The countdown to Peru is on…
In the leadup to my departure in August, I’ll be tweaking my packlist here and there. I’m trying to be considered about this. I want everything to have real and lasting value – sometimes, there’s a perceived need to invest in new ‘things’, during those moments of pre-trip euphoria. After all, what I already own has already got me this far, and done a good job at that. Dollars saved are dollars that can be put to good use on the road.
Excitingly, I’m finally entering the world of dynamo hubs. I’ve a front wheel currently being built by Cycle Monkey, using a luxurious Son 28 dynamo hub. Teamed with a Bright-Bike Revolution, this will allow me to charge all my USB devices – the smartphone, water purification device, mini-speaker and headtorch. Inspector Gadget, that’s me. I won’t be running it with a front light for now, as I try not to ride after dusk in South America – but I’m sure it will be a valuable addition at some point down the road.
Shimano Saint (MX-40) pedals. A nice concave design. Not too deep, not too shallow. 501g on the nose.
I’m particularly excited about Bright-Bike’s Revolution. It weighs just 39g and it’s minuscule – shown here with my Cat Eye bike computer for size comparison. The US manufacturer claims it’s the most efficient device like this on the market, and can charge an iPhone without the need for a buffer battery. I can’t wait to try it out – more in depth thoughts on mobile recharging when I’ve had a chance to experiment further.
I’ve rarely carried a filter in the past. Thanks to a robust stomach I always drink the local brew, and use purification tabs or boil water to tied me through where need be. However, this time round I’ll be packing a Steripen Freedom. It’s just 77g and USB (and thus dynamo) charged. Having tried one out in New Mexico recently, it proved quick and effective. One charge lasts 40 treatments – or 20L. That should be enough for several days.
I’ve had my iPhone 5 and Lifeproof case for a while now – both are faring well. Notably, the Gaia GPS App has proved indispensable for bikepacking. Charged via the dynamo hub and attached to the handlebars using the bike mount, I’m hoping this versatile setup will replace the need to carry my Garmin Etrex 20 – an excellent GPS, but reliant on lithium batteries, and far less intuitive to use than a smartphone. Incidentally, I’m very happy with the slimline Lifeproof case in terms of complete protection. My complaints are that its plastic face plate is prone to scratching, and some sense of touch and sound quality are lost.
I’ve been struggling with the idea of carting hauling my 70-200L f/4 (non IS) lens. I love having this lens, particularly when I’m amongst other riders, but it weighs 750g and it’s long – making it tough to store. This Canon 85mm f/1.8 prime is very reasonably priced ($350), and well known for its high image quality. At 424g, it’s not especially light, but the build quality is good and it’s easier to stow. Should be great for portraits.
A quick test shot from ever-willing model Sage.
Tack sharp too.