Next you’ll be packing the kitchen sink

Strange the conversations we have first thing in the morning.  Today it was about what we should do about our books. Now we’ll have time to read them but no space to carry them.

We’re not on the road, but the journey’s begun.  We have a new set of problems with solutions to be found.  Yet problem solving has never been so much fun.

Packages are delivered and I put them to one side until he gets home.  We have dinner, a drink and then dive into the packages to see what’s arrived.  Today it’s two wardrobes, a clothes line and kitchen sink.

As packages are coming in, others are going out – an unexpected recycling system is fully operational and is now like a conveyor belt that’s only switched off at night.

So how do you fit a home with two wardrobes and the kitchen sink onto two bikes?

It’s a question I’ve been asked, so am going to share the gradual process of figuring that out.

First the home.

We trialled a Vango 300+ tent during the summer and I learned we’d probably kill each other if we stuck with it.  You had to clamber over luggage to get into the sleep area.  The sleep area was overtaken by mattress and as the mattress was high, it took up head room.  Changing was fun for a couple of days as you bounced around on the bed and finally lost all the air and had to hand pump it up again.  Fun for a couple of days, not for a couple of months.  Standing room became a priority as well as an extra door.

I did a lot of research.  When a tent emerged that had a garage big enough to fit a bike I sat up.  Not so much that it could fit a bike, but the fact that because it could fit a bike, it was tall enough to stand up in.  It has four doors, so the sleeping area remains intact while all the messy stuff stays outside.  It’d have room to even put a sofa.  Although not lightweight as in the backpacking sense of lightweight, it isn’t one of those really heavy family tents either.  It was designed for bikers.

We take a chance on it and the sun comes out and I pitch it all by myself.  Now that I know the wind end from the garage end, we could do it in less than 10 minutes.  Behold the Redverz Atacama.

The tent, footprints, sleeping system, two tarps and a dry bag to secure them in are 15kg and with a payload that exceeds a passenger weight, that’s not bad.  Even I could carry it.

I move around inside without having to squat. The sleep area has a generous head room too.  I love it.  It’s exactly what I hoped for and overcomes all the problems of the Vango I knew I couldn’t live with.

What you see above is going to be the bulkiest of our items.  But I’ve still not explained the wardrobes and kitchen sink.  See if you can spot them in the picture below:

Kit.jpgAll will be revealed in a future episode of how to pack for Granny on a Bike.

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24 thoughts on “Next you’ll be packing the kitchen sink

  1. I am SO fortunate that my youngest daughter has backpacked and hiked some of the world’s most arduous trails from the Appalachian to the Pacific Coast to the Anapurna. She’s always full of great ideas for backpacking and has a group of college friends who have hiked together for over 10 years. Between them, I’ve got great advice that way. Have a grand adventure – I’m sure it will be challenging, but you will have a fabulous time! ;D

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    1. Yes, first and second hand experience helps a lot. I’ve got quite a few tips from other bikers and when my kids were young we hiked and cycled a lot, either camping or hostels. I have realised that age is an issue now, not quite so nimble and fit!!

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      1. Yup. I cycle regularly – love it – but I usually limit it to 10 miles at a stretch. I could do more, but haven’t felt called to do so. The gardening takes a bit out of me, so when that’s caught up from springtime overgrowth everywhere, I’d be more inclined. Have fun though – what an adventure!

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  2. Awesome! What a great life adventure you are embarking on!! Can’t wait to follow your trail and hear more! I bet finding just the right gear is an important first step in the journey. Applauding you, Safar…enjoy!

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    1. Thank you – good to know there’s positive energy following us 🙂 Nerves are beginning to kick in a bit, we still have so much to do!!! There’s been a lot of thought in the equipment, so as to make life easier. We’re looking at portable solar energy solutions at the moment.

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      1. It’s grand and I am excited for you! Really great that you are keeping a blog and sharing the planning and equipment selections. No doubt this is a bit ‘nerve racking’…but I imagine once you are on the road it will all fall in to place and the journey will unfold. Keep us posted!

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        1. A lot of the people I have seen vlog about their first bike journey usually end up getting rid of half their stuff after a few days. It’s quite funny watching them suddenly downsize. Wonder if we’ll be any different?!

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          1. “What will be, will be” says my old Irish bachelor friend. I am a planner, list maker, a gal who likes her ‘ducks in a row’, however, I have come to appreciate serendipity and leaps of faith. Traveling with a positive attitude, a great sense of adventure, and life gratitude ( all of which you seem to have wrapped up), will be your prized possessions. So excited for you!

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      1. Yes! That’s what I thought! I reckoned the compact was a lamp, because of the hooks above it.
        When I lived in the woods in Sussex, my favourite piece of equipment was the ghillie kettle, but it may not be much use to you – although it heats water efficiently, cooking over it can be slow, and you have to store a lot of dry twigs.

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        1. I’ve seen those. We decided not to go for it, but have something that is similar. It’s like a flat pack twig stove with lots of ways to arrange it for cooking including using something like a ghillie kettle.

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              1. An excellent choice. For all-round use it looks far better than the gillie kettle. The firebox looks great – easily to light, and easy to feed.
                Makes me feel even more nostalgic for my simple life in the woods, when I felt fully alive AND less of a burden on the planet.
                I leave the windows open all through the year, and never use the heating, but still it doesn’t feel like a tent 😉

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