Monday, July 11, 2011

Overplanning and bike touring

I have a friend who describes herself as a destination person. She counts off days before her trip and if there was a transporter beam to take her to her destination she would beam there.

I enjoy the planning, probably because I am disorganized. This week I went on a three day two night bike camping trip and while I was packing and planning, you would think I was preparing for an expedition to the rainforest or at least Mt. Everest.

It became very evident that my old camping gear from my canoe camping days was not suitable. While I had a great stove, you had to prime and pump it, I could see this breaking so bought a simple little canister stove. The stove is very simple and plugs into a can of fuel. It is not like cooking over a fire. I quickly learned that you cant just turn it on, boil water and keep your water hot as we did over a fire. I ran out of fuel after making some bacon, a paltry amount of coffee and some eggs. Hmmmm.

My tent from canoe camping days was a nice light tent but a little low, so I bought a new ultra light tent, ditto for a new sleeping pad and sleeping bag. I finally have a sleeping bag that is warm enough...maybe too warm!

Titanium forks, bowls that collapse, small kettles and a food pack that I could hang and I was set. I also bought a hammock...luxury.

Towels..my pack towels are technological marvels. They fold into the size of a handkerchief and fold out to the size of a large beach towel and weigh about an ounce. They dry instantly.

Bike outfits with matching socks...that was easy but which ones to bring? I decided wisely on bib shorts for the entire trip.

When I finally decided what to pack, I must have repacked my bags 100 times to minimize what I was taking. I decided I did not need long pants or a sweater (needed both so I bought an Army surplus sweater). I decided that I did not need dental wax...mistake had to pick up some. Our livingroom looked like a war room with maps, notes etc.

I packed by Kobo reader. That was a real bonus..nothing like reading before bed. I also packed a journal with a fountain pen. The journal was small enough to carry and I journalled on some of our stops.

Once the bags are packed, and the bike loaded, the next adventure was actually getting on the bike. It was hard to vault over such high bags. Once you got going the momentum carried you but hard to stop. There is no way I could pack 'shorter' bags because of the length of the tent. However I saw Jim had strapped his tent to his back carrier hence his bags were shorter and thus easier to get over. I will copy that next time!

The trip itself after all my planning and detailing was almost an anticlimax. My trips usually are because of the attention I put into planning and packing. By the time I actually take my trip, I have already taken it in my mind many times over!

My friend is right. She would have thrown a few things in a bag, had a more spontaneous time and enjoyed herself. She would not have camped but thrown a few belongings in a bag and stayed in a hotel and she would have enjoyed the adventure!

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Karine's Blog

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