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

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

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)

Related Reading


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!

Log in to post a comment

Forgot Password?

Enter your email address and we'll send you an email that will allow you to reset it. If you no longer have access to the email address call our memberships department at (800) 755-2453 or email us at memberships@adventurecycling.org.

Not Registered? Create Account Now.