Russ and Laura from The Path Less Pedaled have been mentioned many times on Part Time Vagabond, and have even contributed here and there. So when they asked me to review their new e-book, Panniers & Peanut Butter: The Path Less Pedaled Bike Camping Gear Guide, I jumped at the chance. After all, who wouldn’t want to learn this stuff from the people who are actually doing it?
Panniers and Peanut Butter is organized into seven chapters of easily digestible information about what Russ and Laura see as the essentials to traveling on a bike. While I was reading the book, I thought the information was great for every type of adventure traveler. From super comfortable sleeping pads to alcohol fueled stoves, from mobile offices to the right footwear, Panniers and Peanut Butter has the road tested and traveler approved gear that will hold up to the toughest of conditions. It’s not often you get this kind of information from people who are still on the road. So while I found a couple of grammar and spelling mistakes, the info is much more valuable.
Speaking of value, let’s look at a couple of examples that stand out for me. When you look for a backpacking stove, you take certain things into consideration: fuel type, weight, time to boil, size. When you actually use a backpacking stove, all that goes out the window if you find it doesn’t work for your situation. When Russ and Laura started out, they had an MSR stove that uses white gas fuel canisters usually only available at outdoors outfitters. Unfortunately, outdoors stores aren’t everywhere you need them to be, so relying on that fuel was a chore. Instead, Russ & Laura found a stove fueled by regular alcohol. Problem solved. And they tell you how in the book.
Panniers And Peanut Butter draws on real world, hard earned experience to help people who want to get into bike touring for the first time. I’ll even go so far to say that the book has great information for all types of travelers, whatever your chosen mode of transportation. And that’s what makes this book really useful. It’s entertaining and informative, something that can only come from people who actually do this stuff on a regular basis. If you’re a part time vagabond, buy this book before your next trip. You’ll thank me later.
While Panniers and Peanut Butter does draw on the real world experience of its authors, I did find that it was kind of narrow when it comes to types of gear. The authors only talk about specific pieces and models of gear they have used, which — while good for certain readers — may not work for all travelers. My recommendation: use this book as a guide, not a bible. Master the gear, use your own experience and skill, then adapt it to your own trip. I can’t emphasize enough: this is an easily accessible book by pros. Learn from them.
Publisher: The Path Less Pedaled
Where to download: Here