I have a plan in a few months which includes a little alone time (dependant on the girlfriend and/or friends also wanting to come along), bike camping around New Zealand, before the weather gets too cold.
I have a bike with all necessary accoutrements. Now all I need is the other swag, which will be used for other outings in Australia and beyond later in the year.
As you are all wiser than I (and I have people wanting to buy things for Christmas) I need some recommendations (either first hand or pointers to another site?) for all the other gear, that would be suitable for such an adventure. Important things, in my mind, would be (all of bike-packable size and weight):
Anything else useful (cookbooks, etc)
Being available locally or in a real store is a plus, as my family isn’t the most tech savvy and time to post before chrissie is getting slim.
Plan is to make it a week or two, cover a bit of nice countryside, take some beardo 'gram photos and make a video (not.)
Jet boil. Compact, durable, cooks, cleans, coffee, reasonable price (MSR is great gear but price is high) universal gas fitting… had mine for about 5 years n swear by it - only ever issue was the igniter is some times hit n miss, bought a spare for under $10 and never used it just used a lighter occasionally.
Anaconda et al have them, which is a bonus for potential gift buyers’ in my family. Just wondering what the main differences are (sorry about this, I would normally research myself, but I am trying to send out an email wishlist before I end up with $100 bucks of irrelevant shit or alcohol that I don’t want to drink).
For a sleeping bag, usually this is a buy it for life item so dont be afraid of spending extra cash here. You want to look for something that is 800+ down which means it has the lightest weight/volume ratio (unless you are opting for a synthetic bag). I personally have been using a down-quilt for the past 5 years and love it, it means its kinda like a blanket with no insulation on the back. The rational being that you compress the insulation on your back making it redundant anyway. Something like this is ideal but I’m not sure if you’ll find golite gear in local shops.
For a matt, depending on your comfort preferences there are many options here. If you want to go light, something like an exped SynMat UL will be lightweight without sacrificing too much comfort. Thermarest make an equivalent matt, and your other alternatives lay with cheaper thermarests that may be a little heavier or just a simple foam matt from target which is what I personally use because I’m a cheap bastard.
For a stove, a home made Cat Food Can Backpacking Stove is cheap and works really well. Otherwise you can’t really go wrong with a trangia. Alternatives include something like a MSR WhisperLite, or as others have suggested a jetboil. The problem with a jetboil is that it is not as versatile in cooking things other than water, and it does hold a slight weight penalty. For the actual pot I just use a trangia bowl, but anything from an outdoor camping store should be fine. I won’t really bother spending the extra money on a non-stick stove, but this is personal preference, as for utensils, you could spend 20 bucks on a titanium spork but I just use a plastic spork you get from chinese takeaway which is free and much lighter.
buy a good sleeping bag. In summer NZ (South Island) I still use a 600g bag (ie 600g of down, not total weight). 500g minimum. =/<400g you’ll be cold (or at least I would be), unless you only want to stay at sea level and skip the mountains.
Exped synmat UL gets my vote too. M if your a whippet, LW if your not.
mont bag. Hard to get the balance of temperature right…
Event bivvy if your speed focused, tarptent if your waiting out weather.
Hennesy hammock if your not a stomach sleeper.
Not sold on jetboils, more aimed at rehydrating food rather than cooking. Currently use a trangia. Works well. Will eventually get a nerdy lightweight one.
I like trangia because it’s cheap, and retro-grouch simple. My wife and I used some Mountain Designs sleeping bags and mats when we were touring and they worked pretty well. They were a bit cheaper than the brand name stuff, but still seemed like good quality.
I have some kind of warm sleeping bag from Mountain Hardware and a warmer one from Exped, bought from a US shop years ago. I’m keen on the quilt idea too and might have a go at making my own.
For a mat I’ve usually toured with a Thermarest Prolite Plus. Heavy, but offers a great sleep after a long day. I’ve got a Neo Air too, but never really warmed to it. I’ve just spent 6 day on it in Tassie though and am happy with it now. It snot as comfy as the Prolite Plus, but if you dial in the right pressure (for me - overinflate, lie on side, release air until I can easily thrust my hip bone through to the ground, but not so that it’s touching the ground at rest). There were a couple of Exped downmats and synmats in the group, and I’d be having a really good look at these if I was buying now.
I’ve had an MSR Hubba Hubba for years and it’s been awesome. If I was buying now, I’d probably get a Tarptent. I’d have a good look at the Zpack Hexamid though, and I’m dead keen on a MLD Trailstar, but the wife snot so keen on not having a floor/flymesh. Kinda fair enough I guess. Maybe. I wouldn’t get a hammock personally; I’ve sat around at campsites imagining where I’d pitch one and often struggled to picture it. Maybe it’s easier if you’ve got one though I guess.
I’m in love with my Bushbuddy. I love being able to not worry about fuel so much, meaning I can cook for longer and carry less. I have the Zelph Companion alcohol stove and a bit of alcohol as a backup, but I’m getting to the stage now where I’m almost brave enough to leave without it and rely on my firelighting skilz. Using a wood burning stove can be questionable in some areas though. Take care.
I didn’t use this in Tassie, although I took it. There were quite a few of us, cooking shared meals, so we used gas. The MSR Pocket Rocket boiled water the quickest, but also burnt the pasta a bit. I have a Brunton tripod jobby with a hose to the gas and a windbreak. It’s heavier than the pocket rocket and doesn’t seem to be as hot, but both boiled 2-3L of water in a billy within a minute or two of eachother.
I like aluminium. I reckon it distributes heat better and I don’t burn my dahl. Whatever floats your boat really. I’ve got a GSI Soloist and I like it (and the Bushbuddy fits in it), but I like to have two pots, so I have a little MSR stainless steel bowl that I use as a second pot. I’ll cook rice/pasta in the big pot (bring it to boil, place in a cozy made out of an old windscreen sunprotector jobby and let sit) and cook up curry or whatever in the pot. I’ve recently bought a cheap dual potset that fits the Bushbuddy and is big enough to cook this rice/curry meal, but is smaller and lighter.
One of my favourite things is my Thermarest Compack chair kit thingo. It really makes a camp a good place when you can lean back into something while you cook/read/sit-around etc. I’ll admit to having the smallest Thermarest pillow as well. It’s overkill, but I put it on top of my down jacket and sleep so well.
That’s what I do anyway. It seems to slowly change. By looking at his video and reading his writeup, I reckon that prawza fella would have a few more tips to give, especially about lightening the load.
Reckon I’ve stayed up late enough to be in the swing of things for the night grinder tomorrow?
Also not a fan of jetboil. I got given one to test when they first came out, it got demoted to a car-camping coffee machine, then I sold it. I take a lightweight SnowPeak titanium canister stove for when I only need to do some very basic boiling, MSR Whisperlite for longer trips, more remote trips, or when I need to do a lot of cooking. Jetboil is ok if all you’re doing is boiling (eg morning coffees, freezedry dinners).
My canister stove is stove number 2 by a long way. If I only had one stove I’d always go a multifuel over a canister. But if you do go canister then definitely buy one with a hose. Not only better stability (as MikeD says) but it also allows you to use a windshield. Windshield with a top-mounted canister stove can quickly lead to an exploding canister (except for Jetboil-style setups which have one built in). A hose also helps if you want to keep the canister warm (when they’re cold they lose pressure and they get colder when in use, so sometimes it’s near impossible to get the last 1/4 of the can out) by more easily wrapping it in something, burying in dirt, or sitting in a pot of warm water. Also seriously consider sleeping with the can if you want to get your coffee going fast in the morning. Also buy the really small Jetboil sized cans cause they’re better with keeping good pressure - stay away from the extra big cans.
I use SnowPeak titanium pots (if just me, one small ~600ml+ pot (doubles as mug), if 2-people, a 1+ litre pot, if a long trip sometimes both). They’re very expensive but great. Mine are going on ten years now. I also have MSR stainless pots for when I’m less concerned about weight.
Also might be worth considering a hydration pack for extra water carrying capacity
Source make good stuff, I rate their bladders over any other brand in terms of durability, less weird taste and replacable bits