He who would travel happily must travel light- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
ON the left you can see the equipment, clothing and spare parts I crammed into my panniers just hours before taking off on 1th of march 2009. And NO, I did neither pack the pot-plant nor the bed, nevertheless, it was a tight fight, I can tell you. Convinced I had packed just the necessary items -once all four bicycle-panniers plus tent plus sleeping pad where attached to their corresponding racks - I had to realize that I could barely lift the bike.
After a couple of days cycling I disposed of a lot of items that I had packed double the necessary quantity or "just in case". Once in Morrocco, I sent a "post restante" package containing 5 kilos of equipment to my own name towards Tanger, which would be the port of exit. In Scotland I stored half my luggage at friends place before cycling from Northern Scotland back to Edinburgh.
Today, nearly one year after I set off, I am carrying a minimal amount of stuff (for me it is!). My gear was about 17 kgs (except food and water supplies) when I took the flight from Scotland to Norway. But then I tend to accumulate stuff, so I force myself to check my panniers every now and then for "dead" items and leave them behind, give them to someone as a gift or simply ride up to the nearest trash can...
Camping: Vaude Hogan Ultralight tent (1.5 kg) CUMULUS Quantum 450 Down sleeping-bag Silk sleeping bag liner ThermaRest ProLite Small sleeping pad Evazote sleeping pad (full length, 0.5 cm) Rock pegs for hard ground, spare tent pegs Petzl headlamp Sports towel
Cooking: PRIMUS Multifuel stove, fuel bottle and 1.5 litres pot Thermos Lunch container and thermos bottle simple plastic plate and spoon Victorinox MultiTool Plastic container and ZipLoc bags for fod Water container (3 litres w/shower cap) 2-3 PET Waterbottles 1.5 litres Collapsable sink (for doing the washing, the dishes or simply to have a shower..) Lighter and matches, small sponge, liquid soap, assortment of stock cubes and tea bags
Clothes (spring to autumn): 1 fleece-pullover &1 fleece-vest 2 shirts, 1 t-shirt MONTANE eVent Rainjacket and -Pants 1 thermal long sleeve 2 pair of socks and underwear 1 pair of zip-off pants/ 1 pair of shorts Buff & light gloves cap & sunglasses 1 pair of cycling-boots and light sandals
ETC. Canon G10 camera, cell phone, Netbook + respective chargers, MP3 player, maps, passports, vaccination documents,bank cards, wallet, (money-)belt, spare battery and memory card for camera, USB card reader, pens, needle and thread, compass, whistle, signal vest, small cable & (tiny) lock, tripod, some family fotos, notebook, couple of plastic bags.
Bike spares: couple of spokes, spare chain and tool, multitool, cassette removing tool, lube, puncture set, spare washers and bolts, Magura brake blocks, Magura repair set, spare inner-tube
Winter Packing List:
Clothes: Fleece Hat Fleece Balaclava Windstopper Buff Sunglasses Two pair of gloves Thermal underwear (2 pairs) Socks (1 pair Coolmax, 2 pair wool) Fleece Pants with windblocking front 2 Fleece-Pullover Fleece-Vest EVENT Rainjacket and Pants Winterboots with thermal liner Pieces of Fleece-cloth to keep nose and crotch warm
Extra Winter Gear: Additional light summer sleeping-bag + silk liner Thermos bottle and thermos food-container Thermometer Schwalbe Marathon Winter tires (spiked for grip on ice and compacted snow) Winter tent pegs & extra sleeping pad Fire-lighter PLATYPUS drinking system
Get a bicycle. You will not regret it if you live ~ Mark Twain
My first ride is (was) a simple but sturdy german Velotraum with steel frame and 26" wheels. It is (was) equipped with Shimano XT components, Rigida Grizzly rims, road handlebar combined with end shifters, Magura HS66 hydraulic brakes, Shimano M-324 pedals (these allow me to use normal as well as cycling shoes with clips or just sandals), Tubus front and rear racks, fenders, a beautiful Brooks B17 leather saddle (in total, I cycled more than 12.000 kilometers sitting on this "sofa"), Schwalbe Marathon XR tires (still going strong after 10.000 km of abuse - I had only three flats since I put them on) and three oversize bottle holders that fit normal PET bottles so I may carry up to 4,5 liters of liquid in the bottles alone.
Update February 2011: In fall 2010 in Macedonia, I was introduced to Dejan Zafirov, a 33 year young above-knee amputee. Since he lost his left leg 5 years ago, Dejan is determined to write a line across the world map with his cycling journeys - 20.000 km of learning, sharing and inspiring others.
For my part, I decided to support this endeavour by giving my bike to Dejan -in march 2011, my Velotraum will travel with him to China for an epic 5.000 km ride through the vast Middle Kingdom.
Update March 2011: Looking for a new, lighter bike that will be able to handle some rough terrain and can take quite a beating while cycling through Middle East and Africa. I am serioulsy considering an upgrade to a Rohloff-hub.
You have questions regarding equipment or my (ex-) bike ? Don't hesitate to send me an e-mail.