Thursday, June 18, 2009

One Ton Paceline - Update

There are now 14 people interested in riding to Hillsdale Lake and camping out for the One Ton Paceline group S24O on July 25th and 26th.

John C and his wife make the two newest potential victims riders. As I talked with John this morning on the bus, some good points were made.

There are some things we simply won't need fifteen of. When you're touring in a group, some resources can be shared between riders as long as not everyone needs to use them all at once: certain cookware items, stoves, flashlights, and recreation gear are examples where not every single person needs to bring one along. Experimenting with my camp stove, I have figured out it will burn for 2 hours on high and that it will boil 2 cups of water in less than 4 minutes. If we have one camp stove for every 3-4 participants, it's probably plenty.

On this trip, we won't need to worry about carrying water filters or a lot of water (just enough to drink on the ride) because there will be running drinkable water at our camp site.

Late July is close to the hottest part of the year. Around here, highs generally stay under 100 but triple-digit temps are not unheard-of. Sitting around and stewing in the hottest part of the day has the potential to suck. Bring sunscreen and consider some activities that will keep your mind off the heat. I plan on fishing, frisbee and swimming.

Also, for the guys: If you wear a pair of swimming trunks around the campsite, you might not even need to worry about packing "real" shorts to wear during the day. You probably won't need to pack a towel to dry off with after swimming, either. I don't plan on packing one. I don't plan on sharing someone else's, either. Ew.

Bed roll: This time of year in Kansas, overnight temperatures are usually in the high 60s/low 70s and unless you get cold very easily, you can probably get by with sleeping on a light camp-mat and a sheet with perhaps a small pillow or duffel stuffed with clothes to rest your head on.

On the advice from several readers, I have started looking into meals that are more satisfying and nutritious than ramen noodles while still remaining non-perishable and reasonably lightweight. I plan on TRYING some of this stuff at home before relying on it in the field. Wal-Mart's selection of Mountain House freeze-dried food is pretty meager, but the prices are almost half of what sporting goods stores are asking for the same things. I picked up one meal to see how tolerable it is.

Also, last night on Craigslist, I saw a great deal on military MREs. Chris and I are splitting them. I haven't ever eaten an MRE (soon to change) but I've heard military-types jocularly call them "Meals, Refusing To Exit". I will probably "Field Strip" one or two of these if I end up using them for the S24O trip. The packaging is bulky and some of the contents aren't going to be needed. The built-in food warmer is interesting, though. I probably won't even need to use a stove for at least one of my meals if I decide to bring MREs along.

Getting half of the box of MREs downtown today (in order to give them to Chris) was an interesting exercise in seeing how much crap would really fit in one of my panniers.

I'm interested to hear some other suggestions from the crowd for lightening and sharing the load when touring in a group.


Sirrus Rider said...

Meals Ready to Eat= Three lies for the price of one!

Anonymous said...

Try a sham-wow or one of those little chamois towels that swimmers use. They pack small but wick a ton of water off you quickly.
Walmart has Sham Wows. We have something similar we bought years ago and they work well.

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