Saturday, 24 January 2015

Knit 1 Bike 1 - What Not To Take?

What not to take? - All suggestions welcome!
Having come up with a wonderful list of all the useful things I could take on the Knit 1 Bike 1 trip, there are a few dilemmas:
1.        short of taking a lorry with me, it will not all fit. 
2.       Do I take the felted Kindle  bag and double knitting felted phone case or  100% waterproof ones?
3.       How long will woollen socks take to dry?
4.       What about my swimming costume?
5.       Sun tan lotion, shampoo, moisturiser and a first aid kit add an awful lot of weight but are essential.  I am on the hunt for small plastic tubs.

When I went on a previous solo week-long bike trip, I took a single change of clothes and hung them in the tent overnight to dry.  I took a small tent and a sleeping bag but  no cooking stove.  Every gram/ounce counts on a bike and you soon regret any extra stuff.  Even the plastic mug ended up getting in the way and I wished I had left it at home.  I ate cold food (oatcakes and tomatoes etc) for breakfast then stopped at the first cafe for a hot drink/fry up.   It was easy to buy food for lunch and by dinner time I was glad to be in a pub, have company, chips and a comfy seat indoors.   The great thing about cycling all day every day is that you need a lot of calories!

 When hubby and I went on a bike trip together we thought we had packed the bare minimum but ended up posting a parcel of excess stuff home.  A lesson learned.  Can I leave home with only what I need this time?

Given this trip will be done on a folding bike with no back up vehicle, less  really is more and carrying less  weight makes a huge difference when cycling  up hill.  So I am thinking that one change of clothes and no cooking stove is as good for 70 days as it is for 7.  And carrying extra weight for 70 days is ten times as onerous as carrying it for 7.  So instead of a ‘what to take list’, I have started a ‘what not to take’ list. 

So far I am not taking:
·         A camera with batteries that need re-charging
·         A  kindle or books – I may take a mini tablet that doubles as a phone and can also put books on it - am busy researching this. However what with all that cycling, crocheting, writing, socialising and delivering mini workshops   I may decide to go into book withdrawal for the duration of the trip. 
·         The tablet will need a waterproof case  and a charger.  And I will need somewhere to charge it and probably spare batteries as well just in case.  Total weight about 1kg.  A notebook needs none of those things, but there may not be many internet cafes  en route...
·         A towel.  A facecloth/flannel is actually all the towel you need and drys quicker.  And a quarter of a facecloth works fine as a facecloth. 

What to do...
Can I really last 70 days without hair products and deodorant?  70 days of having fluffy hair and being a bit niffy  may be a step too far and I am on the hunt for small plastic tubs to put things in.

The midge hat is going with me and that is that. 
Midge repellent
Anything else that helps with midges...
A wee sliver of soap
Sun tan lotion
Yarn, knitting needles and crochet hooks.  I will post finished objects home.
Plastic mailing bags for the above
Maps – or pages out of maps.  Road maps are surprisingly good for cyclists but I will also need some Sustrans cycle route maps.
Some first aid stuff – TCP, plasters . 
A phone.
Spare set of  undies, tee shirt and zip off trousers.  The cycle gear can dry overnight.
I read a book about what people took with them on journeys called  ‘journeys of Simplicity Travelling Light...

Some people took only a toothbrush in their breast pocket and went walking for 6 months but I wouldn’t like to have dinner with them after the first couple of weeks...and of course they  didn’t need yarn and needles like I do.

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