It’s still a couple of months until we depart for this summer’s great gravel road expedition, and I need to lose some weight. Off the gear. Here are 6 weight-shedding items.
A couple of weekends ago, a buddy of mine and I went for a weekend gravel trip into the Forest of the Finns near the Swedish border. This was some sort of a shakedown trip, as I packed the bike as I thought I would for the upcoming gravel expedition from South to North of Norway, paying special attention to bring along stuff that would make the nightly stay-overs more comfortable. You know – a bed AND a mattress, a big roomy lavvo, fat sleeping bag, et cetera. Heavy, but comfortable and cozy.
Not particularly surprising, this focus on comfort also meant that the bike behaved like a pig on the loose surfaced and quite muddy gravel roads. It became far too heavy overall, and particularly in the rear. I could not imagine a ride like that for some 5000 kms return. So I need to lose some weight. Off the gear I’ll bring.
So here is parts of my weight shedding plan:
A down McKinley sleeping bag. Being stuffed with down (90%) and feather (10%), it is light (1 kg), packs really small, have a decent rating of 0C, and is – above all – on sale for half price at the local outdoor gear store.
McKinley Enduro Ultralight tent. Weighing in at 1.3 kgs, it’s very light and not very expensive. The downside is that it’s only a single sheet tent, so it’ll probably not be 100% dry in case of heavy rain, which is why I’ll also bring along a tarp.
Dovrefjell Tarp 4. This 3×4 m tarp is very light, packs very small, and provides extra shelter in case of foul weather.
Exped Downmat 9 sleeping mattress. It packs quite small, and provides all the sleeping comfort I’ll ever need.
Helinox chair and table. These collapsible camp furniture are extremely light and also packs unbelievably small. I’ve tried them in the field, and they really work! They’re a bit on the pricey side, though, but lightness costs.
I haven’t checked the total weight yet, but I’ll think it’ll be around 6 kgs, which seems quite good.
Now all I have to do in addition is to bring lightweight food, cooking gear and clothes. Oh, and let me know if you have any tips on lightweight gear!