Just the Essentials

Liz and I have spent a large amount of time over the years trimming weight and lightening our load. Trimming weight from our packs has allowed us to explore remote Alaska on foot. Trimming weight from our lives has enabled us to take off on a two year journey exploring the entire western hemisphere by bike. Fast and light is the name of the game.

I’ve been told that one packs their fears. Let go of your fears and lighten your load.

First off, bike touring has never been appealing to me. Heavy encumbered cyclists pedaling huge loads up steep grades. Bottomless panniers filled with all ones fears. This is not my style and my mind wandered no further. Liz changed that.

Over the past few years Liz has suggested several blogs to me that may be of interest. She has waited patiently for me to discover what she already knows. Bike touring can be light, fast, and offroad. The advent of frame bags has brought new life to adventure cycling. Bikes are going places that they have never been before, they are doing it faster, and they are going self supported. My bike weighed in at 70 pounds when we left our home in Anchorage. This included all gear, food, and water. I don’t know what Liz’s bike weighed. She just wanted to be able to lift it by herself. And she did.

Below is a list of all the items we are taking with us. It will change. I’m excited to see what happens.



We are taking two mostly stock Salsa Fargo 3s. New Stan’s Flow Ex rims were built with SRAM hubs (except one) and Maxxis Ardent tires. My front hub is a SP Dynamo PD-8X which is connected to a Sinewave Revolution connected to a battery brick. In theory the battery brick will charge during the day and we will charge our devices from the brick at night. Liz is going with a Jones Loop Bar. I’m hanging 10 with the Woodchiper. Each bike is made complete with a Brooks Saddle.

*We modified Liz bike in Smithers and swapped her front hub for a SP Dynamo PD-8 with Sinewave also. This allows her freedom to charge her gadgets and gives us a little extra juice on the road.

*Swapped out small chain ring on both bikes to a 26 tooth replacing the stock 28 tooth in Pinedale. Could go even smaller in mountainous terrain.

*Swapped out the cranks on both bikes in Albuquerque to allow for smaller chain rings. The original cranks were 120/80 BCD which don’t allow for the smaller chain rings we need. We are now running 22/36 up front with 104/64 BCD cranks. A vast improvement for this bike.

*Installed a Reba RL front shock on my bike in Albuquerque and did the same to Liz’ bike in Flagstaff.

*Swapped out the Woodchiper for a 720 mm Specialized straight bar in Flagstaff.

*Moved to a 1×10 set up in Quito. We haven’t seen 100 Km days in a very long time. Using 26 tooth direct mount chain rings up front paired with 42 Tooth Cogs in the back from Wolf Tooth Components.


The bikes are outfitted with a complete Kit from Eric at Revelate Designs. Each bike has a rear seat post bag, frame bag, gas tank, feed bag, front harness, and pocket. I’m using a pair of Salsa Anything Cages and Liz is using Cleveland Mountaineering’s Anything Bags on the front fork. This great light weight set up is a huge reason we are able to make this trip.

*In Albuquerque we eliminated the Anything Bags and modified my Anything Cages to fit on our down tubes. Liz got rid of her gas tank.

*I got rid of my gas tank in Quito. Always trying to lose more weight.

Camping Equipment


Big Agnes Seedhouse SL2
Silk Liners x 2
Thermarest Neo Air x 2
Zpacks Twin Down Quilt

Repair Kit


6″ Adjustable Wrench (ditched)
CrankBrothers M19 Multitool x 2 (ditched one)
Spare Spokes
Spare Tube
Derailleur Cable
Derailleur Hanger
Brake Pads
Super Glue
Butt Butt’r (used up)
Stan’s Sealant
Needles and Thread
Duct Tape
Electrical Tape
Bear Spray x 2 (ditched one but have pulled the safety clip multiple times on the second can) (ditched second in southern Colorado)
Reba RL Wiper Seals (Added in Quito)
SRAM TT 500 Shifter Springs (Added in Quito)
SRAM PC-1050 Chains x 2 (Added in Quito)

Mess Kit


Aluminum Pot
Aluminum Pot Grabber
Aluminum Wind Screen
Cheap Plastic Spork x 2
Lighter x 2
Microfiber Towel
Penny Stove
Seasoning of the Month
Ultra Light Fishing Kit thanks to a friend of Allison who bought my raft (sadly ditched)
Military Style Can Opener (lost on day two) (bought new one in Butte)
Cork Screw (ditched)
Gerber Knife

Personal Hygiene

Toothbrush x 2
Deodorant (ditched)
Mouth Wash
Disposable BIC Razor (replaced with disposable straight razor by Dovo)



Sony NEX-3N Camera
Samsung Galaxy S4
Bluetooth Key Board (ditched)
Samsung Note 10.1 Tablet (too big and required too much power, ditched in Yuma)
Samsung Tab 7.0 (purchased in Yuma)
Delorme Inreach Explorer
Headlamps x 2 (ditched one in Quito)
Battery Brick
Wall Charger x 2
Micro USB Cord x 3
GoPro (bought in Fairbanks and sold in Haines)
Luci Light (gift from friend after Grand Canyon, Amazing!)

T’s Clothes


Five Ten Approach Shoes (wore out)
Merrell Hiking Shoe (bought in Bogota)
Crocks (ditched)
Wool Socks
Ankle Socks x 2 (ditched one pair)
Wool Underwear x 2 (ditched one pair)
Spandex Bike Shorts (ditched in Pelly Crossing)
Patagonia Swimming Trunks
Synthetic Long Underwear Bottoms
Wool Long Sleeve Top
Wool Short Sleeve Top (added second in Quito)
Cotton Short Sleeve (ditched)
Synthetic Short Sleeve (ditched in Quito)
Marmot Rain Pants
Arcteryx GoreTex Rain Coat
Fleece Hat
Fleece Neck Warmer
Montbell Down Coat
Reflective Vest (ditched)
Bike Helmet
Harmonica (ditched)
Book (ditched and went electronic)
Money and Documentation

10 thoughts on “Equipment

  1. Hi,
    Congratulations to your amazing journey – it is amazing just to read your posts about your trip!

    I am across your website looking for “Salsa Fargo Ecuador”, as I plan to spend 1 month next Spring exploring Ecuador with my Salsa Fargo 2. It is very interesting that over your trip you made changes to your original Salsa Fargo set up and
    – added a suspension fork
    – changed the Woodchipper bar for a straight bar.
    Could you comment a bit more on why you made this changes, and whether you think that I could explore Ecuador (in the way you did) using my stock Salsa Fargo 2 set up, or if you highly recommend to make these changes?

    Many thanks for your help, and wishing you a safe journey full of exciting and inspiring adventures!


    • Tough question. It all depends on what you want to ride and how much punishment you can handle. I highly recommend a straight bar or Jones bar. Many of the secondary roads are cobble stone and would be challenging in drops.

      Also, check your gearing. With a 29er you will want a 22 or 24 chainring up front and 36 in the rear. You will spend a lot of time in the granny. The grades in ecuador are incredibly steep. Far greater than anything on the great divide route through the states. You will most likely be pushing your bike up hill at some time, especially if you are loaded.

      As for a suspension Fork… that is personal preference. Lots of folks are riding here with no suspension.

      Best of luck with your trip. Bring a nice puffy if you are thinking about camping up high. Beautiful place. We really enjoyed the cotopaxi loop but expect to push your bike for 12 Km on the south side.


      • Thank you so much for the information – this is very useful!
        Safe journey and I am looking forward to reading your updates from your trip 🙂


      • Also, check out wolf tooth components. They make a rear 42 tooth cog that you could use with a 26 tooth up front to get the same ratio as a 22/36. It might be a cheaper option than changing out the cranks (120/80 BCD) for 104/64 BCD cranks.


  2. Pingback: Pedaling Perspectives - Women Cycle The World

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