I take stuff with me on my rides. Minimalism appeals to me, but not yet enough to really embrace it. But I try…
Shelter consists of a tent or hammock, and at times, both… I had a wonderful Eureka! Apex 2XT that I bought in 2009 as a 2007 over-stock closeout. I absolutely LOVED that tent. Unfortunately it fell off of my bike somewhere between Tecate Mexico and Laguna Hansen. I had ditched the heavyweight fiberglass poles and made my own Easton Aluminum Tubing poles and made the sections short enough that the rolled up tent would fit inside an aluminum pannier box. I spent a lot of nights in that tent. In 2015 alone I spent 67 nights in it! Gone but not forgotten! Anyway, I just replaced it with a Eureka! Downrange Solo TCOP type tent. The new tent is advertised as a 3 season tent, but it’s constructed better than a 4 season North Face tent I used to have. It’s highly likely I’ll give it a test run in the 2018-19 winter season. I’m sure it’ll be warm and dry. Close out at Cabellas for $94 including tax. Perfect for my budget.
I also use a Eureka! Chrysalis hammock. This hammock is AWESOME!!!! The most comfortable night ever, made it through several very wet and rainy Olympic National Forest nights as well as Eastern Oregon summer squalls. Can you tell I like Eureka! tents? And no, I don’t get any support from Eureka!
I use a 1.5 inch sleeping pad from REI and also a Thermarest Trail Scout. Both work great. The REI pad goes along on the bigger bikes, the Scout whenever I use the hammock and on the small bikes. I also roll with a Cocoon Ultralight Pillow. I have both a large and a small and as usual, the ride dictate which one I take. I have a couple of sleeping bags, both Slumberjack brand rectangular bags. One is an Esplanade 20 deg model, the other is the same but 0 degree. I love, love, love these bags. Super comfy, pretty warm and packed into Sea to Summit E-Vent compression bags, well they’re pretty compact.
My wife bought me a Luci Light last year as a gift just prior to a 5 day jaunt to Mt Hood. What a great lantern!
I take a Helinox knock-off chair which has held up well and cost a third of what the Helinox costs. It’s comfortable, compact and hangs off the back of my tail bag with 2 carabiners.
Cooking! Cooking is a big thing for me. In my early adventure touring days, I used to sustain with dehydrated meals and snacks, jerky, nuts, etc. You can survive on that stuff, but the truth is, I’m not out there in survival mode, I’m out there in enjoyment mode. That means cook a simple, tasty and satisfying meal. Light breakfast, light lunch and a decent dinner. I have a variety of cooking stoves, from ultra compact and light canister gas stoves to a Fire-Maple Jet Boil knock-off to a old school Coleman Exponent Multifuel single burner, high output, high altitude isobutane cooker, an MSR Whisperlite International and even a Bio-lite wood fueled camp stove. Also a Trangia alcohol rig. I’ve probably missed something. My all around favorite, though the second largest and definitely the heaviest, is the Coleman Exponent Dualfuel stove. It’s the most versatile stove I have and can run on either white gas (my preference) or gasoline. I’ve never run gasoline in it so I can’t elaborate on performance in that respect, but with white gas it burns super clean, no soot, no taste imparted into the food and no residue. Gas canisters run out and are often times difficult to find, the Trangia is easy to find fuel for but the burn rate can’t be controlled. The Whisperlite in my opinion is the dirtiest stove on earth depositing carbon on everything…
I’ve tried a wide variety of cookware and have settled in to using some of the Stanley Adventure Series stuff. I use a tall but thin pot that has a lid and includes 2 cups that nest inside. I primarily use this pot for making coffee. Sometimes I leave the cups at home and drink straight from the pot and use the pot to store packets of Trader Joe’s instant coffee with cream and sugar all in one packet. Sometimes I’ll bring one cup if I’m traveling alone, two if I’m truck camping with my wife. If I’m on a long haul ride or way out from civilization, I’ll bring a cup and use the pot exclusively for boiling water, including drinking water. For cooking meals I have a shallow pot that has 2 bowls, a spatula and a serving spoon nested in to the kit. If I’m on a bigger bike like the VStrom, TR650 or the KLR650 and have the room, I bring a Stanley coffee press that works super good. I keep a long handled Toaks spoon and off and on consider a long handled fork, too. I like the spoon. It cleans up well and that’s important! I also use some plastic ware from places like REI or Cabelas that’s really durable and really cheap.
Other odds and ends, I have a very compact silnylon bucket. I don’t remember who makes it but it’s awesome, one of the best and most useful items in my kit. A UCO candle lamp that I actually use more like a heater to heat my hands when it’s really cold. I burn the bug repelling candles in it in warmer weather. I have an Aukey 20,000ma power bank for charging stuff. I have a Garmin Montana 600 that I pretty much gave up using because my phone does the nav stuff well enough, and unless you’re in north central Nevada, it’s kind of hard to get so lost you can’t find your way out I often us two 6 liter MSR Dromedary bags for general use water, and keep a 3 liter hydration pack either on my back or strapped to the bike for drinking, and often time I refill it with a Katadyn Hiker Pro filter.