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How to Pack For a Bicycle Tour

 

How to Pack for a Bicycle Tour

By Mel Cormican

 

 

 

© 2017 Mel Cormican

 

 

 

What do you need to pack on a bicycle tour?

 

Being efficient and effective is the holy grail of packing for a bicycle tour. Designing a great packing list for oneself takes time and effort. This short guide aims to make life easier for the bicycle tourer by sharing past experiences and offering 4 different packing lists from the ultra-light packer to the technophile. This fluff-free guide aims to get you up and running in minutes: ready for the cycling adventure of a lifetime!

 

This guide to packing for a bicycle tour is not intended to be a product guide or, even less so, to be a “this is the only way to do it” guide on how to pack for your trip. I hope that instead this will give you a good checklist to help you jog your memory and give you the confidence to go on a tour without worrying about mishaps on the way. I have purposely not included food lists so as to keep the lists to a manageable length.

 

Trial and error is part of the fun of bicycle touring: sometimes what we think we will use, we don’t and the very thing we leave behind is what we could have done with most. On a bicycle trip to Russia in 2012, I brought so much stuff I developed “Shermer’s Neck”, a debilitating condition where the neck muscles lose their strength. It was extremely painful and very nearly brought my tour to a premature end. This was all because the excessive weight I was carrying put a lot of strain on my back and neck muscles. You can read the full story of that adventure [+ here+].

 

My personal packing list changes every time I go on a trip. Sometimes I discover that what I brought was for the worst case scenario that never comes. Instead of bringing countless spares, I now leave all but the bare essentials at home, knowing that I can usually pick them up at a store if needed. Electronics is the main area that varies a lot. I leave my laptop off my packing list sometimes and bring my Kindle instead if I want to have access to free wifi. Sometimes I bring paperback books with me and leave the Kindle at home: giving me one less thing to charge up. I used to bring 2 mess tins and a kettle on my earlier bicycle tours –believe it or not- but now I just bring a single pot that comes with a spout. I used to bring lots of paper maps with me (and these are great, you never have to worry about the phone/sat nav going dead) but a sat nav device is definitely a weight saver on a trip, especially if you use an app such as maps.me on your phone. Sat Navs and offline maps are great for getting you back on track when faced with mesmerising, serpentine streets —trying to cycle into Stockholm springs to mind.

 

To help you decide on what to bring, let us consider what the options are. I have divided these between the essentials and non-essentials. A good deal of what you pack depends on personal choice; so what may be an essential for one person may not be so for others. I hope that these lists will help you to pick out what suits you best. You may find that you want to choose ultra-light options in one category in conjunction with heavier items in other categories so as to compensate for extra weight. Four packing lists are given at the end to suit different types of bike tourers: feel free to adapt these to create your own dream packing list. Before that, let’s think about the choices.

 

 

The Main Considerations when creating your packing list.

(A) Clothes

Essentials

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cycling helmet.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Shoes. It is essential to have some form of footwear, depending on climate, even sandals may suffice. Versatility is better: aim for a shoe that is rigid enough for good efficient cycling, but flexible enough for walking when off-bike. I tend to wear trekking shoes.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cycling gloves. Are they essential? Strictly speaking, no, but worth having. They serve three good purposes: they protect the palms of your hands in the case of a fall, they cushion your hands from wear and tear after long hours of cycling, and they protect the backs of your hands from sunburn.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Shorts (2 pairs). I’d recommend having at least 1 pair that is not specifically cycling shorts especially for walking about town.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Socks — wool or synthetic (3 pair). Three pairs are ideal as part of a 3 day rotation of clothes. If you have a higher tolerance for smelly clothes, then this can be reduced to 2 or even 1 pair, for example, washing them in the evening for the following day.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Short-sleeved shirts (2)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Light, long-sleeved shirt for layering and sun protection

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Rain gear: jacket and pants. (Breathable raingear is ideal in most conditions, but for really heavy downpours nothing keeps the wet out like oil-skin style raincoats, such as, fishermen wear. But then again, in really heavy downpours, it is probably best to get in out of the rain.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Waterproof shoe covers? I tried that and I found them clumsy and ineffective. Then, I tried tying shopping bags over my shoes, which worked pretty well till they tore and tangled up around a pedal –not good. What I do now is put on leather sandals and put my shoes and socks back on when the rain has passed: it saves your shoes from being soaked and I find it a good work around solution.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 pair of trousers/pants/long johns*: these can offer protection from sun or cold. Long Johns are ideal for sleeping at night, especially allowing you to bring a lighter sleeping bag. Zip-off legged pants offer extra versatility. (* If you are aiming to travel ultra-light, pants are not essential.)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Underwear (3 pair). Some experts recommend going commando if using cycling shorts to avoid sandal sores. Personally, I like a change of underwear each day and consider it essential, if looking for modest comfort each day.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In warmer conditions

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Sunglasses

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Buff (or alternatively, you can use a bandanna). One of my favourite pieces of clothing, it can protect the top of the head or around the neck from the sun. Turn it into a balaclava and it will protect you from the dreaded mosquito or midge.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. In colder conditions:

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Wool sweater (Merino wool is very light, warm and quick drying) or fleece jacket

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Gloves. (Choose according to likely weather conditions.)

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Buff. In addition to offering protection from the sun, it can be used on head, neck or face to keep warm.

 

Non-essentials

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sandals, flip-flops, or lightweight shoes

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A peaked hat, for example, a baseball cap.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Wool sweater or fleece jacket, except in colder conditions.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Gloves

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Swimsuit (optional) – an opportunity for a swim can be an opportunity to give your shorts a rinse.

 

(B) Camping

Essentials

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sleeping bag. There are several trade-offs to consider when choosing a sleeping bag. You can choose from a 1, 2, 3 or 4 season sleeping bag, it is a simple weight versus warmth trade-off. Down bags are more expensive, provide more warmth per gram, weigh less, and pack smaller. However, their big drawback is they are useless if wet. Synthetic bags are cheaper and keep you warm even when wet. They are, however, bulkier and heavier for the same comparable warmth. A synthetic sleeping bag is essential if reliability in wetter conditions is an issue, while a down sleeping bag is essential if getting the weight down to a minimum is the priority. An alternative to a sleeping bag is to use a light quilt, which may be preferable for some especially if you find regulating body temperature a challenge in a standard sleeping bag.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sleeping pad. Another trade-off, the lighter option is a foam pad, but the more packable option is a self-inflating pad. If you want to go ultra-light, you cut a foam pad to a torso length or you can use bubble wrap.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Tent. If traveling alone, a one-man tent is preferable as the lighter weight option. I use the MSR one-man tent and consider it a good choice for versatility and weight-saving. Alternatively, a bivvy bag can be used for greater weight saving. It can be used in conjunction with a basha/tarpaulin in wet conditions for greater comfort. Personally, I prefer a tent over a bivvy bag especially over long trips.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Eating utensils (fork, spoon, cup, bowl). I have used plastic sporks and carbon cutlery: they both have become broken while on trips. Reliability is essential and is much more important than weight saving, especially when the weight saving is marginal. I have used the fork and knife on my penknife, and found it satisfactory. I would recommend using metal utensils, such as, made from titanium if weight-saving is an issue. I have used a plastic, sealable bowl/cup and so far it hasn’t broken on me, so I feel confident to recommend it. The sealable lid allows you to keep hot food warm for longer or to cook food such as noodles or porridge, where hot water is added and left to settle.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Stove (A small backpacking stove with fuel and fuel bottle). There are lots of different options: a fuel tablet, methylated spirits, wood or gas. For convenience and speed, my preference is a gas-fuelled stove (with a gas canister). Be careful though to choose the correct gas canister for your stove: in Europe, there are two types, a screw-on stove and a click-on stove.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cooking equipment (Small pots and pans — backpacking equipment works best and is lightweight.) Rather than carrying a kettle and a pot, as I once did, choose a hybrid kettle-pot. Aluminium is lighter, though is said to be a factor in causing Alzheimer’s, so I switched to a steel one instead.

Non-essentials

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Ground sheet (this will extend the life of your tent). You can also use a plastic bike bag for this purpose.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sleeping bag liner (optional – a cotton sheet sewn in half works well for this. It can be easily removed for washing and can be used independently of the sleeping bag on warm nights.)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A frying pan. What nicer way to start your day than a big fry-up! Only bring it if this part of your cooking routine: bear in mind that when touring you won’t have a fridge to keep meat fresh so will need to use them as you go, which may not be feasible if on a tight touring schedule.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A dry-bag. It could come in handy to keep your sleeping bag or clothes dry, but strictly speaking if you are using waterproof panniers and are careful to keep a wet tent away from them, you won’t need it. A lighter and cheaper option is to use plastic bags and this can help make packing and sorting easier if you remember which bag you put which items in. A good idea is to label bags with stickers, for example, clothes, camping, etc.

 

© Sundry Items

Essentials

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Wallet & Passport. You can go a long way if you remember these.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Toiletries

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Toothbrush. I like to use one that folds in half, very light and cheap. I got mine in a pound shop.

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Toothpaste. A 50g tube is more than adequate for most trips.

**
p<>{color:#000;}. A bar of soap. This can be used for washing clothes as well.

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Shampoo? If it is essential for you, reduce weight and bulk by bringing some in a sample size bottle.

**
p<>{color:#000;}. Sunblock. A 50g size will do for most trips.

 

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Towel. A quick drying towel is lighter and more convenient. Try to get one that replicates the texture of a regular fluffy towel, otherwise it feels like you are drying yourself with a shirt.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Lightweight lock and cable. If the likelihood is that you are going to be within sight of your bike most of the time, then bringing a D-Lock is an unnecessary and heavy choice. I have had a bicycle stolen despite using a D-Lock. The best lock is to keep your bike within sight, and to ask someone to keep an eye on it, while you pop indoors. Also, when in a city never leave it locked outside overnight.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Basic first-aid kit with emergency numbers. The temptation is to go overboard with this kit. Remember, unless you are planning to set up a field hospital, keep it to a minimum. I have only ever needed the occasional plaster in years of bicycle touring. In addition to what you usually find in a readymade first aid kit (plasters, bandages, disinfectant, tape, scissors, etc.), you may wish to bring anti-histamine tablets in case of an allergic reaction. Bring any medication you may be prescribed and ensure that if traveling with others, you inform them of any medical condition you have and where you keep your medication in case of an emergency, especially if you carry an EpiPen (or Epinephrine auto-injector), and inform them how to administer it.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Flashlight/headlamp. My advice is to bring just one good front light and not duplicate with a bike light AND a head torch. I have bought many front lights over the years and they all had these common characteristics, they were not exactly cheap but they were pretty useless in giving enough light to safely cycle with in the pitch dark. For example, one particular brand gives off a 75 candlepower beam, referred to as 75 lumens. After a scary cycle one night, I decided to get a decent light instead. I bought the Lezyne Micro Drive 450 XL. This can offer you a beam of up to 450 lumens. Big difference. It can be charged up via USB and doesn’t need AA batteries. I highly recommend it.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Backlight. I bought a backlight for my bike in a pound shop. And, yes, it was just £1! Any good? Literally, brilliant! In addition to multiple settings for a blinking red beam, it has a laser beam that shines on to the road on either side of the bike, which also comes with various blinking settings. It is probably my best buy ever. Not every bit of kit needs to be expensive.

 

Non-essentials

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Water carrying bladders. On the plus side, they don’t take up space when empty, but can store up to 1 gallon when full. On the minus side, they can spring a leak after some heavy use. I prefer to re-use the plastic bottles that water is sold in; the 1.5 litre bottles are perfect and one or two refills in a day will meet average needs. Bring a second one, if cycling in hotter conditions or if water sources are less frequent.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sewing kit. The likelihood of my ever needing, let alone using, a sewing kit in a lifetime of bicycle touring is zero, but maybe I’m missing something.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Insect repellent. I’ve used it on tour and I didn’t like the smell it put on my cycling clothes. Unfortunately, the mosquitoes didn’t seem to be bothered by it. I didn’t find it effective. Maybe others have better luck. The best mosquito or midge repellent is to make yourself less attractive to them by eating less sugar. I was in the woods one day and while I was being eaten alive, my friend was left untouched, and it was all because I was the sweet tooth of the group.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Nylon cord. Yes, you can use it for things like creating a clothes line, but you can also hang clothes on your bike. It is nice to have but not really necessary.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bear spray. Great to have if traveling in countries where bears roam, but it may be unnecessary if even the locals have never seen a bear in their lives. Use common sense though, if in doubt, bring it along.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Water filter. I have never needed it but it depends how far from civilisation you plan to go.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bungie cords. Very handy if you need to carry surplus stuff on your bike, but if you aim to fit all into your pannier bags, it is a tidier and better solution.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Camera. This is duplicated if you already carry a smartphone with an inbuilt camera. If you plan to take a lot of photos and especially want to take superior photos, then a good camera is great to bring along.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Journal. It doesn’t weigh much and it can be great to record your daily adventure.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Dictaphone. An alternative to writing in a journal, I have sometimes used this as an easier way of getting my memories recorded quickly at the end of a long day’s cycle.

 

Tools and Spare Parts

Essentials

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Tyre levers. Plastic ones are lighter. You will definitely need these if you need to change a tube.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spare tube (and tyre, depending on the trip). Depending on the length of trip, it may be a good idea to bring a second spare tube.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Mini-pump.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Pocket knife or Screwdriver. I regularly use the fork, knife and spoon on my penknife. The other handy tools are a bonus. It usually comes with a screwdriver.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A bicycle multi-tool. Whether it be adjusting your seat or turning your handle bars sideways for the airlines, a bicycle multi-tool is not something you will want to leave at home. (To save weight, bring just the 1 or 2 Allen keys/Hex wrenches that you are likely to need.)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Assorted plastic zip ties (3)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Small chain lube and rag

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Duct tape. Whether it be fixing a hole in a tent or pannier bag to taping up your bike box for the flight, duct tape is incredibly useful and not to be left at home.

 

Non-essentials

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Patch kit. You may find this surprising that I have put this in the non-essential list. In almost every case that I’ve had a flat tyre over the past few years, it has been due to a valve problem, rather than a puncture. I tend to use more rugged tyres that rarely result in punctures, but if you are using a thin road racer style tyre then a puncture repair kit would still be essential. I tend to bring spare tubes and fix tubes when I get back to save time.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Rear view mirror. Definitely great to have but not essential. A rear view mirror will help to make you safer on the road, but taking your time and checking the road in all directions is something you can do with or without a mirror.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spare clipless-pedal-cleat bolts. Only essential if you have chosen to cycle with these.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Floor track pump. Believe it or not, I have brought a full size pump – as used in bike stores – on bicycle tours. It is one of my luxury items. Yes, it is heavy and sticks out of a pannier bag, but when you want your tyre pumped up, quickly and to a decent PSI, this is what you want. (If you can’t get a high enough pressure with small pumps, you end up with a tyre that keeps getting a slow puncture; at least, that has been my experience.)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Derailleur cable. Not strictly non-essential, but as it is highly unlikely for this to snap, I have put it here. If in doubt that your derailleur cable will last the trip, then bring a spare.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Extra nuts, bolts, and wire (particularly for racks).

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spoke wrench. Unless you are mechanically minded, in the rare case of a broken spoke, you are more likely to get it fixed at a bike store.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Small triangular file (optional)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Small vice grips (optional)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Brake cable

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spare spokes sized for your bike’s wheels

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spare brake pads

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Chain tool

 

 

Packing Lists

[*1. Ultra-Light: The Bikepacker List]

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2-3 bags strapped on handlebars, crossbar and behind seat.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bicycle helmet

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Terra Nova’s Laser Ultra 1 – the world’s lightest tent since 2012 at 495g. (or) an ultralight bivvy bag at 225-250g, such as the MSR E-Bivvy weighing in at 236g

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A battery pack to charge phones or other devices, with plug and cable.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A phone/smartphone

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bicycle computer

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A Head torch

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Deodorant – 50g

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Half a toothbrush and a mini toothpaste tube

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A light weight puff jacket or gilet (sleeveless puff jacket)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A rain jacket

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cycling Tights

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 spare pair of socks

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 pair of shorts

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A spare stuff sack

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A small face towel, quick drying.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 cycling shirt

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 pair of underwear.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 buff

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 cap

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 spare inner tubes.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. World’s lightest sleeping bag. Currently, it is Cumulus Magic 125, which is 245g.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A half-length sleeping mat (or) a sheet of bubble wrap.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Good, strong Lights – front and back.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Optional – stove and pot.

*Based mainly on Sean Conway’s recommendations.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=56bkaEyScX0

 

 

 

2. The Moderate Packing List

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 Ortlieb Pannier bags

 

Gadgets

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 Smart phone, with apps, such as, maps.me installed

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A phone charger with 1 usb plug

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Rechargeable lights with usb (or) regular lights with AA batteries

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 backup battery. (Ideally, 20,000mAh)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Choose only 1: laptop/notebook/reading tablet

*
p<>{color:#000;}. iPod and earphones

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bicycle computer (optional)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A journal & pen (optional)

 

Cooking

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 stove

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 gas canister

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cooking pot – steel/ aluminium

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bowl & Mug (or) use one that functions as both.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cutlery: plastic, steel, or titanium (or) 1 spork (or use penknife)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 penknife

 

Camping

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 tent, freestanding

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A synthetic sleeping bag

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 foam mattress/self-inflating sleeping mat

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 eye mask (optional)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 pair of ear plugs (optional)

 

Clothes

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bicycle helmet and gloves

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A light weight puff jacket or gilet (sleeveless puff jacket)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 rain jacket and pants

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 pair of shoes

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 pairs of socks

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2-3 pairs of shorts

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2-3 cycling tops – mixture of short and long sleeved

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 pair of underwear.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 pair of tights/trousers

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 buff

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 cap

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sandals/flip flops (optional)

 

Sundry

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 spare inner tube

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 mini-pump

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 tyre levers

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Toiletries

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 quick drying towel.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sunblock & sunglasses

*
p<>{color:#000;}. First Aid Kit

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 bicycle multi-tool

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Plastic zip ties (1-2)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Chain lube

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Duct tape

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Pedal wrench (optional – airports often can lend one)

 

The aim here is to give the best of both worlds. It offers a well-equipped, but not excessively heavy, assortment to carry on a bicycle tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3. The Technophile Trolley bag list

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 4 Ortlieb Pannier bags

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 barbag (optional)

 

Gadgets

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 Smart phone, with apps, such as, maps.me installed

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Rechargeable lights with usb

*
p<>{color:#000;}. An independent source of power: a dynamo hub, a solar panel or combination of the two

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A phone charger with 1 usb plug

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1-2 backup battery. (Ideally, 20,000mAh)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 laptop/notebook

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 reading device – Kindle, Nook or iPad

*
p<>{color:#000;}. iPod and earphones

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bicycle computer

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Front and back lights. (USB rechargeable)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 camera with backup batteries & charger

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 Go Pro camera

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A tripod and/or a selfie stick

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A journal & pen/a Dictaphone

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Rear view mirror

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Mosquito head net

 

Cooking

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 stove: MSR whisperlite /Vango ultralite stove/Kelly Kettle jet stove

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Fuel: gas canister/fuel bottle.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cooking pot – steel, not aluminium

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bowl

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Mug

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Titanium cutlery

 

Camping

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 tent, freestanding

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A down sleeping bag

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 silk sleeping bag liner

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 air mattress/self-inflating sleeping mat

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 eye mask

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 pair of ear plugs

 

Clothes

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bicycle helmet and gloves

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A light weight puff jacket or gilet (sleeveless puff jacket) or fleece jacket

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 rain jacket and pants

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 pair of cycling shoes (or) 1 pair of trekking shoes

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cycling tights

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 pairs of socks

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2-3 pairs of shorts

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2-3 cycling tops – mixture of short and long sleeved

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 3 pair of underwear.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 buff

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 cap

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sandals/flip flops (optional)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sundry

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sunglasses

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 spare inner tubes & patch kit

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Mini-pump or floor track pump

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 tyre levers

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Toiletries

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 quick drying towel.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sunblock & After-sun lotion

*
p<>{color:#000;}. First Aid Kit

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Insect Repellent

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 penknife

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 bicycle multi-tool

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Plastic zip ties (3)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Chain lube and rag.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Duct tape

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spare clipless-pedal-cleat bolts

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 Derailleur cable

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 brake cable

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spare nuts and bolts

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spoke wrench

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Pedal wrench

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Spare spokes and brake pads

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Chain tool

 

 

 

[*4. The Ladies’ Packing List****]

Clothes

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cycle shorts – 2 pairs

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1-2 tank tops

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1-2 T-Shirts/Cycle shirts (Non-cotton for quick drying)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1-2 long sleeved base layer

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 wind breaker jacket (or use a rain jacket instead)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 shell jacket

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 pair of leggings/tights

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 pair of pants

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2-3 pairs of socks – merino wool ideally.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 pairs of underwear

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1-2 sports bra(s)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Flip-flops (handy for wearing in campground showers

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Buff

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Gloves

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Rain gear

 

Bike Gear

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 multi-tool

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 spare inner tubes

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Tyre levers

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 2 replacement spokes (optional, unless you are cycling in a country where these are not readily available)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Brake cable

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Derailleur cable

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Pump

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Chain lubricant

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Duct tape/electrical tape

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Patch kit

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bike lock and chain

 

Camping Gear

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 Tent

*
p<>{color:#000;}. A groundsheet – a piece of Tyvek.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 Sleeping pad – Therm-a-rest NeoAir

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 Sleeping bag

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Head-torch and spare batteries.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 travel pillow

 

Cooking Kit

*
p<>{color:#000;}. 1 titanium pot (lightest option)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Stove

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Fuel

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Lighter (always bring a spare, you’d be surprised how easy they are to mislay)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cup – plastic or titanium

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Fork/spork

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Knife (sharp)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Cutting board

 

Electronics

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Camera

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Phone

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bike computer

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Solar charger

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Bike lights

*
p<>{color:#000;}. MP3 player and earphones

 

Toiletries

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Shampoo/conditioner

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Body wash (contains micro-plastics that pollute the environment, a big NO NO)

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Razor

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Campsuds – liquid soap that washes face, hands and clothes.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Tweezers/nailclipper

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Tampons/liners

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Meds – Aspirin/Ibuprofen, Allergy treatment, and prescriptions.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. First Aid Kit – bandaids, Neosporin (comes with allergy warning), bandage, emergency iodine (to sterilize a wound), athletic tape, and gauze.

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Toothpaste/toothbrush/mouthwash/floss

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Chapstick

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Lotion

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Sunscreen

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Insect repellent

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Deodorant

*
p<>{color:#000;}. Contact solution & extra contacts

 

***Some ideas were drawn from a compilation found on http://herpackinglist.com/2013/07/packing-list-for-a-bike-tour/ See website for more excellent packing lists.

 

Other books by Mel Cormican:

[+ To St Petersburg With Love+] (2012)

Two friends, two bicycles, 12 Countries, 40 days, No Sweat.

 

[+ A Pedal Pilgrimage in the Nordics+]

A cycle from Oslo to Helsinki in a spiritual and religious quest to make sense of it all. History, geography, science, religion and personal experiences intertwine to narrate a Nordic story.

 

22

 


How to Pack For a Bicycle Tour

Being efficient and effective is the holy grail of packing for a bicycle tour. Designing a great packing list for oneself takes time and effort. This short guide aims to make life easier for the bicycle tourer by sharing past experiences and offering 4 different packing lists from the ultra-light packer to the technophile. This fluff-free guide aims to get you up and running in minutes: ready for the cycling adventure of a lifetime!

  • ISBN: 9781370073757
  • Author: Mel Cormican
  • Published: 2017-09-15 19:35:10
  • Words: 4340
How to Pack For a Bicycle Tour How to Pack For a Bicycle Tour