A few ideas and products that could help you on your Oregon Outback or next bikepacking trip…
1. Picky Bars - As the bars say “It's freaking science, dude.” These bars are made by (Bend, OR) pro athletes Lauren Fleshman, Jesse Thomas, and Steph Bruce. These three top athletes set out to make real food bars that work for training and racing. The science part is this: 4:1 Carb to protein ratio. 200 calories per bar. Real ingredients like dates, nuts, almond butter, rice protein. News Flash: they just introduced a new flavor called “Ah, Fudge Nuts” that has locally sourced, high quality cacao. Picky Bars are basically packaged versions of my DIY bars. Love 'em! 3 for $9 or 10 for $27.50 and you can buy right on their website.
2. Montbell Tachyon Jacket - I was looking for the most minimal and most packable windbreaker and found it in this jacket. It weighs a mere 1.6 ounces and packs down smaller than, well…a Picky Bar. I've been layering this over an Ibex 150 Woolies Crew long sleeve and it's been the perfect system for spring. As the Montbell copy says “The Ballistic Airlight nylon utilized here is a wispy 7 denier fabric capable of trapping hard earned body heat next to your skin, while shielding you from all but the strongest of winds.” $99
3. Montbell O.D. Compact Dripper 2 - Again, the most minimal coffee dripper I could find and it folds up ingeniously like a light reflector. It's not as cool an object as the Snowpeak Collapsible Dripper, but it weighs about 4.8 ounces less. No brainer. A word of caution: keep it away from open flames. I learned this the hard way. If you want it to perch atop your mug, cut a straw and loop it through the two loops. Forgot your straws? whittle some twigs. Works like a charm. $17
4. OSMO Preload Hydration - This is secret weapon stuff folks. Take it the evening before and the morning of your long, hot ride. Consider it an insurance policy against dehydration. It's all about increasing plasma volume. I'll let Stacy Sims explain it in detail, since she's the science behind this amazing product. I'm just going to drink it down every morning. They also have a formula specifically for the ladies! Highly recommended. $25 for 9.2 oz. - (20 servings per container)
5. Travel size toothpaste - Not much to say here. Toms $2 for 1 oz. tube from Fred Meyer.
6. Cut down toothbrush - This brush went from 15g to 8g ! Packed size is better too. Every gram counts
7. Paceline Kit Wash - Bring a second chamois. Wash it every evening. Love these convenient packets from our friends at Paceline Products. Designed for hand-washing technical clothing, which is exactly what I'll be doing. Light fragrance, cleans gently and rinses out easily. Bonus: Made in USA. $10 for a 10-pack
8. Paceline Chamois Butt'r - The classic. No fancy smells, just packets of the OG product that saves your ass. One packet per ride day. I love these travel size packets ! Also available in Eurostyle (think tingling sensations) and Butt'R Her' for ladies. Such a simple way to avoid saddle sores. $10 for a 10-pack.
9. Gerber Dime - Stainless steel pliers, wire cutter, a fine edge blade, spring loaded scissors, flathead screwdriver, crosshead driver, tweezers and file. All of this in an awesome little 2.2 oz. package. This is a great little keychain multitool. Someone in your group should have one. $25
10. SolRX SPF 30 lip balm - Just recently at Sea Otter I learned the hard way how uncomfortable sunburnt lips are. Get a lip balm with sun protection and use it throughout the day. Protects against windburn as well. Basic, but easy to forget.
11. SolRX SPF 35 Waterblock Sunscreen - I was looking for a water resistant sunscreen that didn't disappear as soon as I start sweating. SolRX is designed for athletes and lifeguards. In theory you're supposed to reapply every 80 minutes. I'm betting I'll be on the every 2-hour program, which is still way better than nothing. Sunburn saps your energy at the end of the day. $13 for 3 oz.
12. Asiana Airlines slippers - I saved these from my last flight to Korea. I plan on wearing pretty stiff XC shoes for riding, so I'm going to want to have something more comfortable for camp at the end of the day. These pack super small and weigh only 30g (1.1 oz)
13. Platypus 2 L “Platy Bottle” - Folds up super small and weighs only 42g (1.5oz) Taste-free and BPA-free for clean drinking. For that dreaded 80-mile section with no water. Camel up and then fill this up! Compatible with Sawyer Mini water filters. $13
14. Nitrile exam gloves - Three good reasons to bring these: They pack up to nothing, you can put these on to deal with chain issues and not have chain oil all over your hands for the rest of the day, and as a layer against cold or wet. If the weather turns and you need extra warmth, you'll be surprised how much these help. Finally, they should be in your first aid kit anyway, right? Totally essential! $9 for a box of 100 gloves.
15. Plastic spoon - While I love my fancy Snopeak ti spork (and that purple ano is cool as…) it weighs 15 grams, my fast food plastic spoon is 4 grams. I'll be leaving the spork at home on this trip. Besides, I'm doing my usual oatmeal breakfast and dehydrated chili for dinner, so a spoon is all I need.
16. Chain lube blister packs - WD-40 dry lube. Grabbed these at Sea Otter. (Ask your LBS) One per day of riding. A clean chain is a fast chain. Don't forget a small piece of t-shirt to wipe down your dirty chain and relube. It's surprising how much it helps to have a silent drivetrain.
Just some thoughts about shaving some weight, but don't forget the stuff you need! See you out there!