Click to return to the store
The Traitor Cycles Slot was designed, perhaps inadvertently, just for this occasion.
Baggage and Racks
We’re continuing to test out the low profile panniers we have in the works. They’ll have so many epic miles behind their design!
I popped a frame bag on each bicycle and both Jason and I are utilizing the space on our bars for packing.
It’s important for me to have access to food as I ride. Food is no joke for me–I eat constantly when we’re out on the trail. The Paloma Bar Bag becomes something like a dashboard. I store the snacks and layers that I’ll need to grab right at the helm of my bicycle.
Jason is running a small harness to carry his sleep system on his handlebars. Because he is charging electronics with the Supernova Plug, he has a chalk bag right at his headset to hold his gadgets.
I’m running front panniers on a Tubus Tara Rack. When the geometry of a bicycle frame and the design of the fork are conducive, I prefer to push my load instead of pull it.
Jason’t not stoked, but due to unforeseen circumstances, he’s running rear panniers.
I’ve got my sleeping bag and ground cloth in my Small Zeitgeist Saddle Bag–supported by the Bagman QR Support.
For the past week I’ve been that chump commuting through Seattle with all of my gear. It adds ten minutes to my commute each way making my eight mile pilgrimage a 50 minute slog up some gnarly hills. It’s been fun getting to know the Slot. I have a feeling that the moment we hit gravel tomorrow, that bike will come alive.
We take off in six hours. Our house is still in slight turmoil from the whirlwind of gear that was combed through and packed up. Our dog, Loki, the famous blue heeler of Swift’s Instagram feed, knows exactly what is happening and is not stoked. We keep quadruple-checking the maps and checking off hypothetical lists in our heads. In the morning, we’ll load into Jason’s folks’ Jeep and get shuttled out to Quilcene, WA, where we’ll drop in on our route. From there: glaciated peaks and expansive forests, glistening waterways and open skies. Then we’ll officially be out of range.
Thanks for checking out the
We’ll be on the road from July 20th to 30th. Check out the route we’ll trace, the gear we’ve chosen, and how we plan to carry what we need for ten days in the mountains on our blog!
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The packing list is always in flux–usually until the moment we hop on our bikes to start the adventure–and is determined by pretty simple factors
- how long the trip is
- how remote the route is
- what time of year we’re heading out
So, here we are, taking off
- for ten days of really challenging terrain
- into the middle of nowhere. We’ll have a 145 mile section without any services.
- in late July
We’ll need to move self sufficiently with light and compressible gear, and carry enough food for three day sections at a time. We shouldn’t need to worry too much about cold nights, but I run a little cold in the backcountry from constant exposure. Layers are key. Rain gear is a must, and protection from sun and bugs are a priority.
We’re keenly aware that we’re exploring bear country. Backpacking the Olympics about four years back, we had a good head count daily.
For this trip, I bought a spool of ⅛” nylon cord from Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics to make to bear hanging systems for our stuff. Don’t skimp on cord because what goes up has gotta reach back down to be tied off, and you want your food hanging on a limb that’s high off the ground and away from the trunk of the tree. We’ll both carry 100 feet of line with carabiners attached.
Home Sweet Home
My first experiences with camping under tarps made me feel really vulnerable. I had the great luck of guiding trips with a co-instructor who is an engineer. He taught me nuances of pitching tarps, and the art of gauging incline, wind, weather, and rising water lines. Now I love the simplicity of tarp camping, and stubbornly pull out the bulk of our Half Dome when a trip is better served by a tent.
When I was snooping around for an ultralight tarp, I had a conversation with a salesperson who argued against purchasing from an ‘under-the-radar’ company because “a corporate brand name would provide quality and design assurance.” You all know what I do for a living, so you won’t be surprised that I left the store and bit the bullet a Six Moon Designs Tarp. Haven’t heard of them? Well, most folks haven’t heard of Swift Industries either, so I figured it was time to support another small company. Six Moon Designs is well regarded in the Ultralight Backpacking scene, and the Haven Tarp we purchased has been amazing. The tarp itself compresses down to a liter. I opted for the telescoping carbon fiber poles, and had Six Moons seal the tarp for me. The shape of the tarp is enclosed and feels more like a tent. It has two zip entries with large vestibules for shoving our gear under the tarp with us. One can batten down so that there is a four inch gap between the ground and the bottom of the nylon. I just invested in the Haven Tarp’s companion bug NetTent for the for the Range Tour. I’m hoping it does its job.
Sierra Designs just released their new Backcountry Quilt and Jason is eager to put it to the test. The shape of the “bag” is totally unique, and is a sort of blanket- mummy hybrid. Jason went for the 800 fill, 30 degree model and I got really jealous when I watched him compress the bag. My sleeping bag is my biggest piece of gear, and the Backcountry quilt is ⅓ smaller than mine when it’s compressed.
Down to the Details
.6 L Pot, GSI Outdoors Halulite Minimalist
2 Fuel Canisters, 8 oz.
Silicone Pot Grip, GSI Outdoors
Folding bowl, Orikaso
2 Sporks, Park Tools
Giga Power Auto Stove, Snopeak
Hot Lips, Snowpeak
Small hiker’s First Aid Kit
Bike Repair Kit
2 Sets, extra disc brake pads
Extra tire (dedicated to Lucas)
2, tire boots (dedicated to Johnson D)
2, 29” Tubes
Personal Patch Kits
Extra Rack Bolts and Hardware
2, Garmen Touring Pros
Tyvek Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag, the North Face
Pad, Thermarest Backpacker
2 Cycling Chamois
Nylon Running Shorts
Chambray Long Sleeve
Ibex base layers, top and bottom
Light Synthetic Puffy (5”X2” compressible size)
3 pairs socks, one kept in sleeping bag
Metallic Gold Keds
Packable Sun Hat
Ibex Knee Warmers
Indian Cotton Sarong
Book, Kafka on the Shore
Windsor and Newton Cotman Watercolor Set
Small Sketch Book
Acre Hauser 10 L Pack
3 L Bladder
Tyvek Ground Cloth
Backcountry Quilt, Sierra Designs
Pad, Exped Air Mat
Inflatable Camping Pillow, REI
2 Cycling Chamois
Wool Undershirt, Ibex
Wool Leggings, Ibex
3 Pairs Socks
Wind and Rain Jacket, OR
Puffy Jacket, Moonstone Designs
Arm Warmers, Ibex
Long Sleeve Cotton Shirt
Trout Classic 5 Weight, 9 Ft, 6 Piece Redington Fly Rod
Surge 5 Weight Reel, Redington
Mini Fly Pouch, Elemental Horizons
Deuter Compact Air 10L
3 L Bladder
There’s a million ways to pack for an adventure–and the fun of it is honing and adapting according to the kind of trip you’re taking.
If you’re bike-camp-curious, and want to set out on your first adventures you don’t need fancy gear to have a stellar time. If you have a bicycle, a sleeping bag and mat, and a fairly small shelter, then you’re already ninety percent there. Borrow or rent gear when you can, and hit the road.
The more you find yourself getting out, it’ll be obvious what you should invest in. Our gear has been gathered and purchased over ten years. This stuff is expensive. Good gear should facilitate getting out into wild places safely. I started off with really basic, not very technical camping equipment. Going outside with gear that is designed for the backcountry really does improve the experience. Materials are getting lighter smaller and more heat efficient all the time. At its core, gear it about utility. We put ourselves into pretty exposed environments and the things we take make sure we are kept healthy and protected from the elements. It’s that simple.
The next post will be published right before we hit the trail tomorrow morning. It’ll give you a close looks at our bicycles and set-up for the Range Tour.
Thanks for checking out the
We’ll be getting ready to skip town on July 20th. Check out the route we’ll trace, the gear we’ve chosen, and how we plan to carry what we need for ten days in the mountains.
Follow the adventure
The goal is to circumnavigate Olympic National Park, staying as close as possible to the park boundary, on forest service roads and single-track trails.
We’ve been working out the logistics for weeks, leaving our sewing tables at Swift to spend evenings hunched over our maps, guides, and computers–hunting for roads that circle the Olympics. This adventure comes right on the heels of Oregon Outback for good reason: we know that the terrain and distances we are getting into will be really demanding and Outback seemed like the perfect route to flush out our gear and get inspired.
We set out on July 20th, 2014 to circumnavigate the Olympic Mountain Range by bicycle.
The best things, we’ve discovered, are the places we explore for their wildness, the (un)certainty, and sheer scale.
Beargrass and low alpine lupine.
That dust in your teeth.
A deliberate cast into dark waters upstream.
Knowing of this nature is not in books or maps or the gear that gets you there.
It’s in the fibers of our muscles at the end of the day. It fills the lungs on every ascent, and takes our breath away in the simplicity of a measured chirp or serrate leaf.
Pavement. Dirt. Gravel. Single Track.
For the next two weeks we’ll be getting ready to skip town. Stay tuned to find out about the route we’ll trace, the gear we’ve chosen, and how we plan to carry what we need for ten days in the mountains.
Follow the adventure
photos and post by John Prolly, The Radivist
At the Melburn Roobaix yesterday (more to come on that), I bumped into my friend Ben Kamenjas from Sydney, who I met a few years back when he worked at Deus Ex Machina. Ben’s a wealth of cycling knowledge, especially the obscure / idiosyncratic world of French components and frames. At a certain point in your life, you tire of looking at others’ work and decide to start building for yourself.
What you see here is Ben’s first bike, under his moniker Cicli Spirito (no link yet). It’s a fendered porteur with a customized VO rack that mounts to the vintage center pull mounts and classic French parts with a classic geometry.
It’s always difficult to shoot a porteur with weight on the front, so I asked Ben to act as the kickstand while I snapped a few, very quick photos.
With this weather, I’m sure Ben was stoked on his Swift Industries Polaris bag, fenders and nice, plump tires during the Roobaix. That’s a great looking bicycle!
For the full story check out http://theradavist.com/2014/06/bens-cicli-spirito-porteur/#8
photos by John Prolly, the Radivist
Watching the weather on Friday morning, we saw the ominous weather front lumbering from the north, swirling in slow motion above the Pacific Northwest. Six weeks of rain seemed to have collected in this cloud formation, and it was due to dump its load right on us.
With a two day cycling and camping trip already in motion, we scanned the meteorology maps and saw a break in the weather calling our name over the Enchantments. When a place with a name like the Enchantments calls, you’d be a sucker not to go.
Visit our Swift Industries Booth at the Ballard Bike Street Party!
Thursday, May 29th 4-8pm
Ballard Ave NW from 22nd Ave NW to Market &
22nd Ave NW from Ballard Ave NW to Market
Cascade Bicycle Club is partnering with Seattle Summer Streets to cap off Bike Month with a sweet street party celebrating biking and walking. Come hang out with us in the street, mingle with neighbors, and support Ballard businesses.
On Friday morning, seven Swift Industries riders will join over 150 adventure cyclists in Klamath Falls, Oregon. There begins Oregon Outback, a 360 mile mixed terrain bicycle race like no other. We will move completely self-sufficiently, with all of our gear on our bicycles. We will find our own pace. We will marvel at the desert landscape, and sleep under the fresh Spring skies. For months we have been preparing, riding, mapping, and yearning for the trail.
Click each photo for Rider Stories!
NAME KELLEN RACK
LINE OF WORK LEAD MECHANIC AT BIKE WORKS, SEATTLE
OUTBACK BICYCLE SURLY CROSS CHECK.
FAVORITE PIECE OF GEAR MY TENT, I LOVE HAVING A MOBILE HOME.
TIP THE FIRST STEP ON ANY ADVENTURE IS ALWAYS THE LARGEST, THE MOST FRIGHTFUL- EMBRACE UNCERTAINTY AND HAVE FUN
REAR REVELATE VISCACHA
FRONT SWIFT INDUSTRIES LOW PROFILE PANNIERS (FIELD TESTING)
FRAME JANDD FRAME BAG
SHELTER BIG AGNES COPPER SPUR
CHOICE IBEX LAYER LEG WARMERS
LITTLE KNOWN FACT I HAVE A VERY REAL FEAR OF ZOMBIES