Some General Tips...
- MESH on the outside of back packs is a poor design, it looks cool, but it gets hung up on things (branches, doorways, beer cans, etc.).
- If it's metal and in your carry on, you will be delayed at airport security. Consider packing it in your bike box or checked luggage.
Make a packing list for your bags. At the end of the tour, scratch off the items you didn't us. Next tour consider leaving these items at home.
- ZIPLOC BAGS can be used like compression bags. Organize your stuff, mark the bags with a marker...you get the idea. They're waterproof too!
- When it's time for rest and relaxation and it's cold out think layers. Riding tights, long sleeved jersey, casual pants, long sleeved shirt, rain pants, rain jacket, and top it off with a scarf or hat. This way you don't bring a lot of extra cold weather gear with you.
- At night to stay warm wear little from the neck down and wear a wool hat. A large amount of heat is lost through the head.
- Added clothing inside the sleeping bag makes you sweat, makes you wet, and you end up cold. For added warmth throw a blanket over your sleeping bag.
- Use waterproofing spray to waterproof the outside of your backpack, tent, and tent/sleeping bag pack.
- To further protect your pack from the elements get a "pack" cover from REI for about $50.
- If you are packing a pillow wrap it in a garbage bag and lash it to the outside of your pack.