I’m traveling for a year. Yes, a year! And I’m doing it on my bicycle.
It’s called long-distance bicycle touring… and traveling this way requires that you carry just about everything you need on your bicycle with you: clothes, food, toiletries and more! Your bicycle is essentially your home on the road.
Because I’m traveling for so long (and because I’m running the website here at BicycleTouringPro.com while I’m traveling) I’ve got a lot of stuff on my bicycle. I not only have all the basic bicycle touring essentials, such as a tent, digital camera and rain gear, but I’m also lugging around a small arsenal of electronic gadgetry.
The list below is a detailed record of each and every item that I’m currently carrying with me as I bicycle tour around Europe. Clicking on hyperlinked items will take you to either another article on Bicycle Touring Pro where you can read the full review for that item or to an online store where you can purchase that item for yourself. Please note that food and water has not been included in this packing list.
If, after scanning through the list of items shown below, you have any questions for me about what I’ve packed or why I’ve decided to bring a particular piece of gear, clothing or otherwise with me, leave a comment at the very bottom of this page.
Bicycle Touring Basics
This first list of items is the core of my bicycle touring gear list. These are items that practically every bicycle tourist needs.
- Co-Motion Pangea Co-Pilot Touring Bicycle
- Shimano SPD Pedals (2)
- Axiom Journey Rear Rack
- Arkel AC Lowrider Front Rack
- Ortlieb Sport-Packer Plus Panniers – Front (2)
- Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus Panniers – Rear (2)
- Ortlieb Ultimate5 Plus Handlebar Bag & Mount
- Fenders (Front & Back) (Unknown Brand)
- Water bottles (3)
- Water bottle cages (3)
- Blackburn Mars 4.0 Rear Bicycle Light
- Avenir Keyed Cable Lock (no longer in production)
- 20″ Bungee Cord (used to hold my tripod onto my rear rack)
When you travel by bike, you inevitably need to carry a few bike tools with you. These are the few tools I have in my possession.
- Axiom EnforceAir Pro Road Bike Pump
- S&S Coupler/Pedal Wrench
- Small Adjustable Wrench
- Spare Rack Screws (6)
- Patch Kit & Tire Levers (2)
- Spare Tubes (2)
Over the course of the year I will be spending my nights in a number of different places. I’ll be in hotels, hostels, rented apartments and in the homes of friends and strangers I meet along the way. I’m also camping quite a bit, so it is essential that I carry all my own camping equipment.
- MSR Hubba 1-Man Tent & Plastic Ground Cloth
- North Face Cat’s Meow Sleeping Bag
- Exped DownMat 7 Sleeping Mat
- Sea To Summit Lightweight Dry Sack (I store some of my smaller electronics in here)
- Petzl Headlamp (used around camp and doubles as my bike’s front light)
Because I’m traveling without a camp stove, I either have to eat cold picnic style meals or go out to eat somewhere in order to get a warm meal in me. My kitchen consists of only three small items.
When you travel for a year, you need to pack both winter and summer clothing. These are the items I’ve got with me during the spring, summer and fall.
- Giro Xen Bike Helmet
- Fox Racing Short-Sleeved MTB Jersey
- Fox Racing Shorts (I use for walking around in and for riding my bicycle)
- T-Shirts (3)
- Marmot Rain Jacket
- Patagonia Fleece Jacket
- Baseball hat (2)
- Shimano MP56L SPD Shoes
- Nike Running/Walking Shoes
- Socks (5) (For both cycling and walking)
- Underwear (3)
My friend in England is storing my winter clothing for me. As soon as the first snow falls (or maybe a little before that) I’ll have her ship these items to me – wherever I am.
- Patagonia Snow Pants
- Columbia Snow Jacket
- Columbia Winter Snow Gloves
- Face Mask
Your typical bicycle traveler isn’t going to carry this many electronics. The only reason I have this much stuff is because I am working while I am traveling. I have to run the website here at BicycleTouringPro.com and that involves taking photos, shooting video, storing all the data I’ve collected, and editing everything on my computer. I do not recommend that everyone carry this much stuff.
- 13″ MacBook Pro Laptop Computer & Power Cord
- 13″ Padded Laptop Case
- Voltaic Fuse Solar Battery Charger
- Travel Smart All-in-One Power Adapter with Built in USB Port
- Canon T2i Digital SLR Camera
- SLR Camera Soft Case
- Canon EF 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Standard Zoom Lens
- Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 II Camera Lens
- Canon LP-E8 Batteries (4)
- Canon LP-E8 Battery Charger & Solar Charger Adapter
- SanDisk Extreme 16 GB SDHC Class 10 Memory Card (6)
- 72mm lens polarizer
- 52mm UV lens filter
- Flashpoint LCD Foldaway Viewfinder
- GoPro HD Video Camera
- GoPro Handlebar Seatpost Mount
- GoPro Helmet Mount
- GoPro Tripod Mount
- Pedco UltraClamp Camera Mount
- 32 GB iPod Touch & USB charging cable
- iPod Touch Slim Case
- Seagate FreeAgent GoFlex 1 TB FireWire 800 USB 2.0 Ultra-Portable External Hard Drive for Mac
- Western Digital My Passport for Mac 1 TB USB 2.0 External Hard Drive
- Apple earphones
- 6″ USB 2.0 to USB Mini-B Cable (used to charge my GoPro video camera)
- Azden Omni-Directional Lavaliere Microphone & 12 Foot Extension Cable
- Sunpak Spider Leg Tripod
- Sony VCT-60AV Tripod & Case
My toiletries are kept in one small toiletry bag that measures about 3″ x 3″ x 6″. The only thing that doesn’t fit inside this toiletry bag is my camp towel and the emergency roll of toilet paper that I carry – just in case!
- Toiletry Bag
- Camp Towel
- Shaving Cream
- Nail Clippers
- Face Wash (3)
- Safety Pin
- Toilet paper roll
- Travel Laundry Soap Packets (3)
Then there are a few other items that don’t seem to fit into any of the categories above.
- Small Backpack (used to carry things with me when I am walking around off the bicycle)
- Cash & Coins
- Credit Cards (2)
- Debit Cards (3)
- Pens (2)
- Drawing Pencils (8)
- Pencil Sharpener
- Pencil Eraser
Things I’m Not Carrying
Finally, I think it is worth taking the time to point out a few of the items you think I might be carrying, but am not.
- Stove/Fuel Bottle
- Cell Phone
- Bicycle Gloves
- Bicycle Shorts
- Racing Jersey
- Spare Chain
- Spare Spokes
Got any questions about my packing list? Leave a question for me in the comments section below and I’ll get back to you just as soon as I can.