Stop it! Stop being a gear whore and go ride the bike you have!
(Just kidding, I just haven’t gotten to filling this section up yet!)
Gear needs to be selected based on your strategy. It’s impossible to judge someone’s set up in isolation.
Also, while each is a separate section, choices will play together as well. For example, if you decide to carry a tent, the length of the tent poles are going to impact your luggage strategy. If you absolutely decide to use frame bags only, that might impact your tent options. It’s a bit of a complex matrix, and to start planning you need to understand your strategy for the race, as that will dictate your gear choices.
If you carry a lot of gear, it’s going to slow you down and potentially limit your ability to get to services on the long stretches, which in turn means you need to carry more gear… At the same time, if you carry less gear, you need to be sure you can make the long stretches without services, even though it will be slightly easier to do so.
It’s also not simply about ‘what’ your carrying, it’s about ‘how’ you’re carrying it. I felt it would be easier to have slightly heavier, slightly bulkier bottles on my frame, than wrestle bladders in and out of frame bags, worrying about puncturing them. I felt it would be easier to pull my sleeping gear out of a pannier bag than a seat bag, even though pannier racks are heavier.
There is absolutely something to be said for being easily able to get to food and water and your tool kit. If it’s hard to get to your food, you eat less and fatigue more. Every choice impacts everything else.
Finally, all the tools are not worth anything if you don’t know how to use them. So the first thing I mindfully packed is knowledge.
Text about knowledge goes here