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ballbuster
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I felt bad about hijacking BikerScoutSparky's thread, so I'll start a new one.

I'm putting gear together to try this out. Just experimenting, I came up with this. Needs refinement, but it's a start. This was my first modern mountain bike I made into my city bike. I took the crappy stock suspension fork off of it and converted it to rigid. Since I took these pics, I have mounted up some knobby tires.





8Track showed interest, as did an old friend of mine. As a group, we can take more gear (as in, we don't need 3 stoves for 3 people, and such), and might have access to better shared gear, like bob trailers or whatever. Plus, we can take the strongest rider and make him/her the beer mule. :)

On that note, is there such a thing as a good canned beer? Bottles are heavy, and harder to pack out than alu cans.

So I have no firm plans as of yet, no firm date of actually trying this, but I would like to give it a go this summer sometime.

I figure my part is going to be in stages.

First, figure out what gear I need and what I can live without, and how to pack it on the bike so it doesn't fall off, break my rack, or send me careening off the trail.

Second stage is to take my loaded bike on a good trail ride, like China Camp or JMP/Redwood East Ridge/West Ridge so I can bail out of if stuff breaks, whatever... so I can figure out how the bike handles, how long I can go with an extra 10-15 pounds on board... that sorta thing.

Third stage would be to do a semi-local ride, say to Lake Chabot which would be about 7 mile from my house... camp for a night and come back.

The big enchilada will be to spend a long day riding out... say 30 miler so or so for an overnight, and then ride back the next day... and not get killed, or end up killing somebody else in the process.... and actually having a good time at it.

Issues I have to work out:

What food is good, easy to cook on a camp stove, and doesn't weigh a ton. Bonus points for stuff that you cook in water, therefore being lighter weight.

Finding campsites that have water, and a way to tote and/or filter the water for cooking, cleaning, etc. It would suck to have to carry all of my water to and from.

Dealing with bathroom issues, easily solved by choosing campsites with facilities.

Packing all of said gear on bike so it stays put and doesn't get damaged (or make me crash)

Any suggestions? Anybody like to join me?
 

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Birthday Collector
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2,610 Posts
I'd have an interest in this! I enjoyed the Hut trip last fall - hadn't done any loaded touring since my New Zealand trip 20+ years ago! I had a set of panniers for the hut trip, and carried extra gear and a lot of tools, because I had the room. So - where are you thinking of going, for how long, etc...? Don't know if I could go, but would be interested. I carried 35 lbs on the rigid 29'er for Telluride - Moab, and while almost all of the trip was dirt roads, we did a 5 - 6 mile stretch of some very technical singletrack (Ute Creek Trail) and it was fine fully loaded. As far as canned beer - Fosters in "Oilcans" is a pretty decent choice for a canned beer. Also, Guiness comes in a can if you like your stuff dark! Ice - now that can be the trick if there isn't a 7/11 or Quik-e-mart somewhere close by...
 

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Looks good so far. I've toured on a roadbike, and mikesee's lightweight touring thread got me thinking about digging out all my old gear and going somewhere in the Sierra.

Why cook? While hot food is nice, if it is summer weather in the mountains, it probably isn't essential. REI's got an aisle full of dehydrated food that occasionally cooks up to something tasty, and there is a huge variety if you're willing to pay the price. I used to eat Svenhard (sp?) danishes ... not much more calorie-dense food than that. :)

For water, I'd get a multi-gallon collapsible container. Hopefully you'll be near a water source that you can easily walk to and filter/turn a tap, but if not you can unload the bike and ride back to where you can get water. If there is no practical water source in riding distance, I'd reconsider where you are going ... or go stash water ahead of time.

Bathroom issues are solved with deep knee bend exercises and a big tree to hide behind. Take bags to pack it out as well.

I'd love to join you, but family would likely prevent. I was thinking the Grouse Ridge area, Loon Lake, or the Rim Trail would be good for my first try. Any of those would be less than a days ride out, and have easy bail-outs if more Svendhards were required.

pimpbot said:
Issues I have to work out:

What food is good, easy to cook on a camp stove, and doesn't weigh a ton. Bonus points for stuff that you cook in water, therefore being lighter weight.

Finding campsites that have water, and a way to tote and/or filter the water for cooking, cleaning, etc. It would suck to have to carry all of my water to and from.

Dealing with bathroom issues, easily solved by choosing campsites with facilities.

Packing all of said gear on bike so it stays put and doesn't get damaged (or make me crash)

Any suggestions? Anybody like to join me?
 

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Old School
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1,039 Posts
I think the Chabot idea is a good one to test things out. If you find that you would like to try something more adventurous, you could plan something in Coe. I've taken my daughter out to Point Reyes and that was nice (there are a couple of places you can bike into there -- one easy, one more difficult).

From my backpacking experience, those freeze-dried pre-packaged meals are expensive, and not that great. Here are a few things I like to bring (based on a theme of light weight, easy to fix [add water], easy to cleanup, and tastes good):

• regular ol' macaroni and cheese -- skip the butter and milk. Just boil the noodles, drain, and add the cheesy wonder powder.

• Cup-o-noodles (light, cheap, carbos)

• canned meat (e.g., tuna, smoked oysters, sardines) -- throw it in your cup-o-noodles

• bag salad (those pre-packaged salads with the dressing and goodies inside. Good for the first night. I like the mexican fiesta salad :thumbsup:)

• bread rolls

• Cheese -- yeah it gets a little oily when it's not in the frig, but if it's only for a day or two -- it's good.

• Crackers / Salami

• For breakfast -- hard to beat instant oatmeal (skip the milk)

• Sometimes I'll splurge (given the weight) and bring canned peaches.

• Canned beer -- Tecati :thumbsup: (never packed it tho -- I go with the whiskey flask)

Cheers~
Joe
 

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Looks like fun. I wonder if you could use a kid trailer to haul stuff? Other good food for packing are bagels--you can squish them and they magically come back into shape--, and tortillas--very packable.
 

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Nature Rider, Not MTBer
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Thread from my last bikepacking trip that includes pics of loaded FS and hardtail:
bikes:
http://forums.mtbr.com/showthread.php?t=244885&highlight=bikepacking
We expected rain and near freezing temperatures that weekend or I would've packed lighter. For a summertime trip, you should be able to go with less.

Coe is nice for bikepacking. You can set up base camp at a lake, then do day ride loops on trails you wouldn't be able to see otherwise. It's possible to fish enough to stay out there for weeks. You're allowed to camp just about anywhere. Problem is summer there gets too hot for me.

Marin and other options would be nice too, I'd think. You'd need to plan out your water sources and where you will camp, probably need reservations to camp.
 

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Spin-stabilized
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1,494 Posts
Looking good Pimbot:thumbsup:

May I suggest a smaller self-inflating sleeping pad? I got one for 40 bucks at REI. It only weighs a pound. I love mine, it packs into the size of a small cylinder less than a foot long and about 5-6" in diameter. It's so small I can just stick it in one of the bags. You get the best of both worlds (light and compact). You can also lash longer skinny items to the front of your handlebars.

In my exerience, going as light as possible is key. I know it's expensive to get ultralight versions of every gear you carry but I think it's worth it. Having said that, I still ride around with my 6-pound tent because I don't feel like spending 250 bucks on a ighter one:D .

Splitting communal gear with other riders also helps a lot. Setting up base camp and leaving from it to do unburdened day-rides also adds to the fun. A loaded bike is no fun on technical singletrack. A trailer on a tech trail, forget it.

I also used to pack a lot of freeze-dried stuff for lunch and breakfast (not just dinner) but boiling water , etc. takes too long and is inconvenient. I've found that a small terta pack of soymilk stays cold at night and is good to go for breakfast. Crackers and spreadable cheese makes for a tasty breakfast too! Jerky has lots of protein but makes me super thirsty and isn't that filling for me. Trailmix and granola bars does it for me as far as lunch and snacks go. They are light enough and I can eat them for several days without getting too tired of the taste (unlike powerbars/clif bars - yuck!). Clif bloks are awesome too. I like the texture mainly and avoid the citrus flavors.

For dinners, I just get a few freeze-dried stuff from REI. They are calorie-dense and filling enough even for a guy like me with a hyper metabolism. Chilli mac and beef/mac and cheese are tried and true recipes. I'd stick to the simple recipes and stay away from the too-good-to-be-true stuff like "I Can't Believe it's Sausage Pizza" or "Beef Fajitas". I'd get a light bikepacking stove and a Ti or Al pot. The MSR Pocket Rocket is only 3+ ounces and works great. It's pretty cheap too.

Anway, I love bikepacking and Coe is an excellent place to try it out as long as the weather permits. I wish there were more places like Coe. I was thinking about introducing my girlfriend to bikepacking in Point Reyes. Seems like a nice place to camp out.

You'll soon fine tune your kit after one or two trips. Have fun!

Oh btw, your frame looks like it can fit a pretty roomy frame bag so you can get rid of the rack. Check out carouseldesignworks.com. Jeff Boatman is excellent to work with. He might be a bit busy as he gets a ton of orders. If you are planning on a fall trip though, the timeline might be perfect.
 

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The only beer in a can that I consider to be good is Oskar Blues out of Lyons, CO. Good luck finding it out here though. I've had to resort to getting it Fed Ex'd.
 

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kev1n said:
The only beer in a can that I consider to be good is Oskar Blues out of Lyons, CO. Good luck finding it out here though. I've had to resort to getting it Fed Ex'd.
Is it really that good? I'm sitting in a Courtyard in Longmont, CO right now, and the Oskar Blues brewpub is only 12 miles away. I'm allowed to check three 70lbs bags, so potentially I could bring home 210lbs of beer.
 

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ballbuster
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12,718 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Oh yeah....

bailout said:
Looking good Pimbot:thumbsup:

May I suggest a smaller self-inflating sleeping pad? I got one for 40 bucks at REI. It only weighs a pound. I love mine, it packs into the size of a small cylinder less than a foot long and about 5-6" in diameter. It's so small I can just stick it in one of the bags. You get the best of both worlds (light and compact). You can also lash longer skinny items to the front of your handlebars.

In my exerience, going as light as possible is key. I know it's expensive to get ultralight versions of every gear you carry but I think it's worth it. Having said that, I still ride around with my 6-pound tent because I don't feel like spending 250 bucks on a ighter one:D .

Splitting communal gear with other riders also helps a lot. Setting up base camp and leaving from it to do unburdened day-rides also adds to the fun. A loaded bike is no fun on technical singletrack. A trailer on a tech trail, forget it.

I also used to pack a lot of freeze-dried stuff for lunch and breakfast (not just dinner) but boiling water , etc. takes too long and is inconvenient. I've found that a small terta pack of soymilk stays cold at night and is good to go for breakfast. Crackers and spreadable cheese makes for a tasty breakfast too! Jerky has lots of protein but makes me super thirsty and isn't that filling for me. Trailmix and granola bars does it for me as far as lunch and snacks go. They are light enough and I can eat them for several days without getting too tired of the taste (unlike powerbars/clif bars - yuck!). Clif bloks are awesome too. I like the texture mainly and avoid the citrus flavors.

For dinners, I just get a few freeze-dried stuff from REI. They are calorie-dense and filling enough even for a guy like me with a hyper metabolism. Chilli mac and beef/mac and cheese are tried and true recipes. I'd stick to the simple recipes and stay away from the too-good-to-be-true stuff like "I Can't Believe it's Sausage Pizza" or "Beef Fajitas". I'd get a light bikepacking stove and a Ti or Al pot. The MSR Pocket Rocket is only 3+ ounces and works great. It's pretty cheap too.

Anway, I love bikepacking and Coe is an excellent place to try it out as long as the weather permits. I wish there were more places like Coe. I was thinking about introducing my girlfriend to bikepacking in Point Reyes. Seems like a nice place to camp out.

You'll soon fine tune your kit after one or two trips. Have fun!

Oh btw, your frame looks like it can fit a pretty roomy frame bag so you can get rid of the rack. Check out carouseldesignworks.com. Jeff Boatman is excellent to work with. He might be a bit busy as he gets a ton of orders. If you are planning on a fall trip though, the timeline might be perfect.
I know Jeff. I rode with him once or twice. He does nice work. Too rich for my blood at the moment. I'm probably just going to get some Nashbar or Performance Bike front panniers. I like having my frame clear, and I like having two water bottles. Sometimes, one for lights, although I'm probably not going to bring my big lights... only small LEDs flashlights for emergency backup.
 

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ballbuster
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
How do you know...

g-funk said:
dump the tent.

edit: basically dump 1/3 to 1/2 of the gear you have packed already. you think you need that stufff but you don't.
What I have packed?

I dunno. I think I want the tent. As appealing as sleeping under the stars is, I'd rather not wake up with tons of bug bites and slugs, and being licked on my face by raccoons, and a snake in my bag, thanks. Been there already. Also, my tent is pretty dang light.
 

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too tired to be clever
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An alternative shakedown ride, Black Mountain backpack campground in Monte Bello OSP.
Pit toilet and non-potable water source for filtering.

There's at least one backpack campground in Big Basin one can ride to, I believe.

I used to enjoy Modelo in a can when I was doing 4x4 through-trips.
 

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They have some of the best beers around, IMO, and they're big mtb supporters. TenFidy (Imperial stout, 10.5% ABV) is in my top 5 beers of all time, and their standby Dales's Pale Ale won the NYT American Pale Ale tasting. They have a few others that are good as well. Bring back as much as you can. If you don't like it, pm me and I'll buy it off you.

To avoid hijacking pimpbot, I've found plastic growlers to be a good way to transport beer on backpacking rips, though keeping them cold is another problem. High gravity beers like imperial stouts and double IPA's also cut back on total weight, since you (presumably) won't drink as much of them. Can't go wrong with a flask of good bourbon and a bag of Humboldt's finest.
 

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Uncle
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4,389 Posts
Hey Pimpy. Looks interesting so far. I have a bob trailer you can borrow if you the need comes up. Not sure I could pull this off, but I'm interested. Chabot certainly seems like a great place to give this a shot, though it'd feel kinda funny riding around there all geared up while the RVs are driving in a few feet away on the pavement.

Beer? Murphy's comes in a can, but have water open because you'll have to wait for it to come out -- sing it with me, "Aaaa--aaaanticipation..." Remember that one? btw-- Where's the beef?
105mm
 

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Medium?
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My bag is a bit smaller than yours, maybe as much as 20%. My thermarest is way smaller than the bag. It's the size of a big burrito when folded. My tent is smaller too, but mounting it there it almost doesn't matter, and that's where it goes.

I could go for two nights with only one pannier and my camelback. My bag, pad, and everything fits in the one pannier. If I wanted more space I'd wrap the pad around the top tube and zip-tie it.

I use one of these stoves: http://www.csun.edu/~mjurey/penny.html

It heats/boils (almost) exactly one aluminum pot of water with exactly one load of fuel. If you have two people you could easily bring two and have two burners. They weigh exactly 0 by my calculation. :)

For overnight rides I just bring two cup-o-noodles for dinner and breakfast and some instant coffee in a ziplock. If I was going for two nights I'd need to add a 2nd pannier so I could bring more substantial food and a water filter, though that could go in a bottle cage.
 

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ballbuster
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12,718 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I was,,,

Fast Eddy said:
My bag is a bit smaller than yours, maybe as much as 20%. My thermarest is way smaller than the bag. It's the size of a big burrito when folded. My tent is smaller too, but mounting it there it almost doesn't matter, and that's where it goes.

I could go for two nights with only one pannier and my camelback. My bag, pad, and everything fits in the one pannier. If I wanted more space I'd wrap the pad around the top tube and zip-tie it.

I use one of these stoves: http://www.csun.edu/~mjurey/penny.html

It heats/boils (almost) exactly one aluminum pot of water with exactly one load of fuel. If you have two people you could easily bring two and have two burners. They weigh exactly 0 by my calculation. :)

For overnight rides I just bring two cup-o-noodles for dinner and breakfast and some instant coffee in a ziplock. If I was going for two nights I'd need to add a 2nd pannier so I could bring more substantial food and a water filter, though that could go in a bottle cage.
... just about to go out and buy 3 keg cans of Heinekin for just that reason, then I found my mom's micro camp stove. It's bigger than the penny stove, but I already own it with fuel, and it includes the cookware set as a case.
 
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