The setup for the Americas

Fully loaded Surly Troll in a semi-bikepacking setup in Tolhuin, Tierra del Fuego, Argenina.

Bike and bags.

Built around 18″ Surly Troll frame. Tyre clearance in the rear up to 2.8″ (respectable for pre-plus-bikes era) and up to 3″ in the front. Currently running 2.5″ Surly ET’s but the urge to go bigger exists. Carried a conventional carrying system from Finland to Bali, now made through a transformation to soft bags. The bike was built to have close to the same saddle-to-bar drop and reach as my other drop bar bikes. Tubeless.

Seat bag, accessory bag and handlebar roll by Ortlieb.  Zipperless frame bag self designed, co-produced with a friend. Arkel Dry-Lite panniers and Alpkit toptube and stem bags. No backpack.

Current dry weight by an airport scales: 18kg (bike and front rack) + 12 (bags and gear) = 30kg. Carries up to 10 litres of liquid and up to one weeks simplified food with mid- cold climate gear.


FRAME AND FORK:                                                      Surly Troll 18″
REAR HUB: Rohloff  Speedhub QR  500/14
FRONT HUB:  Shutter Precision SP PD-8 dynamo
RIMS: Mavic X325
SPOKES:    DT Comp front, unknown heavy duty in the back
TIRES: Surly Extra Terrestrial 2.5″
CRANKSET, BOTTOM BRACKET: Shimano SLX, some emergency Shimano
CHAINRING: Surly 32t



COG:                                                                                                             Rohloff 17t
PEDALS: Shimano A530
FRONT RACK:  Surly Nice Front Rack
BRAKE LEVERS: Old Shimano 105’s
HANDLE BAR:  FSA Vero 42cm
SEAT POST:  Long Straight Thomson
STEM:  System X 35 degree 110mm
BOTTLE CAGES:         Salsa Anything Cage + 2x Salsa Nickless Cage










Please excuse my laziness to specify the item details from here on. Feel free to ask additional info on the comments below the post!

Sleeping and shelter

I like riding in cold climates and I have a history of getting the season wrong on a long bike tour , so I am still carrying a rather wintery sleeping system. I can sleep comfortably down to -10C with my current mattress (R=4.7) and sleeping bag (fill weight 600g, water resistant down). Any colder I need a down kilt as an extra insulating layer on my sleeping bag. Tent is a light and storm proof one layer tarp tent. Always fresh air inside, dries quickly and packs small. Drawbacks are condensation and inability to carry snow loads.

Comment: I started my trip with my 7 year old beautiful winter bag, but it failed me in the cold wet climate. Day by day the volume diminished in the Scandinavian winter. I swapped only three weeks into my trip to a rather similar bag made of water resistant down (dry down, ultra-dry down, waterproof down or what ever it is called) and it made all the difference. Solved all my problems with my sleeping system. Does not gather humidity much at all.


Tent and sleeping bag are in a big dry bag, which is strapped on the front rack. Mattress is in a pannier, but is a perfect fit to the XL stem bag too, if more space in the pannier is needed.

Cooking and water

My old multi fuel stove from 1991 still works rather well, so I am still having it with me for cold weather and high mountains. 0.5L petrol bottle and the original aluminium pump. This piece of history just about fits in the 1.2L pot, which is flat enough to fit into my frame bag. Cutlery are a spoon and chop sticks. I am having an cup too for mate and wine, which I can use for boiling water too. For water treatment I mostly use cleaning pills, but when from a natural source I filter the water. For carrying additional water for the 4.5 litres I can carry in the cages, I have two 2.5 litre bladders.


All the kitchen stuff is in the frame bag. Water purification and filtering system is in the fuel bag on the top tube.


I can dry nearly all my clothing by wearing them while cycling. Tested spending the winter 2014-2015 touring in rainy and cold Europe. When the day time temperatures are above 0 Celsius, this is what I carry:

  • Two thin merino t-shirs, one short sleeve and one long sleeve
  • Thin long johns (will swap to merino ones eventually as well)
  • A thin fleece (insulating merino would dry too slowly)
  • Cycling pants and shorts
  • 3x thin merino boxers and socks
  • Grandma’s wool socks
  • Rain jacket and wind gile
  • Cycling rain pants
  • Down jacket (fill weight 250g,  water resistant down)

When the day time temperatures drop below -5 Celsius a second pair of long johns and a second thin fleece are necessary.  Insulated cycling shoes become a necessity too. These I am not carrying and try to source them locally, like I did in Tajikistan and China in 2015.


Most of the clothing is stored in the seat pack. What I could need daily, like rain gear and the gile, are in a small blue drybag in the front.


  • Cycling cap
  • Sun hat
  • Gloves
  • Mittens to be used on the gloves
  • A day beanie and a night beanie
  • 3x Merino Balaclava


Panniers and the blue small dry bag in the front.


  • Well fitting cycling shoes
  • Sandals
  • Thick neoprene overshoes for rain and below 5C.


Sandals are on the front rack, cycling shoes I wear. Overshoes in a pannier.

Toiletries and medical kit

Very basic stuff, mentioning only a couple maybe more special here:

  • Stuff for proper wound cleaning and stiching
  • Antibiotics, a couple of different kinds
  • Wet wipes, great for cleaning the chain and oily hands too (!)
  • A beard comb


The toilet bag is stored in a pannier. The emergency kit in the back of the seat pack.

Repairs and tools

All the tools to take the bike apart, except the bottom bracket wrench and the Rohloff cog tool.

Bike spares:

  • A couple of brake pads
  • Two tubes
  • 5 cm of chain
  • Chain oil
  • Zip ties and duck tape
  • Patches for side wall tear
  • Normal tube patches

No spare cables, hoses or tyre anymore.

Other spares and repair stuff:

  • Thermarest quick fix patches
  • New soul pads for cycling shoes
  • Spare hose for the Lezyne MiniDrive pump
  • Silicone glue for tent repairs
  • Polyurethane glue for fixing the bike packing bags.


Tools and a tube on the bottom of the frame bag, under the kitchen stuff. Repairs are in a pannier.


  • Camera with two lenses + 3x battery + charger
  • External hard rive
  • Memory stick
  • Small laptop + charger
  • Big phone
  • eBook
  • Power Bank, charged from the dynamo
  • USB-chargeable head torch
  • Dynamo front and rear lights
  • Voltage converter for dynamo
  • A couple of micro-USB cables, iPhone cable and two USB charger heads


Camera, lenses, the big phone and the memories are in the accessory bag. Laptop and eBook in a pannier.

Many long distance tourers have got their dynamo charging system faulty after a couple of months exposure to the elements, I am trying to avoid that. I have dedicated my waterproof stem bag for the dynamo voltage converter, some cables and the power bank.

Fly fishing gear

  • 6wt 7 piece rod
  • 1 reel
  • Floating line
  • Different size and type of leaders
  • 1 full box of flies
  • A bit of lead


The 7 piece rod fits beautifully in the seat bag, exactly the same length as my tent pole, which is stored in the seat pack as well. Other fishing stuff is in a pannier.


  • Multitool
  • Sun glasses & Clear glasses
  • Tiny cable lock
  • Fake wallet
  • Real wallet
  • Sun screen


These are stored in the top tube bag and the accessory bag.

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