How to Carry All the Gear You Need While Living on the Road

Or, in other words, an exercise in decluttering and organization necessitated by a 200-square-foot living space

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A decade ago, I’d have scoffed at the suggestion that fitting everything we needed for road life into a 23-foot travel trailer would be tricky. Back then, my wife Jen and I embarked on all manner of western adventures in a 1998 Volkswagen Golf, stuffed to the gills. How hard could it be to fit all our stuff into a setup that, along with a pickup, measures nearly 40 feet long?

Turns out, it’s harder than you think, even if you’re committed to simplicity.

The day-to-day infrastructure in an Airstream is mostly self-contained, but there are some bulky exceptions: camp chairs, a table, solar panel and battery, a generator, outdoor grill, etc. We also need work essentials, including laptops, backup drives, and photo and video gear.

Beyond that, our interests are wide ranging. We both ride on the mountain and road, which means four bikes and appropriate sundries. We hike and camp, so we always roll with a couple of packs, a tent, and a trail cooking setup, plus bikepacking gear for overnights on the bikes. Fly fishing means we need rods, tackle, and waders. Hunting necessitates bows, a rifle, and camo. Climbing demands shoes, harness, a rope, and a small rack. And that doesn’t even get into skiing, surfing, kayaking, or any of the really unwieldy stuff that’s currently relegated to storage back home in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

But we’re somehow able to fit it all, thanks to some deliberate pruning—and a few carefully chosen accessories.

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Yakima Showcase 15

For extra storage and organization, we added crossbars on the roof and a Yakima Showcase 15 cargo box. I’ve used a lot of roof boxes through the years, and this one is the best yet. It solves my main complaint from past models—poor opening and closing—with a clearly marked key-lock system and a large button that works every time. As is standard, it opens from either side. Installation was simple, courtesy of locking levers that hold the feet in place and ratcheting knobs that clamp the feet onto any shape bars: round, square, or aero. Yakima makes a box with 30 percent more space, the Showcase 20, but this one is ample for our needs, providing storage for bulky items like sleeping bags, backpacks, bikepacking gear, and a tent that we don’t use every day. Best of all, we haven’t seen any real decrease in gas mileage with it installed.

Friends tease that we need less stuff, a bigger truck, or both. The less stuff is probably true, but honestly, we could fit everything into just the truck and trailer—no box or racks. The add-ons, however, let us spread out and keep organized. So instead of constantly packing, unpacking, and digging for gear, we spend more time out using it.

Read More

Stop by your Local Yakima Dealer to learn more about the Showcase series and other great Yakima products.

Aaron and Jen also use a tray style hitch mount bike rack and fork mount roof top bike racks. Check out the Dr Tray and HighSpeed to complete your optimal #AdventureMobile.

Yakima Dr. Tray hitch rack first look review – MTBR.com

from MTBR.COM by Francis Cebedo

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Slight upward rise of the rack provides more clearance for steep driveways.

YAKIMA Dr Tray

A lightweight rack that easily expands to 3-bike capacity

The new Dr. Tray Rack from Yakima is a bit of an enigma. It looks massive but it weighs only 34 lbs when most of its competition comes in at over 50 lbs. Underneath the black powdercoating is 6063-T5 aluminum material used throughout the rack.

It can take on any tire size from road bikes to 29 Plus to 5-inch fat bikes. But it’s not approved for most heavy bikes since since the maximum capacity for this rack is 40 lbs per bike.

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The weight for the 3-bike configuration is a shockingly light 44 lbs.

But its coolest trick is the the trays can slide side to side and front to back ensuring fitment of any combination of bikes without interference. And with an optional bike tray the Dr. Tray can be converted to a 3-bike carrier very easily.

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Rack is slid forward to accommodate the third rail.

What we like so far
  • Incredibly light at 34 lbs for the 2-bike system and 44 lbs for the 3-bike
  • Trays slide in all directions to provide bike interference
  • Tilt mechanism lever is big and is at the most convenient spot
  • Massive tire size range allowed
  • Allows a 3-bike option for 1.25 inch hitch
  • fully fat bike compatible
  • No tools needed to install and remove from vehicle.
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Tilt allows one to open the hatch even with bikes with 800mm bars.

Dr. Tray Features
  • Low weight due to all aluminum construction (34 pounds)
  • Available in two hitch sizes: 1.25” and 2”
  • Fat bike compatible up to 5” tires
  • Add the EZ+1 and carry a third bike (sold separately for $229).
  • Clearance of up to 18” between trays
  • Remote Control tilt lever and lightweight, aluminum design simplifies raising and lowering rack
  • Tool-free locking SpeedKnob for a secure and easy install to your vehicle
  • SKS cable lock system for each bike secures both wheels and frame
  • Price: $579

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    PRW Note: it appears MTBR installed the first two trays backwards. But the rack will still operate fine, just a little tougher to reach the pivot arms.

So there’s our initial impressions so far. We’ve just had it a week but we’ll put it through its paces on many bike trips this summer.

For the full review check out MTBR.com and for more information stop in to your local Yakima Dealer.

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Cam mechanism tightens the hitch interface and secures the rack with a lock.

 

Tour de France Hydration with CamelBak

636da8c4ed667f00c11b5cac2ff4c5ceHow Riders Hydrate For The Tour de France

The annual pilgrimage through the roads of France for the world’s best cyclists is unquestionably one of the most demanding sporting events in the world. More than three weeks of grueling racing through every imaginable weather, terrain and challenge places physiological and emotional stress beyond what most of us mortals can begin to imagine. Beyond being highly trained for the demands of the racing, the sport also requires massive thought and focus on several other supporting components of performance, including equipment, recovery, fueling, nutrition and hydration. None of these components will make a champion, but if ignored they can certainly destroy dreams and opportunities for a champion. Today, I will focus on hydration, with a focus on why it is important and how, if executed correctly, can facilitate optimal performance and recovery.

Podium_InUse_Global_6The Importance of Hydration in Endurance Events:
Let’s first consider the role of proper hydration in endurance events. Most of us have some grasp on the fact that proper hydration is preferable over dehydration, but do you know what proper hydration will accomplish? Well, a few of the positives of proper hydration are:

  • A delay of the onset of fatigue during training and competition
  • The ability to maintain focus during hard exertions
  • Improved recovery process to facilitate repeated performance
  • The maintenance of the immune system and health status

If we can keep an athlete hydrated they can stay focused, delay fatigue, recover well and have the potential to maximize their fitness and performance readiness.

The Tour Puzzle:
In an event such as the Tour de France, which challenges athletes to compete at their peak day after day, we are interested in elevated daily performance and prevention of a negative physiological and nutritional status. The athletes must do all that is possible to support the physical riding with enough calories during and between the competition hours, minimizing dehydration during the riding, and restore hydration status each day. If they can achieve these areas they will limit any additional assaults on their immune system through accidental “athletic starvation,” or highly dehydrated states. Both of which are highly corrosive to the immune system and athletic performance.

You can almost think about the best performers being the riders who suffer and slow down the least relative to their competition, or another way to look at it is damage limitation. Hydration is a key part of this damage limitation strategy.

Podium_InUse_Global_1The Sciency Bit. How Does It Work?
You will likely know that water is key to cellular function and life, but let’s consider how it helps endurance performance. It is key to realize that you cannot remain fully hydrated on any single day of an event such as this. Every athlete will get dehydrated throughout the course of a day riding at the Tour.

The key is to get less dehydrated.

The reason for this focuses mainly around the volume of blood in our body. To simplify the role of blood in our body we should consider two primary roles of our blood in endurance exercise:

  1. Blood is the delivery method of oxygen and other nutrients to our muscle for energy production (and the removal of nasty waste products)
  2. Blood delivery to the skin dissipates the corrosive heat that is generated with work (exercise).

When riders begin the Tour, in their fully hydrated state, their blood volume is optimal, so there is ‘plenty to go around’ and the muscles receive plenty of oxygen and generated heat is easily dissipated. As the race continues the rider will become more and more dehydrated, and as the blood is made up of plenty of water, our blood volume begins to drop. As the blood volume drops, coupled with increasing heat production as the work rate continues, the competition for blood increases. In this battle the skin will always win as increasing heat can be life-threatening, but how fast you ride has little consequence to your brain and vital organs. This means more of your ‘lowered blood volume’ will get pushed to the skin, leaving less for the muscle consequently generating an early onset of fatigue. Not a good thing for elite athletes, hence it is easy to understand why hydration status should be preserved as much as possible.

But this isn’t all! In addition to maintaining hydration status the athlete must also continue to fuel with calories, and hydration has an important role in this process also.

When you sit at your dining room table and have a meal your absorption of ingested calories in highly efficient, and unless you gorge yourself or eat too quickly, you shouldn’t experience too much gastrointestinal distress. When you are exercising hard, or racing your bike through the mountains of France, the same cannot be said. Much of the blood normally used to facilitate absorption is being rushed to the muscles or skin, hence absorption is severely limited, yet the athletes still require calories to fuel the work. To achieve this, athletes need to ‘micro-dose’ caloric ingestion with small, yet frequent, feedings. To maximize absorption these calories need to be diluted down to around 4 to 6 % solution of calories relative to hydration. We get our athletes to think of their hydration as the transporter of calories, and the shuttle that will keep them not only hydrated, but well-fueled.

Recovery:
Of course, once the days’ racing is over, they have to step up and do it again the next day. The game now shifts to maximizing recovery and restoring hydration status. This is absolutely key to success, and all riders will make a habit, or ritual of rehydration following the day of racing. It takes many hours to properly rehydrate following a day of racing, so frequently drinking fluids throughout the afternoon and evening is critical. If the rider does a good job of rehydrating they will maximize muscular recovery, restore status back to ‘normal’ (as close to it as possible) for the next day, and open up the opportunity for a good night sleep.

The key message is that, in events such as the Tour de France, the daily racing is already a massive stress. The key for the riders is to do all they can to minimize the negative effects of that stress, as well as prevent adding any additional suppression of their immune system and health through a lack of follow through on a completely controllable factor such as hydration.

You might not be racing in The Tour this July, but the same concept absolutely applies. Life is already stressful enough; don’t add additional stress to your life by going through it in a dehydrated state! Find your performance and support your life through optimal hydration. Your body will thank you and reward you with your optimal daily performance potential.

By: MATT DIXON

The founder and CEO of purplepatch fitness, Matt is an exercise physiologist, elite-level coach and former professional triathlete who sees hydration as a critical part of the nutrition equation.

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GoPro: Unicycling Around Chile

Tomorrow marks the start of the 2017 Tour de France. What better way to honor the greatest race on two wheels than to show what you can do when you only have one.

Follow Lutz as he shreds the mountain sides of Chile on his, very unique, mode of transportation.

Shot 100% on the HERO® cameras

Camp Kitchen with GSI Outdoors

The following Camping Gear list was written by Atlantatrails.com

Camping kitchen: cookware, tables, and tasty food

An organized camp kitchen is a must for a relaxing (and delicious) car camping adventure…

For cooking, serving, and enjoying those campsite meals, the extensive line of functional, space saving cooksets, stoves, dishes, and utensils from GSI Outdoors top our list in the camp kitchen. The Halulite Microdualist Cookset is perfect for two people, and features a 1.4 liter cookpot, two insulated mugs with lids, two bowls, and two fork/spoon combos. Everything nests neatly together with space for our GSI Pinnacle 4 Season Stove and a micro fuel canister. Paired with our GSI Outdoors Gourmet Kitchen Set 11 utensil set, we have everything we need for a weekend of camp cooking.

We think it’s undeniably true: everything tastes better when camping. From basic backpacking fare like oatmeal and instant rice, to gourmet camp dinners of strip steaks and pineapple upside down cake, we’ve loved the challenge of preparing our favorite meals in the forest…

We love waking up to a mountain sunrise and a steaming cup of french press coffee. The GSI Outdoors Commuter Java Press and Infinity Backpacker Mug make that first cup quick and easy. And when our morning adventures take us away from camp, the GSI Microlite 500 and the GSI Glacier .5L Vacuum Bottle keep our coffee hot for hours.

A few shelf-stable condiments like olive oil, salt, pepper and dried spices add to our camp cooking recipes and have a permanent home in our camp duffel bag, stored in our GSI Outdoors Gourmet Kitchen Set 11…

Please remember to leave no trace

When enjoying the natural beauty of our parks and wilderness, please pack out everything you pack in, and leave your campsite clean. Follow these easy steps to Leave No Trace and please practice good trail and campsite etiquette to help ensure everyone has a great adventure.

For more on the products listed above click on the images below.

The Best Hydration Packs for Day Hikers – CamelBak Fourteener & Arête

The following is from thewirecutter.com

The Best Hydration Packs for Day Hikers

After more than 50 hours researching and testing hydration packs, including hiking with them, torturing their components, and downing enough water to almost risk hyponatremia (yes, it’s possible to drink too much water), we’ve come up with our favorite hydration daypacks for moderate hikes…

Upgrade Pick: CamelBak Fourteener 24

The best men’s pack for all-day hikes: This large but comfortable daypack easily holds its 3-liter reservoir and all the gear you’ll need for an ambitious outing.

This pack easily lives up to its name; it’s plenty big and rugged enough for an all-day assault on one of Colorado’s famed 14,000-foot peaks. For men looking to carry multiple extra clothing layers, lunch, camera, and other odds and ends—in addition to plenty of water—the CamelBak Fourteener 24 hit the sweet spot in terms of capacity, useful features, and comfort. The pack’s 3-liter reservoir is one of the largest you can buy, and it’s easy to use. Our testers especially liked this pack’s semi-rigid back panel suspension system, which handled heavy loads with ease.

 

 

Budget Pick: CamelBak Arête 18

Great for travelers: Small enough to stuff into a suitcase, this pack contains a 1.5-liter reservoir, perfect for staying hydrated during days of sightseeing and light hiking.

For people who want a basic, lightweight hydration pack—one that’s affordable as well as perfect for traveling—we recommend the CamelBak Arête 18. Constructed with relatively thin nylon and minimal padding, this pack easily folds up to tuck into your luggage, yet it’s comfortable when carrying modest loads. Its 1.5-liter reservoir holds just enough water for a pleasant afternoon sightseeing in a foreign city or strolling along an easy trail.

 

Hilly Wins Gold

After 100,000 votes the results are in…

Click here for the Free 2017 Running Awards brochure. It’s the independent compilation of the best in running featuring all the winners, interesting interviews, information and more, as voted for by runners!’

Additionally RoadTrailRun.com published the following review of Hilly socks.

We had never heard of Hilly Socks but we sure have heard of founder Ron Hill, the 2nd man to go under 2:10 in the marathon, Boston winner, and 2 time UK Olympian. Oh lest we forget the owner of the longest continuous running streak on record, over 52 years of at least a mile a day. A textile engineer by training Hill has for decades been a running apparel innovator.
His Hilly Sock line is 100% focused on running and it shows. Various anatomical left right models are available in Mono Skin, single layer and Twin Skin dual layer anti-blister. Jeff and I tested both types and both preferred the Mono Skin Marathon and similar high visibility Lumen Classic models.
With a dense weave as with many Features they are somewhat softer, stretchier, and more comfortable than the Feetures and easier to put on. Fit is perfect and moisture absorption outstanding. They are lightly cushioned. The Marathon also features an effective (we tested…) Polygiene odor prevention. Socks also available in women’s styles.