Monday, 1 September 2014

WHAT DID I BRING

The challenge with any holiday or trip, is what to bring. Do you bring that etra pair of jeans or your laptop? If you haven't travelled that much, you'll most likely pack a lot of stuff you don't really need. It takes practice and experience to slim down your bags. After enough trips you'll have it down to an art.

Though I've travelled a fair bit and can fit all I need for a week away in a small backpack, I'd never done any bike touring prior to my Oz adventure. I read countless blogs and talked to several bikers via email and in person, trying to decide what to bring and what not to bring. However, at the end of the day you just have to go for it and get rid of as you go. So here it is, my complete packing list. This is everything I started out with in Perth. What I finished with on the east coast is a lot less.



Clothes
  • 4 x polyester/synthetic t-shirts
  • 1 x long sleeve polyester/synthetic shirt
  • 1 x pair tights
  • 2 x shorts
  • 2 x padded boxers
  • 4 x "normal" boxers
  • 7 pairs of socks
  • 1 x pair cotton shorts (non-cycling)
  • 2 t-shirts (non-cycling)
  • 1 x thermal set (bottoms and top)
  • 1 pair of jeans
  • 1 shirt
  • 1 pair of trackies
  • 2 jackets
  • 1 pair of flip-flops
  • 1 pair of trainers
  • 1 pair of sandals

Electronics
  • Canon 7D DSLR
    • Charges, cables and remote control
  • GoPro Hero 3
    • Charges, cables and remote control
  • Camera cleaning equipment
  • External hard drive
  • Laptop
    • Charger
  • 2 USB power packs
  • 3 mobiles
    • 2 charges
Random
  • St. Johns First Aid Kit
  • 2 x rolls duck tape
  • 1 x foldable shovel
  • 1 x travel hammock
  • Diary
  • Complete map book of Oz
  • Plate
  • Bowl
  • Cup
  • Silicon lunchbox
  • Cutlery
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping bag fleece liner
  • Sleeping mat
  • Camping stove
    • Gas
  • 2 x bike pumps
  • 3 x spare inner tubes for wheels
  • 3 x patch kits
  • Tools
    • Allen keys, screwdrivers, wrench etc.
  • Luggage weight
  • Solar panel
  • Microfiber cloth

In addition to all that, I had paperwork (copies of IDs, passport, insurance etc.), food and water (20-25 kg) and minor personal artifacts.

All in all, my kit weighed about 55 kg when I left Perth (not including bike and trailer).

What did I ditch?
Instead of a trail of breadcrumbs across OZ, I've got stuff. Of course I didn't chuck it out in nature, but I gave to people I met along the way mostly.

Foldable shovel - What on Earth was I thinking? I thought I'd need it when camping in the bush to dig a toilet... I quickly realised that it was 2.5 kg I could get rid of just there.

Plate, bowl and fancy cutlery - All of it was plastic, but still; waste of space. So instead I simply used my silicone lunchbox for all my meals and used its SPORK (spoon, knife and fork combined).

Sandals - When and why? I left those with my friend in Perth. When would I use the sandals?

Luggage weight - Yes it was a small one, that you hook your luggage on to. Practical to balance my bags, but after having unpacked and packed my bags over 100 times you kinda know exactly where everything goes and how much it weighs. So gave that to a waiter in one of the roadhouses.

I ditched more stuff than this as well, until when I got to the east coast and my pack had lost 10-15 kg. And let's not forget, I ditched my trailer when I got to Port Augusta in South Australia. You can read more about panniers vs. trailers in my previous post.

Other stuff I wouldn't bring on a future trip?
For example my laptop. Though my laptop is fairly light and slim, it still makes up about 5 kg including the charger. My reason for bringing it was mainly because then I could edit photos/films on the go. In the future however, I'd rather bring a tablet and wait with the editing until I got back home.

Less clothes, more washing. I'd bring less clothes and make sure I had a small selection of a few good pieces I could use in multiple settings.


TIP! When you go somewhere, write down what you're bringing and when you get home write down what you didn't use. Next time you go somewhere, look at your list and learn from that trip. Then repeat this process until you have a streamlined list of what to bring to any destination.





Point is that packing for any trip, be it a bike touring trip or a couples holiday to Greece, you need experience in order to know exactly what to bring and not to bring. If you're planning a bit more extensive trip like a backpacking trip or biking journey, do a search and read peoples blogs or maybe email them and ask for their recommendations for a certain area.

PS. I'll let you in on a little secret: I am planning more crazy adventures in the future. At the moment I'm preparing for the army, but after the army I have got plans to do some more biking. So stay tuned!