Go on then, I’ll bite! (Like the mozzies). Nosing around for tarp info and found you lot, I’ve obv not been looking hard enough previously, either that or I’m an antisocial old fart. Oh yes, it’s the latter isn’t it.
If you can bear with my ramblings I’ve been MTB tourer for yonks. Dawes Cougar bought in 1985 – loved steampunk MTBing round old steelworks, industrial areas etc, oh and the odd mountain top. First big outing was hardly bikepacking lite! One month circumnavigation of Iceland, after a sea voyage, with far too much junk although in mitigation there was almost nowhere to stock up on the way.
Picked up my faithful Orange P7 a while ago. Have hated panniers for ages. Tried a seatpost pannier rack a while ago – hopeless, I valued my rear wheel too much. Then invested in what I still think is the superb Extrawheel with 2 panniers. I know, still not “professional bikepacking” but it’s all I knew at the time. Far superior to a Bob Yak etc, because it just tracks your bike over ANYTHING. And the best bit is you can unhook it in 5 seconds, bung it in the long grass, then hammer off on a supertech trail ride for a couple of hours (if such perversions are indeed your bag). Quick cuppa, 5 secs Extrawheel back on, and off to the next spot. Brilliant. It even works with a full sus (I know, heresy! But I get the best of all worlds then), and has survived up/down Foel Fadian and Helvellyn for example.
You can also set up lots of amusing bike-train type configurations to amuse the normals, like this. Note the “emergency” Brompton in the trailer ;-).
Up to now I’ve sported Macpac Microlight (bombproof, dyneema/titanium), Drishell PHD bag, Exped UL7 and pillow, Coleman F1, MSR Miniworks filter, etc etc. Time for the next step, egged on by the rest of the inmates in here! Need a bit of luxury in my grand old elder statesman 56-yr-old position ( a position usually horizontal in the nearest boozer), so not prepared to abandon the mat; but am thinking of Rig 7 with 2mm dyneema and titanium (or maybe splash out on cuben but can’t find one big enough), Hunka or TN Moonlite or RAB Survival Zone, etc. Also looking at Steripen (Traveller at 150g rather than Mini at 105g, cos want easy AAA rechargeables not CR123s). But dunno whether to get Hunka XL so can fit mat inside it and then not need groundsheet. Once you’ve got the tarp, mat, groundsheet, bivi etc you’re almost up to tent weight otherwise. And yes obv by now I know the tarp game is really about “out in the open” rather than necessarily the weight. Then again a tyvek groundsheet from BPL is only 95g. And how often will I really need the bivi with the Drishell bag? ARG! Might visit Alpkit in Ripley and try out various combos.
Did Trans Wales last year, and Snowdon/Llanberis/Penmachno plus Carmarthen-Aberystwyth this year, so looking at Wales North/South C2C next year along with many other “quickies” (ooerrr missus).
Glad to see rail travel favoured by many of you. Bike n train is the only way to travel even without proper restaurant cars (remember them eh??). If I can do Milton Keynes – Aber, changing at Wolverhampton with a bike and Extrawheel it can’t be that hard. Book ahead and it’s wayyyyy cheaper than motors too, drink yourself stupid, stare out the windows, talk to nutters opposite (the nutter opposite will be me) etc.
Thanks for listening to my ravings!
One day I’ll die, and on my grave it will say: “Here lies Reginald Iolanthe Perrin. He didn’t know the names of the trees and the flowers, but he knew the rhubarb crumble sales figures for Schleswig Holstein”. But then bikepacking is the perfect antidote to that disease of course, as you already know!
All the be(a)st, Reg