With 40 miles of mountain track/off-road as we transit the French/Italian Alps, I will be changing from road shoes and pedals to SPDs and a new pair of MTB shoes. I have a pair that I used when I cycled Lands End to John O'Groats in 2010, but they have not been looked after and will not do. A change in pedal configuration, might also reverse the neuropathy issues that I still have with my little toe on my left foot.
Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Despite the obvious light weight configuration that I travelled with last year, I did not have enough room to carry all that I now feel that I need. So it is that I shall be looking at what should be known as the 'Transcontinental' saddlepack, below. Produced by Apidura, they come in a number a volumes and I have yet to decide how big to go.
I shall be taking my bivibag instead of the survival bag. Though half a pound heavier, it will provide infinitely better protection without the sweat problems of the non-breathable silver pouch. I might yet afford myself a very light-weight sleeping bag, since I was also cold at night and good sleep, however short, is pretty valuable.
Beyond that, tyre choice will be important too. A compromise between rolling resistance and durability given the off-road section makes this an interesting conundrum. Either that or take two spare foldable tyres. At the moment I'm considering the Schwalbe Marathon Plus.
Currently running on Continental 4 season tyres, it will be interesting to compare the two.