Bikepacking, gory details

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  • Bikepacking, gory details
  • Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge

    Get all your kit laid out that you think you need, then get rid of half of it.

    I just poo the same way as ever.


    Take a couple of good books and use the ‘spent’ pages as kindling for the next cooking fire. Twop twip.

    Also radio 3 late at night will put you to sleep in a good way.

    Just carry a decent sized tent. If you take a coffin sized thing, you’ll wake up feeling like death. And cooking in one of those things in the rain is plain dangerous. Or just stick with the tarp.

    Whisky helps.

    Premier Icon DavidB

    I’m shortly to enter a new phase of cycling adventure and am fully kitted up to set out for days on end unsupported. Dynamos, bivi-bags, tarps, cookers I’ve sorted the lot. But .. let me in on some of the inner secrets like, how to poo, how to wash, how to whistle cheerfully when it’s all gone wrong, how to cope when it pisses down for days on end, how to entertain yourself when the suns gone down and the phone’s lost charge..that sort of thing.

    Premier Icon mikewsmith

    **Advice from a general outdoor perspective**
    How to dump outdoors?
    Well those with skills can defer the action for a day or so. After that may I suggest either burying it (trowel) or going every time you pass a public one.
    Stove? Depends on how long I’m still using an MSR Whisperlite and pan set, packs well and cooks very efficiently.
    Can’t get the bivvy bag I have anymore (Macpac cocoon) but something with a pole is much much better. Though looking in Macpac yesterday the one lightweight 1 man tents are probably much better for summer (and lighter) but the bivvy bag will be much tougher.
    You can got some solar chargers which can provide some backup for phones/gps etc.
    How wilderness are you planning to go?
    How to survive when things are going wrong? Have a plan B & C, don’t get backed into a corner – it’s either up this hill and onwards with no food for 2 days or nothing. Mark on Pubs with B+B and proper campsites onto your map so you have somewhere to bolt to if needed.

    Also from a previous thread cut away from you.


    Noodles weigh nothing. All you need us boiling water and a loaf thereafter. And a few bananas for brekky.

    Premier Icon NZCol

    Treat it as a journey. You won’t die from being a bit hungry. Go and have a couple of practice sessions locally, then you can dump half of your gear as already said ! Beyond that its prety simple/

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    As above, plan good journeys.
    Choose camp spots carefully – think what could happen overnight, so what happens when the wind blows or rain sets in, or midges arrive etc.
    It is always worth finding a perfectly flat, soft grassed, non inclined spot to sleep on. Be uber fussy about this.
    Poop away from water and prying eyes, dig a good sized hole. Enjoy.
    Go light, gadgets are regularly a waste of space and weight. Don’t skimp on food.


    Practice, at least twice. First time pack everything then whittle it down from there

    When its raining or cold, piss in a bottle.

    For endless rain I resort to Kindle and now (for me) indispensable Freeplay Companion solar/windup radio/torch tuned to R4 at night

    Hours in a tent is good for doing ab work or writing that novel.

    Apples and mixed nuts

    Dry pasta carries well and is always welcome cooked

    Premier Icon DavidB

    What do you dig the poo hole with?

    I’m using a jetboil for cooking as I’ve had one for a while, we used it for 3 weeks camping in the USA.

    “Practice, at least twice.” -lol, WRT is my first outing 😉


    If it’s gory details that you’re after, read this book

    ‘How to shot in the woods’

    Strangely enough it’s a really good read

    I have a small folding trowel, couple of quid on offer from mountain warehouse, has a pouch which keeps stubborn soil off other kit when packing. Washing, make a bag of biodegradwable wet wipes for, er, emergencies, Ive cold washed in streams but picky about where it is, ie no agrifoam or discolouration. The best travel light leave no litter post toilet clean has to be a handful of sphagnum moss damp with dew, you can find mats of it by roots of trees or by rocks


    Simple stuff like make use of any stop in civilistaion.
    Eat well, fill your water bottles always,use the facilities, have a quick wash, grab usefull paper towels, sugar/milk/sauce sachets, unpack anything thats wet for a short drying session.

    Get used to wearing wet kit, it will dry quicker on you in the evening, and 5 mins after that horrible feeling of putting it on in the morning you’ll be used to it.

    Don’t be self concious about looking a tramp, pubs will always take your money 😉

    Hook up with other riders at WRT, it’s the perfect place for advice and help. see you there.


    get the smallest/lightest 2 man tent you can afford – the extra space is a godsend. 1 man tents are a royal PITA for doing anything other than lying down and i found bivying isn’t great in the wet. tarp helps a lot – plenty of space but no good for midges!

    i take a little pocket radio and a small book for evenings, or just gaze at the map at where i’m planning to go the next day. if i’m lucky i’ll camp near a pub which always kills a few hours…

    as for taking a dump, well on a previous mission me and a pal had to talk a mate through his first wild poo. utterly hilarious it was like having a toddler with us. i’d suggest leaning against a tree if your legs are knacked, wet wipes help too, and dig a hole with a stick. or bake it till you find civilisation

    love the buzz of setting of on an adventure and not knowing where i’ll be sleeping/who i’ll meet etc, probably means i brush over the rougher edged bits if bike/backpacking. enjoy!


    when my mate and i rode acorss the alps with just a tarp and sleeping bags i had the sudden urge to poo….

    i crouched down in abush and done a big splattery, runny poo. make a mess of the ground and my arse cheeks (poss splashback incident) and had to dip my arse into a glacial stream to wash it.

    WOW! cold. my arsehole was ultra sensitive for a few hours after.

    edit. best way to poo is like this:

    not literally like that. does require the removal of one trouser leg but keeps keks well out of the way of any potential harm.


    pooing like this is asking for trouble.


    Whilst stalking I had the call I could not resist.
    Be very aware not to re-pack what you just unloaded. The one leg out of the trousers tip is a good idea.

    I try very hard to use facilities when I pass them. Everything from a shower (you have to look after your bum when several days in the saddle)
    to topping up water bottles at every opportunity.

    Premier Icon adsh

    If you are going anywhere wilderness or high then:-

    1. Get a good forecast for the specific area and check.

    2. Repeat – forecasts change a lot in wild or high areas. Any doubt then change plans to something safer.

    3. Leave proposed route and check in time with reliable individual and agree action if not checked in and or if you will update any deviation from the route.

    4. Thorough check of the map to be aware of any hazards (cliffs etc) on the route and points where you could unintentialy take a wrong turn towards other hazards.

    5. Descending either on bike or foot especially in poorer light can greatly reduce your ability to see even massive drops (see 4.)

    Might sound a bit dramatic and not for Surrey but N.Wales, Lakes etc can be very wild if your are not careful.

    6. Spend some time thinking through bad scenarios and what you might do if they happened – bad mechanical, bad weather, illness, accident etc.


    MTFU 😉

    Just embrace your inner Tramp, it’ll be fine.

    Dont bother washing, a few days without isnt going to kill you.
    Try not to plan and learn how think on your feet.
    Its Wales, it’ll rain, you’re not going to disolve.
    Leave the phone at home, an adventure is a chance to get away from that stuff. Nature will be there to entertain you (or TigerMatt)
    A bit of hardship is good for the soul

    Home you enjoy tea and cake 😀


    Eat little and often whilst riding and take some electrolyte tabs – I’ve found I’m less susceptible to headaches after a long day in the saddle if I use 1 or 2 over the course of the day.

    Dr Bronner’s isn’t so bad for brushing your teeth with.

    IMO, don’t bother wasting your time heli taping your frame at framebag strapping points, just use some decent duct tape and remove it after the ride. Easier to work with and it may come in handy in a pinch too.

    Consider bibs/tights even if it’s forecast to be warm, should help reduce tick/cleg issues. (I react badly to cleg bites). Carry antihistamines and a tick removal tool. And Ibuprofen, obviously. 😉

    If you’ll be fording streams/rivers, some goretex socks or freezer bags keep your clean socks dry in camp once back in damp shoes.

    Premier Icon Tiger6791

    Twop Tip #2

    Before you set off cut your fingernails as short as you can.

    You won’t need to find the end of the selotape while you’re out and dirty fingernails make you feel mucky.

    Premier Icon welshfarmer

    In the absence of a trowel, find a rocky area, turn over a large rock, shit in the depression it leaves and put the rock back. Before replacing the rock use your lighter/matches to burn the toilet roll (taking precautions if there is any risk of a forest fire of course). You will be surprised how easily it burns away leaving nothing but dust. A good turd will disappear in days under the right conditions (heat, rain, flies, bugs, bacteria, etc), used bog roll can stick around for months and months.


    Welshfarmer, think that method breaks every rule going!


    How to wash.

    Go to superdrug, they have a travel section of mini sized toothpaste/hand gels/wet wipe packs, mini spray cans of Lynx/impulse.

    Surprising how little you smell with good baselayers that wick sweat away, even after 3 days yomping through highland peat bog.

    Boots got whiffy, had to spray them with lynx before i got on the bus 🙂 is nice to look around for eco toilet things.


    Yeah, shit on the rock and marvel at your master piece

    Premier Icon molgrips

    I use a plastic trowel from B&Q for poo hole digging. You can get small ones, they are sturdy enough to break through rough mountain turf and weigh naff all being plastic. Cheap too.

    Gel hand sanitizer for toilet duties, mountain stream for everyhting else.

    As for the rest of it – mtfu. If you don’t have enough masochism to enjoy the hardship then don’t do it. Take a trailer, pack home comforts and use campsites or pubs. And do it in summer when the evenings are nice and light 🙂

    Premier Icon DavidB

    ” If you don’t have enough masochism to enjoy the hardship then don’t do it. “

    I supported Swindon Town for years, I’m sorted


    multi use everything

    I had a tripod with me this weekend so no pole required for my tarp!


    Sudocrem useful for chafing, but also for, erm, well, coating your ring before pooing to make the passage easier and the sanitisation simpler. Seriously.

    Premier Icon Teetosugars

    csb – Member
    Sudocrem useful for chafing, but also for, erm, well, coating your ring before pooing to make the passage easier and the sanitisation simpler. Seriously.

    Eh? Do you do this at home?

    I don’t find snapping one off outside, any harder than inside. 😐

    Granted, after a couple of weeks on Compo it was harder, but not with any decent scoff.


    it would do a good job of coating the arse crack hairs and preventing matting…

    might try that tomorrow morning…

    anything to save the trees


    Current Compo or the old Coldwar Compo Teetosugars ? 🙂

    Current issue 24hr give you a nice strong sealable polybag to use if needed.
    The old bacon grill tins where a bit small and jagged edge to attempt 🙂


    Current issue 24hr give you a nice strong sealable polybag to use if needed.

    …and kleenex!


    It makes for a much cleaner clean up. Which is useful if you won’t be showering for a while.

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