What to Pack for Cycle Touring

Kit lists can go on and on.  Ideally you need to pack no more than 10kg.  Some people might be able to go as low as 6kg.  I call the photograph below “Deux Chevaux”.  Sadly I had loaded my bike as if I had the equivalent of two horse-power in my legs (I didn’t).  The next day I “lost” my flimsy front panniers, an old fleece, another long sleeved t-shirt, a tatty waterproof, extra food and half the water in the litre bottle.  Oh yes…I also cleaned the chain (thanks Kaz) and pumped up the tyres.deux chevaux

Ideally all you need (for camping) is:

a tent, self-inflating roll mat, 2 season sleeping bag (with compression bag)

pen-knife/ small plastic bowl with lid/ spork

bike tool/ spare tyres/ tyre levers/ small pump

mobile phone/ charger/ adapter

IMG_0934
Sully and my bike

In addition, keep clothing to an absolute minimum.  Keep toiletries small but include travel-size soap/shampoo, toothpaste, moisturiser and whatever else you need as these can be very expensive in some countries (like France) where you cannot always obtain them cheaply from a supermarket.  I had to buy Factor 50 sun-cream this year from a Pharmacie and it was an expensive mistake at over 20 euros. 

Hopefully when you have packed, (unpacked and re-packed) your bike will have a total of two panniers on the sides plus extra on the luggage rack and a box for valuables on the front.  Bungees and nets are useful for picking stuff up along the way or for extra items of clothing.

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