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Friday, May 30, 2014

Bike Touring Gear List | Bike Trip Tips

By Megan Maxwell
In two weeks, I will be heading out to bike 1800 miles down the Pacific Coast from Vancouver to Tijuana.  I’m finally getting all of my gear together and taking my bike off its bike rack to do training rides. My plan is to pack as minimally as possible to keep the weight down. I have contained everything I need to fit into two panniers that are each 20 liters (40 liters total).


  • Bike: Specialized Crossroads that I acquired on Craigslist. I switched out the 40 mm tires for a set of 32 mm tires, so I can bike more efficiently. I also bought a fancy new saddle, so I could have a more comfortable ride. The bike came with a rack for my panniers. 

  • Panniers: I have a set of Nashbar panniers that are each 20 liters. 

  • Maintenance Kit: I have a really expensive bicycle multi-tool, a light-weight bike pump, and a spare tube. For patching tubes I have extra patches, sandpaper, and glue. 

  • Safety Items: A bike light for the front and back, and my helmet. 

  • Maps: My mom is in charge of logistics (while I’m in charge of maintenance). She bought the full set of Adventure Cycling maps for our route. [my mom’s sweet set up] 

  • Sleeping Bag: Women’s Marmot Trestles 40 degree. I might be a bit chilly on the cold nights, but I will just put on extra clothes. 

  • Sleeping Pad: Inflatable REI three-quarters length women’s sleeping pad. I’m going to be so comfortable with this baby. 

  • Tent: I’ll be sharing a two-person tent with my mom, so I will carry half of it. 


  • Cookware: I have a GSI light-weight cooking pot that I will boil water and cook my dinners in. I’ll bring a regular spoon from my kitchen to eat with. I made my own camp stove out of a tuna fish can, and I’ll be using denatured alcohol to cook with. 

  • Clothing: Almost all of my clothing is synthetic so it will dry quickly if it gets wet. I can easily layer everything, so I can adjust to hot or cold weather. I have a pair of padded bike shorts, regular shorts, and full length running tights for on bottom. For on top I have a sports bra, tank top, t-shirt, fleece jacket, long-sleeve shirt, and a reflective rain jacket (so cars can see me in bad weather). I have a merino wool buff for cold weather, a set of bike gloves, several pairs of wool socks, and a pair of sunglasses. I’ll keep all of these things in a dry bag, and use it as a pillow at night. 

  • Camera, Journal, and Phone: I want to document my trip and be able to communicate with everyone at home.