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
- 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
- Small bottle of concentrated dish soap
- Roll of TP
- Nail clipper
- 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
- 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 Maps.me
- 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.
- Arkel XM-45 rear panniers – United Airlines inflicted some heavy damage to my Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus panniers and after finding the Arkel’s on sale, I made the switch.
- Revelate Designs frame bag – I’m using the model that is made for the Surly Pugsley to get a little extra capacity, but it fits the Troll perfect.
- Revelate Designs Sweetroll – Used as a dry bag in the Revelate Harness
- Revelate Designs Harness – Provides more support than the Sweetroll and holds my tent poles, backpack, and trekking poles.
- Revelate Designs Large Pocket – Quick to remove and holds my camera, wallet, headlamp and documents
- Revelate Designs Pika seat bag – holds my tent and ground sheet
- Revelate Designs Gas Tank – holds frequently used items such as my spork and sunscreen
- ÜLA Equipment Circuit Backpack – the perfect size for lightweight multi day backpacking trips.