water - carrying it

Just after leaving Melbourne for a circuit to Canberra a Dutch guy came the other way. He had biked from Holland to Singapore then flown to Perth. From there he had for some obscure reason decided to head directly for Noosa over on the east coast via the Great Central Road, (via Uluru), and then the Plenty Highway.

He looked at my rear panniers, rack pack, handlebar bag and fully laden trailer.

There was his small handlebar bag and neat, lightly packed, rear panniers. (Where was his tent?) Not much stuff.

“Where did you carry your water for those long sections between water sources?”

“Oh, I strapped 2 eight litre water bags under the handlebars.”

He had made it but it seemed a high risk strategy.

Where do you stash 25 litres on a bike?

A trailer helps. With panniers you have to balance the load.

It’s worth fitting a day’s riding supply, 6 litres or so, on the bike so it’s readily accessible. A few 1.5 litre Coke bottles and 2 litre juice bottles, together with the 750ml bottles in cages. It’s a pain to have to pack and repack when you need a drink.

Warm? Get used to it. Stick a teabag in it if the taste ain’t that great. Herbal tea even.

The main supply can then fit in a couple of equal sized water bags in the panniers for balance, or in the trailer.

You can buy purpose made water bags in a hiking shop in the larger towns. These are just a double skinned plastic bag with a leakproof tap inside a tougher fabric layer. A couple of 10 litre bags gives you reasonable flexibility. You don’t have to fill them to capacity.

Alternatively there are always 10 litre water bags in cardboard boxes at the bigger supermarkets. They are the same product but without the fabric covering at half the price. They are enormously strong and the bonus is they come filled with water.