Steve commented on my last post about my most recent S24O. He asked about my what my kit has evolved to include, and what it has evolved to not include. It hasn’t really changed much, but I’ll attempt to provide a brief overview. If anyone would like more details, just let me know.
In above photo, you can see that my camping bike is my Rivendell A. Homer Hilsen. It includes front and rear racks so I can pack all the luxuries that make my overnighters comfortable. The front rack holds my sleeping bag. The rear rack holds small panniers, and supports the largish saddlebag.
If I were a better planner, I probably would be a “bag matcher”. But since I’m not, I just do the best I can at organizing a somewhat tidy load.
The next photo shows things that are not clothes and food. Clothes and food are variable, so I won’t spend much time on them unless asked. I’ll simply say that for my short camping trips, I’d rather be hungry than cold. So I tend to overpack warm woolies in cold weather, and “make do” with sparse/simple food. I am, however, beginning to think in terms of trying more extravagant meals (especially in warmer months since I can replace rainfly and warm clothes with food without wondering were things will go).
The top row (front left to right) are sleeping bag, tent, tent poles, rainfly, and pillow. As mentioned above, the sleeping bag straps to the front rack, but all other top row items are stuffed into my largish saddlebag. The tent isn’t exactly “in” the bag, but is under the top flap, and buckled within the leather straps.
The next row down includes windbreaker, tool roll inside homemade windscreen, stove/fuel/matches/coffee, and cheap Walmart mess kit. Mrs. Pondero picked up the mess kit for me. I thought it looked a bit fragile and wouldn’t last, but so far, I’m happy with it.
The bottom row has bungie cord for sleeping bag, coffee maker, water bottle, fancy coffee cup, tent stakes, large and small battery powered camp lights, and sleeping pad. The two bottom row items usually are carried in the panniers with various clothing items stuffed strategically to minimize rattles. My food ends up at the top of panniers and/or saddlebag.
Camera, wallet, and cell phone fit in the small pouch that attaches to the exterior of the saddlebag.
It is probably apparent that I am no minimalist. Camp is usually only about an hour and a half away, so I don’t obsess over another few pounds. In fact, I often will bring a book.
Regarding “evolution”, the main thing is that I’ve decided that I prefer the alcohol stove to the Kelly Kettle I was using earlier. The Kelly Kettle is bulkier, heavier, and requires more attention during use. I’ve also been using my Bialetti coffee maker lately, instead of my REI press/insulated mug combo. The press works fine, and I will probably use both in the future, depending on mood. One item I don’t have, but might add soon, is some minimal first aid kit. Up until now, I’ve depended on my cell phone and the gracious Mrs. Pondero if I need medical attention. But after camping with Chandra, who was better prepared, in the fall, I’m rethinking that.
So there’s the overview. Nothing really complex or high-tech, just reasonable comfort for one night outdoors. However, having racks and bag options does make it easy to carry the primary comforts of home. And that kind of convenience does require something of a financial commitment. Even so, I’m confident it could be done simpler and cheaper by someone more resourceful.