The Swift Industries Sightglass

The packing list. It’s the beginning of most trips, from a quick overnight to an extended trip. You hope you’ve got everything you need, but there’s always something you could add – and take away – from every kit. 

As part of our Swift Campout Activity Book, Meghan Dinneen shared a list of unexpected items that contributed greatly to her comfort and joy while riding the 2,700-mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route:

What I’m Packin’

Words and Illustration by Meghan Dinneen.

I know there are many “what to pack for bike tour” lists floating around in the world, and they’re informative and valuable! When I was packing for the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route with Carolyne and Taylor, we (of course!) had our sleeping setups, cooking arrangements, etc. Other sources have (and do!) expound on those much more thoroughly than I could ever do. What I was surprised by, though – and what I’ve tried to highlight a little bit here – were some items I packed or acquired along the way that became unexpectedly crucial to my comfort and joy over those 2700-some miles.

A. Frame pump. I’d never owned a frame pump before this trip, and I was really missing out. To be moving that much more air than with a pocket pump is a luxury; when you’re dealing with New Mexico’s goatheads after slogging through mud and food poisoning, it’s absolutely vital to your team’s morale and sanity. Chocolate helps too.

B. Ibuprofen. More than you thought. Maybe with every meal for a few days there.

C. Brake pads. Of course you brought brake pads. What you didn’t expect was to wear out brand-new ones after a week of solid rain and dirt-road descents down real mountains. Bring more.

D. Chain lube. Much like the brake pads and ibuprofen, you didn’t expect the sheer amount you would all need, but it was either pouring rain or dusty dirt, and this called for near-daily application. Keep it handy.

E. Performance cotton! I had packed two jerseys and then this SF t-shirt as a casual addition / pyjamas. I lost one jersey in a downpour outside Whitefish, and shredded the other in a disc rotor several days later. The remainder of tour was spent in this shirt. In a prescient moment, I had sewn “jersey pockets” to the back of it before leaving home. Don’t underestimate sleeveless performance cotton!

F. Can opener. I was gifted a tiny, little can opener by my sweetie, and while canned goods are too heavy to carry regularly, it is SUCH A TREAT to be able to make a meal with luxury items like canned beans and coconut milk if you find them in a town! This little tool weighs nothing, takes up virtually no space, and can really broaden your culinary possibilities!

Meghan’s alternate pack list is just one of dozens of activities, hot tips, and entertainment in the Swift Campout Activity Book. Grab one here!

What do fly fishing and bike camping have in common? Well, for starters, they both have Tenkara Rod Co. and Swift Industries hooked. That’s why we couldn’t resist the fun of combining forces to make a pack intended to be by your side wherever you wander. Whether your fix is a ribbon of gravel or a high mountain creek, we put our heads together to design our ideal waist bag. You’ll find the accoutrement of the Swift Industries X Tenkara Rod Co. Rod Kit fits perfectly into each of the deliberate organizer pockets, and there’s a spot on the pack intended for the tools of the trade.

We packed up bicycles, and fishing supplies and pointed our wheels south-east toward Boise, Idaho to intercept the fellows from Tenkara Rod Co. All winter, the brains at Tenkara and Swift had been working together on a bag that we’d all dreamed of, and this marked the weekend we had been waiting for. Most rivers were still blown out from snow melt and the dynamic cycles of Spring, but we knew that the perfect spots were prime for a little trout fishing–we just had to do a little extra work for it. What better conditions to test the versatility of the Elwha Pack? The thing about fly fishing by bicycle is that it’s a match made in heaven. What do anglers want more than anything? To quietly search for the most remote bend in the river. What is magical about bicycles? They’re the perfect way to access the most peaceful places while covering more territory than moving on foot.

 

  

        

About the Elwha Pack

The Elwha Pack is equal measures a hip pack and a bicycle handlebar bag. Mounted at the bars of your bicycle, the hip pack straps stow discreetly out of sight, and the bag secures to the bars using a soft-mount webbing system. No racks or metal attachments are necessary. The 2.5 liter pack was built for your essential fly fishing kit, sunscreen, maps, and windbreaker. There are two exterior webbing straps on the base of the Elwha Pack to securely carry your limited edition Swift Industries X Tenkara Rod Co. fishing pole.

About the Rod Kit

The Sawtooth is Tenkara Rod Co.’s more playful rod.  You might have a six inch rainbow on the line but it feels like you are wrestling a tuna! Although this rod is ideal for fish in the 6-18 inch range landing larger fish is doable as well.  The 5:5 action means that it flexes a little more than a 6:4. Their tenkara rods are ultra light weight and the swivel tips included on their tenkara rods also help keep your line from getting tangled.  This rod is finished with a custom colorful design that won’t disappoint.
Includes rod, line, flies, line holder, tippet.  Everything you need to fish!
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