Equipment Kit List
Obviously the less you pack the easier the cycling but there is no right or wrong way to to go about it. I’ve met all extremes. Hardcore Scandinavians cycling to Cape Town with just a bivvy bag and a spare pair of socks. To those who bring along the kitchen sink plus 3 different cameras, a spare tent, bongo drums and a few hardback novels. If you are prepared to pedal the extra weight then bring along whatever makes you happy but the rule generally tends to be the lighter the better. Not only will you be eternally grateful on those long climbs but you will also be able to carry your bike over the occasional obstacle, relieve some of the strain on your wheels and save a few pounds in excess baggage fees. I tend to pack pretty light. This is helped by an uncanny ability to lose things. I have relaxed though over the years. I no longer cut my toothbrush in half or rip the labels out of t-shirts. Still every now and again I look at my kit and think what haven’t I used in a while, what can I get rid of, what do I REALLY need. I enjoy the aesthetic of this. Reducing your earthly possessions to the bare minimum. After cycle touring for many years I’m amazed by how little I really need to live happily. Something I try to carry back into my life at home. You can see my tips on how to pack light here. As most of my tours tend to encompass all kinds of weather conditions I have the same kit list wherever I go and here it is. All in all my kit and my bike weigh about 32kg.
2x Ortlieb 60L Back Panniers. Generally regarded as the best around. I’ve had mine for many years and they are still going strong. Absolutely waterproof. Plus they come with a 5 year warranty where they will send you a replacement if the panniers are damaged by wear and tear.
60L Waterproof canoe bag (sits on the back of my panniers)Wild Country Zephros One man Tent
3x Bungee Chords (To keep my canoe bag firmly attached to the back of my bike. Could manage with 2 but the third comes in handy when fastening extra bottles of water to my bike in arid conditions).
3/4 Thermarest Sleeping Mat (comfortable, light and excellent insulation. Definitely worth bringing a Thermarest repair kit as well in case you pop it. Somewhere along the line you will pitch your tent on some thorns without realising and get a nasty surprise when you lie down for the night).
Sleeping bag (currently a 3 season down bag -4 comfort, -10 extreme)
Camping mug (Aluminium. Retains heat extremely well. I spend half the morning waiting for my coffee to cool down).
Cooking pot with lid
Camping Gas canister
MSR canister stove
Aluminium foil stove wind protector
Waterproof compression sack (for water sensitive valuables. I use Seal Line 5L)
2x Lighters (I used to have just one until my lighter broke when I was in the middle of nowhere in Mongolia and I couldn’t cook my noodles).
Travel towel (I only need this in cold climates when I need to dry quickly after washing in an icy stream).
Mobile phone waterproof cover to keep phone dry and to stop sand/dust/water getting into to the charger bit (it also serves as an excellent fan when camping in hot conditions).
Phone charger cable
Down Jacket (light and extremely warm. Worth investing in a good one as it will be the warmest piece of clothing you carry and will therefore keep you alive at some point).
Sunglasses (I used to buy cheap shit ones because I'm always breaking/losing them but then I thought maybe I'm always breaking/losing them because I buy cheap shit ones. So I bought a medium priced pair (£40) in the thinking that the expense my motivate me to actually look after them. Hey presto I still have them 15 months later).
One pair of super warm socks
2 pairs of thin socks
Below ankle walking shoes with cleats in the soles.
Manchester United black shorts. Seen better days. Like my team.
2 super thin cycling tops
Thin long sleeved top when off the bike and keeping the mosquitoes away when camping.
Wet wipes (keep me clean when I don't have water too wash with, helps remove dirt from my bike chain before oiling and good for wiping down pots and pans).
Mosquito repellent (they were so bad in Burma I carried one of those mosquito tennis racket zappers around for a while).
100x Water Purifying Tablets
Japanese style pajamas
1x Boxer shorts
Cycling jacket (not remotely waterproof).
Poncho (basically a big plastic bag for when it rains).
Sleeping pillow (stolen from Turkish airlines. I thought I would never sleep on an aeroplane until I found this pillow on a flight to Istanbul).
Mosquito head net (try to remember you are wearing it when you begin to eat).
Suncream (Factor 50)
Sleeping eye mask (essential in the far north or far south during summer).
Lightweight gym bag for valuables when leaving my bike unattended and wandering around a supermarket.
Gloves (an extremely warm pair for proper cold).
Man tights (for proper cold).
Wallet with money and bank cards and passport photos.
Acer Laptop (My heaviest item and for years I didn’t bother. It’s 1.4kg. Only necessary if you are a digital nomad or you are learning a language and using it as an excuse to watch a lot of Netflix).
Earplug (You only need one if you sleep on your side. My friend Alex would disagree).
Tiny bottle of olive oil to get earwax out my ears.
A bar of soap
Spare inner tube. Sometimes two depending on availability of 28" inner tunes where I am cycling.
Pump (works with both Presta and Schrader valves which I hightly recommend).
Spare Brake Pads
Puncture repair kit
Battery pack (supposed to completely recharge my phone four times).
Small Tibetan prayer flag. Given to me by a young girl in Tibet to wish me luck.