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Thread: Hello World!

  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    Hello World!

    So ummm.. yea. Hi there! I've been long stalking these forums reading through different threads and getting general ideas about what I want to do and
    how I will need to go about doing it. I'm not really new to the entire biking scene, but it has been one or two days since I last rode a bike,
    (before I picked up my bike).. as in, 10+ years.

    I prefer cross-country riding.. a bit of road, a bit of dirt, and some good technical rides.. weekend overnighters are what I'm primarily aiming for.
    For that, I got a 2013 Giant Revel 1. Good introductory bike from the reviews on it. My current/future build (any suggestions more than welcome!):

    Bags / Gear stashes:
    • Rear Rack
    • Frame bag from either relevateddesigns or porcelainrocket
    • Gas Tank bag
    • Handlebar bag
    • Rear rack / pannier bag combo thing I saw.. seems like it'll be better than what I originally had planned.
    • Small saddlebag for stuff like ID, keys, meds

    Bike Equipment:
    • Spare tubes (4)
    • CO2 gas pump
    • CO2 gas cartridges (6)
    • ToPeak Survival Gear Box
    • Front Headlight
    • Brake (rear) Light
    • Riding Glasses
    • Riding Gloves
    • Pedal Reflectors (for some reason, my after market pedals didn't come with em >.<)
    • Replacement Chain
    • Derailleur Hanger
    • Biking Multitool
    • Phone/GPS handlebar mount
    • Bell / Bear Bell / Compass.. ?
    • Bike Computer.. ?
    • Manual bike pump
    • Innertube patch kit (4)

    Camping Equipment:

    • First Aid Kit
    • QuikClot
    • Compass
    • Strike-Anywhere matches
    • Magnesium Fire Starter
    • Leatherman
    • Hunting Knife
    • 50' Paracord
    • CampFire / Cooking fire / Portal stove setup
    • Small tea/coffee kettle
    • Small Camping Cookware set
    • Sleeping bag (I have an artic bag now.. but I plan on getting one more for Ohio rather than Antartica).
    • 3 person tent (got this while in the military, coleman brand. packs EXTREMELY small and is lightweight.)
    • Camelpak HAWG
    • Handi-wipes
    • Alcohol pads
    • Zip-ties (various sizes)
    • Duct tape
    • Petzl MYO RXP Headlight
    • Texsport Folding Survival Shovel w/ Saw
    • Glow sticks
    • Hormel Hydrolyte (ORS)
    • Tent Ground Cloth

    Camera / Electronics Equipment (I'm a video-guy, and if I strike it rich.. what can I say )

    • GoPro Hero3 (3)
    • SanDisk 64GB microSDHC (15)
    • GoPro Lithium-Ion Batteries (6)
    • GoPro Mini-tripod-mount (1)
    • GoPro Frame Mount (3)
    • GoPro Handlebar Seatpost Mount (2)
    • GoPro Camera Roll Bar Mount (1)
    • Olympus TG-1 HIs Digital camera
    • SanDisk Ultra 64GB SDXC Memory cards
    • Brunton Explorer20 Solar Charger
    • Some type of GPS unit rather than using my Galaxy S3


    • Fleece/wool baselayer pants (2)
    • Fleece/wool baselayer shirt (2)
    • Red Poncho (1)
    • Shorts (2)
    • Pants (2)
    • Shirt (2)
    • T-shirts (2)
    • Gor-tex coat
    • Gor-tex pants
    • Flip-flops
    • Baselayer socks(?) (4)

    *Note: This isn't what I'll be packing all the time, different gear / load outs depending on length of stay / weather conditions.

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Looks pretty good. I don't see any glaring omissions, though I think you could dial back some of those items if you are just doing an overnighter and/or weather conditions are favorable. For example, 2 pairs of fleece, shorts, pants, etc. is not really necessary. I really just wear the same riding clothes both days and have an extra pair of long undies for sleeping. If chillier, I can wear my biking knickers, the long undie bottoms and my rain pants and that's pretty toasty. Up top, biking jersey, long underwear top (or 2), rain parka and maybe a fleece vest are good for anything from the low 40s on up around camp (less when riding). Long undies are nice to keep your bag clean inside and get out of those smelly clothes for a while.

    For socks, I wear a pair and bring an extra. I don't bother with additional shoes either.

    A 3 person tent is going to be fairly heavy, even if it is "lightweight." If there were three of your sharing the weight, no problem. Its not going to kill you to haul it around, but something to think about.

    I did not see a sleeping pad. Sleep stuff is an area I am willing to pay more for or suffer extra weight. A rotten night's sleep really cramps my style...

    I only carry a regular manual pump and don't bother with the CO2 cartridge things. They are heavy and generally, I have nothing but time to pump up flats.

    I wouldn't bring an extra chain unless on a longer trip (or if you think its about to fail). But if you do, make sure you have a link remover!

    Patch kit is important to have, but I did not see any Stan's or similar in there. That's going to save you BIG TIME if you don't already use it. Stan's can be poured right into the tube via the valve core, though it needs to be removable (all schraeders are, but not all prestas). I always have an extra bottle or two on me and that can make the difference between changing a tube and not. That stuff (Stan's) is magic...

    Your cook kit could probably lighten up a bit, too. I just bring a single pot and a cup along with the stove and utensils. I really like the Via instant coffees from Starbucks even though I am not generally a fan of their brewed coffee. But they are great! That way, just boil water, use some for coffee, the rest for oatmeal, and you are ready to roll and have minimized space, weight and dishes to clean. I use a homemade alcohol stove, though I also have an MSR Whisperlite if I felt it was needed. But for me, I am generally just boiling water for my meals. Others are more ambitious (and I want to eat their bacon!)

    The solar charger may not be necessary and I have heard their usefulness for this application is a little questionable (especially for cell phones. Not sure about the video equipment). A smaller alternative is one of the various charger units that use AA or AAA batteries. They are about $35 or so, not including the batteries (and you will want to use the pricey Lithiums)

    Another detail to keep in mind is that, depending on how you use your rack, you may not have much space for a seat bag (even a small one). Unless I really need the extra space, I am just strapping a bag to the top of the rack. My seat sits high, so I do have a little room to fit a smaller seatbag between this bag and the seat, but others may not (especially 29ers)

    Otherwise, you look ready to rock! Really, I would just say, when the weather warms, get out there for a simple, not too ambitious overnighter and see how it shakes out. Anything you didn't use and probably won't ever? Leave it out next time. I really didn't see anything crucial missing on your list (except maybe a sleeping pad!) so the only "problem" may be that the bike is heavier than it needs to be. But you will be stronger for it. And so stoked from your experience you'll be chomping at the next opportunity to get out.

  3. #3
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013

    For your recommendation on the patch kits... I thought I put those in (oops!). But they are on my "To Get" list. The actual list is much bigger than what I'll use 99% of the time.

    The battery chargers.. I'm still up in the air on what I want to do with that, and I suppose I have some time before I need to really think about it. Battery based rechargers, I agree, are waaay more reliable than solar power. Maybe a hybrid system? This will take some gadget hackery on my part though

    My current "end game" goal is a cross-state camping route that I've planned using google earth. The expedition is planned over the course of 2 weeks. I think I deserve a 2 week vacation, considering the fact for the last 20 years, I have yet to take any type of leave of absence or vacation.

    But of course, that means that I need to be able to do more than the 5 miles I'm currently at now

    In the spirit of baby steps, my current short term goal is a weekend trip to Clifton Gorge / Glen Helen / John Bryant State Park. Alot of the above will not be going with me, and is less than 30 miles away. Hopefully I'll be able to better gauge my wants vs. needs. And I will still be in, more or less, walking distance away from home (or at least, public transportation if need be).

    edit: Sleeping pads.. or beds, or anything foamy / relaxing sleeping items, tend to do a number on my back. It's actually less comforting, but less painful (o.O) to sleep on hard surfaces, heh. Between the sleeping bag, tent, and tent ground cloth, I'll actually be sleeping on softer stuff than what I do now, which is the floor w/o carpet. Go figure?
    Last edited by RandomGuyOnABike; 03-05-2013 at 02:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Slothful dirt hippie
    Reputation: verslowrdr's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Quote Originally Posted by RandomGuyOnABike View Post
    ...edit: Sleeping pads.. or beds, or anything foamy / relaxing sleeping items, tend to do a number on my back. It's actually less comforting, but less painful (o.O) to sleep on hard surfaces, heh. Between the sleeping bag, tent, and tent ground cloth, I'll actually be sleeping on softer stuff than what I do now, which is the floor w/o carpet. Go figure?
    It's a major bonus that you can handle the ground's hardness, but a pad isn't just about comfort. It's also about the earth not sucking all the heat out of your body as you lie on it directly. If that proves to be an issue you can get the ol' army surplus or yoga mats pretty cheap- they're firm but should still insulate you from the ground a bit. Or a z-rest if you don't want to go the total ghetto route.

    Honestly I'd try your sleeping lashup in the back yard before going anywhere and just make sure it works. This is a good time of year to pick a night that is predicted to get as cold as you can imagine it might in whatever places you do the usual 3-season camping (for us that's down to freezing in the mountains). Husby and I are re-gearing from scratch after 15+ years away from backpacking so we've actually now done multiple daytime test set-ups of the hammock gear we've gotten, the stove and cookware, etc. We've also had overnight test runs of our hammocks on the back porch on cold nights that proves my kit is dialed in, his is close but still requires a couple tweaks.

    Another enlightening pre-season activity is taking that gear list and seeing how it all crams into the bags you've got to work with, then attaching those to the bike and riding around the driveway a bit and making sure you're not dealing with some unforeseen irritating wrinkle. I had to use my 1998 second-backup-bike on a trip last summer and only discovered right at the trail head that the handlebar roll neatly clamped down the front V-brake. Fortunately we only had 4 miles to go and a lot of that was going to be HAB anyway since I had our daughter on a trail-a-bike, so I just flipped the roll over and lumbered along with it resting on the top tube.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Thanks for the advice, I'll do that this weekend

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