I’m going to try and do a multi-day ride later this month. I’ll be tent camping along the way and then riding the train home. I’ve been planning it for a few weeks now and tonight I packed all my gear for the first time. The result was 20 lbs sticking off my back, which made it difficult to mount and ride (though maybe I’d adjust to it). I started shedding everything I could (including some water) and got down to about 16 lbs, which is still uncomfortable but better.
I’m planning 240 miles over 6 days. My longest day is 47 miles but my average day is 40 miles. I know this isn’t far to many of you, but I’m still a fairly new (and unskilled) unicyclist. I’m confident I’ll get through it though as long as I can keep from getting injured. The trick will be trying to recover from each ride before I go again the next day. It won’t help that I’ll be sleeping on the ground.
I’d thought I’d post my gear for anyone else planning a long-ish trip, and to take suggestions. I’ll start in the top-left of the picture and go clockwise:
camera and mini camera tripod (camera not shown for obvious reasons)
cell phone (also not shown)
backup batteries for headlamp and camera
Chamois butt’r for each day
phone card (as a cell phone backup)
laundry detergent dissolving strips
the smallest tent I could find
Clif bars (as a backup for planned food stops)
caffeinated jelly beans
microfiber shower towel
backpack with 2 liter water reservoir
clothes…I’ll need to find a sink to do laundry every couple days
smallest book I could find that seemed interesting (Red Badge of Courage)
hex wrenches, metric multi-wrench, pedal wrench
metallic “space” blanket
knife/spoon/fork combo tool (I may ditch this because I won’t be cooking)
Jack - I considered the hammock option, but would prefer having a roof over my head. Plus the camping hammocks I saw were about the same size (or bigger) than my packed 1-man tent.
vookash - Thanks for the tips. I will look at strapping a couple things to my frame and/or my luggage rack. I put a rack on back of my uni a few weeks ago to get used to it…I was probably inspired by seeing your pictures. My rack isn’t as level as yours, but it gets the job done (I hope).
Wayne - The backpack is comfortable in itself, but when it’s full it’s heavy. It’s not as nice as the one vookash used, but it’s also about 1/5 the cost. I’ll probably go through everything again tonight and find more stuff I can take out.
Shmolagin - Probably curse, then cry, then start calling around for a ride. But if I’m close enough to a bike shop, I’ll head towards there. If not, I’m screwed. But in another thread I got the impression carrying a tube and levers wouldn’t do me a lot of good due to the difficulty of getting a 36" tire off the rim.
If I make it through the entire trip, I’ll try and share any tips here.
Shmoligan, since you live in the area you’ll be able to duplicate the ride if you want. I’ve got an itinerary with all my planned food and camping stops, repair shops, pertinent phone numbers, etc. If you ever decide to do the Katy on a uni, I can send that to you and save you a lot of trouble. Of course, if you want to do 100 miles per day, my itinerary won’t be much use to you.
You can go in a bike shop and buy a bottle of Slime sealant. You pour some in your tube and you are protected against most punctures. Then you just need a small pump and to stay away from bad situation where your tube can be REALLY damaged (if it is pry opened, the sealant won’t help…).
Siddhartha - Some other folks have mentioned Slime too. I’ve looked at the products, but I’m skeptical about pumping a bunch of liquid into my tube. Have you used the stuff? I would be more inclined to try it if I had a couple months before the ride, but I’m getting close now and hate to experiment too much.
That looks a pretty heavy backpack - as in the backpack itself, rather than what it contains. If I manage a backpacking trip with my son as planned in the next few weeks I’ll be carrying stuff in one of these which probably weighs half what that does.
OK so I’m only going for 1 night, but I’d expect my pack to be a huge amount lighter than yours, including cooking equipment and food - that’s based on the pack weights I used to have when doing races involving overnight camps. I think I was usually down to ~5kg (11lbs), including sleeping bag, which is something you appear to be missing…
The secret to getting such a low pack weight is obsessing about every single item. For example your headtorch is far heavier than the Petzl E+lite I’ll be taking. Also quite a few items I’d be leaving at home - even for a 6 night trip it’s surprising what you can survive without. Of course it does all depend what comforts you like, but for me the comfort of riding with a lighter pack has always trumped comforts in camp - and that’s been on a bike where pack weight is far less significant.