Packing the GS for a trip [page 2]
OK, so I’ve got too much camera gear. I’m hoping that if I keep it close to me its proper use will somehow sink in by osmosis. Alas, that hasn’t worked, yet. In addition to this stuff I’ve a POV video camera on the front of the bike and a P&S that lives tethered to the tank bag. I’m using the P&S to take these pics.
These are Andy Strapz from Australia. This will be my first trip using them, so it is too soon to say how they will work out. From a packing the bike point of view I like them. The dry/stuff sack holds my sleeping bag, a pillow, and my downmat air mattress. The part of the straps dangling let me attach stuff to the load without having to touch the portion of the strap holding the dry/stuff sack. No, I don’t leave them dangling when riding down the road.
I like the Mt Sun tank panniers. The first pic shows how I route the forward strap under the tank bag mount to keep it from sliding back. The tank bag mount is held in place by hooks that go under the VIN plate and velcro.
This page shows modifications I made for easy mounting of the the bottom tank pannier strap.
There is a pocket in the tank panniers for water. I found 2 liters (70 oz) in a 3 liter hydration bag fit perfect. The bag comes from a local company. The hose that came with the bag was a bit too short, so I moved the quick disconnect valve to a Platypus hose that I had and used a 90 degree bite valve that is magnetically held to my tank bag. Works great.
My chair, a 12x12 tarp, tent, and a monopod for my camera are stuffed into a large H2W bag. I find it neater that way than individually bundling the items on to the right zega case. The H2W bag also keeps the gear clean. And dry, although there’s nothing in the bag that water will hurt. Another set of Andy Strapz (single strapz, this time) hold the H2W bag to the top of the Zega.
My kitchen goes in the tank panniers. One bag holds a Trangia cook kit, another misc kitchen items such as cutting board, utensils, spices, and cleaning supplies. There is also a bucket, a nalgene canteen, a water purifier that is rarely used. And of course there are coffee making supplies which include beans, a grinder, an Aeropress, and extra alcohol for the stove. There’s even a second stove in that bag… two burners, no waiting. Everything needed to make a good cup of coffee fits in the right tank pannier.
There’s not much left to stuff in the left pannier with the water. I put the water purifier in there with my lanterns, cantene, and bucket. In one of the outside mesh pockets are a bunch of grocery bags that I can use for garbage. Lots of room left for snacks that I might buy on the road. Not shown is a small Polar Bear cooler that fits on the rear luggage rack. I’m not bringing food with me this trip so the cooler will stay home.
Ugly, isn’t it. I don’t think I have to worry about someone stealing it. It was free, and it is the exact width and length of my Zega case. It is about 1 inch shorter than the case is deep leaving extra space at the top of the Zega for small items purchased along the way. Clothes, camp shoes, camp towel, and toiletries fit inside the bag with room to spare. Between the clothes I can stuff some portable speakers for my ipod and my laptop. Perfect for 3 days or 3 months.
Since this was first written I’ve changed and added a few things. Inside my tank bag is a pouch about 2 1/2 inches square and maybe 3/8 inch thick. It contains a hand powered chain saw that works quite well. I’ve used it on branches up to about 5” in diameter.
I’ve added a one gallon white Kolpin container for water, quite useful when camping in primitive campgrounds where water might not be avaiable. It straps to the stock GS luggage rack, sittings about 3” high. My polar bear ice chest sits on top.
Finally I’ve started using the H2W “clothes” sack intead of the the stuff sack to hold tent, chair, tarp, etc. It’s easier to get things in and out of the long opening on that bag.