Some years ago I had posted a packing list that I had used for my Manli-Leh cycling trip. That post generated many thank-you’s and even more follow-up questions. The Manali-Leh trip was my first major multi-day self-supported cycling trip. Since then I have done many more trips and I am now more settled on my packing list. And my approach to packing for a cycling trip is more refined, or so I’d like to believe.

What I am sharing here is:

  1. The exact list of items I carried on my month long self-supported cycling trip (Northern Tier, USA).
  2. The weight (rounded off to 5 or 10 grams) of each of those items.
  3. My approach to packing cycling and camping gear.

The list that follows can be used as a base list for any self-supported multi-day cycling trip. If you are going for a trip shorter than a week, then you could pare this down a bit. But if you are going for a cycling trip that will last longer than that – even up to a couple of months – then this list should work fine. The only thing that you may need to vary is:
– Quantity of food – that depends very much on the remoteness of the trip.
– Cold weather gear – that depends on the season, altitude and latitude of the trip.
– Electronics – On long tours I need to work from the road so I need to carry a laptop. I like to shoot stills and videos so I carry a large (20,000 mAh) power bank, medium-size tripod, external hard drive for back-ups… For many people these may be an overkill.

 

Items I carried on my month long self-supported cycling trip (Northern Tier, USA)
Items I carried on my month long self-supported cycling trip (Northern Tier, USA)

The list of list of items I carried on my month long self-supported cycling trip (Northern Tier, USA)

Note: This table allows sorting (click any column head) and search

CategoryItemQuantityWeight per Item (grams)Weight X Quantity (grams)Total Weight (Kgs)Weight as %age of total
Grand Total of all items 32.50100%
Total of all items32.50100.00%
Bicycle Items:7.5223.13%
Front Rack17807802.40%
Front Pannier bags - Ortlieb2730 1,4604.49%
Rear rack16706702.06%
Rear Pannier bags - Ortlieb2920 1,8405.66%
Cycling shoes17507502.31%
Helmet12702700.83%
Riding glasses ( Clear + dark) with cover2601200.37%
Frame pump12002000.62%
Cyclometer/GPS with mount11101100.34%
Handlebar bag with mount - Ortlieb17307302.25%
Cable/lock (mid weight)12502500.77%
Light w/batteries11751750.54%
Tail light w/batteries180800.25%
Headlamp with batteries185850.26%
-
Tools + Puncture Kit-1.474.52%
Cycle Multi Tool11251250.38%
Chain breaker11401400.43%
Sand paper1550.02%
Glue120200.06%
Lever230600.18%
Spare tube22004001.23%
Spoke key150500.15%
Chain degreaser (small)190900.28%
Lubricant (small)190900.28%
Bungee cords to hold stuff to21252500.77%
Thin rope170700.22%
Cleaning cloth150500.15%
Cable ties200.75150.05%
Duck tape11001000.31%
Rubber bands200.2550.02%
-
Cycling clothes:-1.745.36%
Cycling shorts (2 pair)12152150.66%
Cycling padded underwear21472940.90%
Cycling over shorts - un-padded12952950.91%
Cycling jersey - half-sleeves21903801.17%
Base layer: polyester microfiber22104201.29%
Cycling gloves (short fingers)150500.15%
Waterproof cycling jacket (light)190900.28%
-
Clothes - others:-1.494.58%
Underwear2501000.31%
Hiking shirt/t-shirt (full sleeves)12002000.62%
Hiking shirt/t-shirt (half sleeves)11751750.54%
Shorts12002000.62%
Sleeping t-shirt11501500.46%
Sleeping boxers11801800.55%
Slipon shoes13853851.18%
Socks4251000.31%
-
Cold weather clothes:-2.106.46%
Jacket -- down13203200.98%
Jacket - Fleece14804801.48%
Warm mid layer12602600.80%
Full length cycling tights12052050.63%
Thermal socks160600.18%
Cycling gloves (full fingers)160600.18%
Warm gloves11401400.43%
Balaclava175750.23%
Hiking pants15005001.54%
-
Toilet kit:-0.862.64%
Towel12002000.62%
Carrying pouch125250.08%
Disposable Razor120200.06%
Shaving cream (small)11001000.31%
Tooth brush114140.04%
Toothpaste (small)150500.15%
Liquid soap/shampoo11001000.31%
Hand sanitizer150500.15%
Sun screen [Bought on trip]11501500.46%
Chap stick110100.03%
Insect repellent11001000.31%
Toilet paper140400.12%
-
Camping & Sleeping Gear:-4.1412.72%
Sleeping bag11000 1,0003.08%
Waterproof stuff sack185850.26%
Sleeping pad19009002.77%
Tent + bag12100 2,1006.46%
Cold-water detergent150500.15%
-
Cooking Gear:-0.902.77%
WindBurner Stove System14404401.35%
Match box110100.03%
Lighter130300.09%
GSI Outdoors Commuter Java Press12902900.89%
Plastic lunch box150500.15%
Cup150500.15%
Plastic knife/fork/spoon130300.09%
-
Food & Water-6.0618.64%
Water bottles with water3870 2,6108.03%
Aquamira Water Treatment Drops150500.15%
Freeze-Dried Dinners32507502.31%
Heat and eat Pasta32507502.31%
Electrolyte Replacement51005001.54%
Energy Bars22004001.23%
Biscuits/Cookies22004001.23%
Train mix22004001.23%
Coffee11001000.31%
Sugar11001000.31%
-
First aid kit + Prescription medications:-0.601.85%
-
Electronics-5.5317.01%
MacBook Pro + charger12250 2,2506.92%
HDD + case12602600.80%
Battery bank16006001.85%
Phone + Charger12502500.77%
Camera + lens + Charger + spare batteries11200 1,2003.69%
Earphones120200.06%
Zoom H1 with batteries11001000.31%
Tripod - small - Cullmann18508502.61%
-
Miscellaneous:-0.100.31%
Wallet/credit cards/driver's license/Identity11001000.31%

My bike with four panniers and a handle-bar bag somewhere in the Cascade mountains
My bike with four panniers and a handle-bar bag somewhere in the Cascade mountains

How I packed for month long self-supported cycling trip (Northern Tier, USA)

Maybe I am OCD, but I have a deep dislike for pilling stuff on the rear rack. I much prefer packing everything inside pannier bags. That way I have no worries of things falling off, being left behind or getting wet.

The other thing I dislike is not knowing what is packed where. When you don’t have a systematic way of packing, you often have to scramble through a bag (sometimes more than one bag) when you are in need of one small thing. I have been there. In fact more than once I have had to empty out all the contents of a pannier bag because I just couldn’t find one little something. Those days are behind me now. I have created a system that works for me. This is how it works:

I try to fit everything into four panniers — two in front and two behind and a handle bar bag:

Rear pannier bag 1:

  • Tent (I specifically bought a tent that would fit inside the rear pannier bag)
  • Stove
  • Food
  • Coffee filter
  • Tools
  • Spare tube and puncture kit

Rear pannier bag 2:

  • Sleeping bag
  • Sleeping mat
  • Sleeping clothes
  • Laptop
  • Camp shoes
  • Tripod
  • Toiletries

Front pannier bag 1:

  • Cycling clothes
  • Battery pack

Front pannier bag 2:

  • Winter jacket
  • Camp clothes
  • Electronics – chargers for laptop, camera & phone, GPS
  • Back up hard disk drive in hard case

Handle bar bag:

  • Camera
  • Headlamp
  • Passport
  • Reading glasses
  • Dark glasses
  • Backup phone

So this is how I do it. Let me know if you found this useful or if you have a suggestion for me to improve this.

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