Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Since people are asking what to bring on an S24O

I've had a few emails from people asking what they should be prepared to bring on their bike camping trip. This applies not just for S24O adventures. These are things you might want to take if you're backpacking or doing a short overnight camping trip too. Obviously you won't want ALL of this stuff, but it's a good place to get some ideas.


  • Camp pad
  • Sheet or light blanket (or sleeping bag, depending on climate)
  • Small pillow

Lightweight food that doesn't need refrigeration
  • Sandwiches
  • Dehydrated Fruits and jerkies
  • Dry Soups
  • Specialty: Freeze Dried Meals or MREs


A change of clothes. You aren't really going to go the whole trip in your bicycling/hiking digs are you? 
  • If so: Ew. Icky. Gross. Camp far away from me. :P
Fire is Good
  • Flint/steel starter (sometimes with magnesium)
  • Waterproof matches
  • Windproof lighter
  • Knife
  • Basic multi-tool
  • Bike stuff (tubes, patches, air pump or CO2?)
First aid
  • Antiseptic
  • Bandages
  • This list can get very long. Don't over-do it. You're camping.

Nice to have 
  • Tent
  • tarp
  • bug net
Some way to cook, prepare or eat food if required
  • mess kit
  • pot
  • stove
  • fork
Hygiene (fellow campers will thank you)
  • Mouth wash
  • soap
  • comb
  • towel
  • rag
  • Swimwear
  • Camera
  • Book
  • Binoculars
  • Frisbee
  • Fishing gear
  • Flashlight, book light or small lantern (for after dark)
  • Marshmallows for roasting
  • Star charts
  • The list goes on and on...

This time, I am packing:
  • Bible
  • Tent
  • Light fleece sleeping bag
  • Small pillow
  • Shorts/T-shirt
  • MRE/Freeze-dried meals
  • AA Mini-Mag Flashlight
  • Mess kit (with a Lexan SPORK!!! Sporks are AWSOME!!!)
  • Penny Stove
  • Fire (lighter and flint)
  • EVERCLEAR. (it's fuel and anti-septic, I promise.)
  • Small fist-aid kit
  • Extra Socks
  • Camera
  • Radio
  • Mouth wash (or should I use everclear? I promise I'll spit it out.)
  • Comb
  • Rag
  • Bike Bottles
  • Single-person Coffee press (and maybe enough coffee grounds to go around. maybe.)
  • Frisbee
  • Fishing gear
  • Swim trunks
  • Mobile Phone
  • Cable lock
  • My usual wedge pack commuter bike fixing stuff
Thanks to some research, warmer weather, and cheap/free lighter-weight gear, I've figured out how to get my load scaled down significantly, allowing me to pack some more fun goodies.  Props to Apertome for pointing out the old "strap the tent poles to the top tube" trick. 

That may sound like a LOT of stuff (and it is) but rest assured it is a mere 23 pounds added to the bike -- about 8 pounds less than the last time. Honestly, I've probably had the bike weighted down with 23 pounds a few times on my commute. To compare, this is how my bike looked last time:

Last time, both panniers were stuffed almost to capacity. This time, I actually have enough room in them to pack the bedroll and tent within, but I figure it's better to keep them on the rack and avoid puffing out the panniers too much.

I took the bike for about a mile ride with this gear, and it handles quite well. Riding with the poles attached to the top tube will take some getting used to.


Scott Redd said...

Looks like fun. I'm wanting to do something like this somewhere around Omaha before winter.

Can't wait to see the photos from the trip.

Steven said...


Nothing better than soup and sandwich. Ramen noodle soup with the bowl. (Yes it costs more. But what is 20 cents vs 80 cents?) Then don't laugh... but spam. Cut out hot dog sized pieces and put them on a stick and cook them over a fire. For bread use tortilla shells or some other type of flat bread that won't get squished.

Also, steal condiments from restraunts or gas stations and put them in a ziploc bag.

Dehydrated food is pretty nasty. But I don't blame anyone for buying it. The kid in all of us thinks it is so cool.

Man, I so wanna S24O. :(

Apertome said...

Great post. I'm sure this will help a lot of people. I've never made a complete list myself, but I always refer to the excellent Rivendell list when I'm packing.

The top tube trick is a great one. I found I hardly even noticed the poles being there. That said, your poles look a little bulkier. Still, you'll adjust.

Steven's suggestion of Ramen is a good one. For breakfast, oatmeal is a great, lightweight, easy-to-carry food. And while I'm normally a coffee drinker, I generally bring tea on S24O trips instead. Not quite as caffeinated, but tea bags are very easy to carry, and easier to make.

Oh, don't forget to bring some bug spray!

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