After weeks of packing boxes and going through stuff that we haven't gone through in years, we managed to get everything we own into two dozen neat and orderly boxes in my mom's storage shed. Then we set to packing our own bags for indefinite traveling with many ambitions and unknown destinations. The question before us: How to pack for a trip where you want to bike across countries, go camping if the possibility arrises, write, study a new language, and climb a mountain here and there. You value traveling light and every piece of it must fit on your back, bicycles and all. The answer we found lies partially in engineering and largely in deliberation.
Breaking our bikes down as small as possible, we put them both into one bike bag and I then set to taking apart an old external frame backpack of mine. Add some mule tape (strong and cheep nylon straps) and voila!- you have a bike backpack. Our repair tools include one multi-tool, 8 spokes, a pedal wrench, a small adjustable wrench, pliers, 4 bike tubes and a patch kit. With those and a little resourceful ingenuity I think we can handle anything that gets thrown at us.
Camping wise, we invested in a terrific sleeping bag from Feathered Friends which acts as a single light summer bag or a double with the addition of a ground cloth. A tarp will function perfectly as a tent and we'll pick up a mosquito net along the way. When it was all said and done we had our whole camping set up: sleeping bags, tarp, and even our luxury inflatable pads all in one medium sized compression stuff sack. Then with minimal clothes and other bike necessities we were able to hoist everything off the ground, with some gracefulness still intact.
We packed until one-thirty in the morning and then Annelisa's dad drove us to the airport a mere three hours later. We are now on our way.