Like any good hermit, the Bike Hermit is constantly attempting to simplify. And why go on a bike tour if not, at least in part, to enjoy being unencumbered by unnecessary external superficialities, and by too much gear?
The Italian impressionist Carlotti said“Beauty is a summation of the parts working together in such a way that nothing is needed to be added, taken away or altered”.
Architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe adopted the motto “Less is more” to describe his aesthetic tactic of arranging the numerous necessary components of a building to create an impression of extreme simplicity.
When traveling on the bike the kit can be pared down to the basics required for survival and comfort. And if it is possible to travel for two weeks with a certain amount of bike touring gear then, unless traveling in a more remote region, the cyclo tourist should be able to exist in relative comfort for longer periods carrying the same provisions.
The bike hermit offers this outline of what can be taken on a two week or longer self-supported bike tour. While not an exhaustive, or even a very detailed list, it includes the core considerations for the bicycle traveler and can be modified by the individual according to their desire. Overall weight should not be a driving force behind the decision making process in what to take, but at the same time carrying more than is needed is senseless. The given weights include the weight of the luggage/bags/panniers if indicated.
Hennessy Hammock Super Shelter and rain pants in dry-bag 1lb 10.4 oz
Hennessy Hammock Ultralight Backpacker 2lb 6.8 oz
Front left pannier: Stove/ cook kit 3lb .8 oz
Front right pannier: toiletries, camp towels, sun screen, etc. 3 lb .4 oz
Front handlebar bag: food, fuel canister, spare tube, patch kit, cell phone 7lb 11.8 oz
Spare tire 12.4 oz
Small leather handlebar bag: pepper spray, knife, multi-tool, headlamp 1lb 5.6 oz
18 Liter Saddlebag: Clothes, chain lube, spare parts. 9lb 5.8 oz
Sleeping bag 3lb 2.8 oz
3, 24 oz water bottles- full 4lb 12 oz
Total weight comes to a little over 37 pounds. No need to go crazy about this stuff. Relax, be happy.