im - 3/03/2008 09:07:00 AM
Monday, March 3rd, 2008
A huge time commitment isn't required to get a satifying bike-camping fix. Last Friday, our crew of 5 rode 50km to a campsite in a western burb to put on some mellow, lightly-loaded (referring to the bikes) miles and camp overnight. The packing configurations varied among the bikes
3 Surlys and 2 Salsas. Touring equipment included handlebar bags, saddle bags, baskets, racks, and panniers. Shelter choices varied, too... 3 tents, a hammock, and a tarptent (my Golite Hut 1).
I rode my pre-production Travelers Check outfitted with a Carousel Design Works handlebar bag, Carradice saddlebag (attached to a Nitto Uplift), Jandd frame bag, water bottle tool kit, and insulated beer tube...parallel to the seat tube, holds up 1.3 liters (44 oz) of canned beer. Profile bottle cages are attached to the fork legs using some band-style clamps made by Minoura.
The only water at the campsite was lake water, and I ran out of the filtered water I'd bottled at home. So I had an opportunity to find out how my Klean Kanteen
stainless water bottle would hold up if I used it to boil and purify lake water over the coals of our campfire. I purchased several of these bottles years ago, and they've served me well as substitutes for the plastic bottles we tend to find in bike shops. Plastic bottles tend to make my water taste bad and/or possibly endanger my health (read about BPA in plastic bottles). So, I tend to stay away from them when possible.
I'm happy to report that the Klean Kanteen quickly boiled 1.5 liters of water (.5 liters at a time) without any permanent damage to the vessel. I cleaned off the soot, but I left some discoloration on the bottle. I like the patina. On the next outing, I'll boil my water in the remaining shiny bottle. I won't solely rely on my bottles for cooking/water purification duties, though I probably could, but it's nice to know that it's a possibility if my cookpot is lost or damaged in the field.
Overall, the trip was a great success. We rode 100km, shook some of the cobwebs out of our camping gear, and hoisted a few beers around a campfire away from the noise of the city...all in less than 24 hours.