The Nuts & Bolts
It's amazing to think that I will be living out of several panniers strapped to my bike during the next 14 months! I did a lot of research previous to creating my packing list, mainly consulting the blogs of other tour cyclist in order to modify my own list. I tried to go for the minimalist approach on both gear and clothes to reduce excess weight. No bike specific jerseys, versatile shoes, and few toiletries. I choose merino wool gear because it wicks away sweat, keeps me warm (and protected from the sun), doesn't smell, and dries quickly. I have the bare minimum for spare parts, knowing that my route is never too far off the beaten path to find a local bike store if I have a serious mechanical problem. To camp, I have a lightweight stove, dish set, and tent. Technology easily begins to add weight, so I went with all Google Nexus products to use the same chargers and found a decent digital camera with HD video capability. In the end, the gear you need for one month is the same that you need for 14, except for some additional spare parts and tools!
Here is my final Gear & Material List for The Loong Way Home.
You can put as much time and energy as you want into a trip like this becoming completely absorbed and have every detailed planned or simply fly by the seat of your pants! I tried not to overwhelm myself, but never-the-less, the logistics were exhausting! Needless to say, a lot of planning has gone into The Loong Way Home!
If money (and time) weren't an issue this could be the really Looooooooooooooong Way Home! Thankfully, the majority of my gear was donated by my sponsors and I’m happy to fund my day-to-day expenses with my savings. After doing some research, I compiled a trip budget that lists both pre-departure expenses as well as those I will incur during the 14 months. I’ve organized them by categories and added my estimated daily expenses to the bottom of the table. Although my calculations are only an estimate, I expect to spend around 17,600€, about $23,500 for the year.
Click here to see my Trip Budget in more detail.
Out of all the logistics, my route planning was the most challenging. I had an overall idea of the continents and countries I wanted to visit, as well as some key attractions. However, there are millions ways to get from here to there. My route calculations were made using a combination of maps and Google Maps, estimating 100 km a day and resting one out of every six days. I’m not adamant on sticking to this route, but it helped give me an overall idea of the length of my trip home.