I took a lot of stuff with me, and most of it got used so I was pretty happy with my packing. I based it on what I took last time I went on a short tour, then on the day I left it was just a case of grabbing stuff and sticking it in the bag.
Hugely versatile bag which I’ve been happily using for years, containing:
Clothes I liked to keep at hand – hence front-bag
- Gore-tex active cycling jacket
I got mine half price in a sale. This is excellent – kept me dry when cycling all day in the rain, and it’s breathable as advertised.
- Altura nightvision high-vis gilet
Really useful to be seen more quickly by drivers on fast roads.
- Nike dri-fit cap
I wore this a lot – very good for shielding sun from eyes.
- Specialized BG Gel fingerless gloves
These were great, and they come in XXL which is handy if you’ve got big hands
- M-Wave gel touch gloves
These replaced the specialized gloves. Not as good fit, or as much padding.
- Cotton baseball cap
- Sun hat
You can’t have too many hats!
- Camera: FujiX100S
Fixed lens camera which takes nice quality pics
- 2x cheap eBay spare batteries for the FujiX100S
- Tamrac camera case for FujiX100S
- Gorilla pod camera stand (didn’t use)
- Google Nexus phone
Useful for blogging, google maps, internet and so on..
- Limefuel battery pack
Useful. Could have done with more or a bigger one.
- 1 litre sea+summit dry sack containing
- USB 5V plug with UK and EU plugs
- Camera battery USB charger from eBay
- 2x USB > Micro USB cables
- 2x USB > Mini USB cables
- 2x Camelbak 24oz podium water bottles
You can turn the top to prevent water leaking out when you’re not using them which is a nice feature.
- I’d usually carry an emergency chocolate bar and can of coke, small bottle of water, some fruit, porridge, and it would also carry whatever shopping I had
- 3x energy gels
- Petxl Tikka XP2 head lamp
Really useful, e.g. for pitching tent in the dark, or reading in the tent with it’s dim red light. Used a lot and batteries lasted the whole 6 weeks.
- Cheap digital watch
Used as alarm clock since I didn’t want to use up my phone battery by leaving that switched on
- 4 hankies
Handy for all sorts of things. Such as a dish cloth, drying cloth, little flag to tie around your tent line so people don’t trip over it, etc.
Jiffy bag containing the toolkit:
- 60ml finish line wet lube
- 5x inner tubes (Schwalbe no.4)
- 6xAAA batteries
- 2x Snap-on chain link
- 10 big cable ties
- 10 small cable ties
- 5x rear spokes
- 5x spoke nipples
- Spare wheel nuts and washers
- Spare brake blocks
- Cone spanner
- Dumbell spanner
- Park-tool AWS-10 allen key set
- 2x park-tool TL-1 tyre levers
- Rubber gloves
- 150mm adjustable spanner
- 3x GP2 puncture patch kits
- Big allen key (for pedals)
- Spoke spanner
- Chain tool CT-5
- Insulation tape
- Assortment of straps
- Rubber gloves
- Sandwich bags
- Factor 30 suntan spray
- Spare pair of prescription glasses, with transitions lenses
- Anti-bacteria handgel
Amazing value at just £13. Kept everything dry in the worst of conditions and comes with useful mounting points. Highly recommended. Used it to hold the main camping equipment,
- Terra Nova Laser Competition 1 tent – quick to erect and pack up, keeps the rain out, plenty enough space for me (I’m quite tall) and best of all a folded Brompton plus all my luggage fitted within the porch area. I planned that
- Alpkit titanium tent pegs – the only bad thing about the laser comp tent is the supplied pegs (which are too small to be practical) so I bought these pegs which have done a great job and are nice and light. Looks like these are no longer sold by Alpkit. Due to many campsites being built on really hard ground (rock?) pretty much all of these have come back bent.
- X-treme Light 800 sleeping bag – wasn’t warm enough. Fine for summer use. Also could do with it being a little bit longer. Did the job though. No longer made by Gelert?
- XPed Synmat UL 7 Medium air bed – did the job but difficult to pack away. Also a bit noisy.. squeaking every time you turn over.
This is very rugged and has lots of loops to tie things to. Upper section has two large zipped pockets which helps organisation. Front of rucksack has a large pocket also very useful. I chose this rucksack (which is designed for mountaineering) as you can remove the sternum strap completely. It it also fairly light and quite rigid.
Rucksack main section
- eVac 20L dry sack
Used to keep clean(ish) clothes. Also used as pillow by wrapping my microfibre fleece around this which worked well. These dry sacks are excellent as they let air through, meaning you can squash the bags down to a really small size. Recommended!
- eVac 13L dry sack
Used to keep clothes that I’d worn once or twice. Also used inside-out to store wet t-shirts away from dry clothes after doing the laundry and before having had a chance to dry the t-shirts.
- Vivobarefoot Evo pure shoes
I’ve had these for years. Super comfy, lightweight and relatively waterproof. Really handy for wearing in the evening when going out to a restaurant etc.
- eVac 5L dry sack containing:
- MSR Pocket rocket stove
Compact, does the job well.
Bought on ferry. Works well when wet, unlike matches.
- 1 or 2 gas canisters
I used up 3 in total. Could have done with more, but didn’t see anywhere I could buy one when I needed to.
- Sea to summit Spork and Knife
- Snow Peak Titanium – 2 pots and a lid
Lightweight and perfect size for storing the gas canisters. I like these a lot.
- Smartcafe plastic mug / coffee filter
So you can make a filter coffee. Also useful to have this mug for its insulating properties.
- MSR Pocket rocket stove
- Nylon kit bag
Used for laundry. Folds down pretty small. Could have probably made do without this.
- Wash kit bag containing:
- Shower gel
- Nail clippers
- Small mirror
- Glasses lens cleaners
- Teva sandals
Very comfy. Wore these for cycling for the whole trip. Dry out quickly after rain.
- Endura hummvee bike shorts and padded inner shorts
Wore these the entire trip. Comfy. Useful pockets. Have just ordered two more pairs for my winter cycling!
- 4x Icebreaker merino t-shirts
Brilliant wool t-shirts that look like regular t-shirts. Can be worn many times without getting smelly. Keep you at just the right temperature whether it’s warm or cold. Pack down small. Only downside is you have to air dry them rather than tumble dry. I found 4 designs that were on sale from different places. Well worth the money.
- Northface Summit Series long-sleeve technical top
Bought whilst out there. Keeps you that bit warmer when it’s chilly, but can also be worn in the full sun and doesn’t make you hot but keeps the sun off. Good purchase.
- 3x Nike Pro combat dri-fit compression shorts
My favourite underwear for cycling. Also dries quick so you can wash at hotels and campsites easily.
- Altura lightweight cycling shorts and padded inner shorts
Didn’t like these. Bad fit and the velcro fastening doesn’t feel secure. Didn’t need to bring them.
- 4x ankle length smart wool socks
Didn’t really use these much as I was wearing sandals.
- Cos lightweight cotton sweater
Made me feel presentable!
- Craghoppers trousers
Good stain-resistent material
- 1x normal length wool socks
Wool, so good for not getting smelly after lots of uses!
- 2x regular underwear
Could have just work the nike shorts all the time.
- Long-sleeve Icebreaker basics merino wool baselayer top
Excellent for keeping you warm. Good to wear night after night without needing to be washed to frequently.
- Mountain Hardware fleece
Warm, light, smart-ish, and also used as pillow cover – really useful. Excellent.
- Ortovox wool blend long-johns
Bought whilst out there after too many cold nights. These are super warm!
By the pool
- Kathmandu large towel
- Swimming trunks
Glad I remembered to bring these
Rucksack top section
- 20cm² microfibre cloth
Used to remove lots of condensation from tent in the mornings. Dries quickly.
- Life venture elastic washing line
Handy for drying clothes at camp site. Suction cups aren’t strong enough though to hold the weight of the washing, e.g. in hotel bathroom, but glad I brought it.
Handy for tying things
- Luggage cable strap with combination lock
Used to secure rucksack to bike whilst popping into supermarkets in busy areas
- Zip-lock sandwich bag containing:
- Needle and thread
Used one as preventative measure on foot for new sandals. Used another to cover a blister I got from the leg-grip seal of the padded shorts.
- 15cm adhesive velcro strip
- Glasses screwdriver
- Anadin Extra
- Needle and thread
- Zip-lock sandwich bad containing:
Rucksack upper section
- Zip lock sandwich bag with fruit tea teabags
- Jacobs 2in1 instant coffee with milk
Gifted by my friend, very useful as ‘normal’ milk surprisingly difficult to obtain at campsites.
- Miniature Silva compass
Handy for figuring out where the sun will rise to determine where to pitch the tent.
- Swiss army knife
Used the knife, corkscrew and bottle opener.
Rucksack front section
- 2 large bin bags
For covering the bike up at night.
- Ikea Dimpa bag
Used to get a wet bike into a hotel. Also used to sit on at muddy campsite.
Purchased so I could walk around a town in the pouring rain.
- Spare Schwalbe tyre
- Cheap Bell cycling helmet
Fits my big head nicely
On the bike
- Satnav – Garmin 810 GPS
Great for recording the ride, seing stats whilst you’re cycling and view a map whilst you’re on the move. Also came in handy for finding nearby campsites. Terrible at picking routes.
- Lock – Abus Bordo Grani X-Plus
Weighs a tonne. Stows neatly onto the bike. Did the job.
- Brompton Toolkit v1
Stows away inside bike frame. Brompton now make a version of this with metal tyre levers as some people had problems with the old plastic levers. Whilst on my our I used this once to fix someone else’s bike.
I’ve detailed the bike set-up separately.
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