Author Topic: New to touring  (Read 964 times)

New to touring
« on: 21 March, 2021, 09:48:05 am »
Hello folks,

I am planning of some touring in England this yeas and would like some advice.
I've got a decent sleeping bag, bought a new roll mat and have a small tent.

One of the Poles is damaged but only 160cm long, where you would you go to find a replacement, I was thinking of getting aluminum to replace the existing Poles.

What other bits should I take? I'll be doing all this in late may and July too.

Any advice welcome

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: New to touring
« Reply #1 on: 21 March, 2021, 10:39:37 am »

That's a very open ended question.

What sort of touring setup are you thinking of? Are you going classic five bag bike touring? or the more modern ultra light bikepacking?

Are you planning to cook at your tent, or eat in pubs/chippies etc... along the way? If so you'll want a stove. If you want a stove, Kim will be along shortly to recommend a trangia. I'll throw in a proper multifuel stove like the MSR whisperlite Internationale, and someone else will say esbit. (Find the stove threads in camping it up to see all the arguments why they are all wrong).

If you're not fussed about speed, and want some camp comfort, a light weight chair can make life more comfortable. (again, see threads in the camping it up section).

Don't forget stuff to maintain your bike, (lube, spares, tools), but also to maintain you (saddle sore cream, first aid kit etc...).

Good luck!

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

Re: New to touring
« Reply #2 on: 21 March, 2021, 10:43:12 am »
You can get replacement poles from any of your regular camping oulets for less than a tenner. You can cut them down to length to match what you've got. I had a pole let go on the first night of a tour. The next day I stopped and found a camping store (Field and Trek I think) and bought some poles. Later that day I cut it to length. I then had all the other spare lengths of pole left over. Not knowing what to do with them, I spent the next month riding 2000 miles around Europe with them strapped to my rack :P

As for other bits to take - I guess that depends. Are you planning on cooking yourself?
Those wonderful norks are never far from my thoughts, oh yeah!

Re: New to touring
« Reply #3 on: 21 March, 2021, 11:31:42 am »
You may be able to fix the pole with a repair kit, available from most outdoor shops.
You've got shelter and a bed, some way of carrying it and that's all you need. I'd suggest a couple of short trips and decide for yourself what you feel is missing.  I did a few trips like that, single nights to a week, then got too much kit, then cut it back too far, then finally worked out what works for me and it's hardly changed since.  I could write out my kit list, then the next poster might say they wouldn't be without something I'm missing, or wouldn't carry something I do, and we'd both be right.
I'd also say that for the purpose of touring, how much weight you carry on a bike doesn't make much difference.  What matters is that you benefit to matching the weight to the bike, IME adding 20kg camping load to a lightweight Audax bike spoils the handling, but if you have an 8kg load there's no need to use a full on expedition tourer.
It's touring, have fun, if the most memorable thing is the kit, you're doing it wrong ;)

Re: New to touring
« Reply #4 on: 21 March, 2021, 04:43:37 pm »
Thanks for the advice about the Poles, I'll try to visit a camping shop this week (if they are open). I don't plan on cooking, just sleeping in the tent. I'll be on a fairly audax style bike but with 28mm tyres and a rack.

It's a good time about spare bits, I'll have a test run of one night and hopefully work it out from there.

Re: New to touring
« Reply #5 on: 21 March, 2021, 05:12:21 pm »
Wasn't it standard practice in the land of Arabia when setting off on a major mission which involved setting camp every night to make the first day's journey only a mile, so that they could ascertain that they had everything they needed, and if they didn't, it was but a short gallop away
Rust never sleeps

Cudzoziemiec

  • Eating all the pies and drinking all the tea.
Re: New to touring
« Reply #6 on: 21 March, 2021, 05:56:32 pm »
Stuff sacks are useful. Not only do they keep your stuff contained in some sort of sensible-to-you fashion and separate wet stuff from dry stuff, you can also use one full of clothes as a pillow. A pair of non-riding shoes to wear on campsite can be nice but not essential. Maybe a towel... Possibly a larger bottle or bag for water, saves multiple trips to the tap when cooking. But this is all nice to have that you might or might not value, you'll work out what appeals to you as you do it. Make a short trip with nothing more than what you've got and sort it out from there. Pick your nearest free evening...
Riding a bike through a city is like navigating the collective neural pathways of a vast global mind.

Tomsk

  • Fueled by cake since 1957
    • tomsk.co.uk
Re: New to touring
« Reply #7 on: 21 March, 2021, 07:10:26 pm »
Don't worry too much about new, expensive and hi-tech gear, as you can work out what you really need in future as things progress. Decades ago I started cycle-camping with various bits and pieces from backpacking, including a very heavy, noisy and messy primus stove, and fairly basic and heavy stuff used for car/motorbike camping. Borrowing or improvising will do for starters and you'll have an excellent adventure whatever!  :thumbsup:

As said already, a test run locally is a good idea for a first-timer.

Kim

  • Timelord
Re: New to touring
« Reply #8 on: 21 March, 2021, 08:45:34 pm »
Wasn't it standard practice in the land of Arabia when setting off on a major mission which involved setting camp every night to make the first day's journey only a mile, so that they could ascertain that they had everything they needed, and if they didn't, it was but a short gallop away

That's proper not-driving-to-the-start-of-an-audax wisdom, there.

As for camping, if you've got a tent (having sorted the pole out), sleeping bag, some sort of mat and a way to attach everything to your bike, then I'd say you've got the basics covered.  Try it and see what you feel you could improve on next time.

Bring a little more clothing than you think you'll need, so you've got a bit of margin for error, and make sure you know where your towel is.  Oh, you'll probably want a torch, unless your bike has battery lights that can be used for the purpose.  And no BRITISH camper ever regretted having an emergency bin-liner or two on hand.

Similarly, when planning a loaded tour for the first time, be conservative in your daily mileage.  You can plan more accurately when you've got a feel for how much difference (or not) a loaded bike and/or poor sleep makes.
Careful, Kim. Your sarcasm's showing...

Re: New to touring
« Reply #9 on: 22 March, 2021, 05:27:56 pm »
Wasn't it standard practice in the land of Arabia when setting off on a major mission which involved setting camp every night to make the first day's journey only a mile, so that they could ascertain that they had everything they needed, and if they didn't, it was but a short gallop away


I thought that was the French voyageurs in Canada ?   Though I can't find a reference.  ???
y
Edit.  Referred to y Ray Mears as a "Hudson Bay Start", so unlikely to have been the French competitors.
Not fast & rarely furious

tweeting occasional in(s)anities as andrewxclark

quixoticgeek

  • Mostly Harmless
Re: New to touring
« Reply #10 on: 22 March, 2021, 08:32:56 pm »
Wasn't it standard practice in the land of Arabia when setting off on a major mission which involved setting camp every night to make the first day's journey only a mile, so that they could ascertain that they had everything they needed, and if they didn't, it was but a short gallop away


I thought that was the French voyageurs in Canada ?   Though I can't find a reference.  ???
y
Edit.  Referred to y Ray Mears as a "Hudson Bay Start", so unlikely to have been the French competitors.

I've always known it as a Voyageurs start. Probably from the same source.

J
--
Beer, bikes, and backpacking
http://b.42q.eu/

BFC

Re: New to touring
« Reply #11 on: 22 March, 2021, 10:11:52 pm »
The ultimate try before committing is to camp in your own garden (if you have one), as a level 0 camping trial, if anything isn't right just go indoors and try again later.

Neighbours may question your sanity, but who cares!