I have to say that my favourite bit of kit so far is my pair of Keens Commuter cycling sandals. Despite having cycled at dawn with a subzero windchill factor, through drizzle and slushy hail, with toasty socks (a bit daggy, I know) my toes have stayed warmer than in my old cycling shoes. And, in the sunny weather, I can let my feet breathe and see the sunshine!
Diet, favourite foods, favourite song and matching tents - MSR Hubba Hubba. I love mine for space but bright orange is not great for stealth camping (which would be 80% of our nights) and the fly is always wetter in the inside than outside (even if raining).
Risks of punctures and extra weight aside, this 15 year old ¾-length piece of luxury has guaranteed blissful nights of sleep on pebbled river banks, forest floors layered with small pinecones, sand and grass. I have an end of a foam mat which I move around for extra padding and have at the ready for sitting on if the bitumen or gravel roadside is too firm for my bruised sit-bones.
Trusty Swedish Trangia. This is hugely popular in Australia where methylated spirits or methanol can be purchased with ease (except in remote communities where some like to drink it). I think we’ve now found the right translation – shellac thinner – and look forward to less sooty bowls (we are always covered with streaks of black war paint) and faster cooking.
Beloved Saracen – steel framed, recently upgraded to 27 gears and v-brakes. It has been on every cycle tour since August 1996 and we will share another birthday together next month.
When the sky is bright for up to 20 hours a day, a way of masking this for good sleep is essential.