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Thread: Packing List?

  1. #1
    Senior Member Bike-a-Boo's Avatar
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    Packing List?

    I'm new to touring - actually, I haven't tried it yet, but I'm planning to hopefully very soon.

    I'm slowly making my way through the Tips & Tricks thread, but in the meantime, I was wondering if you experienced folks would mind sharing your basic kit list. The stuff that you bring on every multi-day tour (with camping). It would be helpful for someone like me who is bound to forget something the first few times.

  2. #2
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    Here's our current list, although we are now done the first stage of our tour and preparing for the 2nd. I would drop the things I've marked with an * and the stuff I see as having worked particularly well I've marked with a !

    Bikes, tools & spares:
    2 custom built Robin Mather touring bikes with steel Tubus racks !
    2 Ortlieb backroller plus back panniers !
    2 Ortlieb backpacker plus front panniers !
    4 Ortlieb front panniers !
    2 spare tyres
    2 spare inner tubes
    4 bungee cords
    8 pannier rain covers (for visibility) ! (great for covering seats at night as well)
    2 bells
    4 lights (front and back Catseye LEDs)
    1 tube of grease
    1 bottle of chain oil
    Duct tape
    1 puncture repair kit
    6 cable ties
    1 pump
    2 tyre levers
    4 brake pads
    3 brake/gear cables
    5 bottle cages & bottles
    3 Abus locks (2 cable, 1 u-lock) * (would drop the u-lock -- too heavy, unnecessary)
    1 roll fishing line
    1 seat post alarm
    2 ‘Take a look’ rear view mirrors
    2 cycle computers
    1 Alien multi-tool
    1 Pedal Wrench (to be dropped after Canada)
    2 cone spanners
    12 spare spokes
    1 spoke tool

    Camping:
    1 Hilleberg Nallo 3GT tent and footprint !
    2 Thermarest mattresses !
    2 Mountain Equipment Co-op Helium 400 sleeping bags !
    2 homemade sleepsacks
    1 MSR Whisperlite International !
    1 MSR fuel Bottle (would get one that would hold 1L fuel next time, not the 650ml size)
    1 set of Alpine pots
    1 pack matches
    2 forks/2 spoons
    1 sharp knife for chopping
    1 Swiss Army knife
    1 head torch Petzl Tikka
    2 cups
    2 bowls
    1 small selection of spices (packed in film containers)

    Sundries:
    1 First Aid Kit
    1 Toiletries bag with all the usual toothpaste, shampoo, lotion etc…
    Medicines including aspirin, antihistamines
    1 bottle Sunscreen
    1 Mooncup !
    1 Elastic Drying Line
    1 large Soft Fibre Lifeventure Towel !
    1 Sewing Kit
    2 Emergency Blankets
    1 Eyeglass cleaner/repair kit

    Technology & Fun:
    1 laptop Let’s Note W4
    1 Sony PSP *
    1 Edirol 09 voice recorder + Microphone
    1 D70 SLR camera plus 12-24 and macro lens
    1 Sony T9 compact camera (with option to shoot video)
    1 Nylon Kite *
    1 Deck cards + small book of card games
    2 Books
    1 SW Roberts radio !

    Clothes (Andrew):
    1 Sunglasses
    1 Swimming Trunks
    1 set of Goretex Rainproof clothing !
    1 pair cycling gloves
    3 t-shirts/cycling jerseys
    2 pairs trousers * (would cut to 1 pair off-bike trousers)
    1 pair 3/4 length shorts
    2 bicycling shorts
    1 pair long, fuzzy cycling leggings
    1 Merino wool long-sleeved top !
    3 pairs socks (would up to maybe 4 pairs)
    1 pair cycle shoes
    1 pair Teva sandals
    1 pair off-bike Merrell shoes
    3 pairs off-bike underwear * (would drop to 2 and make sure they are quick-dry)

    Clothes (Friedel):
    3 quick-dry t-shirts
    1 fitted fleece
    1 Merino wool long-sleeved top !
    2 pairs trousers * (would cut to 1)
    2 pairs bicycle shorts
    1 pair long cycling leggings
    1 pair Reebok 3/4 length shorts
    3 pairs underwear * (would cut to 2)
    2 bandanas
    4 pairs socks
    1 pair cycling gloves
    1 pair Teva sandals
    1 pair Sunglasses
    1 Swimsuit
    1 set Goretex Rainproof clothing

  3. #3
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Here's mine:

    http://www.machka.net/packinglist.htm



    There's also a pdf at the bottom of that page which can be printed off. It doesn't have absolutely everything as the other list, because I haven't got around to updating and reposting it, but it is fairly complete.


    I'll also add that mine was created with long tours and randonneuring events in mind. On a weekend tour, like the ones I've been doing lately, the list is greatly reduced and often contains some different items ... more "comfort" items.

  4. #4
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    Bring several more tubes and put extra patches in the patch kit.
    Several more bungee cords
    Consider replacing bells with small air horn.
    Instead of lights use candles inside the tent, you probably won't ride at night
    Leave the tube of grease
    Leave the brake pads
    Leave the Ulock
    Leave the mirrors
    12 spokes is overkill
    I wouldn't bring a laptop, those things break just sitting at home
    Leave the books, there'll be plenty of stuff to do
    Cut way down on the clothes, you'll probably be wearing the same stuff day after day


    Consider bringing a small fishing pole and tackle box, also you might want an extra chain, just in case a link breaks and you run over the chain with your rear tire.
    Bring some rope about the thickness of shoelaces, it has countless uses.

  5. #5
    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiratePete
    Leave the books, there'll be plenty of stuff to do

    I don't take books on my cycling tours, but what I will do instead is to purchase a logic magazine (or magazine containing other puzzles if a logic one is not available). Those magazines are lighter than books, and can keep me entertained for weeks!!

  6. #6
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    There's about a million packing lists over on crazyguyonabike.com
    ...

  7. #7
    Senior Member Bike-a-Boo's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone.

    Machka - great website!!! It's a new favourite!

  8. #8
    Senior Member BigBlueToe's Avatar
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    Holy cow! Some people would have you bring the kitchen sink! I think every tourist will end up with his or her own list. Your essential stuff may be quite different than mine. You'll just have to get started and find out. Be prepared to send stuff home when you find out you don't need it and don't want to carry the load anymore. On my first long tour I went to the post office the third day, bought a box, and sent 10 pounds of stuff home. Even so, I was still overloaded, and my list now is much shorter.

    My general rules:

    Sacrifice smelling good for light weight - get by with as few clothes as possible. Wear them as many days as you can stand before stopping at a laundromat.

    Sacrifice a bit of comfort for light weight - get the lightest tent you can find, even if you are a bit cramped inside. Use a 3/4 length Thermarest instead of a full length. Don't bring a travel pillow - just wad some clothes up in your sleeping bag stuff sack and use that.

    Don't bring really warm clothes - layer instead. I don't bring a warm coat. I do bring a fleece vest and one long-sleeve shirt. When it gets really cold I'll put a couple of shirts and the fleece vest on under my raincoat. It usually gets cold at night (duh) and I go to bed early. My sleeping bag is warm.

    I only bring one pair of shoes. I've learned I don't really need two. I don't use cleats. Shoes are heavy. I buy one really good, comfortable, lightweight pair and that's what I bring. (I wear size 14. My shoes are REALLY heavy.)

    Do bring good raingear. I'm not convinced Goretex is worth the money. When I've used mine, I sweated so much from pedaling that the condensation didn't evaporate through the pores like it's advertised. I was wet inside my raingear. But that doesn't mean my raingear is worthless. It's way better to have it on when riding than not - if only for the fact that it breaks the wind. It's also invaluable around camp when it's raining.

    Bring one spare tube, a patch kit, and tire irons. Fix a flat with the spare tube, and buy another one at the next opportunity. They're cheap. Don't mess with the patch kit unless you've already used the spare tube and haven't had a chance to buy a new one.

    Get some emergency spokes - the kevlar kind. They're light and easy to put on. They'll get you to the next bike shop. If you start breaking spokes on a regular basis, replace the wheel. It will be cheaper in the long run than stopping every few days to get a spoke fixed, and much less hassle. (I know from bitter experience.) Or, get a couple of spare spokes and a cassette removal tool. And learn how to true a wheel in the process. But you'll still want to replace the wheel if you start breaking a succession of spokes.

    Only bring enough tools and spare parts to get you to the next bike shop or hardware store. I wouldn't bring grease, but I would bring chain lube - just because it's light. I bring a chain tool because I rode with a guy who broke his chain in the middle of nowhere, and another guy had a chain tool, and spliced his chain together, and he was able to ride to the next bike shop. I bring a spare tire if I'm going to be far from towns, because I've ridden with two people who developed tears in their tires and had to patch with cardboard, or one guy found an old tire in the bushes and cut out a patch from that. I think a cheap tire is insurance, and it's not that heavy. I don't carry one if I'm going to be within easy hitchhiking distance from a bike shop, Wal-Mart, Ace Hardware, etc.

    Have a few, light, choice, luxury items. Mine are a book, a one-cup drip coffee maker and a plastic coffee mug, a digital camera, and a mini-disc player. I consciously look for lightweight books (rather than hardback) and I only carry one book at a time. When I'm close to finishing, I buy the next book. When I finish the first I give it to someone else in the hiker/biker site, leave it in the bathroom with a "free" note on it, trash it, or send it home (if it's special.) The mini-disc player is great. You can get three or four CDs on one disc, it's small and light, the discs are small and light, and it runs for about 50 hours on one AA battery. I know listening to music while riding is considered reckless by some. I have a rearview mirror and use it, and I keep the volume to where I can still hear cars approaching. I often ride alone and music sure can help pass the time, although about half the time I do without it because I'm in the mood to hear what's around me and not music.

    Those are just a few thoughts. However, the best thing to do is plan as best you can, go for a tour, and modify. Oh, one last thing. I keep a journal when I tour. It's a good memory thing. It's also invaluable if you ever want to ride the same route. One thing I do is write down "thoughts for next time." Things like what I've brought that has been invaluable. What I've brought that turned out to be marginal, and what do I really wish I'd brought. Otherwise, what's obvious and crucial while I'm on the road fades into my faulty memory, and I forget about it until next time I'm touring and I think, "Damn! Why did I forget that I needed to bring _____ next time!?"

  9. #9
    Senior Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by PiratePete
    Bring several more tubes and put extra patches in the patch kit.
    Several more bungee cords
    Consider replacing bells with small air horn.
    Instead of lights use candles inside the tent, you probably won't ride at night
    Leave the tube of grease
    Leave the brake pads
    Leave the Ulock
    Leave the mirrors
    12 spokes is overkill
    I wouldn't bring a laptop, those things break just sitting at home
    Leave the books, there'll be plenty of stuff to do
    Cut way down on the clothes, you'll probably be wearing the same stuff day after day


    Consider bringing a small fishing pole and tackle box, also you might want an extra chain, just in case a link breaks and you run over the chain with your rear tire.
    Bring some rope about the thickness of shoelaces, it has countless uses.

    Ah well, to each his own. For our trip, a round the world multi-year affair, we are quite happy with our list. We read our books constantly and with our photography and interest in producing audio shows, the laptop gets its share of use too. The mirrors have been invaluable on plenty of roads. Already replaced the brake pads once. No need for more bungee cords. Anyway, you get the idea..... I will agree with you about the U-lock and we plan to drop it for the next leg.

    Are you serious about the candle in the tent??!? Please say not! That sounds like a disaster waiting to happen.

  10. #10
    Cigar Smokin' Cyclist Travelin' Jack's Avatar
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    avatarwolf,

    I have camped all my life, and have used candles and propane lanterns in the tents with no problems. Just make sure not to leave them burning when you go to sleep or step outside, and feel the material near the light source every now and again to make sure it's not getting too warm.

  11. #11
    totally louche Bekologist's Avatar
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    sink stopper for washing clothes. warm hat. camp mocs or flip flops for off the bike. sit pad. length of paracord. bear bag and system for hanging food. backup matches, backup toilet paper, backup bud. headlamp.

    this is just a partial list of things maybe not mentioned on other lists.
    "Evidence, anecdote and methodology all support planning for roadway bike traffic."

  12. #12
    aspiring wannabe hoogie's Avatar
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    my list [a dynamic work in progress]
    thought for today: "Does my ass look fast on this bike?"

  13. #13
    I'm made of earth! becnal's Avatar
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    Machka just saved me a ton of thinking and work. I copied her list and edited it to suit my own needs. Thanks M!

  14. #14
    Dead Men Assume...
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travelin' Jack
    I have camped all my life, and have used candles and propane lanterns in the tents with no problems.
    No offense but that's about the craziest/stupidest thing you can ever do. An open flame is an invite for disaster.

    Well, maybe not as crazy/stupid as that one time in CA where I saw four men sloshing white gas onto an open campfire from a large can. Trust me, I stepped pretty lively past those idiots.
    Last edited by IronMac; 10-05-06 at 05:02 AM.

  15. #15
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    As for lists, I don't bother with a list because every tour is different. Avatarworf's list is great for a multi-day world tour in Third World conditions but it's overkill for a multi-day tour in North America let alone Europe.

    For the upcoming tour that I'm doing in less than two weeks, I'm going to make my list up as I think of what I need for my body (clothes and shoes), will I have access to a shower, what I will be eating, will I be cooking, what accommodations, etc. Then, I'm going to think of my bike and what will I need to maintain it to be able to do the trip, more importantly, what am I capable of doing; will I have access to other people's tools, how many bike shops are on the way, how easy will it be to call a taxi if need be, etc.

    As you can see, every list will be different. In my mind, the Toronto to the 'Falls trip is a very simple one and, therefore, I'm not going to load myself down with all sorts of stuff that I would do otherwise.
    Last edited by IronMac; 10-05-06 at 04:58 AM.

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