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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, after two years of casual and enthusiast riding, and a year of racing... I think this spring, I am going to try out the "camping-riding" genre. I have several national forrests around me as the title states, roughly 20/30/60 miles away from my home. If I was planning on doing a single night out, riding there and back, what would you suggest to carry (and how) for the different distances?

Call me crazy, but I'm expecting to use a back pack of some sort only. No fenders.

Single Person Tent
Light 1-person sleeping bag
standard flat/repair kit stuffs
reading book
I'm more than sure my bike headlamp will work as a flashlight~
Pair of sleeping shorts and swimming trunks + sandals.
Lighter.
Liquids or food for breakfast/dinner. + more liquids the next day.

What else? Like I said, I doubt I'll be more than 60 miles from home, or 20 miles from a store, and my trips will hopefully be for example: Noon on Wednesday, return 5pm Thursday.

I'm asking about this pretty blindly only because I want to get a jump start on planning/preparation, and overall ideas.... :blush2:
 

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Just my opinion, but I wouldn't think of riding that distance with that much stuff on my back. I'd find a way to put a rack on that bike, and use panniers. Before you decide, try some rides carrying a pack with that much weight. Sounds awful to me.
 

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Just think of all that weight on your back pile-driving your soft bits into the bike!?!
 

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These guys do a lot of what yer talking about.

http://www.rivbike.com/article/bike_camping/a_kit_for_one_night_out

As others have said, that's a lot on yer back for 20+ miles. Having done an 18 mile one-way commute for a year with a backpack and with panniers, I can tell you I'd rather have the weight on the bike then on my back. You really feel that backpack in the climbs.
 

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I agree about trying to find a more comfortable way to carry your stuff, but backpacks have been used plenty on bicycles. I say give it a shot with what you have and see what you think before you shell out any money you aren`t sure you want to spend. Go camping, dude! Have a nice trip and don`t forget your camera.
 

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Riding towards Delmarva.
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"I agree about trying to find a more comfortable way to carry your stuff, but backpacks have been used plenty on bicycles."


Regular riding with a backpack is really, really good for one thing.....


...delaying the racks that are sure to come.
 

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Start with the 20 mile site. You won't need to carry much food, which will reduce the amount you need to carry a little bit. With what's left, I'd either get a rack and set of panniers, and a front rack, or ditch the panniers and carry a lightly loaded backpack; in either case the sleeping bag and tent will go on the racks--one on each.

It's a starting point. You can do it with your backpack, but it's really uncomfortable. If you do the shortest trip first, it'll give you a good idea of what you need to get/do/learn without being too far from home.
 

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I use a Transit seatpost rack and small panniers for 2 to 4 day touring. With superlight camping gear I usually can keep everything under 15 pounds, including the rack.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Wow, a ton of informative stuff out there!

So I've weighed my summer pack with what I think are the essentials that can fit in the backpack and it has come out to 15 pounds, without food (including backpack). I don't have enough space to pack a tent pad, so thats sort of a bummer.

I know in a non cycling community, my friends are going to think I'm nuts cycling to a campground, but I like the self-suffiency aspect of it all. Being able to ride there, have fun... drink a few beers and swim is going to be great. I can always find some space to stash a pack of Hebrew National's, and buns if need be.

I really don't see the difference between this, and commuting with my laptops and books to class/work/etc... but adding another 10/20/50 miles~ :rolleyes: :rolleyes: :rolleyes: For economics, there is no way I am going to lug a BOB behind me. I just don't have the cash or the necessity for one. If I needed to lug more, I would just ride my seven speed, and put the blackburn rack back on it. I guess I really should be looking at a camping ride as a commute....

Now, what about those aluminum framed backpacks? the Day-pack/Trekking packs?
or things like this? I've never placed my eyes on a backpack that was over $100... http://www.rei.com/product/778469

I'm sure that wouldn't be comfortable on a long ride, but then again, maybe I don't need one on the occasions when I am meeting up with people...
 

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What'd I do?
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It sounds a bit like you're looking for solutions to problems you don't have. You don't seem to mind putting some weight on your back; that's good. (You may get tired of it, but in the short term, it's a slight asset, no?) That doesn't mean there aren't other ways that you might like better. I'd suggest using the short trips to experiment with a couple of those ideas. Inexpensive things that might make your trip more enjoyable.

Rear racks can be cheap. Try one, see how you like it. Maybe you like carrying less weight, but don't like the way the rack handles without panniers, which put the weight lower. There's a lot of gear out there, some of it's useful, some of it not so much. Start with the cheap stuff.

Oh, and the rack would let you carry a sleeping pad.

The bag you linked to is very large, which gets awkward on a bike. I would stick to something more modest. Stick with what REI calls daypacks, and make sure nothing comes up over the shoulders, as that would hit you in the back of the head as you ride. The internal frame won't hurt, but may not help much. You can usually take it out, if you want, though.
 

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hello
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Check out this site if you haven't done so yet.
 

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abominable slowman
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I second bikepacking.net. You'll get some good tips there. And from this article on Adventure Cycling

http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/ultralight.cfm

I ride with a backpack a lot--commuting to meetings, grocery shopping, moutnain biking with lots of extra gear and 100 oz of water in the camelbak. Keep the weight down and it's fine. But skip the big pack from REI (3000 cubic inches is way too much to carry on your back while biking). Too much weight, though, and your "soft tissues" will be hurting big time! Use whatever small pack you have now, or if you need a new one (for comfort reasons?) shoot for something 1500 cubic inches or less. Then spend a few bucks on either a rear rack, a front rack, or one of those giant Burley saddlebags (there's been a few threads about these bags lately...and there are ways to attach a rack to any bike...do a search). You can also strap things to the handlebars, fork crown, top tube etc. See this site for potential products or just ideas on where strap things to the bike: http://www.carouseldesignworks.com/

I'm planning similar trips and I just can't stand the idea of carrying 50 or 60 pounds of gear on the bike. So that means I won't be doing any extended, self-supported trips. It's either going to be one-night trips or "credit card touring."

Good luck and have fun!!
 

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If you already have a backpack and you`re trying to check out the situation on the cheap, that still sounds to me like the way to go. If you`re going to drop some cash anyway, I`d say it makes a lot more sense to drop it towards something more comfortable- trailer (which you already said you don`t want), rack, giant saddlebag, whatever. If there`s a compatibility issue with racks on your bike, I think there are some cheapo racks on the market now that use skewer mount systems, along with the nice solid ones that have been there.

A few more ideas- maybe one of them strikes your fancy:
Look for a room rather than camp, catch a friend camping the same weekend and send the majority of your stuff with him, go ultralight like the guys on bikepacker.net
 

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The Transit rack pictured above can be reinforced using steel framing straps from Home Depot (appx $7) and four P clips from the same store ($5).

Mount the Transit seat post rack to your seat post (the rack with the sides), then measure the distance between the rack and your seatstay. Cut the steel framing strap to this length, then connect the strap with P clips on both the seatstay and rack.

I've done it. With a Surly fixed gear.

If you do this, you can strap old nylon bags to the sides of your "new" rack without worry. "Make" a handlebar bag out of an old fanny pack and you're good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
Hmm, putting the blackburn on my seven speed may be the way to go when riding out to the further distance sites. I've had one of these on and off of it for a while:


My reasoning behind the big goofy backpack was in order to fit my sleeping bag into it, along with a pair of shoes, socks and non-cycling shorts. My current sleeping bag is about 18" tall x 9" in diameter.

Having this and my tent case Roughly 16" long, x 4"x4" could fit pretty easily on the rack, since it's less than ten pounds for both.

This guy on the Bikepacking.net site has a pretty good idea of what I'm shooting for sans handlebar bag:


lalahsghost said:
Single Person Tent
Light 1-person sleeping bag
standard flat/repair kit stuffs
reading book
I'm more than sure my bike headlamp will work as a flashlight~
Swimming trunks + sandals.
Lighter. + 16"x6.5" mesh grill for hot dogs :)
Liquids or food for breakfast/dinner. + more liquids the next day.
Other than the previously listed stuff, what else would you suggest to carry on an overnighter?

Rivendell's Grant Peterson takes enough for an army on his S24O's... and rodar y rodar brilliantly reminded me to bring a camera!

I'm sorry for the flip-floppy and ignorant discussion on all of this, I'm just trying to think of a lightweight solution, and playing each side of it in my crazy point of view.
 

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abominable slowman
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I think you've got the right approach. For a one-nighter you can do without a lot of things. You'll find packing lists on the adventure cycling website. It's way too much but it might give you ideas of what to bring. I'd guess that the pack in that picture you posted is about 1800 cubic inches...in that ball park. My day pack is 2500 cubic inches and I can't imagine filling it and then riding 20 miles.

You'll easily be able to strap the tent and sleeping bag to your rack. Use the backpack for clothing and small items.

I'd always pack a fleece jacket or down vest in case it gets chilly but maybe that's not a problem for you. If you're going to a campground with grills and a camp store, you can forget the mesh grill.
 
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