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What Goes Where: The Carradice Camper Main Compartment

March 2, 2011 7 comments

The main compartment of the Carradice Camper Long Flap is cavernous.  The entire bag including side pockets has a 24 liter (1465 Cubic Inches) capacity.  Couple this with a roomy handlebar bag and you will have as much carrying capacity as many thru-hikers on the Appalachian Trail.  Inside the spacious main compartment the goes bulk of your gear (clothing, hammock, sleeping quilt, whatever you like) will ride in dry comfort.  I’ve ridden through several heavy down pours and never had any issue with soggy gear, due to the heavy cotton duck fabric construction of the CC Long Flap.  Line it with a trash bag if you are riding into excessively wet weather as a precaution, but otherwise, there’s no need to bother.  A draw string closure under the flap allows for overstuffing.  Bulky items, such as a tent, can be secured under the flap.  I’m convinced that with proper care, duck cotton and leather straps will outlast nylon containers with plastic clip closures.

Thanks for reading, Jack

Another way to go: Light but not Ultralight

January 29, 2011 5 comments

It’s difficult to pin down a total weight including gear for this tourer.  Every time I’ve gone out with this setup I’ve packed it differently according to where I was touring, length of the trip, weather conditions and so on.  But without gear, the bike, racks, fenders and bags weigh in at 40 pounds.  Not bad for an all steel bike with metal fenders, a decent rear rack, small front rack and kickstand.

 The Carradice saddlebag and Ostrich handlebar bag offer plenty of cargo space.  So the trick is to resist the urge to stuff them full.  This is a trick I haven’t mastered yet, and I’ll even strap a few things to the rack.  This is something I intend to correct this year as I focus on trimming down my kit.  

More to come, Jack

 Personal note:  From my general practitioner, to the orthopedist, to a consultation with a surgeon and now on to four weeks of physical therapy before making a decision regarding options.  It seems that I have both a torn ACL and meniscus in my left knee.  Hopefully with a few weeks of PT the knee will be stable enough to do without the ACL repair and just repair the meniscus.  Rehab will be much quicker and I’ll be back on my bike sooner.

What Goes Where: A Sub-35 Pound Touring Rig (with gear!)

January 22, 2011 3 comments

Part of the fun of touring is figuring out how to make it all work.  This is especially true for Ultralight touring.  Here’s a look at my take on the UL touring rig, only one of the countless ways to tour lighter.

A 2005 Specalized Sequoia with a single Nashbar (small front) pannier riding on the side of a cheap Blackburn rack.  Inside goes a Hennessey Hammock, sleeping bag liner, titanium cooking mug with stove, a change of clothes, some basic hygiene and first aid items.  All this with a little room left over for a dehydrated meal or two.  A small Wal-Mart saddlebag for the essential fix-a-flat stuff and upfront a Topeak handlebar bag for camera, wallet and odds and ends.  Minus food and water this rig weighs in under 35 pounds.  

This rig works well in warmer weather when leaving the heavy sleeping bag, fleece jacket and extra clothing behind.   This is also a great way to go when credit-card touring or doing quick short trips.

What Goes Where: Carradice Camper Long Flap &The Kitchen

January 19, 2011 4 comments

Snow Peak makes great titanium cooking mugs and the Snow Peak 700 is a perfect fit for the outside pocket of the Carradice Camper Long Flap.  There is over three inches of free space remaining atop the pot.  That’s enough room for a baggie of coffee grounds or a few servings of Couscous or oats.  Inside the cooking mug go the windscreen, lighter, spork, fuel tabs or alcohol burner.  By keeping the menu limited to simple dishes prepared by only boiling water, I’m able to fit my entire kitchen into one of the side pockets.

 One drawback is the soot rubbing off on the inside of the pocket.  A thin nylon stuff sack would do the trick, or dedicate this pocket to only carrying the mug.  Since this is a snug fit, I find it easier to load the mug before loading the main compartment.  It’s not a big deal, just a bit easier especially if you have the bag over stuffed.

Thanks for reading, Jack

What Goes Where

January 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Earlier this month I asked for feedback from readers and I had a number of requests for more information on packing and touring with the Carradice Camper Long Flap.  One of the most frequently visited posts on The Velo Hobo is the Carradice Camper Long Flap Review ; there is a lot of interest in touring with the CC Long Flap.  My experience with it has been very positive and I believe it’s a great way tour lighter.

So in response, over the next few weeks I’ll do a series of posts entitled “What Goes Where” detailing not only the CC Long Flap, but Ostrich Handlebar bag and the even lighter set up on my Sequoia.  As it says on top of the page, I’m not an expert, so please feel free to add any thoughts or comments you have. 

Thanks, Jack

Carradice Camper Long Flap Review

September 26, 2009 8 comments

If you’re going touring, you may want to carry some stuff. You could get yourself some really big ole panniers and stuff the bejesus out of them with tons of gear. Or you could get a dry bag, toss in a few necessities and strap it to the rear rack. Or you may want to consider a tried and true method, a saddle bag, if you can find one. Panniers come in an assortment of sizes, shapes and colors from several different manufacturers. Options for saddle bags large enough to tour with are limited to just a few.

Two RVs Passing

Two RVs Passing

The Carradice saddle bag has been around a long time and before the days of clip-on panniers made of space-age water proof material, this or something similar is what people used. But of course humans can never leave well enough alone. Anyway you can still get Carradice bags and a few cottage mom and pop’ers are making similar bags. If you are thinking of trimming a few pounds off your touring kit this is a good way to go.

The Carradice Camper Long Flap is larger than a trunk bag and smaller than a set of rear panniers making it a good choice for ultra light touring. Unlike a dry bag, you still have access to your things without unpacking and repacking it. Also unlike a dry bag, it ain’t dry, so line it with a trash bag and you’re all good to go.

My Snow Peak 700 is a perfect fit for the side pocket with room left over. So I can fit my entire kitchen in one side pocket! With a draw-string closure and an expandable top flap the bag can be overstuffed easily. There are metal attaching points on the flap to bungee or tie extra gear. Made of sturdy canvas and thick leather straps, it should last years and the olive green is a good match to the Ostrich handlebar bag. Mine recently carried two weeks worth of touring and camping gear without complaint. I highly recommend it.

Read the latest CC Long Flap posts.

I purchased mine at Wallingford Bicycle Parts and was very pleased with the service.

 Thanks for reading, Jack

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