The Guilty Pleasure Item

Guilty Pleasure Item

When you gain more knowledge and experience in bike touring, you learn how to pack efficiently and know what you’re going to bring on your camping trips. You’ve heard all the reasons not to pack a certain thing because of how inefficient it is or how much it weighs…blah blah blah. Sometimes it’s best to just say, “Forget it! I’m going to bring _________. I don’t care what people say.”

Whether that be a guitar, fishing poles, or a classic Charles Dickens novel, you are going to haul it along with you on your trip and back. You’ve come to terms that no matter what happens, you will always have this item with you on the road.

You even justify bringing it along because you made a compromise and didn’t bring one other item. For example, some people would not bring cooking stoves and opt to buy food to eat on the road, so that they can bring their laptops. Making compromises is a good strategy to keep the weight and the amount of stuff down. I’ve been there before.

What’s Been Done

Bicyclist + Guitar

Photo Credit: rob.knight via Compfight cc

So what is that one thing that you can’t leave home without? I have read and seen people haul a surfboard, guitar, fishing pole, a dog, wet suit, a cast iron pan, a paella pan, an entire coffee system with fresh grounded coffees, all their electronic gears (laptop, phone, and tablet), a camping chair, 100% cotton towel, a 2 burner stove with a huge propane tank, heavy-duty tripods, monopods, several DSLR cameras and lens, yoga mat, a couple of pairs of jeans, and that includes a few things from my own experiences.

Here’s Mine


If I was to pick one thing that I call my guilty pleasure, it would be my Amazon Kindle 2. Remember this device? This was before the iPad and all the tablets flooding the market along with 6 versions of the

Kindle in 2009. I take this device with me because it serves the following purposes.

  • I have my entire library with me.
  • Amazon provides free 3G wireless connectivity without charging me.
  • It’s light and easy to pack away.
  • I can read in the sun.
  • The battery life is unbeatable.
  • I just read, I’m not distracted by other apps like I am with my iPad.

The 2 main points that keep me coming back to this device is the 3G wireless feature and the battery life – free 3G wireless all over the world and a battery life measured in days and not hours. This is as simple as it gets when it comes to a guilty pleasure item. I’m not even sure that they sell these things anymore so I’m hoping this doesn’t die on me soon. You know, I haven’t always brought this along with me on trips, but don’t be surprised if this sneaks into my luggage for my trans-Europe trip.

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Final Thoughts

What is the one thing that you pack that is considered a guilty pleasure? I would love to hear what makes the cut for you or what always seems to come along for the ride on all your bike tours or even just travels.

About Johnny Lam

Johnny is an avid cyclist who enjoys bicycle touring as well as anything bicycle related. Johnny has traveled the entire Pacific Coast by bike from Vancouver to the border of California and Mexico. He's also toured through-out locations in Southern California. Johnny is also a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor (LCI) and also completed the Adventure Cycling Association's Leadership Training Course (LTC). He is an active member in Los Angeles bicycling community being involved in organizations like the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition (LACBC), C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange), and Bike San Gabriel Valley (Bike SGV) by taking part in ride marshaling, pedestrian & bike counts, and other volunteering opportunities.