Today I’m taking a forced (though not unwelcome) rest day from the rains of Hurricane Ida. Rather than writing about watching TV all day I thought I’d do something I’ve been meaning to do since before the trip even started: show off my full gear list! Let’s get started.
First up, my riding gear
This is pretty basic and not too interesting. I have a jersey that I wear most days as well as a backup long sleeve shirt that I use if the jersey is dirty. I much prefer the jersey because it’s cooler, it has pockets, and it represents the transam! For riding shorts I have 2 sets of bib shorts and one set of normal riding shorts. Bib shorts aren’t ideal because they’re a pain to take on and off (you need to remove your shirt) but they’re what I had from road riding so they’re what I brought. I bought another pair of shorts in Great Bend because the bib shorts are old and falling apart. I have 3 pairs of socks and one set of riding shoes. The shoes are normal mountain biking flat sole shoes: I ride without clips. I have some full finger gloves that are nice for extra hand padding though they do get really gross and sweaty. Finally I have my helmet which is an MTB helmet. This is good because it has a nice visor. I also have a large rearview mirror attached to the helmet and typically a light attached to the back for good visibility.
Now, let’s talk about the bike and carrying setup
The bike is a 2007 Surly Long Haul Trucker with a rear rack. I have a front handlebar bag then two rear panniers and a stack of stuff on the back, including a fold flat sleeping pad, tent, Gatorade, and camelback bladder stuffed in a dry bag. I also have a cheap light cable lock around the tent handle. All this stuff is secured with two rainbow Bungie cords attached to the rack. I’ll cover the contents of the two panniers later. Continuing, I have front and rear fenders, a frame pump, three water bottle cages, and a safety triangle hanging from the back. Mounted to the top tube, velcroed down is a can of mace for spraying angry dogs which I haven’t had to use yet thankfully. Finally I have 2 full size water bottles then one mini bottle, which goes underneath the downtube so it doesn’t hit the wheel. The tires are Schwalbe Marathon Pluses which I love, and will never run anything else on my touring bikes. The seat is a Brooks (covered in this photo because of rain when I rode in yesterday) which is amazing once it’s worn in. That just about wraps up the bike.
Let’s move onto bag contents
First up, handlebar bag! This is an Ortlieb classic bag, size small. The killer feature is a clear top for putting maps in but protecting them from the rain. Note that the size medium doesn’t have this I don’t think. In this bag I put everything I need frequent or quick access to. Obviously phone and wallet are the two main thing in here (not pictured). Starting from bottom left of the photo and going row by row, maps also go here (that’s what’s in the Ziploc bag to the bottom left). I keep spare seat covers for quick access if it starts to rain suddenly. I have cheap headphones for music sometimes, a front light, and a power brick (super important for stretches without power).
In the top row I have a wall outlet to USB hub, necessary for charging all my USB stuff. I have glasses I never use, a multi tool with all the basics, mainly Allen wrenches, some snacks (shot blocks and cliff bars), a headlamp, some lip balm, a whistle I never use and a covid mask. The bag is small so it forces me to mostly keep the contents here organized.
Moving on to the gear pannier!
This is my right pannier and it holds basically everything that isn’t food or clothing. Strapped to the outside I have a pair of sandals on a carabiner. From the bottom left by row is my sleeping bag, pillow, and bike repair Ziploc. In this bag is lube, rags, 2 tubes, tire levers, tire boot, patch kit, master link, and other miscellaneous repair items. To the right of that is my toothpaste/toothbrush bag. Next is the creams bag, which has my chammy cream (helps protect against saddle sores) sunscreen, bug spray, and anti-itch cream. There’s also a few loose benedryll in there. Next is my current book Undaunted Courage, a biography of Lewis of Lewis and Clark fame. It’s heavy but very good.
On the next row I have a baseball cap (it’s a running hat so very durable and light). There’s toilet paper and a trowel for digging a hole (not needed this trip luckily). Paracord for hanging laundry at camp, mostly. A cheap microfiber cloth that’s not good at much of anything, but I use it as a towel and to wash/dry dishes. Gross, I know. Next is a bag with waterproof matches and camp soap. Finally, a bag with a water filter which I’ve had to use a few times.
In the top row is my cooking stuff, consisting of a camp stove with heating element. I have a folded up cooking pot, inside of which is a bowl and cup. There’s some basic medical supplies, a flattened roll of duct tape (should probably be electrical tape but duct tape is fine). I have a swiss army knife, the most important tool being a pair of pliers. I have a spare gear strap I should be using for something, then spare Ziplocs to replace worn bags. Most of this stuff I’m happy with, although I do have too much stuff for the east coast. There are plenty of towns here that I don’t need the cooking stuff. I haven’t used it for weeks.
Now for the final pannier!
This one is food and clothes. I already described my riding clothes above, but they go in the large dry bag in the bottom left. I also have some camp clothes and a rain jacket and sweater that goes in here. Then I have spare bags for putting wet clothes in then tea and oatmeal for breakfast. The middle row contains lunch and snack food. Staples are tortillas with honey and almond butter packets. Also granola, dried mangos, and various dried meats. The top row is dinner stuff, mainly being ramen and mashed potatoes. To be honest I just eat out of convenience stores usually so much of this food has been in here for a long time. Some of it since the start of the trip (the beef jerky bought on day 2 I think). There’s not much to say here, except that I could lose a lot of this food and be totally fine. I like having enough but for now it’s just extra weight.
That just about wraps it up! Let me know if you have any questions!
Bonus, the hotel has a cat that hangs out and greets guests!
Consumption:Not as much as I’d expect