Biologist on a Bike

Gear List: Part 1: Everything but the Bike

It’s worth noting that I am aware of the likelihood that I am overpacking. I’ve been on several short tours (a few days) but nothing of this magnitude. I’m expecting to send some things, like the cold weather gear I’m bringing for the mountains, home about halfway through the trip, so anything I’m not using will get added to that box.

Full description of contents below

All the gear (and then some)

The List

1: Ortlieb front and back roller classics
I absolutely love their study, water-proof construction.

2. Foldable spare tire
I’m hard on my tires when on tour, often paying as much attention to the scenery as I am to the road and rolling over glass as a result. I have also read one too many blog posts about patching a busted sidewall with a dollar bill or, in one memorable instance, grass from the side of the road to want to try that myself.

3. Helmet (with mirror) and a bungie cord
A helmet is necessary and a bungie cord is always useful for securing things to the back rack.

4. Marmot Tungsten 2P Tent
When my old tent was judged too heavy and not worth the effort of re-sealing the rain fly seams, I waffled on whether to get the 1P or the 2P tent. I eventually opted for the 2P. I tend to spread my gear out a bit at night, and a 1P tent can get a bit claustrophobic on a long trip. The space seemed worth it for the extra weight. We’ll see if I still think that way when I’m hauling it up a mountainside.

5. Enlightened Equipment: Revelation Backpacking Quilt
It’s so lovely and fluff! I haven’t tested it down to its temperature rating of 30 F yet, but I’m looking forward to it as much as I can look forward to cold nights (which is not very much. I hate being cold!). Inside the stuff sack is also a microfiber bag-liner that adds a few degrees of warmth and is much easier to clean than the down bag.

6. Water Bottles
Top metallic bottle will do double duty as a “foam” roller. The other two are standard water bottles, the middle is reflective and the bottom-most one is wrapped with several yards of duct tape. I’m all about making the water bottles do double duty.

7. Locks
I know a lot of people tour without them, but I can’t wrap my head around that idea. I grew up in the suburbs of NJ and now live in the city of Chicago. Neither place is one where you want to leave a bike unlocked, and I doubt I’d be able to sleep soundly at night if I did so.

8. Ortlieb Handlebar Bag
To transport my camera (for quick, easy access), handy snacks, GoPro (when not in use) and the batteries to be charged by my dynamo hub.

9. Tool Kit
Contains standard bike maintenance tools for bike maintenance. Two spare tubes, a patch kit, a multitool, chain lube, and some alcohol prep pads for cleaning the disc brakes.

10. Camp Kitchen
Plastic plate (I’m on the fence about bringing this, but it has been useful in the past for chopping fruits/vegetables), MSR Pocket Rocket stove, Sea2Summit collapsible bowl and two cups, pocket knife, and bottle brush (because there are few things worse than a mouth full of algae from a manky water bottle when you’re thirsty and pining for something fresh and clean). I will need to pick up some canister fuel and a lighter when I arrive in Oregon.

11. Therm-a-Rest ProLite Women’s Sleeping Pad

12. Cold-Weather Clothes
Down jacket, shoe covers, gloves, waterproof over-mittens. There will be some cold evenings in the early days in the mountains. I expect at least half, if not all, of this will be shipped home once I get through Colorado.

13. Camelbak 3L bladder and Sawyer Mini Water Filter
For emergencies. I hope both of these get to stay buried in the bottom of the panniers for the entire trip, but I’ve been dehydrated to the point of nausea before and I have no plans to repeat that. One friend (B.M.) saw the water filter in my house and said it made me look like a prepper.

14. Lighting
Bike headlight, tail light, headlamp, and solar tent lamp.

15. Tablet and Kindle
The tablet is a must, as I will be using it to write posts. The kindle is a maybe. I know the old backpacking advice to make three piles: 1) essential, 2) nice to have, and 3) want to have. Then take only the first pile. The kindle is definitely pile #2; I often read a bit to wind down before going to sleep, but I might not need that after long days in the saddle. We’ll see.

16. AdventureCycling Maps

17. Glasses/Sunglasses
Photochromic prescription eyeglasses for days the contacts aren’t happening. Sunglasses for the rest of the days.

18. Knee Brace and Compression Bandage
For treating known recurring issues. As long as I remember to stretch, foam roll, and not crank high gears I won’t need these. Odds are, however, that I’ll forget at least once.

19. Mini Tripod
For selfies the old-school way.

20. Camp Towel

21. Electric Bits and Bobs
Charging cables etc for any electronics I bring (camera, GPS, Go-Pro, etc). Also contains my ipod nano and cozyphones so that I can listen to my sleep podcast, Sleep With Me, at night.

22. Contact Cards
A stash of business cards to hand out along the way.

23. First aid kit

24. Medications

25 Toiletries

26 Clothes
2 jerseys, 3 bike shorts, cycle tights, long-sleeve, rain gear, 3 pairs wool socks, 1 set camp/sleep clothes, 1 set warm camp clothes (to be sent home with the winter gear) and 2 sets of undergarments.

27. Notebook
Because I’m hardly going to pull out the tablet for every little thing. And I have a terrible memory for things like the names of people I just met or places to stay they might recommend.

Not pictured

GoPro Hero 5 and GoPro Jaws Flex Clamp Mount
Has the height to mount on the handlebars and see over my handlebar bag.

Garmin Edge Touring
I have an electronic copy of the route to supplement the maps.

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