Bike touring may as well be one of the most breathtaking activities you can ever engage in – both literally and figuratively. But pedaling for hours on end through long distances and varied terrains will need considerable planning, which includes creating a bike tour packing list to ensure that you have everything you need at hand for the expedition. Below we’ve created a detailed bike touring packing list so you don’t have to worry about leaving any of the important stuff behind.
First things first. You will need to have a proper touring bike complete with the necessary front and rear racks, handle bar mirror, and touring panniers where you will store the essential items below.
1. Cycling Helmet
Mountain bike helmets protect your head from trauma or injuries caused by impact, making them a crucial addition to your bike tour packing list. In some places, it is considered illegal to go biking without a helmet, so be sure that you don’t forget to bring one.
2. Cycling Gloves
A good pair of mountain bike gloves will help keep protect your hands blisters, enhance comfort, and help you maintain a good overall grip on the handle bars. Just make sure that the gloves fit you well; otherwise, the folds of the excess fabric can lead to painful blisters after several long days of riding.
3. Touring Shoes
Touring shoes are more breathable, have more flex, and stick better to touring pedals compared to ordinary shoes. This makes them an essential gear for cyclists who are into touring.
4. Cycling Clothes
Cycling clothes definitely have a place in your bike tour packing list and should be comprised of several cycling jerseys and cycling shorts. These are made from breathable stretch fabrics which will help you stay comfortable during long and exhausting rides.
5. Off-the-Bike Clothes
You’ll also need to pack some causal clothes for sleeping or other times when you’re not riding. A couple of shirts, jackets, pants and underwear should be included.
6. Rain Gear
A waterproof jacket should be enough to keep you dry when you get caught in the rain. A hat will not only help keep the water from dripping onto your face but can be used as protection against the sun as well.
8. Backpacking tent
A small and compact backpacking tent is necessary for those days when you can’t reach the next town and will have to spend the night outdoors. Unless your route will ensure that you have a solid roof over your head at night, include a backpacking tent in your bike touring packing list.
9. Sleeping Bag
You’ll also need a backpacking sleeping bag, whether you’re sleeping outdoors or crashing in a helpful stranger’s house. If you have enough space, consider bringing a sleeping bag liner and a small pillow as well.
10. Cooking and Eating Utensils
11. Toiletries and Hygiene Kits
Don’t forget to add your toothbrush, toothpaste, towel, and some wet wipes in your bike tour packing list. Soap, shampoo, deodorant, and other personal effects for men (e.g. razors) and women (e.g. sanitary napkins) should be included in your kit as well.
12. ID’s and Documents
Whether you’re bike touring locally or abroad, always have your IDs, passport and other pertinent documents like health insurance cards with you.
13. Bike Repair Kit
Long distances will take its toll on your bike, so a repair kit is indeed a necessary part of your bike touring packing list. Your kit should include a mountain bike pump, tire patch, spare tubes, spokes, and brake pads. A multi-tool with allen wrenches and pedal wrenches should also be included. Some bungee cords and a roll of duct tape is also in order.
14. First Aid Kit
Injuries often happen on long trips outdoors, so a first aid kit is definitely necessary. It should include some bandages, disinfectant, ointments, and personal medications. Have your medical card and other medical documents in there as well.
15. Bike Lock
Bike locks are necessary for added security against theft, especially when you stay in accommodations where you need to park your bike outside for the night.
16. Water Bottle
Keeping yourself hydrated is essential during a bike tour. Plan your route so that you pass by different water stations so you can refill your water bottle. Consider using a filtered water bottle if your water refilling stations happens to be a stream or river.
You’re going to need a headlamp when you move around camp at night, or need to ride well before sun up and after sun down, making it an essential part of your bike touring packing list.
Dehydrated food packs and freeze-dried meals are the way to go if you’re bike touring. These not only taste good but are also packed with nutrients you need to go on until you find a place that serves full meals.
19. Electronics and Chargers
At some point you’re going to come across towns, so aside from refilling your stocks take this time to charge your phones and say hello to your family and friends. Besides, you’re going to need your phone to take selfies and photos of the scenic places you pass along.
20. Cash and Credit Cards
You’re going to need some cash if your route takes you to remote towns. You can use your cards when you reach more developed areas or cities.
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Having a bike tour packing list ensures that you have everything your need for your trip. You may have trouble getting important items on while you’re on the road, so be sure to double check your bike touring packing list before your set off. You are less likely to have troubles on the road and more likely to have fun when you don’t have to worry about forgetting any of your important stuff at home.