Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Beer gear

I usually don't geek out too much on gear in this blog, but here comes one gear post. My philosophy when it comes to gear is to by the lightest stuff possibly within some budget constraints. I also don't easily buy new gear to replace what I already have, unless it is broken or worn out. My gear can for the most part be considered lightweight, but not ultralight.

This is what I brought and used during the beer ride.

Sleeping gear:
  • Marmot Never Summer Long sleeping bag (-37°/-17°/-9°C) and 1814 g.
  • Alpkit Hunka XL bivy bag, 510 g.
  • Ridgerest full-length closed-cell foam pad.
  • Therm-a-rest Prolite 4 Short self-inflating air mattress.
Clothes worn when riding:
  • Think liner socks
  • Plastic bags (VBL, stricly not needed on this short a trip)
  • Thick wool socks
  • Roomy walking boots with a wool felt insole
  • Outdoordesigns Perma eVent gaiters

  • Devold wool boxer shorts
  • Devold wool long johns
  • Bicycle boxer shorts
  • Löffler windstopper tights

  • Devold wool long undershirt
  • Craft synthetic long undershort
  • Haglöfs Intense Zephyr WS jacket
  • Buff

  • Thick no-name gloves

  • Wool Buff
  • Ordinary Buff
  • Helmet
  • Endura Spectrum clear glasses. These were lost somewhere on the bog.
Spare/camp clothes:
  • Warm gloves (Marmot Altitude)
  • Mountain Equipment Lightline down jacket
  • Cheap no-name insulated pants.
  • Thick wool beanie
  • Thick wool socks, not used.
  • Thin wool socks
  • Thin wool gloves
  • Wool undershirt, not used.
Cooking and drinking gear
  • Primus Gravity MF stove
  • Primus power gas 220g
  • Trangia Duossal 1,75l kettle with lid
  • Retki Pro 0,75 l thermos bottle with hot water
  • Zefal Arctic insulated bottle x 2 with warm water
  • Matches
Bicycle gear
  • Surly Pugsley with frame bag and front and rear racks. I switched to flat pedals for this ride.
  • Small air pump
  • Basic bicycle repair kit
  • Spare inner tube
  • Gerber multi tool
  • Two MagicShine LED lights, one on the helmet and one on the handlebar
  • Two MagicShine battery packs and one Silva battery pack. I used under half of the battery capacity.
Food and drink
  • Two 0.5 l cans of Laitilan Kukko beer
  • 0.2 l Jahti Schnaps
  • 3 Twix bars
  • 6 bags of Capuccino powder
  • One package of Wilhelm grill sausage
  • 3 double sandwiches with mettwurst and cheese
  • Canon S90 camera in the chest pock and two spare batteries. I can't praise this camera enough. It gives good image quality in a truly pocketable format and can be retrieved from the pocket and used with one hand rapidly.
  • Small Ultrapod tripod,not used
  • Small LED headlamp
  • Sea to Summit Lightweight dry sacks, 8 l and 20 l. These were not good. The inner surface was sticky enough to make stuffing them difficult and the zipper of the sleeping bag actually punctured a hole in the large one.
  • A few small plastic bags, enough to cover the feet. The bog was not yet frozen, so the possibility to get wet feet existed. Spare wool socks covered with a plastic bag is nice to have if something like that would happen.
For the most part I know this gear pretty well. Some items could still be a little lighter, but this is a working kit. I haven't noticed any condensation problems with the bivy bag, but I still think that could be a problem on e.g. a week long trip.

This was not my full winter gear. I would have taken a micro fleece shirt and my big and heavy Himalaya grade down jacket, a Haglöfs Extreme, if it would have been colder. It would also be nice to have a pair of down pants for occasions like this and some sort of down booties that could handle the outdoors. I also need to make some pogies for the bike, which should be a fairly easy sewing project.


  1. Great to finally see this! It's quite amazing that all this was so nicely packed to dry bags and frame bag.

  2. Thanks much for posting this. As I am still a relative cheechako in this winter snow biking game, it's always nice to see what others carry or use.

    My sister will be traveling to Finland over the holidays. Her boyfriend is a pediatric anesthesiologist at the Mayo Clinic here in Minnesota. His family is from Helsinki. I'll be looking forward to hearing their stories and seeing their photos from your beautiful country.

    I can see why so many people of Finnish decent settled in northern Minnesota :)