Will there be toilet paper?
Planning for a three-week bike trip definitely does not come without challenges. It's a lot of do I need this? should I bring this? How much weight do I really want to carry? For this trip Cheryl (who has done numerous bike packing trips) said no more than 30lbs. So I went straight to Walmart bought myself a scale and started weighing my gear. I weighed in at 123lb and my gear totaled about 19lbs (not including the bike).
Through the packing process I learned you have to be selective with your "luxury items." For example, I have long blonde hair that tangles as soon as I step out the door. When first packing I was told to bring this little thing...
One stroke through my hair was all I needed to decide that was not an option. Other items I decided were essential to Elle's happiness were; coffee, lotion, and creamer. It was also very apparent that YOU WILL BE SMELLY AND YOU HAVE TO BE OK WITH THAT! On the days we are lucky enough to wash up, I am bringing shampoo and conditioner strips that are about the size of a Cheeze-it. 3 weeks of traveling for me typically involves a different outfit every day with options. For this trip, I will only be carrying 2 of everything (shirts, shorts, socks, shoes, and UNDERWEAR). Also, I know I will be on my period for this trip. Instead of bringing tampons, I am trying out this cup thing for the first time. Apparently you stick it in, pull it out, clean it, and back up it goes. Sounds simple enough...we'll see.
Let's talk about food! I'm not the biggest fan of those super salty freeze-dried camper meals. I was told it is important to buy things you know for sure you'll eat. If you're questioning it now, you'll be forcing yourself to eat it on the trail and nothing is worse than eating something you don't like. Except maybe starving! We are starting our trip with 3 days worth of food, one pot, and one stove. For breakfast, I'll be eating oatmeal and bringing some instant coffee from Starbucks. For snacks, I am bringing nuts, apple sauce, tuna, and peanut butter. Dinner will be dried potatoes, pasta, and grains. Bon appetit!
I am lucky enough to be doing this with an experienced cyclist who already has a ton of tools, knowledge, and the gear list mapped out. It was pre-highlighted by, things I need, things to consider, and things we will share (the list is attached at the bottom). Some of the shared items will include the tent (I have been supplied with earplugs, someone snores....), the stove, the bike tools, and first aid supplies.
Other than tons of water, I think that about does it. Oh, and yes I will have toilet paper and thank goodness we are done having a shortage!