Camping in the Brompton Touring Pannier
One bag to haul them all
I originally posted this on the Bromptontalk forum on 9 October 2008 after the 2008 Brompton World Championships. Now I have my S-Bag Saddlebag strategy it becomes much easier to pack for camping and touring.
Just thought I’d mention that I managed to do full camping equipment in the touring pannier for the BWC. The mighty bag contained:
Mountain Equipment AR Ultralight 2 tent
Thermarest Prolite 3 3/4 self-inflating mattress
Thermarest medium pillow
Vango Venom 220 sleeping bag (not quite warm enough, I think it got down to 2-4degC)
MSR Pocket Rocket stove
Titanium billy set
Platypus 2 litre water carrier
Socks and underwear
Cycling shorts (under the trousers in the race)
White shirt and tie
I moved all the usual clutter out of the pannier and transferred tools, waterproof etc into my Altura Arran seatpost bag which is a bit bigger than the typical small wedge. The rear pockets held the thermarest mat and the cooking stuff. everything else went inside the main bag, it was full but just about closed. I don’t know if the waterproof cover would have gone over it.
If I hadn’t packed my racing suit I guess I could have fitted in some food and more practical clothes so it’s looking possible to do a few days camping with just the pannier and a small saddlebag. It’s taken me about 4 years to pare down the size of my kit but it’s more comfortable as well as being smaller and lighter. The Thermarest armchair is the essential extra for my creaking joints and I’ve just found a reasonably flat inflatable cushion (about 3-4cm thick) that will probably elevate the Thermarest pillow to the right height for crick-free sleeping and allow me full use of the shortie mattress.
I know some people go for bivvy bags and regard pillows as for softies but I’m not doing this as a penance. Also tarps can be very effective but not in our damp conditions in Britain. On the night before the BWC there was a thick autumn fog which saturated the tent but I was nice and dry inside. Had to pack it up wet as the fog had not cleared at 9am.
The AR is a very good tent for comfort as you can “sit up in bed” (with the armchair) with one side open (either side depending on wind) and have your stove brewing up right alongside you.
There was some pressure to race with the full kit but I decided I would be slow enough without, although it might be fun to have different classes in future BWC – campers would, of course, have to pitch the tent and make a full meal at the end of the race.