Gear we use and Recommend
We all use stuff everyday.
We are not advocates of rampant consumerism nor do we like to see waste and both of us despise shopping and wasting resources. Our solution to this is to find what works, buy it once and use it for as long as we can. Quality gear will last longer than cheap gear, along the way we get plenty of use out of it keeping it out of landfill for as long as possible. We have seen enough waste along the roadsides that we have ridden along to see what stuff doesn't work or last.
So with all that in mind we figured that a good way to minimise waste is to show what gear we use and recommend. This may assist others to purchase something once only and save the planet one less purchase at a time. Some of this gear is related to cycle touring others are everyday items we love. Now this is by no means an exhaustive list of everything we use and what we put on here is purely a personal thing and what works for us may not work for you and your personal situation, so we recommend making your choice based on your needs not your wants.
We don't like to advertise, however if we can support a company that’s creating genuinely useful & reliable products, then that feels pretty good to us. Before we go to far though a little disclaimer needs to be inserted here.
We derive no financial benefit from sharing this information and nor do any of the links or products that we share here kick back anything to us. We do this because it feels right to share and promote in the desire to limit the destruction of the planet through wasteful purchasing.
What can be said about this hub that hasn't already been said?
This has to be the finest piece of cycling engineering to have ever been created it is like driving a European car. After you've spent your life driving a Commodore and you get behind the wheel of an Audi theres no turning back, after riding with this you will never want to return to riding with a derailleur ever again. When we researched our bike builds this one kept popping up. It is in our eyes almost indestructible and so easy to ride with.
However this sort of quality does not come cheap and after building it into good quality rims there isn't much change from $2000, although with a life span in excess of 50,000 kms it is worth every penny spent and thats a hell of a lot of riding.
I could continue to talk this product up till the cows come home but I won't instead I will leave it to you the reader to follow the links and make up your own mind.
LUCI is a very simple and easy light to use and keep charged it has also been joked about that she is indeed the other women in our life. We strap her to the rear bags during the day and as we ride along she charges up in the sun and in the evening we blow her up and a simple flick of her on button and the night is illuminated to 3 varying moods and even a disco flashing mode.
This is the only light we use when out camping and for good reason. On top of the ease of use the company that creates this light is environmentally conscious and is doing good work to minimise its environmental footprint, which can only be a good thing for the planet. Don't trust my word head over to their page and read it for yourself.
Now who would of thought that a towel could be so good let alone worthy of a mention here.
I have to put a shout out here to a good friend of ours who put us on to this towel and what better way to do it than right here on the world wide web.
Trina thank you!
We are firm believers that good news spreads fast when the endorsement for a product comes from someone who's actually used it, not some dude who's being paid to tell you how amazing it is.
One of our prerequisites for a towel was that it needed to be small enough to carry and large enough to dry ourselves. Now we have used those piddly little micro-fibre camping towels that feel like a chamois and are about as big and as useful. You know the type that by the time you have dried your hair the towel is soaked and not much use for the rest of the body.
The Tesalate towel isn't that type of towel. Fast drying, feels like a towel, it doesn't hold sand like a normal beach towel and it folds up so small its perfect for your next cycle tour or camping trip, plus they are ultra classy in their designs.
Check out the link below if you want to look and feel super dry on your next trip to wherever there is water.
Aeropress Espresso Coffee Plunger
Who doesn't love Coffee?
It is one of the main reasons I wake up every morning.
Up until recently it was hard to get a good cup of freshly ground coffee when out camping in the bush, you had to settle for instant coffee.
Not anymore and boy aren't we glad about that.
We have had our Aero-press now for 5 years and it gets a great workout and its still going strong. It is for this reason we recommend this easy to use unit. Its small compact robust build and so easy to use.
Complete with grinder you get a little arm workout whilst mindfully generating your own special cup of bliss to start the day. I like to see it as part of my "daily grind".
There is no excuse now to not enjoy a quality cup of freshly ground coffee in all but the most remote locations on this great planet.
Providing you have beans!
By the way, you don't get our cool mugs, you gotta get your own.
Ortleib Cycling Bags
These Bags are a must have for any cycle tour. Again their German design sets them apart from the rest of the pack. There are some little issues with the newer versions compared to the old though not completely flawless.
The blue bags in the photos are the old type that we picked up second hand and are still going strong. The green bags in the photo's are the newer variety. Whilst still pretty good they have a few issues that aren't game changers however can be frustrating out in the bush.
Firstly they use plastic screws to hold everything together which we have changed for metal ones with locknuts due to them falling off whilst on rough corrugated roads. Apart from that they are by far a strong waterproof bag that are fit for the job. And we have put ours through their paces.
They come in a variety of sizes and combinations for both panniers and handlebar bags and it all depends on personal preference and what sort of touring you are doing.
We wouldn't have any other bag and although they aren't cheap you are buying a quality product that we believe will last many a cycle tour.
One Ortleib product we absolutely love and couldn't live without is the folding 10 litre bucket. We use it everyday for a myriad of things such a versatile piece of essential cycle touring equipment.
Check out the links below for more information.
Helinox Camping Chair
At the end of a long day sitting in the saddle of a bicycle the old bum gets a good workout. Now you could sit on the hard ground however why punish your bum anymore than you already have when you can place that tired, sore bum in the gentle loving lightweight embrace of a Helinox Chair.
This chair is a revelation to the comfort of a remote cycling tourer after a long day on a corrugated dirt road.
Weighing less than a litre of water why wouldn't you carry a little bit of comfort along with you.
We have two different chairs.
Shell uses the Helinox Chair one which weighs roughly 900 grams and is slightly bigger than mine. I don't like to admit it, also a bit more comfortable.
My chair is the Helinox Chair Zero weighing in at a grand total of 500 grams. Both chairs can hold up to 120kg and I believe Helinox have released larger versions of the Chair One to suit a larger framed individual.
My only concern with these chairs is they are so light that they do blow away so when getting up from them I would advise placing something on them so they don't blow into the fire, as this nearly happened to mine several times.
We found once we sat down we didn't want to get up.
Best of all they are an Australian company and express postage to your door is included in the price. Excellent warranty, no questions asked, check them out for yourself.
BlendJet Portable Blender
This little blender is indeed a luxury item and not something that every cycle tourer would take along with them and as you may well be aware we are not your average cycle tourer. This is after all how we choose to live these days.
One of our most pleasurable moments of the day is our morning heart starter.
This is either coffee, tea our mushroom mud elixir or a green smoothie.
Before we left one thing we kept asking was how will we continue to make our morning elixir, now we had a whisk and while it was effective it lacked something.
Enter the BlendJet!
We found this through a google search, 5 days and $60 later it was in our panniers.
Small, compact and simple to use and clean. One charge lasted us around 7-8 days of two to three drinks each every day.
Charges via a USB cable and makes enough for one drink which made the morning ritual and afternoon green smoothies a simple and quick affair. Which when you're tired after a long day in the saddle makes all the difference.
This handy little blender is now a permanent part of our bush adventures, we also use at home everyday. It does have it's limitations though, don't expect to do super thick smoothies however for us it works a treat.
Check out the link below for more info
MSR DragonFly Stove
The kitchen is the most important place in any house as is the stove.
This is where the magic happens.
Key features for a light weight camping stove include the need to be compact, efficient, easy to use and flexible fuel options to name a few.
The MSR Dragonfly has all those and more.
It packs up super small and weighs less than a mobile phone. Set-up in less than a minute and cooking even faster. It produces an immense amount of heat and best of all the DragonFly can run on any variety of fuel.
We have used it with petrol, diesel, kerosene and shelllite to name a few. Which is super handy because out in remote areas the only fuel available can be limited so flexibility is key here.
Now there is one downside although you can get used to it, it is super noisy as it's name suggests it roars like a dragon. So when you're boiling the kettle first thing in the morning the neighbours will know what you're up to and the peace and serenity is shattered. However once turned off it seems so much quieter than before.
This stove is the perfect companion to lightweight camping, hiking or touring.
Check out the link below for more info.