While many Divide Racers and bicycle tourists manage to pack all their gear on their bicycles and leave their backs completely unencumbered, as I've mentioned before, I find a well designed backpack to be very useful. Last week I wrote about how well the Ergon BD2 carries a load and I mentioned I'd modified my pack. Here are the details of those modifications.
In the photo above, the most obvious modification is addition of the CamelBak 100-Ounce UnBottle. The UnBottle is secured to the pack with it's top nylon handle and the pack's helmet-holder. I can quickly unsnap one buckle to move the UnBottle out of the way to access the inner chamber of the pack (where I carry some clothing and food) but I can refill the UnBottle without opening the pack. I've also added a Planet Bike Blinky for safety.
On the right side of the pack's hip-belt, I've added a Timbik2 Porkchop bag. I've had this bag for years and it's just the right size to hold snacks, sunblock and other things I may need to access while riding. On the left side of the hip-belt is my camera case. Anyone who has ridden with me or read this blog for a while knows that I take a good number of photos while riding and the hip location works well for the camera.
The side view shows another camera case, but this one contains small miscellaneous items like spare batteries, SD cards for the camera, my toothbrush, etc. The turtle and Chloe's crocheted charm of safety provide mojo for the journey.
The big blue thing in the Camelbak hose is my third line of defense in my water purification strategy. It's a Sawyer Inline Water Filter. While I also have a SteriPEN and Micropur Tablets that I'll use to purify water one liter at a time, the inline filter should catch any water-borne nasties that may somehow work their way into my CamelBak.
The front view of the pack shows a bit of the clever pivoting shoulder strap mechanism that let's the Ergon pack do it's amazing weight balancing act. I use a couple of Nite Ize S-Biners to hold a nylon pencil case. The pencil case keeps my map close at hand. It took me a while to figure out that having my map on my pack strap works better than having it strapped to my handlebars.
My basic pack strategy has the things I use once a day (camping gear) or things I use infrequently (repair tools, maps for places far down the trail) are packed on the bike. Lights and a small snack pack also reside on the bike. But daily use items ride in the pack, close at hand.
Keep 'em rolling,
Kent "Mountain Turtle" Peterson
Issaquah WA USA