May 11, 2012
Whenever I'm putting together a pack list for a tour, before I even start thinking about what I might need, I always grab the pack list from my previous tour to use as an outline. Since all tours are different, there are things that need to be tweaked here and there. For instance, fenders and warm clothes can stay at home on a tour through Baja, Mexico, while they will be a necessity for touring in Alaska.
One component of my touring pack list that has been consistently dwindling over the years has been my tool kit. For the most part, I've learned that even when I feel as though I'm somewhere remote, I'm never more than a few days away from either a bike shop, or hardware store. Even a gas station can have a lot of useful items that can bail you out in a pinch, such as duct tape, hose clamps, adjustable wrenches, a sewing kit, and even glue.
Here's what I'm taking along on an upcoming 5-month tour to cover myself and my touring companion, Sarah.
1. Park Rescue Tool - This is pretty much the only tool needed for disassembling and reassembling our bikes for the airplane. Includes 1.5mm-8mm hex wrenches, 8-10mm box end wrenches, torque wrench, Phillips and flat head screw drivers, chain tool, tire levers, spoke wrenches, knife, and pedal wrench. Oh yeah, and a bottle opener!
2. Topeak Road Morph Frame Pump - Converts to a mini floor pump and can hit high pressures with little effort. I've had good luck with this over the past few years, so I'll be sticking with it.
4. Chain Pins - Sarah will be rolling a 9sd drivetrain, while I'll be on a 10spd setup, so I'll have one chain pin for each option.
5. FiberFix Spoke - Since we'll have two different wheel sets with different spoke lengths, the FiberFix spoke is a good way to take care of any snapped spokes, and at least get us to a shop where we can buy a steel spoke.
6. Lube and Rag - Keeping the drivetrain lubed and clean of grit is a good way to extend the life of your chain and cassette.
7. Spare Derailleur Hanger - I've never snapped a derailleur hanger, so I'm probably due.
8. Brake/Shift Cable - Usually you can feel these reaching the end of their life well in advance, but they don't take up much space, and weigh next to nothing.
9. Band Clamp - I like carrying around two band clamps, each of a different size in case a rack, or trailer part fails, and needs to be cinched up until we can hit a shop.
10. Duct Tape - Always carry some duct tape.
And that's pretty much it, all in a tidy little package. Keep in mind that this is just a template. Your own tool kit depends on your skills, comfort level, and the style of your tour.