Packing List Olympic Circumnavigation

Whether it’s backpacking, mountaineering or bikepacking I view my packing list on a spectrum.  On the far left is barely enough to spend one uncomfortable night, on the far right is bringing enough to comfortably spend multiple weeks in the backcountry.  If the far left is zero and the far right is ten I viewed the four night trip around the Olympic Peninsula as a four.

At fifty-five I am no longer willing to purposely huddle under a tree awaiting first light, but, on the other hand, if I was going to make the miles and enjoy the ride I needed to be very selective in my gear.

I classify my gear as either “luxuries” or “essentials.”  A towel is a luxury, sleeping gear is an essential.  On the Olympic trip I made my luxuries as barely sufficient whereas my essentials were more conservative.  For example, I would have liked to have had a large towel, but opted for a twelve by twelve camping hand towel.  On the other hand, instead of a one-pound tarp I opted for a four-pound single-wall tent.

I did purchase one item of gear during the trip: a cheap drawstring backpack. I bought it at the grocery/general store in Forks in order to transport groceries to the campsite. Over the next three days this item proved indispensable for hauling beer and food from the grocery store to the campsite. I would recommend packing along one of these lightweight packs.

The following lists what I brought, what I didn’t bring and what I wish I had brought. 

REI Helio Down 40+A1:B28 degree sleeping bagThis was a mid-summer trip and 40 this bag was more than adequate.
Thermarest NeoAir SmallThis unit packs small but is easy to roll off of
Integral Designs tentSingle-wall mountaineering tent, adequate for two people, luxurious for solo occupant
Wool long sleeveThis is a perfect underlayer for cold mornings and great for post ride and evening warmth
Rapha Brevet lightweight insulated jacketWarm and extremely packable – one of my favorite items of clothing
Rapha Commuter rain jacketThis was maybe a bit extravagent but we were heading into a rain forest so…
BibsI brought one pair to bibs in hopes of being able to launder them along the way
Club Ride Gunslinger Padded undershortsThis was my first experience with these and they were fine for all day riding
JerseyStandard issue bike jersey with three rear pockets
White REI shirtDress shirt style, synthetic, long sleeve.  Perfect for sun protection
CapStandard bicycle style hat
Velocio baselayer with pocketsI like this one as it has three rear pockets so I can wear it under REI shirt
REI wool socksThese are basic REI socks but they rock.  Comfortable and non stinky
Fuel cannisterI brought fuel while Blaine brought the stove and pot
GlovesDay-glo yellow Pearl Izumi gloves
Greenlite Heavy Industries shortsI like wearing overshorts as you don’t look too out of place in small town stores, bars and restaurants
Standard repair kit 
           Tire lever Only need one
           Zip ties The duct tape of bicycle repair
          Fixit Sticks A little bulky but cool
          Tire bootOld piece of tire
          Park tool tube patches These work amazingly well
2 inner tubes 
Touring/bikepacking repair kit 
Spoke repairFiberfix
Tubeless tire repairLezyne kit
Chain toolFitit stick accessory
Universal derailleur hangerProblem Solvers
Chain lube Small bottle of Boeshield T-9
Wolf Tooth chain pliersGood for undoing master link
Cup and spork 
Pocket knifeCRKT Peck.  Super small lightweight knife
Assos chamois creamSmall container.  Individual packets would work as well
SunscreenSmall tube of SPF30
50 ft paracordFor hanging laundry
Mini towelCamping hand towel
Portable power supplyNecessary these days.  Actually more difficult than I expected to find outlets to recharge

Possibly the more important list is what I didn’t bring:

Large thermarest/padI would have preferred something that I didn’t continually roll off of
Large knifeNice but not needed
Bug sprayUsed long sleeved shirt instead
ShortsNice but not needed
Footprint for tentI don’t even know what these are for
LeathermanNice but not needed

Lastly is a list of what I wish I had brought.  This is one item – a pump.  The only pump that works is your own pump, I forgot this one rule and ended the ride with twenty psi in my tires.

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