Most of this blog has been re-written prior to our departure on Saturday, I’m sitting here writing this bit the morning we leave though. I’ve not yet left my flat, I’ve not started loading Rosy up with the prepacked panniers, and I’ve not even unlocked the bikes from where there kept yet. I’m writing this as I’m hoping it will exorcise the moment of pure fear I felt just a moment ago. I was reading a really good blog the other day which spoke a lot of sense, (it was on twenty-somethingtrsvel.com and its called “is travel risky?”) it questioned whether or not its “brave” to travel, its clearly not, if its even a little bit brave its on the stupid side of it. I might even go as far to say that it can be cowardly. But there it is, here I am, ready to go out and get sweaty and scared again, ready to swear to my mum that it’s the last time I’ll do something like this again, ready to have a teary goodbye with Jessica again, ready to spend the first night really regretting it again.
But I guess it is what it is, and as the wisest of all poets and philosophers said “I am what I am”. I’m writing too much to put off the leaving of it all… hope you enjoy this blog about packing.
One of the things I like reading when I read about people travelling is a detailed list of what they take with them, as an over packer myself I think its important. I think that it has even more relevance with us because even our luggage has a carbon footprint before it even reaches our door. These are well known as indirect emissions, actually it goes further, because even these indirect emissions have further emissions because they have what’s called well to wheel emissions as well, this is when the fuel used to transport the fuel used to make the item causes emissions. It actually goes further than that, cus the raw materials which the items made from require fuel to get or make, and the items used to make those materials were made themselves… so it goes on, but it does start getting confusing and a little bit silly.
Just to be clear though there are a few things which we are considering as neutral for the trip, so long as it falls into the “reduce, reuse, recycle” concept then we are considering it neutral, so for example, the cooking stove I have had and used since the age of 17 is considered neutral but the cycling shorts I brought because I didn’t want to sit it someone else’s sodden pad are not. This is for simple reasons, we are unable to manufacture most of the items ourselves by hand (as in using no tools) while getting all of the materials by harnessing it naturally in the local area. I just didn’t want anyone to think that we hadn’t considered our equipment as a source of emissions, concessions have been made, and I hope you’ll not be too harsh in your judgement of them… actually I’ll be in France within the week so you go ahead and be as harsh as you want!
I have been as strict and as honest as possible with what is damaging and what has been reliably sourced.
|Item||Method of sourcing||details|
|Rocinante (Rosy), My Raleigh Trail Pioneer Hybrid Bike||Reused and Recycled||Donated by Guy at Bicyclerecycling.co.uk|
|Panniers (Back)||Reused||Brought second hand from a nice man in Southampton|
|Pannier (Front) and Front Rack||NON SUSTAINABLE||Brought from a shop|
|Bike Lights||Reused||Second hand in Winchester|
|Bike Helmet||NON SUSTAINABLE||Brought from a shop|
|Bicycle repair equipment, includes inner tube, puncture repair kit, tie raps, tyre pump||Reused||Sourced from various sources, including gifts from friends and scrap from other bikes.|
|Water bottle||Reused||Borrowed from my Girlfriend|
|Back pack||Reused||A gift from my girlfriends Mum for my birthday|
|Camel Back, a water carrying device||NON SUSTAINABLE||Brought from Blacks in Winchester|
|Small dry bag, contains emergency contact details and passport||Reused||Used for previous trips|
|Books: travel journey, bike maintenance book, reading book||Reused, Recycled||Bike maintenance and reading book from Oxfam book store, Journal is recycled paper|
|Mobile Phone, Blackberry||Reused||My Mobile, I’ve had it for years|
|Wallet X2, (I carry two wallets, one real and one dummy)||Reused||The wallet I use and one which I was given as a gift years ago|
|Sleeping Bag (and large dry bag where I keep it)||Reused||I brought it for my first trip in South America when I was 18|
|Tent, two man||Reused||My Dads old tent|
|Sleeping Matt||Reused||Brought for South America|
|Map X2||Reused||Brought from Oxfam Bookstore, one of Europe and one detailed road map|
|First aid kit, Includes SAM splint, Bandages, Duck tape, water purification tablet, tweezers etc.||NOT SUSTAINABLE||Thanks to Will4adventure.com for the training and provided by my nurse Mum.|
|High visibility jacket||Reused||Brought from Marie Curie charity shop|
|Cycling clothing, Includes two pairs of cycling shorts and a pair of cycling leggings||NOT SUSTAINBLE||Brought from local cycling shop|
|Wash Bags, includes moisturiser, suntan lotion, toothpaste, solar shower and shaving soap etc||Some Reused, some Recycled||Where possible we have sourced the items we didn’t already have from sustainable companies|
|Clothing Includes Rohan Mountain leader jacket, Rohan Superfine Merino wool long sleeve jumper, Rohan River Shorts, Rohan ultra silver tshirts x3, Rohan Buff, Rohan Expedition shirt, Rohan highground hoody, Rohan sunglasses, Rohan Superfine Merino leggings, Rohan Strider trousers, Rohan scarf, Rohan core zip long sleeve, a Marmot Mac, Rohan socks, Underwear x6, a knitted hat, gloves, trainers and a tie||Reused||Rohan equipment is sample clothing and so we consider it reused for the trip. The other clothing is reused from previous trips.|
|Chammy cream, which is cream to slather on your “saddle parts” to support movement||NOT SUSTAINABLE||I had to get this from a local bike store as I didn’t have any already and I was unable to find sustainable products|
|Foldable Saw||Reused||From my days as a gardener|
|Leatherman||Reused||You always need a leatherman, I’ve had mine for years|
|Mallet||Reused||My trusty camping mallet|
|Batteries and Charger||Reused||Rechargable batteries in case we can find green electricity on route|
|Laptop and Batteries||Reused||My netbook and its extended battery|
|Power Monkey||Reused||A source of emergency electricity, a gift from my mum from years back|
|Ipod||Reused||I’ve downloaded some green lectures and music for special moments on route|
|Although Faith is carrying these items, I thought they needed special attention|
|Camping stove||Reused||I got for a baked beans party when I was a young man|
|Garmin GPS||Reused||I’ve had it for years, up til this point only used for long walks in emergencies|
Well that’s that, that’s what I’m taking with me and what’s going to be my life for the next X months.
I want to say that the things which are non sustainable I have made real efforts to get these from local businesses, and have managed to achieve that completely. This is not only in an attempt to “stick it to the man” but it means that I can check their green qualities easily, I can just pop into the shop and ask.
Its becoming clear to me now that with no sign of a boat to take us across the channel (Still not giving up hope though) that we are going to have a footprint, so the trip becomes slightly different, the aim remains the same but by the end of the trip I want to have a figure to say that our journey used this amount of carbon.