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Bicycle Touring: Gear List

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I’m not gonna beat around the bush here, I’m not a gearhead and don’t think it’s as important as people make out. Please don’t let “not having the latest gear” stop you from going out and having an amazing experience. A bin bag makes a great rain coat. But I get that these kind of lists can be useful as a guideline, so this is a post about the gear and equipment I chose to take on a multi-month cycle tour. To see the bike spec, click here.

There’s loads of different ways that people gear up for cycle touring, but if you’re thinking of doing something similar to the Vague Direction project that involves multiple months on the bike, through a variety of seasons, I hope this is a useful resource for you to figure out your own travel solution.

Clearly different times of year and different routes call for different gear lists, but something similar to this should give you enough options to stay warm in temperatures down to around -10ºC and handle fairly extreme weather conditions. (I will only ever recommend gear that I personally enjoy using).

Sleeping System

  • Thermarest *
  • Thin Foam Matting (to be used under the tent on hard surfaces)
  • Bergans Compact Light 2-man tent
  • Bergans Senja Ice Sleeping Bag (long version)
  • Bergans Sleeping Bag Cover (for being discreet when putting a tent up wouldn’t be wise)
  • Sea to Summit Silk Liner *
Cooking
  • Anti Gravity Gear Ethanol Stove (aka a coke can stove / penny stove)
  • Mamas 3 cup original non-stick cup & pan set
  • Ortlieb water bag (8/10 litres)

Clothing System

It comes down to layers, being covered for even the worst weather, and easy temperature control.

  • Glittertind waterproof
  • Isfjorden light insulated jacket
  • Vier fleece jacket
  • Imingem trousers
  • Variety of Merino Wool undergarments and socks
  • Marmot Dri-clime jacket
  • Helly Hansen Balaclava
  • Montane ultra lightweight pertex jacket
  • North Cape thinsulate waist coat
  • Mountain Hardwear lightweight shirt

Specifically for cycling, I’m using:

  • Pair of padded lycra cycling tights
  • Pair of padded lycra cycling tights
  • Gemini Lights cycling jersey
  • Karrimor reflective waistcoat (for visibility at night)
  • Waterproof Overtrousers for the rainy days
  • Waterproof Overshoes
  • Cycling glasses (for sustained headwind days!)
  • Met Stradivarius 2013 helmet
  • Specialized Tahoe SPD Shoes

Baggage

  • Ortlieb pannier bags (Back Roller Classic’s on the rear, Sport Packer Plus on the front & handlebar bag)
  • F-Stop Kenti Camera Bag (used as rear pannier top bag. It’s padded and fit’s all camera gear and laptop. Best camera bag out there at the moment IMO and has the valuable benefit of not looking like a camera bag)
Lighting
Tools / bike maintenance 
  • Topeak Hexus II Multi-tool *
  • Pedal spanner
  • 2x Presta valve 700cc inner tubes
  • 2x puncture repair kits
  • 3x tyre levers
  • Assortment of zip ties
  • Misc. spare nuts and bolts
  • Mini dual-valve pump

Misc

There’s also a variety of filmmaking gear not on the list. All in all, including camera stuff too which isn’t listed, this comes in at around 30 kilograms. Oh yeah, and it all fits in the pannier bags!

(*Please note, if you buy the listed products via the links, you’ll be helping to support this website and keep it running. Thanks, you legend!)



Vague Direction: A 12,000 mile bicycle ride, and the meaning of life.
Available now: Amazon.co.uk | Amazon.com



Follow Dave on Instagram for adventure photography and behind-the-scenes updates about his new courage project.
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10 comments on this post

  1. Sarah Croft says:

    You are carrying TOO MUCH WEIGHT ! and taking kit you dont need or that if you do need or need to replace you can get it on the trip
    Less Weight |More Fun

    Cut down on Weight

    • Dave says:

      Hi Sarah.

      Thanks for your advice. I’m going to try it out with the full weight for a couple of weeks to see what it’s like, then may resort to sending stuff on.

      But I like your ethos – Less Weight More Fun!

  2. Pawel says:

    Could you write what is your alarm like?

  3. […] This is a post about the bicycle spec. To see more about other touring gear and equipment, see this post. […]

  4. Christoph says:

    Thanks for this quite long and complete list of gear. I’ve one question. If you travel with less gear, does the Kenti fits also in one of the backroller Ortlieb packs?
    I will travel with bike in Iceland this summer and I cosidered the Kenti as a nice small camera backpack.
    Thanks in advance.
    Christoph

  5. Christoph says:

    Thanks for you answer Dave. I’ve tried the F-Stop and it fits completly in an Ortlieb Backroller classic (if the top compartment is not overloaded). So it is possible to protect the camera equipment against heavy rain, as it’s often the case in Iceland.
    I’ve wrote down my experiences here (in german language):
    http://www.fotografie-achenbach.de/2015/08/16/radreise-und-kamera-wie-packen/
    There are also some pictures from my last bike trip to Iceland this summer.

  6. […] If you’re into the technical side of touring, let’s get into it for a moment. You can see specific kit-lists here: The Bike and the other gear. […]

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