I've done touring on paved roads, but as you're riding throughout the day (versus my early morning 2-4 hour fun rides) it's busy with cars so I'm looking for another touring option, with more exploration than a pre-designed route. I like the idea of picking a destination and getting there off the beaten track...and maybe not even ending up at that precise destination.
I have two bikes I ride on gravel/dirt roads and both can accept panniers. One is aluminum with disks and 40mm tires, the other is chromoly with rim brakes and 32 tires. The latter handles gravel roads and rail trails, the other can do some non-technical singletrack and works better in wet conditions.
I know this is a mountain bike forum, but I noticed a Trek 520 thread here so figured that folks may use a variety of bikes for their expeditions?
In terms of gear, I have Ortlieb rear panniers, and that's it. I would need to add a lightweight tent, bag and sleeping bag, or some variation of sleeping gear. I probably wouldn't cook, as the areas I would ride (not far from where I live) have enough towns, etc., that I could just 'eat out'. With a young family I don't do much touring (longest was 4 days), so this would be for 2-3 day stints.
Anyone have a similar experience to mine and if so can you share some tips and things to consider (re: choice of bike, gear, bike handling loaded vs un-loaded on gravel/dirt, etc.). Just looking to absorb some information at this point.
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