Thinking of going on a bicycle tour? Each time we go, we find new ways to streamline our gear list. Here are three tips for how to multiply the uses of your gear on your next tour.
Turn a water bottle into a lantern. This works with the clear water bottles. Simply fill your water bottle at least halfway with water, turn your flashlight or headlight on, and shine the light into the side of the bottle. This improvised lantern provides a surprising amount of light, without the added weight of an actual lantern.
Use an emergency blanket as your tent footprint. Emergency blankets are really handy. They’re lightweight, and help reflect your body heat back toward your body in an emergency. Save weight by leaving your tent’s footprint at home (or don’t even bother to purchase one, since most tents these days don’t have one included). The blanket might even prove to be more puncture-proof than the footprint, which will save your air pad, as well. Bonus! We love this one.
Use hair elastics to keep your air pad/mattress rolled up. We found an easy way to keep our air pads tidy is to use hair elastics. This gives me the benefit of having a few extras on the trip, as I have a tendency to lose my hair bands at some point on tour. Sure, you could use rubber bands, but I can’t use rubber bands in my hair.
Bonus: Have you heard of Tenacious Tape? Great for fixing everything from tents to rain gear, this is a must-have on tour.
Sometimes if you step a little bit outside the box, you can save weight and energy on your tour. What are some inventive weight-saving ideas you’ve had? Let us know in the comments below! Also, check out our post on reducing your gear weight on tour for some more ideas.