We normally pack the night or two before we leave on a cycle tour, but this trip was decided on so far in advance that we are feeling the pressure. We have everything we need, really, but too much thinking time ends up in endless conversations that start with, ‘I think we need one of those extra-special-lightweight-thingies’, and finish with, ‘it costs…how much?’.
One weekend, one week or a month, we seem to take roughly the same amount of items. This trip however, will require more food supplies and water than any trip we have done before, so we will be taking a trailer. We have our Ortlieb Rack-Pack in here, rather than on top of the rear rack, and will then add full water bladders as the need arises. Our solar panel conveniently fits on top for when we need to charge the ipad on the go.
Touring on a tandem is a bit limiting gear-wise, so we tend to use Ortlieb Back-Roller panniers on both the front and rear racks. We will also have our usual Ortlieb Ultimate 6 handlebar bag. Our Luci solar lights hang off the side of the panniers while we’re riding to get maximum sunlight.
To allow for more water cartage on the bike, we are using two medium Ortlieb frame bags. A 3 litre Camelbak water bladder fits nicely into each one, giving us more water capacity than we had before. We are also taking two 4L and two 10L Ortlieb water bladders, which takes our water carrying potential up to 37.5L (including the five 700ml bottles you can see on the bike).
Our test run today weighed in at 82kg including the tandem and trailer, but not including any water or the fresh food we’ll throw in the day we leave. With maximum water on board, we reckon we will be pushing about 120kg!
We are all for lightweight, but we are also keen to be pretty self-sufficient. There will be limited opportunity for resupply in sections, and we like to eat well!
6 days to go…hope we haven’t bitten off more than we can chew!