RideEatCamp

Pack List for Europe

Europe

As the departure date approaches, we’ve been analyzing and tweaking our pack list to get it just right. While this whole pack list analysis can get tedious, I still have fun trying to envision how each piece of gear or clothing will make the trip that much better. For instance, just today we totally revamped our cook kit. Carrie got inspired to try making more elaborate meals. She couldn’t picture herself enjoying another pot of mushy mac n’ cheese after five months on the road.

December 23, 2016 update: You’ll now find notes in bold that share our post-ride opinions of the gear we brought.

Most of the recent changes we’ve made have increased the weight and volume of our pack list. That’s usually not a good thing. The less we carry the easier our burden. But there is a difference between a summer trip in the dry American west and a three-season trip in northern Europe. That difference is rain. With a planned budget of about $50/day, we won’t be able to afford consistent nights indoors. We want to include items that will keep us warm and happy in poor weather, despite the weight and bulk penalties.

From bikes to bandannas, here’s the official pack list, broken down into digestible chunks:

Bikes

Carrie's 42cm Surly Long Haul Trucker, aka Floppy, has been hauling and trucking for about five years and about 20,000 miles. This thing lives up to it's name and reputation. A more reliable beast of burden cannot be found.
Carrie’s 42cm Surly Long Haul Trucker, aka Floppy, has been hauling and trucking for about five years and about 20,000 miles. This thing lives up to it’s name and reputation. A more reliable beast of burden cannot be found.

Floppy’s Shimano XT rear hub started making clunking sounds while in the Alps. Since we didn’t bring cone wrenches to service the hub, we attempted to solve the problem at a bike shop in Geneva. Their response was to replace the wheel. They claimed they didn’t have any spare parts to fix the hub. To our dismay, we ended up replacing the wheel. I’ll be building up a new wheel for Carrie’s bike with a hub that can be serviced without tools. The Velo Orange touring hub I used on my bike was simple to service when it too started making some noise.

My custom Clockwork touring bike is modeled after the popular Rivendell Atlantis, minus the lugs and threaded headset. I recently equipped it with Jones Loop handlebars and couldn't be more comfortable.
My custom Clockwork touring bike is modeled after the popular Rivendell Atlantis, minus the lugs and threaded headset. I recently equipped it with Jones Loop handlebars and couldn’t be more comfortable.

The Jones Loop bars proved to be very comfortable for the long haul. The extra loop out front allowed me to easily attach the tent and Revelate Pocket. My Shimano Dura Ace 9-speed bar end shifters mounted to Paul Thumbies worked well in friction mode. Shifting was fast and easy. I do wish Paul made the same setup for the shifters to be placed under the bars.

Luggage

To reduce the amount of luggage and racks strapped to our bikes, Carrie and I have managed to squeeze all of our gear into a total of four panniers and two handlebar bags. This reduces significant weight. Panniers are heavy! Two Ortlieb Front Roller Classic panniers weigh 3.5 pounds. Add a 1-pound rack to secure them and your at nearly 5 pounds just for holding stuff.

Instead of adding more panniers, I’ll be strapping our tent under my Jones Loop handlebars using some toe straps. The Revelate Pocket then wraps around the tent as seen on a lot of bikepacking setups. We’ll also be bringing some cargo nets to strap things to the top of the rear racks if needed. It’s a good place to stash wet clothes or tent pieces that you want to keep separate from the dry stuff.

Our luggage has proven to be reliable over the years. Carrie is using the REI panniers, which offer similar volume to the Ortlieb Back Roller Classics. They have built in rain covers and a removable pocket that becomes a bum bag. Carrie is using an old Vaude handlebar bag and I'm going modern with a Revelate Designs Pocket.
Our luggage has proven to be reliable over the years. Carrie is using the REI panniers, which offer similar volume to the Ortlieb Back Roller Classics. They have built in rain covers and a removable pocket that becomes a bum bag. Carrie is using an old Vaude handlebar bag and I’m going modern with a Revelate Designs Pocket.

Carrie complained frequently because her luggage wasn’t waterproof. It rained a lot on our trip. In order to access anything in her luggage she’d first have to remove the rain fly and then open sack. It’s an extra step not necessary with waterproof panniers. The Ortliebs Back Roller Classics I used are 11 years old and still waterproof, even after I repaired one in France after I crashed.

Item Weight (oz)
Carrie’s luggage
REI panniers 74.2
Vaude handlebar bag 28.3
Delta cargo net 2.5
Total 105.0
Nick’s luggage
Ortlieb Back Roller Classic panniers 54.6
Revelate Designs large Pocket 6.8
Delta cargo net 2.5
4 toe straps 2.8
Total 66.7

Bike Maintenance

From left: rag, allen keys, patch kit, chain tool, spoke wrench, modified Park MT-1, a couple of glueless patches, coupler wrench, tire levers, chain lube. Missing are the spokes and zip ties, which are slipped inside my Jones Loop bars.
From left: rag, allen keys, patch kit, chain tool, spoke wrench, modified Park MT-1, a couple of glueless patches, coupler wrench, tire levers, chain lube. Missing are the spokes and zip ties, which are slipped inside my Jones Loop bars.
Item Weight (oz)
2x 26×2.0 presta valve tubes 11.99
extra patches and 2 pairs of Power Links 0.78
Lezyne Road Drive pump w/ frame mount 3.84
Park SW-1 spoke wrench 0.53
2x Pedro’s tire levers 1.48
cheap cotton shop rag 0.99
Dumonde Tech Pro X Regular 2oz. chain lube 2.50
2, 2.5, 3, 4, 5, 6mm keys and 8mm bit 1.83
Park CT-5 Mini Brute chain tool 2.65
5x spare spokes and brass nipples 1.23
4x medium size zip ties 0.56
Park MT-1 8mm, 10mm wrenches and flat head 1.20
Modified S&S Machine Racing Wrench 1.59
Kryptonite tiny Bike lock 3.32
Topeak Aero Wedge seat bag 4.66
Totals 39.16

If you’re dying to know more about our bike maintenance kit, feel free to read this older post.

There’s not much to say about our tool kit. Although we had few mechanical problems, we’d still bring the entire kit for future tours.

Nick’s Clothes

Category Item Description weight (oz)
Tops
rain jacket Shower’s Pass Elite 2.0 16.00
midweight layer Generic 1/4 zip fleece 10.58
thermal layer Feathered Friends Daybreak 9.35
base layer Smart Wool lightweight merino long sleeve 6.00
base layer Patagonia Capline 2 lightweight long sleeve 5.40
wind jacket Patagonia Houdini 4.34
Bottoms
rain pants REI 11.46
pants Bluff Works Classic 13.93
padded undies 2x Aerotech Designs Touring Undies 9.88
shorts Giro over shorts 7.09
knee warmers Specialized 3.60
undies Polyester boxer briefs 2.72
Extremities
helmet Specialized Echelon 11.82
thermal cap Merino and possum fir 1.94
cycling cap Showing off my LBS 1.31
glasses standard prescription 0.85
wind gloves REI running liners 1.80
rain gloves MLD Event 1.38
socks 2x Darn Tough lightweight Cycling socks 3.46
sneakers Five Ten Freeriders 31.08
rain booties Shower’s Pass Club Shoe Covers 3.10
sleep socks Midweight wool 1.76
Totals 148.47

In Ireland I sent home the following unnecessary clothes: wind jacket, down jacket, both gloves, sleep socks, and knee warmers.

Carrie’s Clothes

Category Item Description weight (oz) weight (lbs) weight (g)
Tops
thermal layer Polartec lightweight hoodie 8.11 0.51 230
midweight layer Smart Wool 1/4 zip long sleeve 7.87 0.49 223
base layer Go Lite Merino long sleeve 5.96 0.37 169
base layer Smartwool wool/poly long sleeve 5.64 0.35 160
wind jacket Go Lite Merino long sleeve 3.10 0.19 88
sleeping top cotton tank top 2.82 0.18 80
sports bra Patagonia 2.47 0.15 70
rain jacket Shower’s Pass Elite 2.1 13.37 0.84 379
Bottoms
rain pants Shower’s Pass Women’s Transit 11.32 0.71 321
pants REI travel pants 7.55 0.47 214
bike shorts 2x Specialized RBX Comp 13.55 0.85 384
thermal bottoms Icebreaker lightweight 5.22 0.33 148
tights Aerotech Designs unpadded tights 5.08 0.32 144
undies 2x cotton undies 1.90 0.12 54
Extremities
helmet Specialized Andorra 10.79 0.67 306
sunglasses Smith polarized 0.78 0.05 22
sun hat Sunday Afternoons 2.50 0.16 71
thermal cap Smartwool merino 1.59 0.10 45
short gloves Specialized BG short finger 1.55 0.10 44
wind gloves Pearl Izumi 3.03 0.19 86
rain gloves MLD Event 1.23 0.08 35
sneakers Montrail OutDry 21.34 1.33 605
rain booties Shower’s Pass Club Shoe Covers 3.88 0.24 110
sleep socks Midweight wool 2.15 0.13 61
socks IceBreaker wool shorties 1.76 0.11 50
Total 144.59 9.04 4099

Carrie sent home the following clothes in Ireland: hoodie.

Camping Gear

Category Item weight (g) weight (oz) weight (lbs)
Nick
MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent w/ sack, fly, body, poles 1632 57.57 3.60
Thermarest Neo Air size regular 425 14.99 0.94
Jacks R Better 25º quilt 606 21.38 1.34
Exped air pillow 81 2.86 0.18
Polycro ground sheet 74 2.61 0.16
Extra cord for laundry, tent, and tarp in stuff sack 29 1.02 0.06
Z-Packs 8’x10′ cuben fiber tarp 231 8.15 0.51
12x MSR Mini Groundhog stakes 118 4.16 0.26
Sea to Summit daypack 76 2.68 0.17
REI microfiber travel towel 43 1.52 0.09
Total 3315 116.93 7.31
Carrie
Thermarest Neo Air Womens 425 14.99 0.94
Marmot Helium 15º sleeping bag 990 34.92 2.18
Exped air pillow 81 2.86 0.18
REI microfiber travel towel cut in half 72 2.54 0.16
Total 1568 55.31 3.46

Both of our Exped air pillows lost their shape and then mine eventually popped at the seam. We attempted multiple repairs but the seam kept breaking. The pillows are comfortable though, so I’d probably use them again. We sent home the tarp in Ireland and our polycro ground sheet bit the dust. We made a new ground sheet from painter’s plastic. It lasted the rest of the trip. The Hubba Hubba was a good tent, but its rain fly eventually started leaking in France. We tried to seam seal the main seams but water still managed to drip inside the tent when it rained. I don’t think the tent fly is very durable.

Cooking Gear

We made big changes to the cook setup since our last post. We’ve decided to migrate from a minimalist to a more flexible setup. This move comes at a big weight and bulk penalty. But we feel it’ll be worth it. With a proper knife, a non-stick fry pan, and a heat adjustable canister stove, we should be able to cook more complicated meals, like scrambled eggs and grilled cheese sandwiches, which would never fly with our thin titanium pot and alcohol stove. We’ll be traveling gourmets!

Our expanded cook kit should allow us to prepare more than soup mixes and rehydrated food.
Our expanded cook kit should allow us to prepare more than soup mixes and rehydrated food.
Item weight (g) weight (oz) weight (lbs)
GSI Outdoors 8″ fry pan 385 13.58 0.85
2x Orikaso folding bowls 68 2.40 0.15
Orikaso plate/cutting board 49 1.73 0.11
Silicon spatula 42 1.48 0.09
Wooden spoon 13 0.46 0.03
Kuhn Rikon 4″ Mini chef’s knife 53 1.87 0.12
Utensils stuff sack 13 0.46 0.03
Starlyte backup alcohol stove 15 0.53 0.03
MSR Pocket Rocket canister stove 97 3.42 0.21
Film canister salt shaker 26 0.92 0.06
spare film canister 6 0.21 0.01
DIY Pocket Rocket windscreen 14 0.49 0.03
Microfiber towel 21 0.74 0.05
2x Sea to Summit aluminum spoons 15 0.53 0.03
Bic lighter 22 0.78 0.05
Military can opener 14 0.49 0.03
small stuff sack for inside pot 5 0.18 0.01
1.3L Evernew titanium pot with stuff sack 182 6.42 0.40
Total 1040 36.68 2.29

We had fun with the frying pan at first, but it eventually became dead weight. The backup alcohol stove and can opener were unnecessary. Our kitchen utensils however were superb. The silicon spatula and small chef’s knife will now be staples in our touring kitchen. The Orikaso bowls and plate are still just as practical as on our first tour in 2007. I’m surprised these aren’t more popular.

Electronics

Except for the headlamp, phone, and camera, the electronics fit in a small peanut butter jar.
Except for the headlamp, phone, and camera, the electronics fit in a small peanut butter jar.
Item weight (g) weight (oz) weight (lbs)
Panasonic Lumix LX-5 w/ 16GB SD card 264 9.31 0.58
Extra battery for camera 25 0.88 0.06
Panasonic battery charger 55 1.94 0.12
outlet adapter for UK and Ireland 31 1.09 0.07
outlet adapter for Europe 11 0.39 0.02
Sinewave Cycles Revolution w/ wire and plug 90 3.17 0.20
1-foot micro to USB cable 23 0.81 0.05
micro USB to SD card reader 17 0.60 0.04
Moto G 1st gen smart phone 144 5.08 0.32
USB to wall socket adapter 31 1.09 0.07
plastic peanut butter jar 41 1.45 0.09
Blackburn headlamp 72 2.54 0.16
Carrie’s Kindle with DIY sleeve 200 7.05 0.44
Total 1004 35.42 2.21

My Moto G was unable to connect to the GSM networks in Europe. It was still very handy, and it charged just fine connected directly to my dynamo hub. I wish we would have brought a phone that was compatible with the European networks.

Personal Items

We’ll each be bringing the standard passport and wallet. We also each have a pen and small notebook. I’m also bringing a small book of crossword puzzles. What does this weigh? My stuff will be 233g/8.22oz/0.51lbs. Carrie’s will be 114g/4.02oz/0.25lbs.

Medical Kit

Our medical kit is light and compact. It will repair us and our gear.
Our medical kit is light and compact. It will repair us and our gear.

Our medical kit fixes humans and camping gear. It’s small and seldom used, but it comes in handy when human or otherwise is injured. Since weighing individual items in the kit is tedious, the total weight for the kit with it’s stuff sack is 5.3oz/0.33lbs/150g. Here’s what’s included:

We used the diaper rash creme, bandaids, alcohol swabs, Ibuprofen, Pepto Bismol, and glueless tube patches in a failed attempt to patch our Exped pillow. Our kit proved to have just the right stuff to keep us and our gear happy. We did have to buy more bandaids and another patch kit.

Toiletries

I bring only the basics to remain a notch above caveman.
I bring only the basics to remain a notch above caveman.

This post is taking forever. Who reads this anyway? Do you really want a spreadsheet detailing my and Carrie’s toiletries. Well, too bad. I will provide weights though, since I’ve been counting things thus far. My toiletry kit with topped off soaps is 11.78oz/0.74lbs/334g. Carrie’s toiletry kit is 20.80oz/1.30lbs/590g.

Although not listed, I brought a portable, battery-operated razor with a beard trimming attachment that proved to be a winner. It’s worked so well I continue to use it at home.

Final Weights

Category Nick Carrie
Bike 30.00* 30.00*
Luggage 4.17 6.56
Bike Maintenance 2.45 0.00
Clothes 9.28 9.04
Camping Gear 7.31 3.46
Cooking Gear 2.29 0.00
Electronics 1.77 0.44
Personal Items .51 0.25
Medical 0.00 0.33
Toiletries 0.74 1.30
Total (lbs) 58.52 51.38
Total (kg) 26.54 23.31

*This is at best a guess of how much our bikes weigh.

After weighing, photographing, and packaging all this stuff, I was prepared to see numbers far larger than our result. I’ll be strapping about 28lbs of stuff to my bike, while Carrie will haul around 21lbs. These numbers don’t include the main consumables: food and water. Since we’ll be frequently passing through towns, we’ll probably rarely have to pack more than a day’s worth of food at a time.