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Here’s a complete list of gear I brought on a solo Brompton overnight camping trip from Chicago to Harrington Beach SP in Wisconsin. The trip took place mid-July, with daytime temperatures in in upper 80’s, and high 60’s at night.
- Brompton H6R folding bicycle (or any C-Line Brompton)
- Phone & charger
- CC’s, ID and cash carried in shorts pocket, no wallet
- Toolkit (fitted inside Brompton frame), spare tube and pump
- Front and rear rechargeable bike lights
- Personal items: toothbrush and toothpaste, small bottle of Dr. Bronner’s liquid soap, bug-repellent towlettes, advil (just in case)
- Reflective Safety Pizza (I don’t consider this a frivolous extra, especially since it doesn’t take up any luggage space, and invites friendly comments from passers-by)
My goal was to carry everything as compactly as possible:
- Front-mounted Brompton Rolltop bag: 9-liter capacity, approx. dimensions 13.75 x 8.5 x 4.5 in (the current, slightly larger option would be the Medium Borough Bag)
- Older Ortlieb roll-top seat bag , approx. dimensions 6.3 x 9.1 x 3.9 in
(I had to hack the attachment system with straps, as the included bracket does not fit on the Brooks saddle. Fortunately, the Ortlieb bag is outfitted with loops and slots for additional straps.)
- Eddie Bauer fanny pack big enough for energy bars, phone, sunscreen, etc.
- Hennessy Explorer Deluxe Classic hammock with integrated bug net and rainfly
- Thermarest Proton blanket (This amazing lightweight camping quilt is no longer made. Here’s a comparable one in the current Thermarest lineup.)
- Vargo Titanium backpacking woodstove, which folds down to the size of a small saucer.
- Matches and firestarters made out of cotton facial pads saturated with candle wax, rolled inside several sheets of newspaper
- 2 Bobo Bars (I should have saved the space, as I did not eat them, and I passed through enough populated areas that getting emergency food would not have been a problem)
- 1/2 cup precooked rice in a plastic baggie
- Trader Joe’s lentil curry in a microwaveable pouch
- GSI Outdoors stainless cup/pot
- 2 compostable coffee cups stuffed with
- Ortlieb coffee filter holder, plus 2 paper filters (Another amazing piece of gear that has been discontinued. Any collapsible filter holder would work.)
- Ground coffee
- 4 tea bags
(I could have gone more minimal with just the tea bags, but I wanted my coffee! To be perfectly honest, I also picked up a couple of luxuries at the Piggly Wiggly on the way to the campsite, which I strapped to the top of the front bag: ½ pint heavy cream for my coffee and a small boxed wine. Yes, I could have completely dispensed with any of these. But our little luxuries give life meaning…)
- Thin stretch cargo shorts
- Chaco sandals (my absolute favorite outdoor footwear in anything resembling warm weather)
- 2 sleeveless cotton shirts
- 2-piece TYR swimsuit (top worn while riding, bottoms packed in case there was an opportunity to go swimming)
- Thin rayon beach scarf rolled super small to be used as table cloth, towel or bug cover-up (I did not bring anything long-sleeved)
- 1 part of thin merino socks
Full account of the trip here.