Juan Dual Mateo

Touring Gear Essentials

Whatever riding, camping, and travel gear is lurking in your closet, we promise that someone has ridden around the world using older, worse, and less.

You can head out for a trip using what you already have, and if you’re looking to add or upgrade to your collection it’s easy to start small and focus on a few essentials to make life easier on the road.

Modify the following list depending on your personal needs and past experiences. Keep in mind that you generally won’t need any more gear for a 90-day tour than for a seven-day tour.

On-the-bike Clothing

  • Cycling helmet 
  • Touring shoes — good for walking as well as riding, i.e. some flex in the sole
  • Cycling gloves
  • Cycling shorts
  • Socks — wool or synthetic
  • Leg warmers or tights for riding (rain pants could substitute)
  • Short-sleeved shirts
  • Light, long-sleeved shirt for layering and sun protection
  • Rain gear, jacket and pants
  • Waterproof shoe covers

Off-the-bike Clothing

  • Comfortable shorts
  • Comfortable pants (zip-off legs or rain pants could substitute)
  • Underwear
  • Sandals, flip-flops, or lightweight shoes
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Wool sweater or fleece jacket
  • Gloves — wool or fleece
  • Swimsuit
Determine your needs and wants for touring by bicycle.

Miscellaneous Things to Consider Packing

  • Toiletries
  • Towel (lightweight to enhance quick drying, like the PackTowl)
  • Pocket knife or Leatherman (pliers and other tools are handy)
  • Lightweight lock and cable
  • Water-carrying bladders or containers — at least one U.S. gallon capacity
  • Basic first-aid kit with emergency numbers
  • Bandanas (many uses!)
  • Sunglasses
  • Flashlight and/or headlamp
  • Sewing kit
  • Insect repellent
  • Sunblock
  • Nylon cord
  • Bungee cords
  • Water filter
  • Camera and journal
  • Bear spray and cords to hang bear bags (where appropriate)

Bike Tools and Spare Parts

  • Tire levers and patch kit
  • Spare tube (and tire, depending on the trip)
  • Mini-pump
  • Blue Loctite (keeps bolts in tightly)
  • Electrical tape
  • Spoke wrench
  • Spare spokes sized for your bike’s wheels
  • Allen wrenches
  • Screwdriver
  • Chain tool
  • Small vice grips
  • Brake cable
  • Derailer cable
  • Extra nuts, bolts, and wire (particularly for racks)
  • Assorted zip ties
  • Small bottle of chain lube and rag
  • Bicycle lights front and rear
  • Rearview mirror
  • Hose clamp
  • Spare brake pads
  • Spare clipless-pedal cleat bolts
  • Duct tape 

Camping Gear to Pack

  • Sleeping bag (down bags are warmer, weigh less, and pack smaller, but useless if wet; synthetic bags are heavier and bulkier, but less expensive for comparable warmth, and they will keep you warm even if wet)
  • Sleeping pad (closed-cell foam pads work well and are light, but self-inflating pads are more comfortable and packable)
  • Tent (lightweight, with rainfly and vestibules)
  • Ground cloth (this will extend the life of your tent)
  • Personal eating utensils (fork, spoon, cup, bowl)
  • Sleeping bag liner (a cotton sheet sewn in half works well for this; it can be easily removed for washing and used independently of the sleeping bag on warm nights)
  • Stove (a small backpacking stove with fuel and fuel bottle(s))
  • Cooking equipment (small pots and pans — backpacking equipment works best and is lightweight)
divider
 

Related Reading

Comments

Scott May 13, 2019, 5:36 PM

EDIT "one thing <b>NOT</b> on your list" ...

scott May 13, 2019, 5:33 PM

There's one thing on your list that I consider essential (& fortunately it's free & lightweight). I carry a hotel shower cap on my bicycling tours. I put it over my saddle every night to keep off both dew and rain. (Nothing is worse than starting your cycling day by hopping on a wet seat!) Have fun!

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