September 2018 – March 2020
A challenge for any journey like this is finding the balance between carrying just enough for the coldest night, the worst of bike disasters, enough to be comfortable, and nothing more. A hard task, but I think this amended list is perfect for such extremes from the wet cold of Patagonia, to the dry cold of Bolivia.
If you only have to deal with cold for short sections, I highly recommend just buying some cheap polyester, fleece or wool jumper/s, or polyester long sleeve shirts, and donating them to locals along the way.
As always, I highly recommend second hand gear, you can buy it and sell it off for the same price, or keep it forever as a momento of good times had.
PACKING LIST AMMENDED (NOV 19)
Strike throughs are old/ replaced
* Is something i wouldn’t take again unless back in colder Peru and Bolivia.
1x Merino long sleeve thermal
1x Merino long sleeve shirt
1x Long Sleeve Polyester button up shirt
1x Kook Exchange Wide Brim Hat
1x Merino Leggings * (used mostly for sleeping, no need for them to be merino, spandex is good for bugs)
1x Nice button up shirt (sacrificed to flames)
1x Girls bike pants* (Sadly dead)
1x Long Zip off Pants* (ripped apart)
1x Montane Terra Pants (rip proof and lifetime warranty)
1x Patagonia shorts (good for riding and for swimmers too)
1x Cheap Cycle pants (rarely use now)*
1x Merino thick socks – MTN Designs
1x Darn Tough Wool Socks
1x Local Llama wool Leggings*
1x Seal Skin Waterproof Socks (Not waterproof, nice in cold climates though)*
1x Down Jacket Macpac Halo (insulation layer, heavy but comfortable)
1x Patagonia Nano air
Patagonia Nano Puff (insulation, 2nd hand bought for Puna, front pocket rules)
(On my coldest days/nights see above layering systems)
1x Patagonia Torrent Shell Jacket
1x Patagonia Torrent Shell Pants (Hardly ever need them)
1x Hardware store UV protection glasses
1x Kathmandu Goretex Mitts1x Thick Dishwashing Gloves
1x Thin fleece gloves
1x Seal Skin MTB Gloves (not waterproof and incredibly difficult to put on)
1x DIY Merino wool buff
1x Scarpa Terra boots (will swap out for trail runners) destroyed after 8 months1x La Sportiva Bushido (3 months and they’re almost done)
1x Home made merino buff (out of old shirts)
Half a Top Peak Alien 2 Multitool (just need it for spoke tensioners and chain breaker)
6 hex allen keys
Gaffa tape (wrapped around pump or lighter)
Bacon strips (cotton fabric strips coated in rubber cement work well too apparently)
6x Spare Brake pads (never know when i’ll find a store with them)
Spare brake + gear cable
Spare Chain (also works to remove valve core)
1x Spare inner tube (check for holes every few months)
200ml Sealant (see Ghetto Sealant Recipe)
Needle and thread
Lezyne microdrive Pump
4 Spare Spokes
Fibre Fix spoke
Leatherman wave (use only for pliers) stolen
Thin rope and twine/macrame string
Adjustable wrench (preferably to fit your pedals and cut in half, never use)
Assorted Bolts and screws
Surly ECR 29+
Deore M6000 Crank 24,34
Sunrace Cassette 11-42
Tubus Logo Evo rear rack (for the front) (Bomb proof, and allows use of fork bottle cage mounts)
Small rectangle welded from concrete rio for the bag to sit on
(Makes the rack like a surly 24 pack rack)
1x Lezyne Power cage for fuel
2x Toilet Tube cages (rear) only works with voile style straps
3x Blackburn Outpost cages
Cateye Velo 7 computer (so great)
Surly Knards 3.0 27 TPI (only 5000kmMaxxis chronicles 3″ 120tpi (seem be going very well after 6000km)
(In South America your best replacement option is 29′ Continental Mountain King 2.4)
Sunrace Cassette 11-42
Shiman LX shifter (long)
Combination lockChain and travel padlock
Hygiene + First Aid
Paw paw ointment
Loperamide (when throwing up a lot)
1 x bandage
Leukoplast strapping tape
chunk of soap
Toothbrush cut down for storage
Sleeping and Camping
S2S Latitude 2 + S2S Silk liner + Thermo Rector liner
S2S Ultralite Insulated (7 Months)S2S Ember 3 Quilt
Mont Moondance 2 FN
(After over 400 nights, very great tent for 4 season stuff, takes 70+km/hr wind and snow loads pretty well)Six Moons Lunar Solo + Carbon Pole (first one ripped, replaced under warranty)
S2S Womens Comfort Lite (7 Months)
S2S UL Delux Pillow (3 months)
S2S UL Pillow
S2S Ether lite Insulated
Use merino layers as pyjamas
S2S Sigma 1.2 Litre & x-mug & x-bowl
MSR Whisperlite (terrible)
Trangia with triangle
1x Tiny stainless steel colander for filtering coffee/tea
2x 1.5L Nalgene (good for soaking overnight oats)
2L Kleen Kanteen wide mouth Stainless (Functions as another pot for boiling water)
250ml Bottle for oil sometimes
2x Lighters (essential)
S2S Ti Spork
Average Pocket Knife
Bladder and Sawyer filter for gravity filter system
Tablet 10 inch (If I wanted to use a tablet again I’d get a 7 inch)Kindle
Macbook Air 11″
Sony A6000 (3 batteries)
20’000mah Xaomi Powerbank
10’000 Anker Powerbank (excess)*
Phone Moto G5 (navigation GPS, maps and social media)
Go Pro Hero 4 (2 batteries)
Joby 500 Tripod (Horrible, breaks all the time and I need to saw it part to fix)Cheap fake joby tripod
Spare Memory cards
Charger cables (try get things that all share the same cord)
21 Watt Portable solar panel (Random brand, does okay)
Black Diamond Revolt
Small battery powered shaver
Random Quecha 36L pack, I cut out the frameS2S Hydraulic Bag 30L
DIY frame bag 1000d cordura beeswaxed 14L
DIY trunk bag 100d cordura beeswaxed 40+LS2S Medium Compression Event Drysack
2x DIY Snack Pouches 1.5L
Blackburn Top tube bag (broken)BBtwin top tube bag
2X 5L S2S Big river dry bags
14L Revelate Viscacha
Journal and pen
Fly fishing rod 7 piece & some line leaders + flies
Below is a rolling home that carried me to La Paz, Bolivia From SEPT 2018-2019
Loaded with 18 days food for Los Seis Miles Sur with a Corona Del Inca Detour, who needs panniers?
Daytime riding warm:
Merino LS base layer or button up shirt. Wide brim hat!
Daytime riding cold: (-10C)
Merino LS/Insulation layer/ wind breaker if really cold (-10C)
Fleece gloves (If its raining I use
gore-tex mitts thick washing up gloves).
If its going to be cold, layer up before it gets cold.
Night time cold: (Tested to -10C) Ausangate in a Snow Storm Peru
S2S Ember 3 Quilt + Down Jacket + merino base later and nano air (with hood)+ buff + wool buff + llama Wool Leggings + Wool Socks + merino leggings + Rain pants + rain jacket over the feet outside sleeping bag.
Night time Cold: (Tested to -15C) NW Argentinian Puna & Bivvying Salarying de Uyuni
S2S Latitude -6C Comfort + Thermo Reactor Liner + Down jacket + merino base later and nano air (with hood)+ buff + wool beanie + Llama wool socks + wool socks + merino leggings + Rain pants + rain jacket over the feet outside sleeping bag.
Hot water in the Nalgene trick works a treat too.
Why this set up?
OLD: Sept 18 – Sept 19: Funk Trunk….
With this current combination I have capacity for long distance routes carrying up to 18 days simple food and 13L water if need be. I can manage winter conditions pretty well, sleeping comfortable in temperatures down to -15C. Even when loaded the bike seems to handle really well.
If I was not planning on such long times without resupply I’d try go rackless with a Caradice 24L pack at the front. (something like @justinbill)
No racks, less capacity, but overall much lighter after shedding unnecessary layers, amended sleeping system and tent.
*More on this in “setups of new and old” page
Sewing New Bags
Out came the sewing machine to make some new bags. I made a trunk bag for the front rack and another frame bag as my old one didn’t fit properly.
Instead of 400d Cordura which i’d used in the past, I decided on thicker 1000d Cordura. Heavier, but with an emphasis on durability, I would never need to replace them. It seems pretty water resistant, but i decided on waxing them for extra water resistance and durability. Time will tell, but i’m happy with how they turned out.
(After 1.5 years they’re still going strong and are waterproof)
(Thanks @yourfriendkuba for some really great ideas and support)
Thankfully, local Apiarist Lillian who has a a couple of hives next door, donated me heaps of wax! Which is magic in a way, the flowers of the Australian natives of last season now live on through my bags and their journey abroad.
She owns a small company called Lighthouse Beach Honey. She is the best ever and so is her honey. Support her and you’ll never buy honey anywhere else.
On numerous times she has taken me down and taught me all about her bee’s and how to bee keep. Unfortunately my life doesn’t allow bee keeping at the moment, but one day it will and all these skills will be used when that time comes.
Thanks again Lillian.
Revising Cooking System: Trangia > Whisperlite
Long story short, I use fire or a Trangia. I’ve used in -10C and up to altitudes 5300m. No moving parts and unbreakable. Fuel is available everywhere in South America as denatured alcohol or Alcohol Dequemar (need 96/95 percent).
My MSR whisperlite broke after 3 months use, the screw on off valve threaded itself. food always tastes like fuel. Messy and annoying to pack
I am not endorsed by any companies, this is my honest experience with this gear in New Zealand & South America on a 1+ year month bike journey.
I have generously been provided gear by Sea To Summit who have helped amend my sleep and cooking system. I really recommend their gear due to its durability and extensive warranties. I have never had a problem getting my gear replaced by them.