This is my Done For Today bag. When everything else goes wrong: sleep dry. It's one of the most important number one rules for long tours because if you can’t recover properly, that’s it. I make tradeoffs in other areas like fabric panniers and so-so footwear, but my sleeping bag, sleeping clothes, and camera are locked in a waterproof (even submersible) bag. Sleeping gear and valuables are easily carried to the tent each night, where they’re kept inside.
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MadWater 30L Duffel Bag:

Having a zipper is more convenient than rolling a flap, and my guess is that it won’t wear out the fabric. Two straps on the side mean I can wear it like a backpack in stores or when pushing my bike through rough spots (streams, sketchy border checkpoints, etc.).


Kelty Sleeping Bag:

Old Reliable lives in a compression bag that shrinks it down to a brick. I don’t roll it, because stuffing gets the job done.

Thermarest ProLite Apex Sleeping Pad:

What does get rolled is the inflatable air mat that add a nice bit of comfort (and warmth in the winter).

Osprey StraightJacket Compression Sack (12L):

It doesn’t compress as well as a cylindrical compression sack, but I like having a wide mouth opening to find things inside. Inside this I keep a foam travel pillow, dedicated sleeping clothes (wool tank top, slutty running shorts, socks), and a toiletry bag. If my toothbrush was on my bike when I set up my tent at night, I’d never brush my teeth.


Writing about my trip each day helps me to stay on the positive side, and treat each day as a story and not a waste of time.


What better place to keep my film camera than surrounded by a bunch of padding in a waterproof bag centered over my rear wheel? It’s easily accessible which is good and bad, but I’ve hacked it so it clips to my panniers at four points, and can be flipped zipper-side down in shadier places.