Bike Touring Packing Checklist

A. Main Necessities

1. Bike

Choosing the best road bike for touring is the first important thing you should consider. It gives you maximum comfort for long excursions. You do not want to regret your travel just because of having the wrong bike.

2. Helmet

Many ride without helmets by leaving them somewhere behind. But wearing the best bike helmets will ensure your own safety in case of any sudden mishappenings. So it is a must-have item to be added to your checklist.

B. Bicycle Accessories

1. Trunk bag

A trunk bag which is also called a ‘Travel bag’ is a container where you can pack your dress and your other belongings necessary for your travel. 

2. Hydration pack

This is also called a ‘drink bag’ built as a hydration system worn as a backpack where the rider can drink water hands-free. 

3. Frame bag

These are bags designed to fit in your bike’s triangle where you can store your repair items, gear, and food. Try to get one that’s durable and made of high-quality materials.

4. Panniers

Panniers are the baskets hung at the end of the vehicle to store your stuff. There are many different models available from various manufacturers. Choose a size that fits your needs. 

5. Rain covers

As the name suggests, a rain cover protects your backpack belongings from getting wet in the rain. It is one of the most important items on the checklist because you can’t expect when it will start showering. 

6. Paper bags

Paper bags can be used to carry your stuff, or you can use them for any wastage disposal.

7. Water bottles

Water bottles can be used to store water, juice, or any beverage to consume during your trip. You can also fill them up at any station in between if you run out of water. 

8. Biking glasses

Cycling glasses are extremely useful, and not just on sunny days. They, in fact, keep dust, insects, and smoke at bay in addition to their primary function of protecting the eyes from UV rays. 

9. Headlight

Headlight, as the name suggests, is placed at the front of the bicycle. This helps you see things clearly in the front during the night. Make sure you use bright light for more visibility. 

10. Flashlight

Unlike a headlight, this is a handheld light, that you can use to light up a dark spot or as a signal for help during tough times. 

11. Bike lock

A bike lock is a security device used to fend off thieves and bicycle theft. You can lock one of the wheels to a fixed object. 

12. Mirror

Mirrors in a bike make roads a safer environment for the rider as well as the fellow travelers. It helps you see the riders behind you on the road. Thus, you can steer clear of vehicles coming at high speed.

13. Bungee cord

Bungee cords are elastics used to secure your baggage to the rack of your cycle. 

C. Repair Items

1. Spare tube

If you get a puncture while cycling, the easiest way to fix is to remove the old tube and replace it. Patching the hole in the tube won’t be possible on the side of the road on a cold or rainy day. So you can always carry a spare tube along with you. It will easily fit in your pocket or bag.

2. Spare tires

A spare tire is an extra tire carried for emergency purposes. It can be used to replace any of the running tires if they go flat or punctured. 

3. Pump

Keeping a good-quality air pump makes sure that you are not trapped in the center of the road if a tire blows out. Furthermore, these air pumps are portable which makes them easy to transport.

4. Spare chain

A bike usually stretches after miles of riding and you will need to replace them. A spare chain will help you restore the old broken or an elongated chain.

5. Bike cleaning wipes

Bike wipes help to remove excess grease from the bike and you can clean any parts of the bike with them. Anything with grease on the parts of your cycle can be quickly cleaned with these wipes.

6. Spare nuts and bolts

It’s a good idea to bring a few extra bolts, and nuts for the most important parts of your bike. Rack bolts in particular. 

7. Duct tape

Duct tape can be used to patch any parts of the bike in absence of a patch kit. It is easy to carry and available in multiple colors.

8. General Purpose Multi-tool

A cycling multi-tool will help you make adjustments to the bike during your trip. It has several separate functions attached to a single unit.

9. Tire levers

In case a wheel blows out or goes flat, you need to replace them. The tire levers help you get the tires off a wheel easily. 

10. Spoke wrench

Your break might become loose or a wheel may lose its balance both of which is pretty dangerous. A spoke wrench helps you to ease the tension of the wheel’s spokes. 

11. Chain tool

With the help of the chain tool, you can easily open up to take a broken chain out, or repair or replace the old chain. 

D. Clothing

1. Shorts or tights

Shorts are always worn over the top of tights. Most shorts are padded which makes you comfortable to ride on long days on tour.

2. Gloves

Gloves absorb sweat, keeping your hands dry and allowing you to keep a firm grip on the handlebars at all times. Padded gloves can provide extra comfort by absorbing your hands from vibrations transferred through the bike and handlebar.

3. Socks

Bike socks usually absorb the sweat you may get from riding longer period of time. It keeps your feet dry so that you won’t feel uncomfortable while riding.

4. Shoes

Unlike running shoes, cyclings shoes have a stronger base so that you will have a grip over the ground. It is for better protection and reduces cramps.

5. Post-ride sandals

They are the regular sandals you can wear post your cycling ride.

6. Waterproof shoes and jackets

Waterproof shoes and jackets are for your protection whilst cycling in case of any sudden downpours.

7. Post-ride clothes - shirts, shorts, underwear, and socks

You will be wearing a cycling outfit while riding. But post-ride you have to change into casual clothes. So pack a few extra casual shirts and shorts along with you. 

E. Documents

1. Driving license

Though cyclists do not need a license to ride a bicycle, it is always wise to carry a driving license for identification purposes outside the state.

2. Travel insurance

It is always advisable to carry travel insurance for bicycle touring. Make sure what the policy covers before buying insurance. It ensures you don’t end up losing so much money in case of an unfortunate event.

3. Passport

If you are planning to travel outside your country, you must have your passport because some countries ask for a passport before entering. Some may even ask for a visa, so check the rules based on the country you plan to travel to. 

4. Credit/debit card

Carry a credit and debit card, in case you are out of cash. Also, you can use your cards at places where they are accepted so you can save cash in hand.

5. Cash

In addition to credit/debit cards, it is always a good idea to have a supply of cash to keep on hand when you are out.

6. Photocopies of all the documents

Even though you will be having your original proofs with you, photocopies are just for extra safety if any officers ask for them anywhere.

F. Personal care items

With self-supported touring, you’ll basically camp on your own and cook your own meals. So you will need basic items like a sleeping bag, tent, stove, fuel, and cookware in addition to toiletries and extra food. You can use four panniers - Two at the back and two up at the front to store these all.

In addition to these, you must carry a first aid kit for emergencies, sunscreen to protect your skin, a camera, and its accessories to capture every beautiful moment you come across. A GPS device to know where you are and to go safely to your destination.

Conclusion

Now that you have reached the bottom line, you may have a clear idea of what to pack for your trip. The items in the list are basic essentials that you should not miss out on. Make a note of this checklist and start packing!

Do share this with your fellow buddies if you find this to be helpful. If you have any doubts, let us know in the comments. We will reply soon. We wish you a happy and safe ride!

Download the printable version

Tim Roberts
 

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