Packing like a Minimalist!

Minimalism is key when travelling with all of our gear loaded on our bicycles. Randy is the resident bike mechanic, so he’s prepared for just about anything! Spare spokes, 4 tubes each, spare tires, tools and little pieces of hardware that only he knows how to work with. As far as clothing, we will take just three changes of clothes for off-bicycle activity and two complete sets of cycling wear. Laundry soap will be our friend at the end of each day.

One of our goals is to try and make sure that everything serves double duty if it’s to occupy valuable space in our panniers. CampSuds soap is a wonderful one-ingredient-does-all solution; laundry, body wash, shampoo and dishes. One tech towel will serve for showering as well as days at the beach too.

Let’s talk food. I’m a picky eater and we’re headed to Cuba. We’ll be needing some emergency food for when all else fails so we are lugging a Costco sized bag of dried mango slices and another big bag of trail mix. We have beef jerky to gnaw on when we feel the need for some salty-ness. Which brings us to a very interesting but true fact: Cubans are banned from eating beef, making it one of the hottest underground commodities around. They are not allowed to either buy, sell or eat it. In fact, we hear that it’s more dangerous for Cubans to be caught in possession of beef than cocaine. A little more research is needed on our part to determine if we are even legally allowed to bring it into the country.

Let’s talk water: When we’re cycling we need water. LOTS of water. And we aren’t entirely convinced it’s safe from taps everywhere so we’ll be taking water purification tablets and also a SteriPen (still awaiting delivery). The SteriPen will use a UV light to kill 99.9% of the evils in our water. And if something still manages to squeeze on through the pharmacist here in town has loaded us up with electrolytes, antibiotics, immunizations, Pepto-Bismol and Immodium.  We are ready for the traveller’s apocalypse.

Posted in Cuba East, Uncategorized.


  1. If what you say about beef is true, you can always use your beef jerky for bargaining if necessary! (A gentler version of the black market!!!)

    • We decided against the beef jerky. Imagine getting in trouble over beef jerky? An international event? Not worth it. We will eat what they eat and be grateful for it.

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