One of the big decisions, and something that I have put a lot of thinking and testing into, is what to bring, and certainly what to leave at home.
Some of the considerations to make: I need to carry a lot of water since water sources are uncertain. At some parts of the route I need to carry food for two days. I have to be able to do basic repairs on the bike. I need to sleep comfortable, and I need clothing for degrees ranging from -10 to 35 degree celcius.
Also where each item fits best has been tested. During and after each of my weekend bike packing trips, each piece of equipment has been evaluated. At this point I don't think that any of the items will remain unused during the trip, except hopefully the spare and repair parts. I could leave the camera equipment at home, but hey, I am a photographer so it's not gonna happen. I have chosen very lightweight but highly functional gear. I could have chosen a bivy bag instead of a tent, but the weight difference is minimal (my Nordisk tent weighs 630 grams) and it's so much more comfortable sleeping in a tent.
With less than two weeks to departure I did the final list yesterday, and photographed all the bits and pieces and where they are stored on the bike.
First of all my bike:
It's an 29" Ibis Ripley equipped with Formula R1 Racing brakes, XT 11-speed rear derailleur, 11-46 Sunrace cassette, Next SL crank with a 30t Wolf oval ring, Fox 120 mm front fork and rear damper, Ibis 928 carbon wheel set, Maxxis Ikon front (2,35) and rear (2,20) tires with 120 ml tubeless sealant in each, Fox Transfer dropper post (self made rail for the saddle bag makes the dropperfunction work flawless a couple of centimeters), Cambium C17 Saddle. Weighs 12,3 kilo.
This is how it looks when fully loaded, weighing 20,1 kilo without food:
My sleeping system:
Nordisk Telemark 1LW tent, Mont-Bell Down Hugger #2 sleeping bag, Klymit Inertia X-Frame sleeping pad, Sea To Summit inflatable pillow, Ortlieb dry bag for sleeping bag, pad and pillow.
Apidura Saddle bag:
Mountain Hardwear Hooded Ghost Whisperer down jacket, Outdoor Research Helium HD rain jacket and pants, rescue blanket, support bandage, spare garmin GPS, X-Bionic mtb socks, Smartwool heavy wool socks, Endura light wool socks, X-Bionic arm warmers, Gore Bike Wear windstopper gloves, X-Bionic Fennec Visor Bandana, GribGrab rainproof shoe covers, Smartwool boxershorts, Aclima wool net short sleeve base layer, wool base layer shirt and pants, X-Bionic knee warmers, dry bag for clothing, knee straps, paper maps. Toiletry: cut down tooth brush, toothpaste, Zovir cream, small plastic bottles with body lotion and deodorant, dental floss, Inotyol for saddle sores, wet wipes, Magnesium and Glucosamine tablets. On the outside: Spot gps tracker, rear light.
Top tube front bag:
8 AA Lithium, 4 AAA Lithium, 4 123 Lithium, 4 123 rechargeable, Xtorm 5000 Mah power bank, usb charger (I'll buy one for the US), cords for Iphone, power banks, Ricoh camera and GoPro, Charger for 123 batteries, spare batteries for Ricoh and Gopro.
Top tube rear bag:
Large bandage, band aid, band aid for blisters, tweezer, sun screen, chamois creme, Body Glide cut town to a minimum, Carmex lip balm, pain relief pills.
Inside the handlebar: spare rear derailleur cable and two FiberFix emergency replacement spokes. Two Apidura pouches containing a bottle for energy drink and prescription glasses and snacks. Small light, Garmin Oregon 650 gps.
Small self made frame bag:
Topeak multitool, Leatherman Juice S2, cut down toothbrush for cleaning the drivetrain, rag, chain oil.
Large frame bag:
This bag is for food. I have doubts if I should bring the gas burner. It's very light weight (250 grams including gas bottle), and it might enable me to buy lighter food. On the other hand I don't want to spend time cooking. No matter what, I'll bring the MSR titanium cup and plastic spoon.
Two tubes, 60 ml tubeless sealent, two needles are taped to the bottle for sewing big holes in a tire with dental floss, four plastic tie strips, puncture repair kit, super glue, spare chain links, rubber clamps for shoes (for the crossing of Grand Canyon, geardrop, cord, spare brake pads, genuine innovations tire repair kit.
Osprey Talon 22 Bagpack with extra straps for carrying the bike through Grand Canyon and self made GoPro chest mount. Weighs 3,2 kilo without water:
Two dry bags at the bottom of the shoulder straps for camera equipment, toilet paper in plastic bag, Ricoh GR 2, micro sd cards for GoPro, GoPro Hero 5 and Feiyu WG 3-Axis Wearable Gimbal, Olympus sound recorder, pump with ducktape and electrical tape, Gorilla tripod, rubber bands, plastic bags, passport, creditcards, dollars etc, hand sanitizer, soap, MSR water filter, two 3-litre platypus water bladders (most of the time only one is in use). On the outside: Xtorm 10.000 Mah solar cell powerbank.
Last, but not least, this is my basic clothing for sunny, slightly cloudy weather and 25 degree celcius that I am praying for:
IXS helmet with Fenix LD22 flashlight, X-Bionic headband, Earphones, Gloryfy G2 Air, with photo chromatic prescription lenses, X-Bionic Effektor Trail Running shirt, Suunto watch, X-Bionic Wallaby Sweatbands, Specialized summer gloves, Iphone in Aquatec bag, genuine innovations tire repair kit (for a fast big hole repair before all the air escapes and a tube is needed), X-Bionic padded pants, X-Bionic mtb shorts, X-Bionic Energizer long socks, X-Bionic calf compressors, Pearl Izumi X-Alp Launch II shoes.