The Complete Bicycle Touring Gear List

Emily Wodhouse Big Adventures, Gear, Practical Advice

You’re going on a bike tour, but you’re not sure what to take. Or perhaps you’ve already been and want to compare what you lugged around the world with what we did.

This is a section by section guide to what Joe and I take on a cycling tour. We go on a tandem, so we have significantly less rack space than other tourers on solo bikes. However, after 40 days on the road and observing other tourers (dogs in trailers, ukuleles…) we figured we’d probably got it around about right.

You might have to adapt this list a little if you’re going somewhere really remote, or with quite extreme weather, but otherwise it’s a good guide to what you should think about taking.

Panniers

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  • Back Panniers x 2 (Black) – Ortlieb Back Roller Plus 40L RRP £127
  • Front Panniers x 2 (Orange) – Ortlieb Front Roller 25L RRP £81
  • Rack Pack (Yellow) – Ortlieb 31L Rackpack RRP £59
  • Saddle Pack (Containing repair kit, see below)
  • Bungee cord (Not pictured)

On the Bike

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  • Map case – Ortlieb
  • Maps to get us to the next country!
  • Helmets x 2
  • Water bottle (1 Litre capacity) x 2

Camping

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  • Tent – Vaude Taurus 2
  • Tent Repair kit (somewhere in the picture!)
  • Tarp (including guy lines, pole and pegs) – Homemade £40

Sleeping

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  • Emily’s Sleeping Bag – Mountain Equipment Helium 600 (in generic stuff sack)
  • Joe’s Sleeping Bag – Alpkit PipeDream 200 RRP £120
  • Emily’s Sleeping Mat – Alpkit Numo RRP £45
  • Joe’s Sleeping Mat – Thermarest NeoAir XLite RRP £130
  • Emily’s Liner – Cotton, Cocoon
  • Joe’s Liner – Silk, Mountain Warehouse

Cooking

  • Emergency Ration packs x 2 – Wayfarer’s and Adventure food
  • Electrolyte Tablets – Science in Sport
  • A lonely Frusili bar
  • Stove – Primus EtaPower (including improvised chopping board) RRP £100
  • Sponge
  • Cooking oil
  • Lighter
  • Washing up liquid
  • Cutlery – teaspoon, fork, 2 sporks and 2 sticks (don’t ask…)
  • Gas bottle with adapter attached
  • Campingaz adapter – Edelrid £22

Joe’s Clothing

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  • Base layers x 2 – Rab Aeon Tee RRP £30 x 2
  • Bibs x 2 – Altura Raceline RRP £90, Castelli Evoluzione RRP £70
  • Jerseys x 2 – Castelli Prologo 4 SS RRP £70, Castelli AR FZ RRP £95
  • Shorts x 1 – DHB Flashlight RRP £45
  • Fleece – Mountain Hardware Microchill RRP £50
  • Socks x 2
  • Boxers x 3
  • Trousers – Rab Vector RRP £80 (Not pictured)
  • Cycling shoes – Mavic Cruize MTB RRP £68 (Not pictured)
  • Flip flops (Not pictured)

Emily’s Clothing

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  • Strappy top – H&M
  • Shorts – Karimor Run
  • Trousers – Craghoppers Kiwi Classic
  • Fleece – Berghaus
  • Socks x 4 pairs
  • Buff
  • Jersey x 2 – Rivelo
  • Base Layer – Helly Hanson Merino
  • Shorts – Kilpi
  • Underwear x 4
  • Leggings – generic
  • Flipflops (Not pictured)
  • Trainers – New Balance (Not pictured)

Cold Weather Gear

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  • Emily’ Belay Jacket – Rab Photon Jacket
  • Joe’s Belay jacket – Rab Generator Smock RRP £80
  • Emily’s Waterproof – Moutain Hardwear Epic Jacket
  • Joe’s Waterproof – Mountain Equipment Ogre
  • Buff – Polartec
  • Gloves x 2 – Extremities and generic
  • Cycling fingerless gloves – Lidl £2.50
  • Joe’s Hat – ME beanie ~£15
  • Emily’s Hat – Rab

Washing and Hygiene

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  • Shampoo (2 in1) – buy along the way
  • Laundry soap – buy along the way
  • Suncream (50+ water resistant and sensitive) – buy along the way
  • Washing Soap – Dove
  • Tissues – for the awkward moment when the campsite doesn’t have loo roll…
  • Travel towel x 2 – Lifeadventure and Gelert
  • Nail scissors
  • Hair scissors (for cutting Emily’s fringe)
  • Toothbrush x 2
  • Joe’s travel shaver
  • Toothpaste
  • Water purification tablets
  • Anti Histamine tablets
  • Sewing Kit – pinched from a 4* hotel in the Dolomites…
  • First Aid Kit – Lifesystems Trek
  • Emily’s hair brush (with 4 hair ties)

Electronics and Miscellaneous

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  • Wallet x 2 (inc. money in several currencies and card)
  • Watch – Argos (Umbro) RRP £10
  • Pen knife x 2
  • Notebook x 2 (plus pencil or pen)
  • Passport x 2
  • Joe’s Kindle + charger (micro-USB) – £80
  • Phone + charger (Nokia small-pin)
  • Headtorch x 2 – Petzl Tikka XP and Petzl Tikka
  • Sunglasses x 2
  • GPS Tracker
  • Camera
  • Plug Adapter
  • Wooden Pegs x 10
  • Belt
  • Keys
  • Dry bags/plastic bags (Not pictured)

Bike Stuff

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  • Bike Oil (in Eau de Cologne bottle!)
  • Spoke key
  • Break pads (cantilevers and disc – spares for all breaks on the bike!)
  • Dumbbell spanner
  • Repair kit including patches and glue
  • Tenacious tape
  • Quick links
  • Spare inner tube
  • Allen Keys
  • Chain Tool
  • Eccentric Bottom Bracket tool
  • Spare rear mech hanger
  • Locks x 2 – Oxford cable lock ~£20, Abus Granit XPlus 540 RRP £85
  • Tyre Levers
  • Rear light (Not pictured)

That seems like a lot!

When we piled it all up on the floor before packing, it looked colossal. But at the same time, there was a little voice in the back of my head saying, “Only two t-shirts for over a month – that’s nothing!”

My only piece of advice is: don’t pack until your bags are full. You need to leave space for food and souvenirs. Whatever you decide to take, you’re the one carrying it, so ultimately it’s your problem… But you’ll save massively on postage if you get it right to start with and don’t have to post a load of gear home.

Happy packing!

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