Like backpacking, self-supported bicycle touring is all about size and weight. It’s pretty common for cyclists to post their equipment lists. I could send you ours, too, if you really wanted to see it (it’s a 4-page spreadsheet). But here are a few of the more interesting items (okay, not so weird) in our packs:
|Nylon straps to secure the tent and sleeping bag to the rack. Bungee cords are heavier, and can’t secure as wide a range of loads. Straps will make just about any cardboard box into a backpack, or a suitcase with a handle. Also, they can be worn as fashionable belts.|
Gotta have chopsticks. They’re both eating and cooking utensils.
|Tie wraps. If anything comes loose, they stand at the ready|
|See the little release tab on the latch of the tie-wrap? That lets us use them over and over again.|
|An iPod Touch. I don’t have an iPhone, but that would work, too. This is not so much for playing music, as to run a few handy applications, like an alarm clock and Bible. It’s also a quick way to get on the internet at a Wi-Fi hotspot.|
If I’m going to carry an instrument, what could be lighter?
|Kung Fu Shoes. Not to do martial arts or anything, but because they are simply the thinnest, lightest shoes for off-bike use, that can still pass for shoes. I could wear these into church or a 4-star restaurant, because nobody really looks at men’s shoes, anyway.|
|No GPS, intentionally. I want to interact and ask for directions. Also on the “no” list: pepper spray, air horn, weapons of any kind. Except of course, my Secret Illegal Ninja Moves from the Government.|