By Sam Whalley
Packing the right gear is the key to an enjoyable cycle touring trip. On the one hand, not packing enough can put you in a tight spot when you’re on the road. And on the other, packing too much can weigh you down over long hour of exertion.
It’s a matter of striking the right balance – and we’ve written this article to help you do just that. Keep reading for the essential items you will need on your cycle tour.
Depending on the location of your tour, you can’t assume that shops will available whenever you need them. Not only does that mean that you’ll need to pack plenty of water to rehydrate yourself, but also that you’ll need somewhere to store it.
Be sure to invest in quality bottle cages to mount on your downtube and seat tube. And while actually riding on your tour, you should seize every opportunity available to refill.
Pack non-perishable food items like energy bars, trail mix, and dried fruit. You should pack this high up in your bag, or in outside pockets, so that it’s easy to access when you’re on the road.
Weather appropriate clothing
When you’re on the road, you’re exposed to the elements. That’s why it’s vital you pack clothing that is suitable for any type of weather.
This doesn’t just mean rain gear – although of course this is important. You should also pack layers for warmth, as well as a hat or sunglasses for sunny days.
Navigation and communication devices
A map or GPS device, along with a smartphone or two-way radio, will help you stay on track and in touch with other people.
Bring a set of basic cycle repair tools in case anything goes wrong on the road. This should include a pump, a multi-tool, patches, for fixing punctures and anything else you usually use to make repairs to your bike.
You should also pack spare tubes, tires, and brake pads to avoid getting stranded – sometimes repairs aren’t enough and you need to swap components over.
Lights and reflectors
Good lighting is essential for visibility and safety, especially if you’re riding in the dark. Make sure you stock up on spare C batteries such as these in case you need to make any replacements on the road.
Toiletries and first aid
Don’t forget items like toothbrush, toothpaste, and wet wipes to keep yourself clean and fresh in between stops. Moreover, keep a first aid kit and learn how to use it – just in case.
Money and personal documents
You should keep ID, and insurance papers in a secure and easily accessible place. You will also need both cash and card, as you never know what transaction facilities you might encounter in the middle of your tour.
Keep it light
There are a number of essential items you need on a cycle touring trip. But bear in mind that you’ll be carrying everything on your bike, so do your best to keep your load as light as possible.
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