Adventure Gear Checklist for Bike Overnights

Small, lightweight backpacking gear is ideal for a bike overnight. If this is your first time though, don’t get wrapped up in shopping for gear right away. Make do with what you have on your first couple of trips, or borrow from a friend. You’ll start to recognize what new pieces you may want to purchase to improve your experience in the future.  

There are lots of different opinions on the best weekend bicycle adventure gear! Of course, some of it is dependent on the season and weather. Here's our simplified bicycle adventure gear list.

Basic Adventure Gear for Biking

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping pad
  • Small tent, bivy sack, or camp hammock
  • Food (or a nearby dining establishment)
  • Personal items: toiletries, etc

Deluxe Adventure Gear List

Perhaps you’re not a minimalist. Just remember: everything you bring adds weight to your bike. If you have much hill climbing or a lot of mileage planned, you may want to reconsider how much gear you take along on your bike overnight.

Deluxe Camping Gear List

  • Route map(s)
  • Sleeping bag
  • Thick sleeping pad or air mattress
  • Small tent, bivy sack, or camp hammock
  • Camp pillow or stuff sack
  • Cooking equipment (small stove, cookware, utensils) including food
  • Camp chair
  • Headlamp or flashlight
  • Pocketknife
  • Waterproof matches

Deluxe Personal Gear List

  • Toiletries
  • Two sets of bike clothes
  • Two sets of off-the-bike clothes
  • Raingear
  • Cold weather gear
  • Shoes/sandals
  • Bathing suit
  • Towel

Other Possible Bike Overnight Gear

  • Books
  • Camera
  • Playing cards
  • Sports equipment
  • Fishing gear
  • Radio/iPod/MP3 player
  • And more!

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Ken Milby April 19, 2019, 1:40 PM

Thank you very much. I am a permanently disabled man and my nightmare began back on 8,25 of 1985. I was only 25 and it was only because I was so strong and healthy according to the doctors that I survived my motorcycle run off. A lady friend got me started with a "bikecentennial " addition. I was hooked and joined up. I thank you all so very much for helping me to dream again. I live very near the northern tear route in Illinois, Buda. Back in 1976 I was working in a gas station in Sheffield when the riders came through. It was the beginning of your companies future ! Pretty cool isn't it ?

Adventure Cycling April 19, 2019, 1:54 PM

Very cool, Ken! We love hearing stories about how bicycle touring has changed lives. Thanks so much for sharing.

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