Our first camping trip was done with a car. We'll do our first bike trip this week.
Our first two camping trips were done with a car. We’ll do our first bike trip this week.

Luci and I are prepping for our first S24O on Friday.

An S24O stands for Sub 24 hour Overnight and was coined by Grant Petersen of Rivendell Bicycles.

The idea is that bike touring takes a lot of time and planning, but that using your bike to go camping doesn’t.

Here’s Petersen’s description:

“I don’t go bike touring per se, I go bike camping. Specifically, I go on something I call “sub–24-hour overnights,” or S24O, for short. It’s pronounced “ESTwo-Four-Oh,” and by definition it has to last less than a full day, doorstep to doorstep.

The shortness is key,and the concept is simple: You leave in the afternoon or evening in time to get to your camp while there’s still enough light to set up the tent. Then you cook, eat, talk, go to bed, and ride home the next morning.

The ones my friends and I go on last about fifteen hours. The S24O is the closest you can come to touring when you can’t actually tour, and rather than thinking of it as a poor substitute, think of it as a mini-tour that’s about a hundred times easier to plan for, commit to, and just do.”

I am a planner however and am planning many of the details. Perhaps this is because the plan is the only thing I can control given that I am take a three-year-old with me.

We’ll ride from our house in midtown to Catalina State Park, which is about 13 miles from our door to the camp ground.

We chose Catalina State Park because it’s close and has lots of stores nearby in case something goes wrong or we forget something. The biggest downside however is that they don’t allow fires in the campground.

I have a dilemma about the route. I considered taking Christie Drive north past Ina Road and cutting over to Oracle Road on Magee, but it is pretty steep and on a loaded bakfiets, it seems daunting.

Here is the list of gear we are planning on taking. What am I missing? What do we absolutely not need? I’ve linked the items, but am not endorsing them. Some of the items haven’t been used and others I’ve only used a time or two.*




  • Pajamas, jackets, beanies and etc…


  • Tortillas
  • PB
  • Jelly
  • Bacon
  • Eggs
  • Beans
  • Cheese
  • Snacks
  • Hot Chocolate
  • Tea
  • Marshmallows
  • Water

Misc & Electronics

10 thoughts on “Preparing for first S24O trip with toddler”
  1. First aid kit, small bottle of liquid dish soap, hand towel(s), wipes, don’t haul water from home (buy it the nearest store or use what’s at the site), raingear?, sunscreen?, whistle…

  2. I second the motion for wipes, whistle and first aid kit. How about a thermos for those hot beverages? Have a great adventure…

  3. Great suggestions everyone. The first aid kit slipped my mind. I’ll be brining my Klean Kanteen for hot and cold beverages.

    Someone on twitter suggested duct tape, which I thought was a good idea too.

  4. Triple the bacon, add a flask of single-malt, and leave everything else that does not involve keeping a three-year old alive at home. Have fun!

  5. I ascribe to my dad’s philosophy of packing for a trip, take 1/2 as much stuff as you think you need and twice as much money. I works pretty well. You don’t use a lot of stuff you pack and you often need stuff you didn’t pack. As for your route, the foothills are horrible for offering any direct routes that don’t involve major streets. I hate riding on major streets and that influences how I select my routes. Do you plan on using the path along the Canada del Oro wash at all?

  6. From where I live it would require a ton of backtracking. I’m thinking I am just going to take Oracle to get there quickly. There is a lot of traffic, but it is really wide too.

  7. Sometimes keeping a toddler happy is the same as keeping a toddler alive. The flask or Makers is at the ready.

  8. It turns out CSP allows the use od DuraFlame type logs in their grills, so we will have a fire to roast marshmallows and keep warm.

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