Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Adventures In Bike Packing

This past weekend was the 4th of July Holiday which presented the perfect opportunity to begin pretend camping :-)!

Since Josh was working most of the weekend, we weren't able to book a campsite but with our cool family we didn't need one!

Saturday night we joined the Meske clan for a bbq at Jim and Krissy's house.  They are such gracious hosts that they didn't even mind when I asked to set my tent up in their backyard.

This would be my first adventure in bike packing and definitely my first attempt at trying to pack more then my average commuting gear.

Fortunately for me, I have my awesome Thule Pack and Pedal!

Within a matter of five minutes, I was able to attach the Thule rear rack to my Superfly and then I snapped on the commuting panniers.

The panniers have a lot of room for gear, but with this being the first excursion with excess items, I didn't want to go overboard with weight.

In the end, I went with my shoes, clothes, tent poles, snacks and stakes in the panniers and mounted the tent to the top of the rear rack.

At this time, I haven't narrowed down the type of compression sack I would like to use for my sleeping bag so Josh agreed to bring that with him in the neon.

The weather was gorgeous all weekend with big fluffy white clouds and this particular evening was no exception.

Since pretty much everyone went up north for the week, traffic was extremely light and my route through the urban jungle of Warren was fairly tame.

There was even time to stage pictures on the overpass so I could catalog my maiden voyage!

Upon arrival, I was able to easily access my clothes in the panniers without unloading the tent.  After a quick change out of my spidey suit I was ready to bbq!

Later that evening, under the light of tiki torches, I was able to put up the tent with minimal assistance (step one in survival training...haha) and unroll my sleeping bag in my temporary home.

This will now be my second time camping this year after riding during the day and I've decided that the third attempt will include an air or foam mattress of some kind.

My Alps bag is comfy, but that minor comfort feature seems like a worthy investment and a small way to minimize morning stiffness (ba dump bump bump).

What I learned from my adventure, weight distribution will play a huge part in how I pack my gear. 

I can definitely see the benefit of a front and rear rack for balance and will be putting a lot of thought into what I pack and where I should place it on my bike.

Overall, this first experience went well and it set up a solid platform for my next excursion which will include actual camping!