Monday, September 12, 2011

Jenn's Big Summer Adventure: Part 15 - Packing

I just don't know how to successfully pack for multi-week, multi climate trips - I ended up sending home the sleep sack that I bought and buying a warmer sleep sack - and then even ended up sleeping indoors more than expected because I brought a bivy instead of a tent.

Packed up and leaving Ohio (2011-08-25)

Just a day out from Cleveland in Indiana (2011-08-26) - note: I'm actually wearing my Camelback, but discovered that it actually tired out my shoulders wearing it all the time over my jacket.

This is what it looked like in Wyoming (2011--09-01):

Wearing my new hi-vis jacket, above Prairie OR (2011-09-08):

This is just before getting home, in Lassen (2011-09-11):

On my way from California to Ohio, I realized that just trying to put the big stuff sacks on the back was not going to work - I wanted a waterproof duffel so that I wouldn't have to worry about stuffing things into smaller sacks. I attached it with a 6' motorcycle tiedown (double duty - in case I needed it for actually tying down the motorcycle) and a bungee through the handle on each side to the luggage rack.

I wasn't clever enough to take pictures of the contents - I am very impressed with the level of organization in some of these postings!

Basically it was like this:

Tank bag:

  • bandanas x2
  • headlamp
  • maps
  • phone
  • gps
  • Solio charger
  • glasses/cases (I wear separate Rx glasses & sunglasses)
  • sunblock (which I never used)
  • hairbrush

Jacket pockets:

  • phone
  • camera
  • wallet
  • lip balm, antacid, bandana, tissues

Camelback backpack:

  • 1.5 L water bladder
  • a couple paperback books
  • charger cables for phone & camera
  • extra layer (or stuff in the jacket liner)

Cabela's waterproof duffel:

  • North Face Bivy
  • Sleeping bag
  • very small hammock
  • big agnes sleep pad
  • Keen sandals inside (cheapie flip flops clipped to the outside)
  • Clothing - probably took more than I should have but I didn't want to be doing laundry every two days!

Jandd cordura mountain bike panniers:

  • toiletries
  • towel
  • swimsuit
  • rain pants
  • pack covers (for panniers & duffel - orange for visibility)
  • food - lots of udon noodles & cubes of veggie stock, tea, miso, couscous, gravy packets, dried veggies, Bumble Bars
  • spicewheel (from
  • teeny stove & isopro fuel
  • nesting pair of pans, bowl, insulated stainless steel cup
  • Alite Monarch butterfly folding chair
  • tool kit
  • extra tube

I ended up making about 4 boxes back home to ship back tie downs, trinkets, gifts, broken glasses, sleeping bag, clothing & books I finished.

Next time - I'm just bringing the regular tent, not the bivy - unless it is >60 degrees at night, I just get too cold sleeping outdoors in a hammock or bivy. The bivy was fine in Illinois but in Iowa with storms coming in - it got too cold and I was up putting on all my layers at 2:30am.

That is - for a real camping trip. I think I might just take Custer SP Blue Bell Campground host Vern's suggestion and look at overnights at state parks and KOAs with cheap cabins for the next multi week road trip - there's so much less overhead in unpacking, setting up, breaking down and packing for a longer trip that it seems like it would be more fun (and lighter) that way.

Next time, I'll actually wear my sunblock on my face - or get some sort of UV block for my visor - I ended up with some solar radiation damage on my face between the bottom of my sunglasses where there is a gap above the bottom of the face opening.

I'll also make sure I have actual waterproofing on my coat!

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