This has been a quest of ours for a while. Every time we head out we seem to take fewer and fewer things.
When we first went off on the Alaska trip back in 2008 we had a very different packing list than we do now. Not only did we have the normal stuff that you take (that we’re still taking more-or-less unchanged) like the tent and sleeping bags, but we also had with us a duffel full of crap that we thought we would use but just sat there taking up space and weight.
Even now, we’re looking to shed weight more and more aggressively. I’ve been writing about the poorly shipped fuel bottle holder (still not resolved, by the way; it’s still on its way to Solon instead of Seattle… grrr…). Well, assuming I have that that frees up almost two liters from the pannier. I got a smaller first aid kit — and with a bit of experimenting I realized it can fit under my seat! More space saved!
Now we’re in a position where the left pannier (the smaller one because of the cutout for the muffler) has the cook set, the bike tools (which themselves are smaller), the camping tools, and liquid toiletries, saw, and axe.
It’s not even half filled!