Saturday, 23 May 2020

... Checking it Twice - Lockdown Cycle Camping Planning

Section 2 (the camping stuff) is starting to sound a bit like "taking everything except the kitchen sink".

Time for a quick check to see what that lot weighs!
I nipped out to the garage, and, using a scale designed for weighing holiday suitcases, started weighing stuff.

Tent (the small, single-skin "fishing shelter"), including carry bag - 1.6 kg (3.5 lbs)
Airbed - 2 kg (4.4 lbs)
Holdall (the strong bag I intend to put all the stuff in, and then strap it to my luggage rack) - 1.2 kg (2.6 lbs)
Lightweight groundsheet/poncho 400g (a bit under 1 lb)

So the "camping" stuff comes in at 5.2 kg (12.5 lbs) not including the chair.
The chair is 3.9 kg (8 1/2 lbs).

There is also LOADS of room in the holdall for other kit - cooking gear, clothes food, etc. etc.

Section 3 - Cooking and Eating

My vintage (as in early 70's or before) Camping Gaz Deluxe set is coming with me.
And the old aluminium kettle I inherited with it.
(the Camping Gaz set and the kettle were my grandfather's)
Plus a modern small frying pan I have borrowed (with permission!) from our kitchen.

So I can boil water, and do some simple heating/frying. But that's it.

For food, I have "dry" couscous (250g, about 1/2 a pound), a couple of instant "add water" pasta sachets, some instant noodles, 4 boxes of Jacob's crispbreads, a can of baked beans, a can of rice pudding, a small malt loaf, 10 sachets of instant cappuccino, a small tub of hot chocolate powder, and a small tub of coffee whitener mixed 2 parts with one part of sugar - and half a dozen "decaf" tea bags tucked in the top of the milk/sugar tub.
And a dozen or so elastic/rubber bands

And it goes without saying that I intend to have a hearty breakfast before I start out!

Section 4 - water

I will be carrying a 1000ml and a 750 ml water bottle in the bottle holders on the bike.
I have also packed 4 litres of water in the right hand-pannier (remember, tools, etc go in the left one).
I will slip another 2 litre bottle into the "tools" pannier just before I go, to give a total of 7.75 litres of water at the start (that about 2 US gallons of water with me).
Should be plenty to get me through the 50 mile trip there, and the first day, at least.

Section 5 - clothing

"Wear and a spare" is my motto here.
I can always wash and dry the second pair while wearing the first.
I am not going to wear "cycle specific" clothing on the whole, because limited space means many things have to be multi-purpose (an example is that I have used the clothes to wrap and pack the food and cooking stuff to stop in all rattling).

A long sleeved brushed cotton shirt, a couple of cotton T-shirts, a pair of long socks, a pair of underpants, a fleece jacket for the evening/night. That's about it.
Plus what I will be wearing, of course - another long sleeved brushed cotton shirt, a pair of baggy cargo trousers/pants with zip-off legs that double as shorts in a quick-drying material (they are sometimes called "technical" trousers/pants and are popular with hikers/walkers), long socks, underpants, fingerless cycling gloves with padded palms, a cycling cap, and a couple of bands round my trouser/pant legs (I have the elastic/rubber bands mentioned in cooking above if I lose them!)
Oh, and my bright yellow cycling jacket which is windcheating and somewhat waterproof, and a pair of waterproof trousers (loose fitting). At a push, the jackets and the waterproof trousers will keep me warm on a cold/leaky tent night!

Section 6 - entertainment/relaxation

well, I'm going to be walking, cycling, cooking and eating quite a bit of the time, but when I have time to spare, I will be re-reading "And Quiet Flows the Don" by Sholokhov. I found my copy, so all I have to do now is remember to take it tomorrow morning!

Section 7 - special items

For a start I have been prescribed warfarin/Counadin for the last 10 years, so I had better take that!
Then plenty of allergy tablets for my hayfever.
And the presription painkillers the doc gives me for my bad back.
I'm not a young man, you know ;-)
(actually I am fifty-five)

The elephant in the room at the moment is Covid-19, so I will take some wipes, gloves and a facemask with me too - I may have to go to the shops once or twice in this trip, and I want to have all angles covered.

And now some pictures of my preparations:

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