Trips get us all sort of excited, but the one thing that will never change is the deepest, most honest hate for packing. It can be stressful and a handful even for a “regular” trip, but for a bike trip? You are in some deep waters. Packing for a bike trip isn’t only hard on the usual “I don’t know what to bring” side, but it’s challenging as hell in a physical way.
Everything has to fit on the bike, or on yourself, but you’re going on the bike so that’s kind of the same thing. To make your life easier and to take away some of the “we’re about to go on a trip, why aren’t we going yet” stress, here are some tips on what to bring on a bike trip.
Your motto should be “less is more”. There were a number of times when cyclist shipped their excess stuff home after a week or two into the trip. You probably don’t need most of the stuff you packed, you’ll be just fine with the necessities. Not to mention it will be easier and more fun to ride without a ton of things on your back.
What (not) to wear?
First of all, bring clothes that will meet your expectations of the weather. If you’re going to Brazil, the chances are you won’t be needing a winter jacket.
Secondly, it would be best if you could find clothes that are acceptable both on the bike and off it; something that won’t be a problem if you want to go into a museum.
If you have clothes like that you will save up space and weight. Keep in mind that the clothes should be light, non-bulky so you can pack it easily, versatile, easy for maintenance, etc.
Bring something for windy situations and a raincoat. Nowadays you have a lot of merch that combines everything needed for a cyclist into one outfit. Don’t forget a helmet, gloves and comfortable, flexible but sustainable shoes. Most cyclists ride in shorts, but you don’t have to blindly stick to the rules.Still, it is the most comfortable thing to wear on a bike. Always dress in layers.
We’re talking about toiletries, towels, sunblock, a sewing kit, a pocket knife, a lightweight lock and cable, water containers, sunglasses, bandanas (you’d be surprised), flashlights, nylon and bungee cords, a first aid kit (with emergency numbers), etc. Some tools like pliers can come in handy, too. These are the things you’ll need. Also, if you plan on camping, you’ll need camping supplies, logically.
The things that your trusty steed will need are somewhat heavier. Tire levers/patch kit, electrical tape, duct tape, a mini pump, a spare tube, Blue Locktite, screwdriver, wrenches, spare spokes, small triangular files, extra nuts, bolts and wires, chain tools, rearview mirror, bicycle light, small vice grips, cables of all sorts, a hose clamp, etc.
Don’t save space on these things, if you don’t want to risk your life at least. It’s better to have only 3 outfits than no spare tire.