prepping for schlepping on our six-month bike trip: everything else

We’re just about ready to do this thing. I’ve slowly been ordering everything we need off the internet for our 6-month bike trip across Europe. Since we live hours from a major city, everything we’ve accumulated has had to come from Amazon for the most part.

I’ve had to continuously put in what I thought to be my last Amazon order, only to realize I’d forgotten something else that we’re pretty sure we might need. We plan to make this as frugal a trip as we can, so we’ve done our best to set ourselves up ahead of time to be as comfy on the road as possible. If we can tent the majority of nights, our finances should stretch out nicely, and allow us the chance to splurge if we’re visiting a large city or we have 7 days in a row of rain.

The two above images represent most of what we’re bringing, without representing a few duplicates that we’ll both be carrying, such as sleeping bags, towels, and cups. I’ll list out everything we plan on taking. Starting with the top image —

  • Two Trangia Spirit burners, small, lightweight, able to travel with fuel inside them
  • Two Trangia windshields, of two different sizes so they’ll will nest in our packs
  • A plush cookset, with a few pans and lids, and a teapot
  • A pan handle for our cookset
  • A lighter
  • Two or three knives
  • Windproof gloves (Gore Bike Wear Windstopper Soft Shell Thermo for me)
  • A highly packable folding Continental Gatorskin tire
  • New Helly Hansen rain pants (without the crotch ripped out!)

Moving to the second image —

  • Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2 superlight tent + extra footprint
  • NEMO Equipment Cosmo Insulated 20R sleeping pad
  • NEMO Equipment 2P slipcover, which connects both pads into one large mattress
  • NEMO Equipment Fillo, inflatable/memory foam pillow (which is amazing!)
  • Sea to Summit Tek towels for bathing and dishes
  • An L.L. Bean sleeping bag stuffed into an Odyssey dry bag (Eli stuffed his differently)
  • 2 GSI Outdoors stainless steel plates
  • 2 Toaks titanium sporks
  • Sea to Summit 4L Pack Tap
  • 2 stainless steel cups
  • Nalgene travel kit with various spices, oil, vinegar
  • Potable Aqua water purification tablets
  • Bug net
  • Small roll of Gorilla tape
  • Sea to Summit Ultra-Sil Dry Day Pack (super packable – see bottom right of photo)
  • Corkscrew/bottle opener and/or Swiss Army multi-tool knife
  • 50′ of kevlar sport line
  • Wallet with many pockets for all those currencies
  • New prescription sunglasses! Wheeeeeee!
  • Baseball cap
  • 1-2 bandanas
  • Five Ten Freerider shoes for wearing on/off the bike
  • Chaco sandals
  • Taiga helmet rain cover
  • Multi-country travel adapter with 2 USB ports
  • Sea to Summit dry bags
  • My iPhone! and charging cable
  • A beautiful handmade leather-bound book (with a deer shed!) for journaling…. not my strong suit, but I’ll do my best
  • Pen and pencil
  • A new head lamp, since mine was weak and feeble
  • Bright headlight for my bike, plus USB charging cable
  • Contacts and contact solution
  • Toiletry bag
  • Hairbrush
  • Razor
  • Well-stocked first aid kit, with scissors
  • A couple maps
  • Two biking books with great routes that will come with only if we have room to spare, or if I can’t find electronic versions
  • The big kahuna: a new iPad Pro, with integrated keyboard
  • Dry bag for the iPad
  • Charging cable and adapter for the iPad, plus converters for Europe and the UK
  • 1 trowel (that didn’t make it into either picture)

This is a lot of fricking stuff. But between all our panniers, I don’t think it’ll be much of a problem. We’ll be bringing various bike tools as well, but that’s Eli’s domain. I’ll leave that for him to discuss if he can bring himself to decide on a WordPress username.

I would like to take a minute to rave about this pillow, the NEMO Fillo. Pretty incredible what you can do with four breaths of air. Insert air, and should you wish, something like a sweatshirt in the stuff sack on the back side of the pillow. I like it only about half inflated, gives a feeling more like my regular pillow at home.DSC06646

I bought this beautiful handmade leather book from a girl on Instagram. Check out the hashtag Ortlieb Leather Books on IG if you’re looking for a lovely special something. I purchased this because of the deer shed, but also because it’s an Ortlieb Leather Book that will be stored in my Ortlieb bike pannier. Too coincidental to not buy it, really.DSC06648

We’ll have a few of these dry bags with us, for electronics, for phones, for wallets, for whatevah.DSC06663

These are my new honeys. Warby Parker Cecily prescription sunglasses. My last pair of prescription sunnies were bought, geez, must have been around ten years ago now. I’ve used them for work forever, and the lenses are scratched to shit, covered in blue paint, orange paint, you name it, it’s on there. Plus the prescription is out of date. So a new pair was warranted. These things are fly.DSC06636

I’ll be taking a little bit of northern Maine with me on the road. Dead Eye Trucking was my trucking contractor in 2015, and I dropped not-so-subtle hints about their bomb ass baseball caps until they brought me one. Something to remember our time in Aroostook County by. In the background, my glorious Five Ten Freerider shoes. These things will be perfect for biking, hiking, anything and everything.DSC06633

Titanium sporks. I’m undecided yet if I’ll like these. I was pretty picky about which sporks I got; I tried to find ones with relatively deep tines. And I didn’t like the ones with a serrated edge on the side – I could just see myself slicing my tongue in half while enthusiastically chowing down on something delicious.Processed with VSCO with hb2 preset

Lastly, we decided to try something new, and purchased these 40 ounce stainless steel Klean Kanteen water bottles. Regular bike bottles are something like 20 or 21 ounces, plus they’re plastic. While I don’t get too crazy about not eating and drinking out of plastics, I guess I’m trying to avoid it when possible, especially when said containers are going to be used all day every day, and beaten down by the sun and the elements. Hence the steel plates, cups, and sporks, and these new water bottles. Fitting 40 ounces of water into one bottle, while still having a second backup regular water bottle, will be fantastic. We had to purchase these TwoFish Quick Cage bottle holders, which have adjustable Velcro straps to be used on a wide variety of frame tube sizes. The rubber footers between the strap and the bottle cage make for a snug, secure fit.

I’m excited to try this stuff out. Let’s get this show on the road!

Previous trip-related post, detailing the clothes I’ll be bringing– Prepping for Schlepping on our Six-Month Bike Trip: Clothes


9 thoughts on “prepping for schlepping on our six-month bike trip: everything else

  1. Good luck on your trip! I’m planning a similar solo adventure in Europe starting this fall so I’ll be eagerly awaiting the details of all your adventures.

  2. This is so hardcore. I can’t deal with not staying in decent (not amazing, but better than hostel-like conditions) when I’m in Europe, so I admire the hell out of this trek you’re taking. Send me an email because I may be able to help out with hotel accommodations if given some notification. :)

    1. Girl please! What?!? You’re like a magician or something?? :D

      Honestly these new sleeping pads we bought are so plush, that I can’t imagine staying in a hotel could be that much comfier, seriously! I’ve never had a nice sleeping pad before, so when planning for this trip I knew I needed to make a change, so that my back wasn’t a wreck after like a week of sleeping on the ground. I’m sure we’ll be in touch!

  3. All the technology involved in all these bits and pieces is fascinating! This is five billion light years removed from my idea of a good time but I fully admire what you guys are up to and wish you all the best. Also I just wanna yell “spork!” at the top of my lungs for no good reason now having read the word several times, so, thank you.

    1. Hahaha Laura! I like your honesty. I hope all our tech stuff holds together okay, here’s to hoping we can keep it dry, at least for the first month!

  4. Yaaaas, those sleeping pads! So dig those. And the plastic-less ness is rad, too! I’m so excited for you guys to get over there and start ripping! Looks like you’re real ready. Yeah, bub!

  5. Looks extremely well planned–I am imagining everything all rolled up neatly and packed away in it’s spot! Wow! Thanks for that:-)

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