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My bike is a Trek 520 Touring bike which I bought at Cap’s Bicycle Shop. I have front and rear paniers plus a handlebar bag from Mountain Equipment Co-op totaling 85L of capacity. Much of my clothing, including my rain gear is also from MEC. One large rear panier was for my clothing and books while the other was for camping gear including a sleeping bag (rated to +3°C), stove (MEC Dragonfly), fuel(1.5L of naphtha), pots, dishes, water filter, etc. I only used the water filter a few times and likely could have done without it. I used the smaller front paniers for my food so they went from being completely stuffed to almost empty depending on when I last bought groceries. Lastly, the handlebar bag is for my camera (a Nikon D80) and other small things. My tent (a MEC 2 person TVG) is held onto the rear rack by bungee cords because it is too large to fit anywhere else. My GPS, a Garmin eTrex Legend HCx, was extremely useful. I used it to calculate routes, find certain locations, and even keep an accurate track of my entire route.

Food is almost as important as gear. And it had to fit in my panniers as well as well as last for several days without refrigeration, often in some pretty warm weather. My typical breakfast was a couple of packets of instant oatmeal, hot chocolate, and a banana. In retrospect I would recommend eating more than this for breakfast because I found I was often lacking in energy until lunch. For lunch I usually ate two half bagels topped with cream cheese, avocado, cheese, and garlic sausage. For all of these foods I ignored the need for refrigeration by buying in small enough quantities that they wouldn’t go bad before I ate them. Even cheese will last a number of days provided it isn’t too soft. Dinner was almost always packages of instant pasta. The limited variety of flavours became repetitive after a while but I put up with it for the convenience that they offered at the end of a long day of riding. Many of the flavours request a cup of milk and some margerine for preparation but are still edible, although a little less creamy, when water is used instead.