So - I hopefully have got my packing list pretty much sorted now. I have had a few weekends away and think I have it down to a good weight now.
Bike and spares
- Better take one of those! I have a Cannondale Bad Boy 8 for the trip. Rear rack with two Altura Dryline 56 panniers. Front Ortlieb handlebar bag and a small Trek saddle bag for tools.
- Bike lock - I wonder about this all the time. I have so many different opinions on it. Living in London, I have an super-strong Gold Secure U-lock. It weighs a tonne. Half of me thinks I could leave the lock at home for this trip - but then the 'what if?' scenarios start. If it did get nicked and there was no lock - then no insurance.... I need to have (for insurance purposes) a Sold Secure Silver level lock for the bike - I might see if there is something light (and relatively cheap) to come with me.
- Rear light - I don't suppose I will ride much at night (especially as the days are so long) - but best to have a little one than get caught out one evening.
- Cycle computer - just a cheap Cateye - mainly interested in distance and average speed.
- Tools -
- Long handled 4mm Allen Key for the pesky eccentric bottom bracket on the Bad Boy (the worst thing about the bike!)
- Leatherman Juice 2 multitool - this is a luxury as I have everything there is on the tool on something else OTHER than the pliers.
- Box spanner
- Alien 2 multitool - all the good stuff - allen keys, chain tool, tyre levers etc.
- Park Tool SPA-4 again for the rubbish bottom bracket
- Tyre lever - just the one (with a hook, which the alien does not have)
- Puncture repair kit
- Pump (attached to water bottle cage)
- Spares -
- Two spare tubes
- Emergency tyre boot
- Little bit of spare chain
- Cable ties
- Latex gloves
- Gaffa tape
- Brooks saddle cover to keep the saddle dry at night
- Tent - a Mountain Hardwear Helion 2 - really pleased with the tent, very light and strong. Easy to set up as well. It is VERY cosy for two people - it's a large 1 man really.
- Sleeping Bag - Mountain Equipment Phantom 45 - terrifyingly light at 480 grammes - seems perfect for summer usage
- Silk liner - I use a Sea To Summit silk liner - which keeps grubby me and the sleeping bag apart from each other and is really good for warm nights just to sleep in the silk bag.
- Mat - Thermarest Prolite 3 - comfy indeed!
Obviously I also carry various bits of foodstuffs as well. I am cautious of carrying too much - but also I am aware of how remote the Hebrides can be - so do not want to get caught out without dinner! Especially on a Sunday - the residents really do observe the Sabbath like nowhere else in the UK.
- Long sleeve Merino wool top - love these. Don't feel too hot in the sun, don't feel too cold in the wind. And don't smell too much either!
- Short sleeve Merino wool top
- Short sleeve t-shirt (man-made)
- Cycling top
- Windproof fleece jacket
- Goretex shorts
- Waterproof jacket
- 2 pairs cycling shorts
- 1 pair baggy shorts with padding
- 1 pair baggy 3/4 length shorts
- 1 pair trouser with zip off legs (mainly for walking around camp in evenings)
- Cycling gloves (just taking the fingerless ones - hope that works)
- 3 pairs socks
- Cycling glasses
- Pair of Merrell sandals for not being on the bike
- Cycling shoes
All the other stuff
- Towel - a travel one - bought it years ago and went for too big a size really. I could use one half the size - but thought it was not worth spending money on a new one.
- Head torch - Petzl Tikka XP I think - it's *&^%ing bright!
- First Aid kit - all the usual bits and pieces in there. Hope never to look inside it.
- Camera - my little point and shoot. Also charger and 2 SD cards
- Map - just taking the OS Road 2 map to keep weight down - should be okay I think
- Guidebooks and/or book to read - this one's up in the air - a lot of weight and I have some very detailed notes about where I want to go etc.
- Comb - should shave my head or something and cut down on the weight!
- Razor - I am not the hairiest bloke in the world and don't need to shave every day thankfully - but I bought a little AA battery-powered Philips unit - very small and fairly light
- Phone and charger - wish I did not have to - but when you are meeting up with people, I guess it is sadly the way of the world now. I will NOT be leaving it on though - keep that work thing firmly at the back of my mind.
- Travel wash for clothes
- Little mirror
- Toothpaste, brush, Teepee brushes, rubber bands (sadly I have a brace at the moment, so have to carry so much crap around!)
- Shampoo and shower gel
- Insect repellent
- Vaseline for sore bums
- Loo roll
- Driving license
- Spare batteries
- Money and cards
I think that's about it - I am sure there's something I will miss off the list. This has served to help me really finetune my packing list.
It looks like so much now in this list, but it doesn't weigh a lot and fits on the bike quite easily.
I know there'll be something I wish I had and many things I wish I didn't take - but that's the joy of doing it all for the first time!