Unless you drive to your starting point and then use a luggage carrying service, you will need to carry everything with you. You have to get your carrying equipment right and PRIORITISE.
- Essential waterproof advice also applies to packs and panniers and use waterproof stuffsacks inside
- Take time to choose a pack that fits, is comfortable and in the right position, then rehearse – load it up and adapt/reduce your load until you get it right before you go!
- Bikers need rear panniers that are spacious, waterproof and easily detachable – necessary when you leave your bike, or hook it up on the train. http://www.ortlieb.co.uk/ tick all the boxes, they also look good and their shoulder straps mean they can be used off the bike
- Put the strain on the frame, fit bottle and pump carriers and maybe a small frame bag for tools
- Divide your load as evenly as possible – one shoe, half your toiletries in each pannier
- Self-closing food bags are ideal for toiletries
What NOT to carry:
- Bumbags and waistbags as they can strain your back and affect balance and posture
- Anything you have to carry in your hands
- Bikers shouldn’t carry backpacks, apart from maybe a small hydro-system