Our Bikes

Limiting pack space is a great strategy for reducing weight. I know myself, and if I carried a full set of panniers I’d fill them up. I ride a Specialized Sequoia for credit card touring and usually carry a Nashbar trunk bag and/or small day-tripper panniers. It’s more than enough if I’m not carrying camping gear. Many folks carry everything in a dry-bag lashed to their rack, but I like having access to my stuff without pulling everything out and then repacking it. We recently did a five day trip at the Outer Banks of North Carolina and my wife Raquel carried all her stuff in a trunk bag. For heftier loads with camping and cooking gear I’m riding a Surly Travelers Check and carrying my gear in a saddle bag and large handlebar bag. We’re just back from a couple of weeks on the Blue Ridge Parkway and that setup worked great.

Sequoia on ferry

I’m not into counting ounces. I’d rather just eyeball things and use common sense. I know my Pepsi can stove weighs less than my Trangia stove, my sleep sheet weighs less than my sleeping bag and so on. I don’t think it’s necessary to obsess over exact numbers. To me that would tend to suck all the fun out of touring and it’s not like there’s a trophy for touring with the lightest kit. I know there are some folks who would cut the handle off their toothbrush in order to shave a gram off their total weight…I’m just not ready to go there.

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I look forward to sharing ideas with others and exploring ways to tour lighter.
Thanks, Jack

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