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Euro tour advice

MichaelWMichaelW Posts: 2,164
edited June 2010 in Tour & expedition
I've just lost my job but, musn't grumble, Ive got a whole summer and enough money to tour Europe in a meandering exploratory fashion; perhaps a big loop up the North Sea path to Norway then back through eastern Europe.
I've done a couple of 2-week tours in camp-but-not-cook style. Im not sure my budget can withstand 6-8 weeks of restaurant food.

Q1. What is the most useful cooking equipment for solo riders (Gas canisters, Triangia, MSR, coke-can meths burners?). What else to solo chefs need to carry.

Q2. My Gelhert Solo tent isn't really up to the task. What's a good durable tent with sitting room. Hillberg Atko seems to be the current fav.

Q3. How do I keep my AA camera batteries charged? Solar, dynamo generator, campsite charger? Any problems with people nicking stuff on charge?

Q3. Maps and Guides: How easy it is to tour without a Rough Guide for every country. What is the best small scale map for route planning. Do people buy maps locally, carry a stash. I don't want to take GPS gadgetry.

Enough for now.
Thanks in advance.

Posts

  • caromaccaromac Posts: 10
    hi - great to take the opportunity when it presents itself eh?
    A friend and I just spent 6 weeks cycling from Prague down to Vienna on the Greenways route and then joined the Danube river to romania.. would recommend the route but havne't done the north sea route so can't compare

    a couple of thoughts:
    cooker - we had MSR - good but often tricky to find the gas. we used diesel which was fine but dirty. when I was cycle touring alone I had minimal gear, but a coupel of packs of spices which added lots to a meal. I had a pot, spatula, mug, swiss army knife, a small container with a lid to carry leftovers for lunch or anything else....

    maps - we had a guide book for the cycle route which was great, and just picked up a country map when we first entered each country at a tourist info centre. didn't use a lot of other maps as we were following a specific route, but in the past I have found 1:200 000 really useful
    enjoy
  • FlavioFlavio Posts: 15
    Hi, don't worry and build a great future.

    Probably you know it already, anyway a map of the North Sea Cycle Path is here:
    http://www.northsea-cycle.com/

    And for the return, The R1 could be useful:
    http://www.euroroute-r1.de/

    caromac wrote:
    ... cycling from Prague down to Vienna on the Greenways route...
    Interesting, could I know where did you find it? Is there a website which speaks about this Greenway Prague-Vienna?
  • BarbesBarbes Posts: 72
    Hi,

    Good attitude - go for it and have a great trip. If you get the time might be worth reading Bernie Friend's book about his ride along the North Sea route ("Cycling Back to Happiness").

    Bon voyage.
  • FlavioFlavio Posts: 15
    Flavio wrote:
    ...
    caromac wrote:
    ... cycling from Prague down to Vienna on the Greenways route...
    Interesting, could I know where did you find it? Is there a website which speaks about this Greenway Prague-Vienna?

    Yes there is:
    http://www.pragueviennagreenways.org/

    :D
  • ralexralex Posts: 85
    For cooking in Europe I would recommend a Trangia, the fuel is generally fairly easy to find in European countries, and it is an easy and enjoyable system to use and cook on, takes a bit longer to boil than gas or petrol stoves but maybe only adds five minutes to the total cooking time. Get one with hard anodized pans as they are virtually non-stick and better than the true non-stick pans. I would also suggest the bigger version, the 25, rather than the 27 as the pans of the 27 are a bit too small for some meals.
    Hilleberg tents are superb, I have a Soulo for solo trips and I like the freestanding design, its slightly heavier than the Akto though.
    In western Europe I don't bother with a guide book, just do plenty of research before you go and decide what you might want to see in terms of cultural stuff etc. Guidebooks aren't much use to camping cycle tourists as you will mostly end up staying and passing through places which aren't covered in the books.
    Maps - can be hard to find suitably detailed maps for cycle touring, although Michelin maps are ok if nothing better is available. Again, plenty of research before going is worthwhile. Lots of good maps available from Stanfords. You could buy the maps before you go and scan them into your computer and take them on a USB stick or online storage service and print them off as you travel, (it's a bit of a chore scanning them though as you need to do it in A4 chunks).
  • psmiffypsmiffy Posts: 236
    I did a similar sort of thing last summer - my way is not necessarily most peoples but most of what you have asked above is covered in my CGOB

    http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/psmiffyontour2009

    Have fun - I did
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