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08. Jul, 2014

Review of Essential Gear for Adventure Cycle Touring

Review of Essential Gear for Adventure Cycle Touring

We recently got a copy of Tom Allen’s new Essential Gear for Adventure Cycle Touring and thought it was such a great guide that we should share it with you.

The guide focuses on all the gear you could possibly need for a cycle tour – long or short distance. It is the kind of thing we would really have benefited from reading when we were planning our South America trip, as we got very lost scanning through endless websites and forums for advice.

Essential Gear is split into two parts. The first looks at making decisions based on your situation. Do you have money to spend? What kind of trip are you planning? Do you really need expensive gear? Does an item do more than one thing?

These are really good points to consider. Some of the kit we bought, at not inconsiderable cost, like our water filter, turned out to get little use. Whereas, cheap electrical tape was one of the best things we took with us. It fixed holes in our bags, patched up chips on our bike frames and we even used it as rim tape.

essential-gear-v2194The second part of the guide looks in detail at the different kinds of gear you might need. If, like us, you love kit then this is a salivating section to read through. However, Tom sensibly takes readers through all the decisions to be made, emphasising that many of the questions that are so easy to get hung up on – like should I take a steel or aluminium frame – are really not that important, and there is no right answer.

The guide is packed with great photographs and tips from other cyclists, which illustrates the really sensible points that Tom makes. If you are new to cycle touring or are planning a long trip for the first time, this guide is going to be invaluable to helping you through the organisational phase. It will also get you very excited about the adventures that lay ahead.

Essential Gear for Adventure Cycle Touring is available to download at

10. Nov, 2011

Review of the Spot tracking device

Review of the Spot tracking device

Our rating: 3/10

In order to give some peace of mind to our families while we’re on the road, we wanted a way of being in contact at all times. Rather than relying on a mobile phone, which would be expensive and limited in coverage, we looked at satellite devices, but again many options were costly and cumbersome. The SPOT satellite device though seemed perfect, at just over £100, it is a simple palm sized device that would allow our movements to be tracked online.

After purchasing the device plus the £100 year-long subscription we signed up to the SPOT Adventures website which allows you to map and manage your trips. The device offers different options. The tracking function will send a GPS coordinate every 10 minutes, which appears on our website so that people can see our current position. (more…)