Bike Touring Gear (Starting out)

There were a few steps that went into planning for what to bring on this bike tour. Weather and climate pre-determined a lot of clothing and shelter choices and I wanted to make sure that I bring enough to be semi-self sufficient and prepared along the way. But, I don’t want to be prepared for everything since there seems to be always one more thing that needs to be bought… that weighs one more pound… ad infinitum.

To start, I read many blogs about experiences during other peoples bike tours which are literally all over the internet and well done on “Crazyguyonabike”. Then I read about specific gear lists and tried to get a better understanding of an appropriate toolkit and clothing. These three posts are some that I highlighted for being extra helpful for planning.

Bicycle Touring Pro (clothing essentials)

Bicycle Hobo (toolkit)

Adventure Cycling (everything + how to pack)

When I’m backpacking, I know that I like to have things in groups so that I can limit digging around in my bags and stay organized. That way when I’m ready to make camp I don’t have to throw my clothes all over the ground, or when I’m ready to cook I can just pull out my stove and food. It also helps to group things together when planning check-lists of things to bring. Laying out gear on the floor works too. I keep most all of my camping gear in a Rubbermaid container; before a trip I can run through imaginary shelter set-ups and just grab what I need, then imagine weather and clothing needs, food and cooking, etc, grabbing the proper equipment as I go and stuffing it in my backpack.

My Groups

  1. Shelter/sleeping
  2. Clothes/accessories
  3. Bike gear
  4. Electronics
  5. Cooking
  6. Toiletries



My shelter is kind of an experiment at the moment, as I’ve only spent a few clear nights under the tarp. In order to set up camp and get some shut-eye, I have as follows: Thermarest Z-lite ground pad, 8’x10′ Sil-nylon tarp, parachord, 6 stakes, and 55 degree sleeping bag. Not shown: Standard blue nylon ground tarp, base layers, down jacket (warmth/pillow), and wool socks.


Tarp, sleeping bag, pad, stakes, and rope


This trip will be in the summer/fall so I’m preparing for hot days and warm nights. It’s going to get smelly regardless.

3 shirts (1 jersey, 1 synthetic T, 1 cotton T), 2 shorts (baggies + swim trunks), 3 chamois padded shorts (2 liners, 1 regular), wind breaker, long sleeve shirt (for sun), rain jacket, UV buff, 2 bandanas, sun hat, sun glasses, regular glasses, riding shoes, riding gloves, running shoes, sandals, 2 pairs of underwear, and 2 pairs of riding socks.



Bike Gear

I wanted to bring enough tools to fix all the minor things that I will come across like changing or patching flat tubes and routine maintenance. To that end, I’m bringing rags, rubber gloves, multi-tool, lube, 1 extra hex key, spare tube, 1 spare brake and 1 spare shifting cable, quick links, tire pressure checker, tire lever, patch kits, spoke wrench, extra spokes, extra bolts, bike pump, mini pliers, and duct tape.


Hopefully I won’t need any more than this


Basically all I want to do is have my phone charged in case I need to call someone or I get lost and have service and take pictures with my camera. I plan to upload pictures from stranger’s computers or public libraries and I have no idea how realistic that expectation is. So, I’ve got some extra AA batteries, a back-up lithium ion 10,000 mAh, charging cords and adapters, camera, bike lights (front and rear), solar light, wrist-watch, and phone.


My cooking set-up has been the same for a while now. Propane, Optimus stove, titanium pot, spoon, and a lighter. Reliable and light. I’m already craving mac n’ cheese and instant potatoes. My only concern is refilling the propane stove so I may just be eating dry food for days at a time.


I don’t need to explain this. Soaps for washing, teeth brushin’, shaving, hand-sanitizer, basic first aid stuffs like neosporin and tylenol, etc.


What did I miss? That’s Misc.

Judging from this picture…bungee cords, maps, helmet, water bottles and water treatment, panniers, little nalgenes, journal…my whole bike…that’s next!


And I like to think I’m not materialistic…


Thanks for reading!


6 thoughts on “Bike Touring Gear (Starting out)

  1. Hey – Thanks for the link to Looks like you are getting ready for a nice tour. All of my gear is boxed up and seems to laugh at me every time I look in it’s direction.

    I love that you are using the old school thermarest egg crate [Zlite]. Bulletproof. You have inspired me. If it isn’ bulletproof in function it doesn’t go on my next tour.

    Happy Touring 🙂


    • Sure thing! You inspired me plenty before I committed to doing this. So far so good, I’m enjoying myself thoroughly out here. The Zlite is bulletproof…and hard, but easy enough to adjust to. Good thing is it won’t spring a leak and I wake up ready to ride!


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