Working out what is excess

A couple of my friends are about to set off on their next adventure.
Last year they went from Cairns to Broome via the Savannah Way taking in the Mitchell Plateau. They did 1600 km of dirt road by the time they finished the trip.
This year they are going from Cairns to Birdsville for the races & onto Adelaide via the Flinders Ranges.
They are a husband & wife in their fifties riding a tandem push-bike.
I asked them how they work out what to carry. They said they use the "RED SPOT SYSTEM"
They put a small red sticker on everything & when they use it they peel the sticker off. If something has a red sticker on it after they have been away for 3 days they either send the item home or throw it away as it is excess to their requirements.
This system is repeated a couple of times through the trip to make sure they keep the weight down.
The total weight of 2 riders, bike & all requirements is kept to under 250 kg.
I love it eh.
One of the satisfying things I find about push bike riding is minimalism.
Light weight bikes & lightweight gear. Everything has to be simplified.
Do you remember the days when camping was like that?
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Reply By: SDG - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 22:26

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 22:26
I travel a lot by motorbike. Same principle applies. Carry as little as possible. One day I decided to attach a trailer to the bike. May as well take the car now with all the "required extras" that suddenly found there way in.

I'm also now finding this same problem with the camper I bought last year.

Problem is, everything does get used, but how much of it is REALLY needed, and not just a luxury?

AnswerID: 419993

Follow Up By: reversemulletman - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 05:57

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 05:57
Yeah I'm hearing you there. The more storage room you have, the more crap you seem to take. Twenty years ago I took a tooth brush and clean undies on a trip. Then I brought paniers, then a gearsack, then a tank bag, and then filled them all with luxury items I didn;t realy need. Had a moment of clarity during two weeks of touring around Tassie. Bike must of weighed half a tonne. From then on it's a swag and a small dry bag only.

Exept when I camp at the Island for the GP, then I take everything. Driving hail in the morning, shorts and thongs in the arvo.
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Reply By: Member - Steve & Paula - Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 23:29

Monday, Jun 07, 2010 at 23:29
Mmmmmm......puncture repair kit has a red sticker after 3 days. Throw it away?
AnswerID: 419997

Follow Up By: Skippype - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 08:16

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 08:16
Good point
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Follow Up By: Fatso - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 19:17

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 19:17
If only that could happen.
Unfortunately in Qld it is rare to go 3 days without a puncture.
FollowupID: 690247

Reply By: Robin Miller - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 07:50

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 07:50
One thing to do is to simply take your time packing for a big trip and thinking about the use of every item you include - often its the last minute rush under pressure that sees people "throw it in just in case " , or forget something they needed.

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Reply By: Member - Tour Boy ( Bundy QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 08:05

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 08:05
Take everything you think you need, put it out on the lawn where you can get an appreciation of just how much stuff there is. Then divide it in half with the essentails and desirables and pack only half of it.
If you thing that you may need it maybe sometime possibly...then leave it at home.
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AnswerID: 420014

Reply By: John and Lynne - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 08:29

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 08:29
It is fairly easy, we found, to be reasonably ruthless when first setting up your camper or caravan. Then, if you have so much as a spare corner, more things gradually find their way in as you go! You could of course just rip out all cupboards or storage boxes! However a system we use to control the accumulation of "his toys" and "her junk" is :

Everytime you put a new item (however small!) into the van you must take something out!

(This idea also works with kitchen cupboards and wardrobes at home!)

Otherwise the gear and the weight just keeps growing. This is a lot easier than fussing about red spots or analysing how often you use everything or even thinking you might use something! After a while what you really need is in and stuff you can do without is OUT!

Note it is desirable to discuss this process together as you go or you may find an unfair balance of "his toys" coming in and "her junk" going out!!
John & Lynne

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AnswerID: 420018

Reply By: MrBitchi (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 09:16

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 09:16
I go by the principle of every thing must have 2 uses. Told the missus she can still come as she both cooks and cleans ;-))
AnswerID: 420025

Reply By: Member - Rodney B- Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 10:13

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 10:13
Used to worry about taking too much but then I thought, why did I buy a Landcruiser and Camping Trailer instead of a Prado. So I could carry the extra luxuries when camping of course. So I now say to hell with the weight, if you like it, take it. Done all the rough stuff, Cape, Simpson, Kimberlys and high country and haven't broken it yet.

AnswerID: 420036

Follow Up By: AnneMarie - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 17:39

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 17:39
Yep, tend to agree with you, Rodney! We take what we need for comfort and safety and a little of what we want for extra comfort & enjoyment... plus one rather large spoilt Rhodesian Ridgeback dog who loves camping! And believe me, she takes up 2/3 of the back seat! LOL! We have the best camping trips and one coming up shortly to Lake Eyre South!

Just a note on packing your gear in a rush... have some young friends who go camping fairly often, came home after work, rushing to pack so they could leave straight away, took off and arrived at their destination minus the tent!!!! They had to go and buy a cheapie!!!! Of course, they blamed each other, as you do! ;o)

FollowupID: 690228

Reply By: Trevor R (QLD) - Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 20:41

Tuesday, Jun 08, 2010 at 20:41
As a teenager I remember 6 week xmas camping trips where all that we needed for 2A 2K was packed into a beach buggy. I loved these trips, mum and sister loved to hate them LOL!! If we didn't catch fish every day we would have starved for certain. Life revolved around the tides, low tide=worming (bait), mid tide=get to fishing spot, high tide=get dinner (fish), ect ect. Great memories.

Now I can't get it all our gear into a Patrol and 16ft van for a long weekend away if the whole family is coming. I travel a lot lighter when on my own.

AnswerID: 420094

Follow Up By: Fatso - Wednesday, Jun 09, 2010 at 21:49

Wednesday, Jun 09, 2010 at 21:49
Yeh I know what you mean Trevor.
We would go out to the Frankland Islands 9 miles off the coast in a 14 foot dinghy with a 20 hp motor. Dad & 3 kids for up to 1 week with all our gear including water.
The ice would run out in about 3 days & from then on it was only fish, bully beef, potatoes & stale bread on the menu. Plus the occasional onion of course.
They realy were the best times of my life.
Dad never had a watch or a worry in the world & us kids certainly didn't either. We would tell the time by looking at the tide chart.
We never had anything like an AM radio either. They would get wrecked by the salt spray in the dinghy.
FollowupID: 690405

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