Self-contained Bicycle Touring Equipment/Packing List

(See also, Bike touring tips, suggestions, and opinions for enjoying the long haul)

     The weather can vary tremendously on tour, especially in the western U.S.—from scorching deserts and plains to 12,000' mountain passes—so extra clothing can be required. Some cold-weather items can be mailed home after the threat has passed. I also use a Camelbak, in addition to three water bottles, in certain regions of the Western U.S. and Canada because of extremely high temperatures and long distances between services. This also can be mailed home when it is no longer needed.
     Preferences for clothing, on and off the bike, are very subjective. My personal guidelines are: 1) If I'm going to be spending most of a given day on the bike, then I'll wear cycling-specific clothes (they are extremely functional for the activity of cycling, provide comfort, wick away persperation, and are brightly colored for added visibility, and clipless cycling shoes add efficiency to every stroke of the pedals, thereby, reducing unnecessary pedaling effort); 2) If I will be spending more time hiking or site-seeing on a given day, then I'll wear "street clothes", which includes ultra light-weight running shoes (I enjoy quite a bit of hiking when bike touring, so this option is especially good for all day hikes), and light-weight pants/shorts with zip-off legs. Other bicycle tourists prefer not to use cycling-specific attire for various reasons. Others will wear just one pair of shoes or sandals. There is no right or wrong as to what you choose to bring on tour. This is the list that I've refined over the years, and it works very well for my particular needs. You'll want to customize it for your own style and circumstances.


1983 Specialized Expedition Touring Bike - unloaded
Having the right gear for the job is important in bike touring.
The Expedition, loaded for the long haul.

Bicycle touring tips, suggestions, and opinions for enjoying the long haul
My 2006 Cross-country Journey of Discovery photo journal
My other Bicycle pages

The Bike:
  • Specialized Expedition (circa. 1983) - "Special Series" (Ishiwata 022) double-butted chromoly frameset, fork and stays (built by Miyata)
  • Dia Compe Gran Compe cantilever brakeset (front and rear)
  • Suntour Superbe brake levers
  • Nitto "Specialized" drop-style handlebar
  • Specialized "Nitto" alloy stem
  • Specialized headset
  • Sugino XD triple crankset (46x36x24)
  • Shimano UN73 bottom bracket
  • IRD 7-speed freewheel (13-32)
  • Suntour Mountech front derailleur
  • Suntour Cyclone M-II GT rear derailleur
  • Suntour Bar-end shifters
  • Braze-ons: (3) water bottles; rear rack mounts; front fork rack mounts, dropout eyelets (fr. and rear), chain rest
  • wheels: Mavic T217CD 700c double-walled w/ reinforced eyelets alloy rims, (36 front, 40 rear) double-butted Wheelsmith 14/15/14 ga. stainless steel spokes, Phil Wood alloy hubs.
  • Tires: Panaracer Pasela Tg (tour guard) tire - 700c x 32
  • Laprade alloy seatpost
  • Selle Italia Prolink saddle
  • Ritchey clipless pedals (SPD)
  • Veta V100 wireless computer
  • SKS fenders
  • Surly chromoly "Nice Racks" front and rear racks
  • CatEye LD600 LED tail light
The Panniers:
Right Rear Pannier: Lone Peak Mount Superior P-500
    External Pockets
  • first aid ditty (band-aids/4x4's/first aid items/tape, moleskin, mineral/electrolyte supplements)
  • pannier rain covers
  • (1) spare tire (folded)
  • 50' thin clothesline rope w/carabiner (anti-bear food line)
Left Rear Pannier: Lone Peak Mount Superior - P-500
    External Pockets
  • MSR fuel bottle (Coleman/white gas) - 22 oz.
  • (2) spare tubes (in ziplock bag with talcum powder)
  • Arkel bike cover
  • dry food items: (pasta, brown rice, oats, lentils, salt, etc.)
  • LifeForce Energy & Immune Support (powder in ziplock bag)
Rear Rack Trunk: Lone Peak RP-700 Deluxe Rack Trunk: (mostly cold/wet weather items for handy access)
  • Camelbak (strapped to rack when not in use)
  • extra pair cycling gloves
  • (1) pair arm warmers
  • (1) pair tights (or leg warmers)
  • Performance commuter/rain jacket
  • fleece cycling vest (optional - cold weather - doubles as pillow!)
  • Performance ultra light wind shell
  • neoprene shoe covers (optional - cold weather)
  • fingered mtb gloves (cold weather)
  • small LED head light (mounted on bike when necessary)
  • extra batteries
  • bicycle cable combination-lock
  • trunk is expandable for carrying purchased food items

Right Front Pannier: Lone Peak Parley's Summit - P-100
    (Cycling clothes)
  • cycling shoes—Shimano RT-50, with recessed SPD cleat (usually wearing these)
  • (4) pairs coolmax socks (wearing one pr.)
  • (1) pair wool crew-top cycling socks
  • (3) short sleeve synthetic jerseys (wearing one)
  • (3) Performance sleeveless synthetic base layer tee-shirts
  • (3) cycling shorts (wearing one)
  • camera battery charger
  • cell phone charger
  • head lamp
  • maps
  • tool kit (external pocket
    • Topeak Alien II Multi-tool
    • Schraeder/presta adapter
    • spoke wrench
    • freewheel tool
    • light-weight crescent wrench (for freewheel tool)
    • extra chain links
    • (2) FiberFix spokes
    • spare nuts, screws, bolts
    • extra seatpost bolt
    • (1) brake cable
    • (1) derailleur cable
    • tire patch kit
    • tire boot
    • quick-fix flat tire kit (tire levers, (1) new tube—in zip-lock bag)
    • tire pressure gauge
    • duct tape (partial roll - flattened)
    • electrical tape
    • extra zip-tie straps (2 sizes)
    • ProLink chain lubricant - 4 oz.
Left Front Pannier: Lone Peak Parley's Summit - P-100  
Front Rack Bag: Lone Peak RP-350 medium rack trunk (easy access items)
  • Swiss Army knife
  • wallet, traveler's checks, passport/ID, birth certificate, emergency contacts, phone card, insurance info (in ziplock bag)
  • keys (on caribiner)
  • cell phone (in mesh side pocket)
  • current maps
  • digital camera—Lumix DMC-FZ18 (w/ 1 GB & 4 GB SDHC memory cards and 1 spare rechargable battery)
  • mini tripod
  • Memorex Traveldrive U3 Flashdrive (4 GB)
  • suntan lotion (waterproof spf 30)
  • mosquito repellant
  • wet washcloth (in ziplock bag in other mesh side pocket)
  • chapstick (spf 30)
  • energy food (trail mix, dates, raisins, Cliff bars, Emergen-C packets)
  • chamois butter
  • pen/pencil (1 ea.)
  • notepad
  • extra sweat pad for helmet
  • prescription eye-wear
  • sun glasses

(See also, Bike touring tips, suggestions, and opinions for enjoying the long haul)


If you have any comments, suggestions, or questions, you can email me at: