One of the most common reasons for folks who want to start bike touring for recreational health or pleasure is amount of time away from work and family obligations or they simply cannot afford it financially.
Therefore finding a good price on quality affordable gear for shorter bike camping outings is fun and creates new opportunities for folks interested in bicycle touring.
Outdoor Products Dry Sack is just such a find, available in a package of three with varying sizes. Use link provided or click on photo. Great prices.
At Rivendell Bicycle Works there is a good description of why quick one night bike trips are more practical for those with jobs and families. Long, exotic bike tours through Europe may not be practical for a lot of folks but is no reason to give up on fun bike camping trips.
Dubbed the S240 for Sub 24 Hour Overnight, it's a cute idea that those folks at Rivendell have contributed to the bike touring community. However, I know I do not need a hundred dollar camp axe or a $120 cook set to enjoy myself on what I like to refer to simply as a bike vacation. Whether it's one or two nights, doesn't matter, two weeks would be nice too. Two months even better and that's probably about the longest bike vacation I would want to go on at this point in my life and I could change my mind about that.
When discussing bicycle touring or reading the popular blog authors most motivational topics discussed are fondness for food, people, gear and equipment that performs well, scenery and lastly the personal physical challenges of their rides. Back to the topic of an Overnight Packing List. If you're someone interested in stealth camping and need a bike trailer with camouflage and bush whacking stuff, this list is not for you. Go to Yonder Journal for their ideas on apocalypse training. Camping is camping and doing so legally in the open so you can relax is much more enjoyable than trying to hide for fear of an angry farmer or rancher yelling at you for trespassing. Sure that could be fun too I guess, my point is that when I go on a bike vacation it is to exercise, feel good and experience a pleasant camp atmosphere along the way. So, here is the concise authoritative list for an overnight bike vacation, not really.
1. Bike 2. Book 3.Bags 4.Bread
Looks silly but it works. Get your bike, a nice book, three smallish bags (panniers, handlebar bag or hydration pack) and pack enough bread (food) to not only nourish yourself but enjoy a camp cooked meal. Be creatively efficient while prepping for such a "night out". What you find useful to put in your bags is for you. Not a coffee drinker? Then why pack it? Don't want to attract raccoons to your goody bag? Consider some sort of zip lock bag or tupperware item to contain the scent of food. Raccoons can be a common nuisance most any place and utter disregard for their potential presence only invites them. Clean plates, cookware, utensils and pack trash away after a meal.
Common sense makes for a nice time.
1. Bike: Check that racks are tight and bags or panniers are secured. Give your bike a thorough look over checking for tire damage and the like. Have a spare tube, patch kit and tire levers for flat repair. Multi tool or a few select tools for your particular bike. Lights have fresh batteries or are charged, whether riding at night or not bike lights are nice to have at camp site. Clipless pedals or padded shorts may or may not be necessary for shorter rides and is of personal preference.
2. Book: Content I prefer is humorously inspirational that contributes to relaxing after a day of riding. Or because I enjoy photo opportunities so much I might bring along the camera owner's manual to brush up on the finer aspects of camera capabilities. Whatever is relaxing and enjoyable for your evening bike camp pleasure. A small note pad for jotting things down and something to write with.
3. Bags: This is so open ended and there are no hard and fast rules concerning what "should" be put in there. Common sense helps probably not a good idea to try packing a cast iron Dutch Oven to cook with. Not too bulky nor too heavy is the idea. Packing too much weight for a simple getaway as the one being discussed only tends to feel burdensome and redundant. Tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad on rack, pillow in bag, candle lantern, bike travel radio, cell phone, small towel, light weight loose fitting shirt and pants (casual attire),
4. Bread: Other than covering sleep needs for coziness, cooking an aromatic and satisfying meal can be a lot of fun provided it is packed properly. Lots of quality backpacking stoves are available from Esbit, Trianga, Solo Stove, etc. at varying price points. Or visit Tom Allen's site for making a camp stove from a beer can. Simple snacks are nice to have for the morning and an energy drink for the ride home. Not necessary to discuss nutrition here but just to be clear when I say energy drink I refer to any number of the green powder products available (ie Very Green from Trader Joe's or Greens Today). One or two tablespoons added to water for a good morning dose of beneficial supplements is light weight and easy to pack.
So, closing with quote from a friend at a bicycle touring group: "I've found bike equipment is personal taste. The best thing I did was to take a couple smaller trips to get use to my comfort level. I'm still changing my mind as what equipment to take. If in doubt, take it. You can always ship it home".
Some of the equipment he uses is very light weight, practical in every sense with ease of use and proven quality items.
Repair parts and other useful tips. Visit his blog by clicking on his photo. Good Stuff.
Links related to this topic:
Pack Kit List for Multi Day Bike Touring