Day -2: Touring Gear

I find packing really stressful. There is so much riding on what you take and don’t take with you. You are scared that you’ll forget something absolutely critical. But, at the same time you don’t want to take anything you don’t need or won’t use because that’s just going to make your life harder – not easier. Every extra ounce costs effort & time. Combine that with the practical limits of what you can actually fit, strap, bolt, tape, dangle from your bike and you’ll soon find yourself a bit gear obsessed. I found myself up at night adding random things like pack towels and toothpaste to my list for the umpteenth time, while debating whether or not I really need to pack 4 or 6 extra rechargeable AA batteries?

Luckily I’ve done this before so I had a little bit of an idea of what should or should not come along on a bike tour. For example, last time I learned that I don’t need to bring dress shoes, nice jeans and a nice button down shirt. You’re on a bike, my friend… you don’t need to worry about looking nice when you’re not riding it. You do, however, have to be prepared for whatever weather you may encounter. In my case, I’m going to be riding during warm-weather days and be camping through some very cold nights, so I needed a bit of a range of gear to stay comfortable.

I am by no means an ‘ultralight’ anything, so I don’t even pretend to keep the weight down on my gear to a minimum. Below is the full gear list that I’m taking with me for the month – this is laid out how I intend to organize my gear while riding. Packing all of this so it can go on an airplane a matter for a later post.

The Gear List

Saddle Bag – “Fix Me, Fix the Bike”

  • Medical Kit
  • 7 pair Surgical Gloves (for working on the bike)
  • 1 Rag (for clean up)
  • Chain oil
  • Zip ties
  • Tube & Tire Patch Kits
  • Tire Irons
  • 4 spare tubes
  • 1 spare tire
  • Multi-tool (Allen wrenches, chain tool, etc.)
  • Rain seat cover
  • Helmet cover
  • FiberFix spoke replacement
  • Duct tape
  • 2 cables, 1 padlock
  • Spare bolts, nuts (assorted short, long M5 bolts)
  • Spare derailer cable
  • Spare brake cable
  • Chain pins
  • SuperFlash rear light


Left Rear Pannier – “Essentials, Non-essentials”

Bike Clothes:

  • 2 pairs bike shorts
  • 2 bike shirts/jerseys
  • 2 long sleeve bike shirts
    • Thin blue wool SmartWool
    • Thicker green Marmot
  • Orange biking rain jacket
  • 2 pair WriteSock biking socks
  • Bike shoes
  • Fingerless cycling gloves
  • Shoe rain covers
  • Rocky socks waterproof socks
  • Rain pants
  • Fleece leggings
  • Fleece arm warmers
  • Warm/rain bike gloves (crab claw)
  • Warm biking hat (skull cap)
  • Headband

Electronics, miscellaneous:

  • REI Flash Pack (backpack)
  • Stuff sacks (mesh & compression)
  • Tablet computer (Microsoft Surface RT with Windows 8 + Touch Cover, of course!)
  • eReader (Kindle Paperwhite)
  • Solar Charger (Suntactics sCharger-5)
  • 6x Eneloop rechargeable batteries
  • Battery pack & charger (Tekkeon TekCharge MP1580)
  • 2 USB chargers, cables
  • Headphones (ear buds)
  • Short extension cord w/ multiple outlets


Right Rear Pannier – “Comfortable Evenings”

Off Bike Clothes:

  • 1 pair tennis shoes
  • 2 long sleeve nice-ish shirts (Red & Brown Columbia plaid)
  • 1 pair ‘travel pants’ – zip off hiking pants
  • 3 pair SmartWool socks
  • 2 pair underwear
  • 2 tech t-shirts (double as bike shirts)
  • Ibex wool long sleeve sweater
  • Down jacket
  • Sleep/swim gym shorts
  • Fleece pants
  • Thin gloves
  • Neck gator
  • Wool hat
  • Long underwear bottoms
  • Baseball hat


  • Vitamins
  • Pain Killers
  • Personal medications
  • Chamois butter
  • Tissue
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Deodorant
  • Bar soap
  • q-tips
  • Razor & shaving cream
  • Sunblock
  • Contacts & solution
  • Chapstick
  • Glasses & case

Miscellaneous camping gear:

  • Fire starters
  • Bug spray
  • Headlamp
  • TP


Left Front Pannier – “The Kitchen”

  • [extra space for food]
  • Nalgene Bottle
  • Water treatment tabs
  • Dromedary (water) bag
  • Spices (salt, black & red pepper)
  • Paracord
  • Clothespins
  • Pot, Stove, bowl & spoon
  • Fuel
  • Lighter, matches
  • soap, sponge, pot scraper
  • Bandannas
  • Camp pillow
  • Pack towel
  • Stuff sacks
  • Extra ziplock bags


Right Front Pannier – “The Bedroom”

  • Tent (REI Passage 1 person tent), polls get strapped to the rack
  • Sleeping Bag (Marmot Arroyo)
  • Silk sleeping bag liner
  • Sleeping pad
  • Hand warmers

2 thoughts on “Day -2: Touring Gear”

  1. Great detailed breakdown of what you are bringing. I look forward to the follow-up post where you tell us what you used a lot, what you wish you had brought, and what you wish you had left at home.

    Enjoy sleeping in your right front pannier!

  2. Pingback: San Diego to Austin: Summing it up « Kevin's Blog

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