Having grown up in the age of itchy wool jumpers, we obviously weren’t too traumatised by it, as we have miraculously come full circle and are now madly in love with this wonder fibre. Due to new processing techniques, wool is now super comfy to wear. Some of it feels just like cotton. It is machine washable, dries quick, wicks sweat and doesn’t smell! We both wear wool on and off the bike.
The only downside is that little critters seem to love it too and I am forever having to stitch little pinprick holes. This wouldn’t worry me normally except this stuff is expensive.
I wear woolen socks, undies, singlets, t-shirts and long sleeve shirts. I would even wear a woolen sports bra if it existed! I also have a treasured pair of woolen Long Johns that are toasty warm on those frosty nights!
My other favorite is Tech Clothing. This stuff is amazing. It dries even quicker than wool and doesn’t crease, no matter how scrunched up at the bottom of the pannier it is. Andrew is yet to come on board with the Tech clothing, but it’ll happen.
Sea to Summit Hut booties! They won’t win us any fashion contests, but to slip these beauties on at the end of a long day in the saddle is just pure bliss. I don’t care how dorky I look on my trek to the Caravan park ablution block in the mornings, these booties are a small slice of home comfort I will just not be able to do without.
Now can someone please tell me why the toiletries bag is always so heavy? I started off with this tiny Kathmandu bag the size of a soup can, but that was just too small. So I upgraded to a Sea to Summit small wet bag. It was ok, but very compact and it wouldn’t hold any make-up or sanitary items. So I’ve now gone up a size to the large. It fits all my lotions and potions perfectly but it weighs so much! I’ve decanted everything into 100 ml travel size containers, but I am just at a loss why this is so. Granted, as the tour progresses it does become lighter as I use the shampoo etc and by the end it weighs next to nothing.
The clothing pannier seemed to be bulging at the seams with all the ‘absolutely necessary’ items I took with me. I felt really bad, until Andrew weighed it and it came in at about 5 Kgs. That’s HALF of what a carry on luggage allowance is, go figure!
I always spend a lot of time on my clothes packing and am one of ‘those people’ that starts packing weeks before going somewhere. Andrew can throw a handful of things in a bag the night before, but I like plenty of time to mix and match my outfits so I have something for every occasion. I guess bike tour packing is a bit tricky because you need on and off the bike clothing. As well the fact that you are outdoors ALL THE TIME, you need some substantial warm gear too. One of our first overnight trips in wintertime, I got so cold at night I was almost in distress and had to go into my sleeping bag to warm up. I vowed I would never get that cold again and bought my down jacket the next week.
So whats in my clothing bag:
- 4 x woolen socks
- 5 x microfibre undies
- 2 x woolen singlets
- 1 pair woolen Long Johns (top & bottom)
- 4 x woolen T-shirts
- 2 x sports bras
- nude under wire bra
- 3 x woolen long sleeve shirts
- bikini & sarong
- board shorts
- lightweight travel jeans
- lightweight roll up tech long pants
- long sleeve tech shirt
- 2 x short sleeve tech blouses
- woolen reversible shift dress
- woolen beanie & neck scarf
- 800+ loft down hooded jacket
- down vest
- travel belt
- pyjama pants & top
- 2 x padded cycling pants (knicks)
- cycling skirt x2
- Goretex waterproof jacket and long pants
- 2 pair cycling gloves (long and short finger)
- Hat & sunglasses
- Thongs (Flip Flops)
- Cycling shoes
- Casual shoes
- Hut Booties
If I had to pick a favorite it would probably have to be my Macpac Supernova down jacket. I hate the cold weather, but this jacket is lightweight, wind and shower proof and surprisingly warm.