Self-contained bicycle touring provides a great opportunity for adventure.
Not only does cycling allow you to cover more ground faster than other modes of adventure travel such as foot or paddling, but also you keep adventure travel costs low by carrying camping gear, food, and supplies on the bike.
Bicycle touring may require some upfront investment if you don’t have access to a touring bike and touring gear, but beyond a couple potentially big ticket items like the bike, self-contained cycling gear has modest costs and overlaps with typical backpacking gear.
Below is a list of typical gear and supplies required for self-contained cycling.
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Self-contained Cycling Gear Checklist
- Maps / guidebook
- Touring bike with rear rack
- Panniers (rear) with rain covers
- Panniers (front) with rain covers
- Handlebar bag
- Cycling jersey
- Cycling shorts / pants
- Cycling socks
- Cycling shoes with pedals
- Bike multi-tool
- Tire irons
- Spare bike tubes
- Spare tires (if needed)
- Bike pump
- Catchall bucket for unexpected repairs
- Catchall for spare bike parts
- Bike lock
- Bungee cords and such
- Electronic devices (i.e. speedometer)
- Tent or hammock
- Sleeping bag
- Sleeping pad / pillow
- Cooking stove (with fuel)
- Pot and utensils
- Camp shoes
- Camp shirts
- Camp shorts / pants
- Waterproof, breathable rain jacket
- Warm jacket / synthetic fleece
- Flashlight / headlamp
- Water bottles / hydration system
- Water treatment
- Assorted dry bags, ditty bags, heavy trash bags, zip locks
- First Aid Kit
- Sunscreen and lip balm
- Bug spray
Can you think of something that should be on a basic list for self-contained bicycle touring? If so, let us know in the comments.