I don’t want this page to be too technical and sound too much like a cycling anorak, our kit is important to us, as it constitutes our means of transport and everything we need, or indeed have, for hopefully several months at a time.
Many long distance cycle tourists post extensive lists of equipment, and we have read many of these to get a picture of our needs. However it is a very individual thing, and our equipment hopefully reflects our individual needs.
For our first tour in Europe, in the summer of 2015, we used our old road touring cycles, Jon on a Ridgeback Voyage, and Sylvia on her Dawes Karakum. Both are fine touring bikes and are well up for carrying full loads on tarmac road tours in Europe.
However, on our return from our tour we went straight to Thorn Cycles in Bridgwater to order a pair of Thorn Sherpas. We had decided that long term cycle touring was for us and we would treat ourselves to a nice new touring bike each, but kept our now broken in Brooks saddles.
The Thorn Sherpa is a tank of a bike, and may be a bit of overkill if you are just touring on roads in Europe.
We have yet to start our tour this year on them, however, we have been living in the south of Spain for the last two months and I have been regularly getting out on the dirt tracks in the area. The Sherpa certainly feels extremely robust and stable on rough terrain, and I like the straight handlebars. In my view much better than drop bars for touring, giving a easy riding position, the bar ends allowing for a change of hand position.
I will add some more detailed views when we have ridden them fully loaded.
Home Sweet Home
This our home on our travels, a Nordisk 3 man tunnel tent.
With the footprint it weighs in .at about 4.5 Kg. Not the lightest, but very spacious. We think it is important to have plenty of space when you are camping for months on end, and security wise it is easy to get all of our kit into the tent with us. We could get the bikes in as well at a push if we needed to.
The main choice with tents is free standing (geodesic etc,) or tunnel. we have gone for tunnel, but at some point we may regret that choice, we will see.
One of my frontpanniers gives easy access to Trangia, gas, coffee and plastic cups for quick brews. Very useful in the cooler/wet northern climes of last summer (for about 1 week before the heatwave struck). One rear pannier is my kitchen.
This photo shows all our cooking kit. Details below.
Another useful thing we bought was a candle lighter, light weight and far easier to use than matches or a cigarette lighter. Wooden spoon and spatula maybe a luxury but made cooking easier, 2 good sharp knives and a spud peeler that doubles as a grater, very light & effective.
You will also notice the plastic egg pots & coffee filter.
A selection of spices, salt & pepper, pimiento, herbs….all packed in small ziploc bags (except for the salt as I find it gets damp) and pasta, rice, lentils and extra virgen olive oil form most of our ‘store cupboard’ foods.
We also carry a little cling film, foil, and various sized ziploc bags as well as a few clothes wash tablets.