The packing puzzle
Over my few years of relatively decent travel, one of the countless things I've learned is that less is more. I remember dragging my ninety liter duffel bag, bike box and a backpack through the Milanese summer streets in agony. Why bring so much stuff if it will only cause me pain?
The key to minimalist packing is well chosen items. Things you'll be happy wearing over and over again, and things that can sustain high usage too. Merino wool is a friend. Lightweight fabrics are a friend. Darker shades too, to hide the dirt.
I've never packed so little, yet it still feels I have so much. As I'll be bike touring for two thirds of my trip - the majority of my gear is bike related. A airline friendly Ritchey Breakaway. The bike box is my one suitcase. The space between the bike leaves a lot of room for clothes, tool etc, but it is easy to make it too heavy.
I'm bringing just one other duffel bag, it is a 30 or 40 liter after last summer's nightmare. Packing was tricky game of tetris, with space limitations in the duffel, and weight limitations in bike box. But it all fit with a few personal items (book, headphones, camera) in a small shoulder bag. Not bad considering I'm bringing stuff for my mom, dad and brother.
What's in the bag?
Recently, I've attempted to be more aware with the brands I buy. Made in America, high quality material and manufacturing, and good style and function are a tough combo but made for the idea product. I'm excited to be bringing a lot of clothes from two local companies, Parker Dusseau and Ornot Bike. My bike is made my a local bay area company. Sportful bike clothes represent a long Italian heritage that I adore so they get a pass for not being local.
I'm trying out new camping gear and bikepacking bags as well. The bike bags are made by Porcelain Rocket (Calgary) and Revelate Designs (Alaska), designed and crafted by cyclist's minds and hands. I'm more than excited to carry a rackless, light load made by passionate men in the industry.
I'm apprehensive about my sleeping back and tent choice, I'm worried I should have spent a bit more money to get lighter, more packable options. But nonetheless, my new Sierra Designs Lightning tent and Millet sleeping bag should be awesome.
Keeping it light, keeping it tight, that's the name of the game. What's on the road and what comes my way is more important than what's getting me there. But I'm glad to do it in style.