Juan Dual Mateo

Touring Gear Essentials

Whatever riding, camping, and travel gear is lurking in your closet, we promise that someone has ridden around the world using older, worse, and less.

You can head out for a trip using what you already have, and if you’re looking to add or upgrade to your collection it’s easy to start small and focus on a few essentials to make life easier on the road.

Modify the following list depending on your personal needs and past experiences. Keep in mind that you generally won’t need any more gear for a 90-day tour than for a seven-day tour.

On-the-bike Clothing

Off-the-bike Clothing

Determine your needs and wants for touring by bicycle.

Miscellaneous Things to Consider Packing

Bike Tools and Spare Parts

Camping Gear to Pack

  • Sleeping bag (down bags are warmer, weigh less, and pack smaller, but useless if wet; synthetic bags are heavier and bulkier, but less expensive for comparable warmth, and they will keep you warm even if wet)
  • Sleeping pad (closed-cell foam pads work well and are light, but self-inflating pads are more comfortable and packable)
  • Tent (lightweight, with rainfly and vestibules)
  • Ground cloth (this will extend the life of your tent)
  • Personal eating utensils (fork, spoon, cup, bowl)
  • Sleeping bag liner (a cotton sheet sewn in half works well for this; it can be easily removed for washing and used independently of the sleeping bag on warm nights)
  • Stove (a small backpacking stove with fuel and fuel bottle(s))
  • Cooking equipment (small pots and pans — backpacking equipment works best and is lightweight)

Packing Hacks for an Inexpensive Tour


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scott May 13, 2019, 5:33 PM

There's one thing on your list that I consider essential (& fortunately it's free & lightweight). I carry a hotel shower cap on my bicycling tours. I put it over my saddle every night to keep off both dew and rain. (Nothing is worse than starting your cycling day by hopping on a wet seat!) Have fun!

Liz March 19, 2021, 5:10 AM

Ah, those hotel shower caps! I always have a few on hand. They cover water bottles when in muddy and "horsey" places. I've also put them under my helmet and over my socks on rainy days. And they double as snack bags and wallet covers in a pinch -- simply indispensable! Thank you for the seat suggestion -- happy traveling!

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