Inspired to Divide Part 6: Weapons for Mass Adventuring
It's interesting to have been a part of the evolution of Bikepacking. Like I said in previous post, very competitive bikepackers would harbor gear secrets as if that was the key to having an edge from other racers. TURNS out the KEY to kicking someone's ass in a race is how much you like to sleep vs how much you like to ride!!
SO Freely and openly in this post I will discuss the finer points of my gear choices for my 2018 Divide Ride, affectionately called The INDIAN DIVIDE.
About a year ago I decided to retire my Krampus and get a Salsa Woodsmoke. I had Seen Ethan Frey riding one in the CFiTT and it looked amazing. I was already a deep Plus Bike convert, so I was sold on the tire size, I guess since I had never owned a carbon mountain bike I wanted one. PLUS, Salsa Cycles made gave me an opportunity I couldn't refuse. ON TOP OF IT ALL, Salsa Designs bikes with Loaded riding in mind, and I have never had a bike that felt equally as Nimble Loaded VS Unloaded. The facts are, this machine has been stellar in all the check boxes. FAST, NIMBLE, EFFICIENT and a trail destroyer. BEST BIKE I have ever owned hands down. Taking it to the divide is a NO BRAINIER.
100% Transparency here. This is the first time I didn't make a gear list for a ride. The facts are, after making 300 gear list, I really had it all in my head what I needed, and when it came time to pack it went buttery smooth. So Instead of giving you a bunch of boring specifics here are some highlights on what are some key changes I made on this run vs last run.
I went with the 1 person Fly Creek Ultra Light. I had bought a two person Tent for Edith and I and our future adventures and was so impressed with their intuitive designs and fine features that I went ahead and got the Fly Creek. I have only been able to sleep in it 3 times so going into this I still have a lot to learn, but I a getting the hang of it and feel confident it will do the job without issue. They put so many cool features into their tents that if you're not trying to get the lightest tent in the universe and you want a good bang for buck, this is an EXCELLENT OPTION.
All I have ever used for bikepacking is summer sleeping bags. And when its cold I add warmth with a silk liner. All reports I have heard say nothing colder than 40 degrees out there at the moment. SO, I got a Sea to summit bag that you're able to use as a traditional sleeping bag or as a quilt. It's really nice and packs down pretty small, I have slept great in it every time I have used it and love the color especially cause it matches the blue accents on my bike.
Last time I did the divide I didn't even cook on the trail. When I did the Colorado Trail I used an Alcohol stove. I made the switch to Canister stoves a bit ago and love the efficiency of the jet boil. Not a fan of their modular system cause its too big and bulky so I bought the Skillet attachment and use my own Titanium pot. I do First cup and second cup on the regular so coffee is a regular part of the trip, my Trusty Aeropress as big as it is is definitely coming, no other option for me as I love the strength of the rich dark cup that it brews.
The only items I carry duplicates of are gloves and socks. Have three pairs of each. Standard wool baselayer and wool long sleeve and showers pass rain gear remains my go to for handling the shittiest weather on the planet. Showers pass saved my ass on ten mile in Colorado and the new upgraded stuff I am sure will only save me more.
My favorite Item for the trip
By far its my JPaks Frame bag. Not only does it look amazing, but it functions better than any other bag I have used and tested. It is currently my favorite piece of kit. MY entire kit is JPaks cuben fiber bags with the exception of orange Feedbags that were provided by my lead sponsor KLITE USA.
I am using the top secret Johnny Five headlight from KLIte to set the trail on fire in a very special configuration and set up. I will share fotos when the ride is done as I am bound by my obligations as a tester to not share any up close shots. I have been testing their USB charger for half a year and its on the bike as well. My set up is super clean and you cant even tell I run a dyno hub system or set up, NOW THAT I CAN SHOW YOU.
FOOD, DRINK and FANNY
I am carrying as many dehydrated meals as I can and will reload when possible, I am big eating good and healthy so I avoid trying to survive on convenience stores as much as possible and focus on making good choices out there. Sometimes sacrifices must be made. I am carrying three bottles at 75 ounces at a time and will use a MSR squeeze filter to clean creek water and have purification tablets as a back up. For the long desert stretches I have an Osprey Bladder that allows me to add 70 oz at any time. My goal is to eat as clean as possible on this trip, NOT consume any pain meds, and use Whiskey as much as reasonably possible. For my ass the goal is to keep it clean and of course DZ nuts is my go to, have plenty to make it to the end (No Pun Intended).
GOALS FOR THE JOURNEY
1. Have FUN, it is our first primary and most important mission
2. FINISH. Folks I aint fucking around, Im not coming home till I am done. In order to come home, which I want to do very badly cause I will miss my family and friends, I HAVE TO FINISH.
3. SAFETY THIRD. You read that right folks, finishing safe and sound didn't even make it to the top two.
4.STAY OUT. Once we start the route, I would like to stay out. It's a tough one and if we dont make it, thats ok, but I would like to stay out in Honor of my COLORADO Trail Brothers LiiT and PORTER.
That's it folks, the good, the bad and the UGLY. If youre feeling generous, here is the LINK. There will be one more post and then it's into the WILDS we go.