. two cycling shorts. The only possible exception to this rule is a spare pair of socks. Layering or comlementing items is a good thing to consider. A combination of a windbreaker + light rain shell is usually lighter and warmer then a single all-purpose rain/wind jacket. Arm warmers complemented with short sleaved jersey make a good subsitute for short and long sleeved jerseys. When one item is in the wash, slip into a complemenatry item while you wait it to dry (e.g. underwear + long trousers or rain pants when you wash your shorts). Wash your clothes in the evening so they dry by the morning. A case of special need of consideration are the shoes. For reasons explained elsewhere, I find special cycling shoes one of the most bizzare choises for a touring cyclist, especialy the lightweight-one. There are much lighter and more suitable alternatives. An excelent choice, that I used so far with great success, are the shoes for in-door football. These or similar low-tech trainers or light summer shoes can weigh down to 600 g for a pair. I am not against the combination of sandals and waterproof socks either. Right now I am experimenting with the "crocs" (340 g a pair).
I generaly have two, complementary sets of clothing. Usualy I wear: hat or cycling cap, wind/rain jacket, cycling gloves, cycling jersey, cycling shorts, socks and shoes. The complementary set: fleece cap (a beanie), fleece top, underwear (usually bathing trunks), trousers and second pair of socks is in the bag and comes into use on extremely cold days or nights, when off the bike or when the first set is in the wash. Other than that there are some additional items for the rain: rain pants, overshoes and gloves. I carry these in the hood pouch of the rain jacket - after I cut off the hood. Often I take a second T-shirt - sorry to disappoint you, everybody makes compromises sometime.