A list of what you REALLY need to make your tour enjoyable...and lighter!

Packing Checklist for a Long Unsupported Bicycle Tour

Hex lightweight tarp for instant shelter, aluminium tent pegs, sleeping bag in compression bag

Hennessey camping hammock tool/puncture kit, spare tubes

Clothing in compression bag:One change of clothes, 1 extra underwear one pair extra socks, fleece top and bottom

24 hr supply of fresh food, freeze dried entrees, stove, pots, cutlery, plate, selection of dips, condiments and treats in single serve packets, alcohol wipes,



5 litres of water (2 on the frame, 3 on top of front rack), stove fuel, toilet spade, tire pump

All valuables including cash, cards, camera, passport, cell phone. On top in waterproof transparent cover are maps of the region and translation tips if required. Snacks, alcohol wipes

When my partner saw the small pannier she had for her bicycle tour she flipped. “I can’t put all my things in that, they won’t fit!”

Bike touring isn’t really like cruising. You don’t require a suit to sit at the captain’s table. You will be spending most of your day doing moderate exercise. You can only wear one set of clothes at a time and each set can be washed and dried overnight.

If you think bike touring is part of your fashion statement, don’t tour with me.

I have the clothes I am wearing on the day and a change. Each one can be washed at night and is dry by the morning. More clothes than you need means extra weight, extra space and a heavier load on your bike.

Possessions enslave us, travelling light makes us free.

Here’s what I do. I wake up in the morning and break camp. That usually takes between 30-45 minutes. I wear my recently dried clothes that I washed the night before. I bike for an hour or so and find a nice place to make breakfast.

After breakfast and coffee, I clean up and bike for another hour or so until I find a town and a food shop. I buy the food I will need for the next 24 hours. I don’t have refrigeration, but most items kept cool will last that long. If buying raw meat, I only buy enough for immediate use.

I bike for another hour or two before I make lunch. Lunch is my big meal. If I’ve bought meat, I cook it all then. Any leftovers I can have with supper. After lunch I bike for another hour or two and about 5 or 6 p.m. I start to look for a good spot to camp for the night. I’m very fussy, so if I don’t find a spot I like, I just keep going. If in my travels I find a sink, I will wash any dirty clothes I have and lay them out on the panniers to dry




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Packing a Bike

Front Left Pannier

Front Right Pannier

Rear Right Pannier

Rear Left Pannier

On The Bike

Handlebar Bag