Packing Light

At church this past weekend, the pastor’s message was about getting control of your finances. One of the key parts of that message was learning about when “enough was enough”. There’s a lot behind that, especially learning contentment.styrofoam-man-2-1-16_NPR

In my 35+ year career, I did a lot of travelling. I’ve been in 4 continents, many countries, and most of the US states. At times I’ve been gone for 2 weeks or more. In those periods, everything I needed fit into a single piece of luggage and a small backpack (I never had a weight charge on a flight due to heavy baggage).  Those experiences have taught me how little I really need to go about my daily living. Everything I plan on taking for this 5 to 8 week ride will fit in a pair of Ortlieb panniers. The specs say that the pair will hold up to 40 litres – about 10 gallons of volume. That would be the size of a large hat in Texas! Basically, TenGallonHatI need to pack 2-3 days of clothes for varying weather, some tools, spare tubes, and personal electronics. The food and shelter will be obtained along the route. Just like in the Lord’s Prayer – “.. give us this day, our daily bread..” My route is planned to end the day with the choice of at least one hotel. But as I stated in another post, I hope to be able to draw upon the generosity of others along the way through to make the journey that much richer. A trip like this helps you realize how little you really need to live and to have a good time.

I’ve already done a few multi-day rides to get a feel for carrying the additional weight. I haven’t done an exact measurement, but I think one loaded pannier weighs as much as the bike. So fully loaded, it will be like pulling at least another bike along. The test rides also help me understand whether I’m taking some things I don’t need and whether I’m missing something really important. My basic philosophy is going to be less is more, but I’ll do at least a couple of more multi day rides to shake out my packing list. For others considering such a ride, I’ll put the full list in another post.

The Lone Rider