New Gear and Prepping Olivia’s Adventure

It’s been a fun week watching Olivia receive box after box of new gear in preparation for her bikepacking adventure in New Zealand. 

These boxes are only the tip of the proverbial iceberg, and came while I was house sitting/taking care of this little guy:

I’ve been helping Olivia sort out her pack list, and we recently did some gear prep on our new tents. 

She bought a TarpTent Rainbow, a 2 pound ultralight single wall tent highly regarded amongst lightweight backpackers for it’s roominess and thoughtful design.  Unfortunately it doesn’t come seam sealed, so Olivia bought the silicone and mineral spirits necessary for the task and set up her new tent in the garage.

The Rainbow isn’t a freestanding tent unless you use trekking poles as end-supports, so we got creative about staking it out.  Potting soil and bikes worked well enough.

While we were at it, I figured I would set up my new bug tent and lay a few strips of silicone on the floor to make it a bit grippier for my sleeping pad.  Once I test this I’ll report back on it’s performance.

Hmm, no car in the parking spot, just a couple of tents and about five bikes. I wonder what her neighbors think!

My wet, stinky bike shoes were stolen recently, so I had to replace them. I gave a bit of thought to the type of footwear most appropriate for the type of lighter-weight, more technical bikepacking that I’ve been doing, and came up with this:

All of the previous long distance touring I’ve done has been on Keen sandals.  While they are versatile and simple, I was looking for a more performance oriented set of footwear for mountain bike touring, along with a pair of light-as-possible off the bike shoes(not sandals).

Giro Gauge shoes are built on the same platform as my stolen ones, but these feature carbon soles for super efficient power transfer.  I was skeptical about how easy it would be to walk with the carbon soles, but there is a slight curve to the bottom of the shoes, making the foot roll forward without the heel pulling out of the back. These are performance shoes, and not something I’d want as my only pair for on and off bike usage the way I would with the Keens.

I was at Sports Basement and saw these little beauties half off and couldn’t pass them up. They are New Balance MT00 barefoot running shoes, and while I don’t intend to run in them, they make great camp/walking around shoes. The best part about them is how they pack down.

Soles out, right on the bottom of my seat bag. These weigh less than half of my Keens, about the same as Crocs, but pack down to nothing and are super-comfortable.

I’m looking forward to new adventures soon, and stay tuned for a couple of guest posts!

One Response to New Gear and Prepping Olivia’s Adventure

  1. Olivia December 21, 2012 at 2:54 pm #

    Love that shot of your bike shoes. Great camera and lighting! Oh, and that blue velvet backround is super sexy.

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