A couple of days in the past I acquired two closely-related emails from two separate BicycleTouringPro.com readers.
The primary electronic mail was from John and it learn:
My sleeping bag is large and would fully fill one of many rear panniers. What kind of sleeping bag do you employ? Additionally, do you stuff your sleeping bag in a water-proof sack? Thanks.
The second electronic mail was from Jessica and it learn:
How are you? You’ve impressed me to take up bicycle touring this summer time! I’m planning do my first tour throughout Ontario, Canada. What issues me about taking such a visit is that I can solely carry a lot water on my bike to start with of the journey. What occurs when my water provide runs out and I’m in the midst of nowhere? How do you handle while you go touring? Sustain the nice work!
At first look, these two questions don’t seem like associated… however they’re… and right here’s why:
John is commenting on an article/video I produced over a 12 months in the past by which I like to recommend putting your sleeping bag inside one in every of your panniers with a view to defend it from the weather and make sure that it doesn’t slide off the again of your bike while you’re using. He’s clearly tried this and located that putting the sleeping bag inside his pannier takes up nearly the complete bag. In his query, he’s questioning if I’m utilizing a distinct sleeping bag than he’s (probably a smaller one?)… and in addition needs to know what sort of cowl I’m utilizing to guard and compress my sleeping bag within the first place.
As I point out within the video above, I’m presently utilizing a North Face 4-season sleeping bag. It actually doesn’t matter what sort of sleeping bag it’s nevertheless. It’s a massive bag, and similar to John’s sleeping bag, after I place it inside one in every of my rear panniers it does certainly take up nearly all the house inside that individual bag. As for the compression sack I’m utilizing, it’s the similar one which got here with the sleeping bag. It’s waterproof, however positively not water-proof.
Once more, none of this actually maters. What’s essential to notice right here is that I select to put the sleeping bag inside my rear pannier for 3 foremost causes:
1. Inserting the bag inside one in every of my rear panniers offers an additional degree of climate safety for the sleeping bag. I might clearly buy a water-proof stuff sack for the sleeping bag and that may allow me to retailer the sleeping bag on the rear rack of the bike and never have to fret about it getting moist… however that’s actually not the MAIN purpose I retailer my sleeping bag inside one in every of my panniers.
2. The principle purpose I retailer my sleeping bag inside one in every of my panniers is as a result of I consider that when you’ve got your tent, sleeping bag, sleeping mat and different potential objects strapped to the rear rack of your bicycle… and you’ve got your panniers stuffed to capability, you’re merely carrying an excessive amount of stuff! Storing your sleeping bag inside one in every of your panniers forces you to pack much less.
3. Lastly, (and that is a very powerful a part of this text) the rationale I pack my sleeping bag inside one in every of my panniers and do my greatest to maintain my rear rack free is as a result of packing on this manner offers me the choice of taking my sleeping bag out of the pannier and storing it on the rear rack if I so select, in order that I can tackle extra objects, resembling meals, water, souvenirs and/or cold-weather gear. Eradicating the sleeping bag from my rear pannier and strapping it to my rear rack frees up an enormous quantity of room inside my panniers, which I can then quickly fill with different objects – such a water!
This, in fact, is the place Jessica’s query about water comes into play. She needs to know how you can carry further water when going into distant places the place there might not be any identified sources of water for a number of hundred miles/kilometers.
That is the way you do it Jessica! You merely liberate some house inside your panniers after which buy cheap liquid containers (just like the one I show within the video above) to hold as a lot water as you want in your journey. You then use these low cost containers to retailer your water by way of these lengthy stretches of street. As soon as you’re again in a civilized a part of the world the place water is extra available, you possibly can merely dump the additional water containers and return your sleeping bag to it’s rightful place inside your panniers.
I’ve used this method to hold as a lot as 10 liters of water on my bicycle… and it’s a method which may simply save your life at some point. However it doesn’t work except you have got some further house in your bike to put all that further water. If you’re stuffed to capability from the very starting of your journey, you gained’t have the house wanted to hold extra water containers… and you end up in a harmful state of affairs the place dehydration and dying is an actual risk. PACK SMART!
Like all the articles on BicycleTouringPro.com, that is only a suggestion on how you can pack and plan out your travels. There are a variety of different methods to hold further water and kit in your bicycle, however that is the tactic I’ve discovered to work greatest for me. Strive it out and let me know the way it works! If in case you have one other suggestion on how you can carry massive quantities of water in your bike, be happy to share it with me by leaving a remark down under.