What do we carry in those bags?

One glance at our bikes will tell you we carry a lot of gear. A lot!  But what exactly do we carry?  I’ll tell you.

John’s trailer is our technical and hardware corner.  In it, he carries our computers, backup hard drive, all the cords and chargers for everything electronic (cameras and such), and enough tools to completely disassemble the bikes should we need to do that.

My trailer hauls clothes for the boys and me, pillows for the three of us, my sleeping bag, and various odds and ends that tend to accumulate down in the bottom of the bag.

The big yellow bags we have lashed to the tops of our BOBs each contain two foam pads (we prefer actual foam so they don’t go flat due to thorns) and one of the boy’s sleeping bags.

The red panniers (on my bike until recently, but now on Davy’s) are our kitchen and bathroom – up to three days’ worth of food can be stashed there – in addition to our toiletry bag, shampoo, sunscreen, and other items for personal hygiene.

The small black rear panniers (used to be on Davy’s bike, but now I carry them) hold our school stuff (journal bag, math books, pencil bag with calculator, maps), hats & gloves for all of us, and raingear for me and Davy.

My yellow front panniers carry our first aid kit, fanny pack, Kindles, novels, toilet paper, and other miscellaneous items that we frequently need quick access to.

Davy’s front panniers haul our stove, long sleeve shirts for chilly mornings, and swimsuits.

The yellow bag on my rear rack holds winter clothes, the one on Davy’s bike carries one of our tents.

John carries the other tent on his rear rack.  His panniers are filled with extra shoes, rain gear for him and Daryl, his sleeping bag and pillow, and John’s spare clothes.

Traveling the way we are necessitates being prepared for all possible conditions – we’ve passed through sweltering heat in Central America and bitter cold high in the Andes. We need to be totally self-contained and prepared to camp at any time if conditions change in a hurry.  So far, we’ve been OK – so I figure we’ve got the gear to get us to the tip of the world.  I hope so anyway.

cycling nicaragua

books by Nancy Sathre-Vogel

About Nancy Sathre-Vogel

After 21 years as a classroom teacher, Nancy Sathre-Vogel finally woke up and realized that life was too short to spend it all with other people's kids. She and her husband quit their jobs and, together with their twin sons, climbed aboard bicycles to see the world. They enjoyed four years cycling as a family - three of them riding from Alaska to Argentina and one exploring the USA and Mexico. Now they are back in Idaho, putting down roots, enjoying life at home, and living a different type of adventure. It's a fairly sure bet that you'll find her either writing on her computer or creating fantastical pieces with the beads she's collected all over the world.

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