Bicycle Touring Packing List

Lots of choices. When it comes to gear I tend to favor the tried and true, over the latest and greatest. Saving a few ounces on the lightest jacket doesn’t matter too much after you patch all the holes with tape. The kit I carry has been refined through many years of backpacking, climbing and bike touring and for me, strikes a balance between weight, preparedness and comfort. This is not a kit for lightweight bikepacking, it’s for loaded touring with the flexibility to also do multi day backpacking trips. The irony is, as I replace my gear with newer and lighter choices, my pack weight stays relatively the same due to the electronics I carry. Maybe it’s because I’ve entered my fourth decade, but sometimes I miss the simplicity of postcards and film cameras.

Camping and Sleeping:

I prefer a roomier tent with good bug and rain protection, and a synthetic sleeping bag for damp weather comfort.

  • MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent – Big for one person, even with gear inside and can easily fit two. The only problem I have with this tent is the white and red color is anything but stealth.
  • MSR Hubba Hubba footprint – Enables pitching the tent with just the fly.
  • Mountain Hardware Lamina 35 synthetic sleeping bag – For the price and temperature rating it packs reasonably small.
  • Therm-A-Rest ProLite sleeping pad – Lightweight and so far it stays inflated through the night
  • Reflectix 3/4 length pad – extra insulation and padding for little weight and cost
  • Emergency bivy bag – light and cheap vapor barrier liner


After many years using a MSR Wisperlite, then a MSR Dragonfly, I’ve come to appreciate the simplicity and silence of an alcohol stove. As a bonus, the fuel doesn’t leave your hands and bags stinking.

  • Trangia alcohol burner with a Clickstand S-2 pot support and windscreen – Simple design that packs small and is very stable.
  • Snow Peak Trek 1400 titanium cook pot – most of my cooking kit stores inside of this.
  • Heat reflector for indoor cooking – Prevents scorched floors and counters
  • Bent stainless steel bicycle spoke – works as a stove support for my Kleen Kanteen 40oz water bottle
  • Stainless steel binder clip – handy for keeping bags closed
  • Plastic one liter soda bottle for fuel – stored in my frame bag
  • Lighter
  • Snow Peak titanium spork
  • Wooden chopsticks – slows down the eating and lets me enjoy the taste
  • GSI Fairshare Mug with Reflectix cozy – the handle has been cut off so it fits in my cook pot
  • Small plastic spatula for scraping the bottom of jars and cans
  • Walmart plastic cutting board – doubles as a back panel stiffener for my day pack
  • Small Tupperware container – fits a days worth of burrito filling for lunch and snacks.
  • Nylon stuff sack for food storage


Cleaning and maintenance of the body

  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Small bottle of concentrated dish soap
  • Q-Tips
  • Roll of TP
  • Nail clipper
  • Scissors
  • Small pack towel – I store this in my cook pot to reduce the rattling noise

Bike and Gear Repair Kit:

I try to keep the kit light but well equipped for bike disabling disasters.

  • Leatherman Rebar multi-tool – Carried on my belt and used for everything from food prep to opening faucets without handles.
  • 15mm wrench for the Rohloff axle bolts and pedal removal
  • 8mm / 10mm combo wrench – the two most used sizes
  • T-20 Torx wrench for Rohloff bolts
  • Crank Brothers Multi 19 tool – great chain breaker and spoke wrench
  • Fiber Spokes – I carry two
  • King Cage titanium tire levers – light and strong
  • Generic patch kit
  • Presta to Schrader valve adapter – For touring I use Schrader valve tubes
  • 2 extra tubes – Schrader valve
  • Panaracer Pasela 26×1.75 folding tire- lightweight spare
  • A few miscellaneous nuts, bolts and washers
  • 2 chainring bolts that also double as Rohloff disk rotor bolts.
  • Spare brake and derailleur inner cables
  • Inline cable adjuster – for splicing damaged cable housing
  • Front and rear disk brake pads – pretty light and not easy to find, so I carry a replacement set
  • 5 inches of bicycle chain – with a pair of pliers this can also double as a chain whip
  • Gorilla Tape – the strongest duct tape I have found
  • Tenacious Tape – for fabric repair
  • Zip ties
  • Small sewing kit – thick nylon thread, one straight and one curved needle, 2 safety pins and that’s about it.
  • 2 hose clamps
  • 3 feet of baling wire – there’s a reason why farmers fix everything with this stuff
  • Serfas Grifter mini pump with gauge – great pump, lousy location for the gauge
  • Blackburn Shorty CF mini pump as a backup – I’ve been stranded with a broken pump in the past.
  • Chain lube and a rag

First Aid Kit:

I’m a volunteer EMT and my first aid kit includes some items to stabilize major trauma.

  • C-A-T Combat Application Tourniquet – For major bleeding control
  • Assorted dressings, bandages and gauze
  • Steri Strips – Wound closure
  • Band-Aids
  • Ibuprofen – Pain and swelling
  • Loperamide – Anti-diarrheal
  • Benadryl – Antihistamine
  • Tea Tree Oil – General antiseptic
  • Packet of Chamois Butt’r
  • Rescue Essentials Mini Tweezers
  • One razor blade


I prefer casual clothing over cycling specific and wool over synthetic. Also, I find that with my broken in Brooks saddle, padded cycling shorts are not needed.

  • 1 pair of Ibex boxer shorts for sleeping
  • 2 pairs of Icebreaker boxer briefs
  • Ibex Woolies long sleeve top and bottom thermals
  • Ibex t-shirt
  • Ibex loose fitting short sleeve half zip jersey
  • Long sleeve collared dress shirt for sun protection
  • Ibex Shak long sleeve jersey
  • EMS Primaloft pullover puffy sweater
  • Patagonia synthetic puffy vest – combined with the light puffy sweater it makes a pretty warm outer layer
  • Gore Bike Wear Alp-X Gore-Tex Jacket
  • Cannondale rain pants wrapped with an ankle strap
  • Kinco Hi-Viz insulated work gloves
  • Cycling hat
  • Wool winter hat
  • Columbia synthetic stretch fabric shorts – on me most of the time
  • Mountain Hardware hiking pants
  • Ibex leg warmers – quick to remove once the temperature rises
  • One pair of thick wool socks – used mostly for cold weather sleeping
  • Two pairs of thin wool socks
  • Vaude shoe rain covers – lightweight but keep my feet warm and dry
  • Chaco Z/1 sandles – most of the time I prefer to ride in sandles
  • 5.10 Guide Tennies – not much padding and a thin stiff sole with sticky rubber.


21st century traveling and unfortunately, a large part of my gear weight.

  • iPod Touch 5th generation 32gb – an iPhone without a phone (and unfortunately without a built in GPS). Makes Wardriving less conspicuous then when using a laptop and with Google Voice and Talkatone I make free calls over WiFi.
  • Shure SE115 noise isolating earbuds
  • Dual XGPS150A Universal Bluetooth GPS Receiver – adds GPS function to the iPod and allows offline map following when paired with the apps Gaia GPS, CoPilot, or
  • Lenovo X201 12″ laptop – Unfortunately, this is dying a slow death: Intel Core i5 processor, 8gb of RAM, 500gb hard drive, Windows 7 Professional 64 bit operating system

  • Light socket plug adapter – for rooms without an electrical outlet
  • Olympus PEN EPL-3 micro four thirds camera with an Olympus 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 lens that stays on most of the time.

  • Olympus 40-150mm f/4.0-5.6 R zoom lens – stored in a vintage Olympus lens case
  • Carl Zeiss 50mm f/1.7 manual focus lens – adapted to the Micro 4/3 system with a RainbowImaging adapter.
  • Olympus VF-2 Electronic Viewfinder – allows image composing like a DSLR
  • Olympus flash – the stock one that came with the camera
  • 2 Olympus batteries
  • Tiffen polarizing filter – I use a 37mm to 58mm step up adapter ring so this filter can fit both lenses
  • Assorted chargers and cables


All of the little things.

  • Planet Bike Superflash rear blinky light
  • Aardvark reflective triangle – I attach it to my Revelate Pika seat bag
  • Black Diamond Spot headlamp
  • SteriPEN Freedom – I have a strong stomach and drink most water without treating, but this is great for the questionable stream and lake fill ups.
  • MSR 6 liter Dromedary Bag – Boosts my water capacity to two days for the long, dry desert stretches.
  • Black Diamond Trail trekking poles – Saves my knees and ankles hiking in lightweight shoes
  • Two Kleen Kenteen 27oz and one 40oz stainless steel water bottles – heavier than plastic bottles, but do not impart a plastic taste or odor to the water
  • Sunscreen and lip balm
  • Foam earplugs – I keep these in the small pocket on my sleeping bag
  • Silva Ranger compass – I use this as my mirror as well
  • Notebook and pen
  • Sharpie marker – When making signs for hitchhiking it’s easy to find cardboard, but hard to find a marker
  • 15 feet of 550 cord – multiple uses
  • A few extra straps for lashing items to the bike
  • Cheap cable combination bike lock

Bags and Packs:

I pack all of this stuff in a combination of bikepacking bags and a set of rear panniers. With a little reorganization, this setup allows me the freedom to ditch my panniers but still carry the gear I need for shorter trips.