Material - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

May 31, 2013


I've done a whole week, riding from fifty to one-hundred and ten kilometres per day, riding the Galaxy in and Galaxy has been back to the bikeshop for a complete check-over. Now it's time to put together what I'll need for the road. The tent and sleeping-bag are the main bulk of the load and what a load when everything has been laid out on the ground then packed into panniers; it becomes a little more than a bike with two lightly packed panniers which Is riding this past week, especially when a big bag and roll-mat comes up to seat level at the rear.

The tent and sleeping-bag are identical in both size and weight, so I've packed one either side in the rear panniers, then a number of small items go in the leftover space, filling the panniers out. The bag on top contains spare clothes, rain-jacket, woolly-hat and warm gloves, though these type of things may go in the front panniers, but I'll reserve space in the front for food and the stove for easy access at lunchtime. The low-rider-rack on which the front panniers'll ride will be fitted Monday; such things have meant I couldn't set off today, Saturday, and it'll be Tuesday when I set out on the road.

Not being the most organized person, it's all complicated judging what I'll actually need. I tend to pack less and often find an outdoor shop when passing through a town to buy something I haven't packed which I've determent I really need. All together I think my loaded Galaxy touring-bike isn't too heavy.

The alcohol stove is reliable and fuel can be found everywhere.
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Things to go.
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My tent is made by "Hellsport". The first time I came across this make was in a book I read back in the nineties about a Norwegian expedition to the North Pole; and in their produce brochures then, they featured pictures of their tents in such places as Greenland and Antarctica, so the name "Hellsport" is appropriate. The company called these tents the "Expedition" range and were bright red and yellow to stand out in such white landscapes. They also did a range called "Extreme" and "Trek" which were and still are popular in Norway amongst all types of outdoor people.

I bought my Hellsport, the "Stetind" in 2004 when Is going to South America for the first time; and although it's called a two man, there really is only comfortable space for one. I've broke poles, but two poles were available as spares and were easily fitted and the spares have been replaced. I've had new zips fitted and I've successfully patched two holes in it's lifetime. The tent just goes on working.

I bought a Hellsport sleeping-bag recently. It's nicely colour co-ordinated with the tent. But time will tell how it performs.

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