The Best Adventures Are Close To Home - Video

Dec 5, 2016
by Kona Bikes  
Our Finnish friend Erkki Punttila is quite the character. Through his blog, PackGoFind, he approaches his bikepacking excursions and his position on Kona's Super Grassroots team with a straightforward manner and plenty of dry humor. We set Erkki off with a new Kona Unit for an adventure "not far from home". Below you'll find the video from his trip, as well as some tips, Erkki style, for your own overnight trips – even if they're not far from home.


Views: 6,554    Faves: 70    Comments: 3


THE CALLING

I really love exploring new places with my bike, but I also constantly hear the call of the sea – why not combine the best of both worlds? First enjoy a nice evening cruise and then hit the trails with your lights on and find a peaceful spot to camp. My boat is an old fishing boat and has a 5.4 litre truck engine from 1972 that has proven to be quite “reliable”. They are somewhat simple machines after you get to know the basics of maintenance and repair. Just like bikes. Remember your first wheel build? Slightly scary at first, but very rewarding at the end.

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.


INTO THE NIGHT

On longer bikepacking trips it would be ideal to find a camp site before the sun goes down. It just makes things easier. But sometimes it’s fun to ride in a pitch black forest with your lights blazing. Your focus shifts from the scenery to the trail and its obstacles. And what better way is there to scare yourself shitless than startling a sleeping moose just a few meters from you?

A few tips for night riding:

- Set up your lights before it gets dark. Then you can just turn them on and keep going.
- Know your gear. How long does the battery run on low/medium/full power?
- Conserve power. On roads you can use the low setting on your lights and then turn it up when the trail gets nasty.
- Always have a backup light source so you can continue if one fails. Probably the best option is to have a hub dynamo powered light for riding and recharging your GPS/phone/headlamp during the day. And a good quality waterproof headlamp for camp activities.
- Know where your gear is. Try to memorize all of your stuff when packing and always pack things in the same place. You can then find spare batteries or your multitool even with your eyes closed.
- Pack wisely. Having your shelter in one place with easy access is nice. I keep my tent as the first thing in the handlebar bag along with a dry base layer. Dry clothes, shelter, food, sleep.


Photo by Teemu Lautamies.

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.


FLOW

If you are planning to get big miles in for the day your only choice is to get up early and get going. There is no way around that. But sometimes it is utter bliss not to have a plan at all. Sleep as long as you feel like. Enjoy breakfast and coffee. Get going when you feel like it and do it for as long as it’s good. Have a break, take a nap. Eat warm food, look at birds – whatever makes you happy.

Steps to a quick getaway:

Set up everything for a quick start before going to sleep. I fill my Jetboil with the right amount of water for porridge and coffee and keep it on standby in the tent’s vestibule. Have all the food you plan to eat ready (but don’t do this in bear country!). Then, this:

1. Make sure your alarm goes off loud as f@ck in the far end of the tent so you’re forced to get up to turn it off
2. Open the valve of your air mattress
3. Get up and light up Jetboil
4. Shut off the alarm
5. Put on riding clothes
6. Stuff sleeping bag
7. By now the water is boiling. Pour it into your favourite titanium cup and add porridge flakes. Eat and scrape the sides with your spork. Pour more hot water and add instant coffee.
8. Since the coffee is likely too hot, pack your stuff and roll up your sleeping mattress while it cools.
9. Enjoy your coffee. It also cleans your mug from the porridge. Kind of.
10. Stuff your gear into your seat and frame bag, then take down the tent and pack it along with your dry base layer.
11. Enjoy your 15 minutes of fame.



Tips for big days:

- Eat light and fast in the morning. Ride for about 1-2 hours, take a dump and have a second breakfast.
- Have food ready on your stem bags to eat on the go.
- Eat something once per hour even you don’t feel hungry. You don’t really need a big lunch break, just keep on going and remember to eat.
- Hydration is key. I always have one bottle with electrolytes and one with plain water. On longer legs I fill them from my bladder or other source and try to keep the balance.
- Your favourite candy and something salty like beef jerky is good motivational food.
- If you eat at a restaurant or gas station during the day, don’t eat in. Order 3 hamburgers and a coke, eat one standing and continue with the two burgers in your jersey pockets. The satisfaction of eating a cheeseburger while coasting along a gravel road at 25km/h is heaven.


Images for Kona s Not Far From Home with Erkki Punttila blog

Images for Kona s Not Far From Home with Erkki Punttila blog

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.

Images for Kona s Not Far From Home with Erkki Punttila blog

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.


CLIMAX

Every trip comes to an end unfortunately. If you have a specific goal that you want to reach, why not celebrate a bit when you reach it? A mountain top, a tough hike-a-bike, a big climb, a 200km day, whatever – reward yourself and maybe take a picture of it. Later on you won’t remember all the details of the suffering, but you will feel the sense of accomplishment and have a great story to tell. Just go out there and do it your way.

Photo by Teemu Lautamies.

Images for Kona s Not Far From Home with Erkki Punttila blog


Words by Erkki Punttila.
Photos by Teemu Lautamies.



About Kona:
At Kona, we're all about the freedom and empowerment of the bicycle. We have been since 1988. We still have the same founding owners. We're still populated by a staff of keen, active, impassioned cyclists. We're not big, nor are we that small. Just a dedicated group of cyclists making bicycles for people who love bikes - no matter if that love is new or long established.


MENTIONS: @konaworld



Posted In:
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27 Comments

  • 43 17
 are you a white guy with a beard, and perhaps glasses? Are you struggling to find something to do as the hipster scene fades and you age towards 30? Still got a little of your parents money? Consider Bikepacking!
  • 10 0
 Lol. Wait, I resembled that remark! Kidding aside, bikepacking is a ton of fun. Not sure I'll go back to the walking method that often unless it's a real mountain climb.
  • 5 0
 There there, don't be so indignant that he actually did something with his Kona Unit (besides go to the bar), no need to be butthurt.

...

"Got this bike new from a shop. I was hoping to set it up for bike packing. I used it a little bit for going back and forth to the bar, but what I'm saying is that I really don't use it."

...

It's almost too perfect?
  • 3 0
 @velocitajano: AHAHAHAHA! you nailed me! Glasses, beard, and all! OmG thank you

truth be told, I've been bikepacking curious for awhile.
  • 26 0
 Yeah, brings all that stuff on a bike ride - but gears? Nah, don't need gears.
  • 25 0
 Single Speed? Guy is savage.
  • 21 0
 The comment about the coffee cleaning the porridge from the jetboil rings home. On many of my past backcountry excursions, the bowl and spoon would end up with an cacophony of scents- dehydrated soups, coffee, oatmeal, peanut butter. In the comfort of my kitchen, the miasma would make me gag, but in the presence of an alpine sunset, it always seemed just right.
  • 4 0
 hahahah gold
  • 11 0
 Wow that looks like some nice terrain. Great photos. I admit I mostly read Pinkbike for the hardware, but I love the travelogue shoots too.
  • 11 0
 Rigid SS. Alloy seatpost. Alloy bars. He is a hard man, indeed.
  • 11 2
 Pretty sure this guy is not married!!! haha.
Cheers,
Beer
  • 26 0
 At the time of the video shoot I was married. Now... I am not.
  • 9 2
 @ErikPlankton: Sorry mate... I was just trying to make a joke. Bad one, now I know. But cheers on that journey. Epic without a doubt.

Beer
  • 1 0
 @ErikPlankton: Sorry to hear!
  • 10 0
 @smoranc: no worries, life is great! Go out there and do what you want.
  • 2 0
 @ErikPlankton: Hey now you have more time to get out and do what you love.
  • 7 0
 Brilliant, inspiring article.
  • 5 0
 Well done. Captures the mood, the romance of nature (and hot coffee on a cold morning). Stirs the wanderlust just a little!
  • 3 0
 "But sometimes it is utter bliss not to have a plan at all. Sleep as long as you feel like. Enjoy breakfast and coffee. Get going when you feel like it and do it for as long as it’s good. Have a break, take a nap. Eat warm food, look at birds – whatever makes you happy."

Well said, that is the way to go. Thank you for the great video, pictures and words!
  • 4 0
 If the title is true, there is someone in Oklahoma who is crying right now....
  • 3 0
 Really amazing video. The preparation and effort put into these adventures is unreal.
  • 2 0
 Can't wait to enjoy the midnight sun again!! Great video
  • 1 0
 kind of reminds me of a blog i follow, www.whileoutriding.com/blog
  • 1 1
 Where do you find room in your bags for your camera, flashes, batteries, drone and remote?
  • 1 0
 favorited this video 20 seconds in...
  • 1 0
 Bags on that bike are worth more than the bike.
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