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Bicycle Touring Packing List

This is what I typically carry for a summer bicycle tour. Touring in the early spring or late fall would necessitate carrying a few more items of clothing. The list is organized by location rather than by function.

The Bicycle:

I tour on a Trek 520 "Classic" Touring Bicycle. It is a 1996 model, which came equipped with Shimano's RSX group and STI shifters. I have modified it slightly from its stock configuration. Both of the stock Matrix rims have failed, and have been replaced with Mavic T-217 rims. The stock chainrings are 26, 36, 46. I swapped the 26 for a 24. I also changed the 12-28 7-speed cassette for a 13-30. This lowered my granny gear from a 25" to a 21.5". Every little bit helps! For tours longer than a weekend, I usually switch the 28-622 Continental Super Sports for 32-622 Panaracer Pasela TourGuard tires. The bike is equipped with:

  • Shimano 525 clipless pedals
  • A Trek rear rack
  • Blackburn "custom" low-rider front racks
  • 3 water bottle cages
  • 3 water bottles
  • A Topeak "Road Morph" pump
  • Trek cycle computer
  • bar-end mirror
  • Jandd Large Mountain Panniers in the rear
  • Jandd Mini Mountain panniers in the front
  • Jandd Handlebar Bag
  • Jandd Seat Bag

The Gear:

And carried in all of these panniers is:

  • Seat Bag (never removed from the bike):
    • "Cool Tool" Multi-purpose tool
    • Film can containing extra chain links and an assortment of nuts, bolts, allen screws
    • two spare tubes (in a zip-loc bag with talcum powder)
    • 2 patch kits
    • "emergency" five-dollar bill (in zip-loc bag)
    • box-end wrenches to fit front low-rider rack bolts
    • 2 Fiber-Fix emergency spokes
  • Left Front Pannier:
    • MSR Dragonfly stove, in stuff sack
    • MSR Stainless steel cook kit
      • 1.5 liter pot
      • 2 liter pot
      • lid
      • pot lifter
    • Coleman Fuel in MSR fuel bottle (The Dragonfly will also burn auto fuel, but I always at least start my tour with Coleman Fuel)
    • plastic coffee mug, with cover
    • spoon (anything you can eat with a fork, you can eat with a spoon. I don't carry a fork.)
    • food bag
      • tea
      • sugar
      • various snacks
      • instant oatmeal
      • peanut butter
      • bread, rolls, bagels
    • spare maps, in doubled zip-loc bags, in outside zippered pocket
  • Right Front Pannier:
    • plastic bag containing:
      • shampoo
      • biodegradable camp soap
      • small container of Woolite for washing clothes
      • deodorant
      • toothbrush
      • toothpaste
      • rechargeable electric razor
    • Travel Towel
    • first-aid kit
    • matches in doubled zip-loc bags
    • cheap paper-back novel, in zip-loc bag, in outside zippered pocket
  • Left Rear Pannier:
    • Clothing, in a trash-compactor bag:
      NOTE: This includes whatever clothes I happen to be wearing.
      • 2 pair cycling shorts
      • 2 cycling jerseys (1 long-sleeve, 1 short-sleeve)
      • 2 pair cycling socks
      • 1 pair waterproof socks
      • 1 pair cycling shoes
      • 1 pair "regular" shorts
      • 1 Coolmax T-shirt
      • 1 pair sandals for off-bike wear
      • Fleece jacket
    • Rain jacket and pants (in top flap pocket)
  • Right Rear Pannier:
    • Sleeping Bag
    • Spare Tire
    • Water Bag
    • "space blanket"; used as tablecloth, ground sheet, pannier cover in camp, etc.
    • rain covers for panniers (in top flap pocket)
    • Handspring Treo 90 palm computer. My Treo 90 holds several books for reading. I also use it for typing my daily journal and keeping track of other pertinent information.
  • Handlebar Bag:
    • Current map in map window
    • Snacks (bananas, fig newtons, etc.)
    • sun screen
    • camera
    • bandanna
    • wallet
    • Swiss army knife
    • paper and pencil for daily note taking
    • chain lube
    • shoulder strap for carrying handlebar bag when off the bike
  • Top of Rear Rack:
    • Tent, fly, poles, stakes, and groundsheet
    • Thermarest Pad

Copyright 1996 - 2011 Allen F. Freeman
Last modified: November 03, 2011