Sunday, August 15, 2010

Budget bikepacking set-up

since getting a write-up published in Dirt Rag mag issue 150 on western Nebraska bikepacking I've been getting a few requests for my budget set-up ideas so here's what I'm rocking thus far on my singlespeed Surly Karate Monkey.

2 sets each of these for a grand total of $8.00

cut the straps in half (I used a woodburner) & attach the quick release buckles on each end, you should now have a total of 4 straps around 3' long

next you'll need 2 Sea to Summit bags, a 13 L Big River dry bag for around $25.00 & a Sea to Summit e-Vent compression bag for around $27.00

on my back is an old Gary Fisher pack with a 100 oz. Camelback bladder & a Cabela's self-inflating camp mattress, inside goes some munchies, couple of cold beverages, small bottle of chain lube, headlamp, first-aid kit, etc.

teamed up with a Jandd frame bag for tools, patch kit, extra tubes & camera & you have my budget bikepacking kit

on the bars goes my $30 Slumberjack sleeping bag in the e-Vent compression bag secured with 2 of the straps

and on the back goes the big River dry bag with a $30 Wenzel 1 man tent & some Smartwool base layers & extra shorts, this is secured using the roll-top part around the seatpost then secured good with the other 2 straps to suck it down & prevent sway, blinky light hooks into strap around the back, only disadvantage is I can't unload the bag without undoing it all but hey, I've saved around $100 compared to the custom seat packs & I'm not racing so not in a big hurry to pack up, just keep stuff in here that doesn't need used until stopping for the night.
the Dry River bag has an oval profile so it's pretty sleek back there & I don't have a problem with it hitting my legs while peddling.

all 3 bags plus straps on the bike for around $90! Compare that to the custom bags on the market, not saying they're not sweet & worth the $$$, I personally hope to own a set of Revelate Design bags someday but just want to let the new folks know this can be done on the cheap & still be fun.
So don't get discouraged when shopping for bikepacking bags, find something that works for you at your price, use what you got laying around & put it on any bike you ride & go out there & spend a night under the stars, if it's done on a bike it's GREAT!

Made in Sweden

here it is Dakota, your homework assignment for dad while your in Sweden! My neighbor had this laying around & we got to talking about it & he gave it to me.

it's a Primus No. 71 brass camping/backpacking stove in a self-contained container that acts as a pot holder

has an adjustment key attached to a small brass chain

I'd like to know what type of gas it burns, how it lights & if it's safe to use. It appears to be from the 1950's or so, a really neat stove, just wonder if it's got any life left in it.

Where's there's smoke...

...there's fire! In this case mulberry wood in the business end of... smoker pit! Yeah, when you see or smell smoke in my backyard you know I'm studying & trying to perfect the fine art of pit-smoking 101, DO NOT confuse pit-smoking with BBQ'ing 'cause it's NOT the same, ask any Texan!

and if you happen to stop by to learn some pit-smoking 101 be sure & bring something cold to drink as it's a HOT class, in the case of smoked pig ribs, some Shiner 101 really compliments those, AHHH...another summertime treat!

Summertime staples!

Fresh salsa from the garden, unfortunately it arrived the weekend after Dakota left for Sweden, she was waiting for this stuff, don't worry Dakota, we'll get a salsa garden in for you next year, hopefully earlier so we can bring you some salsa along when we come pick you up from the airport!
Grillin' & chillin' with shrimp/beef kabobs & veggies along with my very own jalepeno poppers filled with cream cheese/montery jack cheese, cumin & garlic, bacon wrapped & grilled, watch out for the HOT ones!

this one is part of our Mennonite heritage, watermelon & roll kuchen with peanut butter frosting, think Indian fry bread with frosting, GREAT STUFF!

and finally, the first BLT of the summer with fresh tomatoes out of the garden along with "roastin' y'ars", potatoe salad & sweet tea, MMM! MMM! the joys of summer!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

My new hero!

Here's my daughter Dakota & she's my new hero! For a long time now she's wanted to experience life in another country, but a simple couple week trip would not suffice for her, no siree, she wanted to learn the life, food, culture, history & eventually the language. Well with the help of a local rotary club about a year ago she started her journey!
I think the real journey started though on this day, July 28 when we drove her to Lincoln to put her on a jet, her first time flying by the way, to begin her journey for a year to Helsingborg, Sweden, where she will dive head first into learning their culture, I'm so proud of her & what she's doing I know this will be a life changing experience for ALL of us!

Mom had no worries at this point but that soon changed, & yes, even dad shed his share of tears!

luckily this wasn't the plane she had her first flight in!

This was the first one she flew in, Lincoln to Chicago, short layover before heading to Frankfurt, Germany then another layover before the final leg to Copenhagen, Denmark, then a ferry ride to Helsingborg, Sweden to her new home. Good luck Dakota, we all love you & miss you but can't wait to see where this takes you someday, & yes this blog may start getting some crazy posts on it besides cycling related issues because this will be a way for my daughter to see what her crazy dad & family is up to as well as some of the things she may miss, it will all be here next year when you get back Dakota, enjoy your experience!