Thorn Raven Tour – a heavy duty touring bike, designed to carry a great deal of weight over long distances. Designed by a reputable company in Somerset renowned for their quality and customer service. The main difference between this bike and others is the gearing, they are all enclosed inside the rear hub of the bike protecting them from the elements, and any scrapes. They are evenly spaced and you can change gear when standing still which is very useful on a heavily laden bike. This Rohloff hub is precise German engineering at it’s best, extremely reliable and sturdy. However that means that if it goes wrong, aside from the usual maintenance and wear and tear which I can perform, I will be a bit stuck. I debated this for a long while and on balance I thought that it was worth it to invest in.
For those who know bikes; I have set mine up with flat handlebars and bar ends. I am running a 17 tooth cog and 39 tooth chainring. It has XTR brakes. Rigida Andra CSS rims, and deore XT front hub. They are 26 inch wheels. I am using Schwable Dureme 2.0 tyres, a good all rounder with excellent puncture resistance. I have 3 bottle cages and have Thorn low loaded racks on the front and a Thorn expedition rack on the back.
I have to say a big thank you to Lewis who sold me the bike at a very competitive bike and then threw in a load of extras, including my panniers and a good book by a woman who did a similar trip to mine in the 80’s.
Panniers – Carradice coated PVC panniers, I do not know the exact model
Tent – Vango Helium 200 – A very lightweight tent at 1.3 kg, although technically a 2 man tent it is a roomy 1 man tent. It is dark green, good for stealth camping but it is quite low.
Tarp – I have taken a lightweight tarp by DD Hammock for when it is raining, very hot or I want to camp out without my tent.
Sleeping bag – Alpkit Pipedream 600 sleeping bag. It is a lightweight down bag rated down to -10 degrees. I use a DD Hammocks silk sleeping bag liner to keep it clean.
Sleeping mat – Thermarest Z lite, a cheap and durable folding mat with egg box like structure. It does not pack down very small like the self inflating mats but I will not be afraid to use it outside my tent in thorny areas. It is also pretty comfortable on rocky ground.
Stove – MSR Whisperlite International. A quality multi fuel stove from a reputable brand. It burns white gas, unleaded petrol, kerosene or diesel at a push.
Pans – 2 pans from a Trangia 25 set.
Knife – Mora Clipper knife and a little sharpening stone – probably overkill for most things but I’m sure it will be useful.
Here are some photos of most of my gear laid out: