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.

Getting ready to leave with all my bags
Getting ready to leave with all my bags

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.
All my world;y belongings for the duration of the trip
All my world;y belongings for the duration of the trip

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:

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

ItemQuantityWeight (Gm)Total (Kg)%age of total
Total of all items35.43100.00%
Bicycle Items:7.5221.23%
Front Rack17800.782.20%
Front Pannier bags - Ortlieb27301.464.12%
Rear rack16700.671.89%
Rear Pannier bags - Ortlieb29201.845.19%
Cycling shoes17500.752.12%
Helmet12700.270.76%
Riding glasses ( Clear + dark) with cover2600.120.34%
Frame pump12000.200.56%
Cyclometer/GPS with mount11100.110.31%
Handlebar bag with mount - Ortlieb17300.732.06%
Cable/lock (mid weight)12500.250.71%
Light w/batteries11750.180.49%
Tail light w/batteries1800.080.23%
Headlamp with batteries1850.090.24%
Tools + Puncture Kit:1.474.15%
Cycle Multi Tool11250.130.35%
Chain breaker11400.140.40%
Sand paper150.010.01%
Glue1200.020.06%
Lever2300.060.17%
Spare tube22000.401.13%
Spoke key1500.050.14%
Chain degreaser (small)1900.090.25%
Lubricant (small)1900.090.25%
Bungee cords to hold stuff to21250.250.71%
Thin rope1700.070.20%
Cleaning cloth1500.050.14%
Cable ties200.750.020.04%
Duck tape11000.100.28%
Rubber bands200.250.010.01%
Cycling clothes:1.744.92%
Cycling shorts (2 pair)12150.220.61%
Cycling padded underwear21470.290.83%
Cycling over shorts - un-padded12950.300.83%
Cycling jersey - half-sleeves21900.381.07%
Base layer: polyester microfiber22100.421.19%
Cycling gloves (short fingers)1500.050.14%
Waterproof cycling jacket (light)1900.090.25%
Clothes - others:1.494.21%
Underwear2500.100.28%
Hiking shirt/t-shirt (full sleeves)12000.200.56%
Hiking shirt/t-shirt (half sleeves)11750.180.49%
Shorts12000.200.56%
Sleeping t-shirt11500.150.42%
Sleeping boxers11800.180.51%
Slipon shoes13850.391.09%
Socks4250.100.28%
Cold weather clothes:2.105.93%
Jacket – down13200.320.90%
Jacket - Fleece14800.481.35%
Warm mid layer12600.260.73%
Full length cycling tights12050.210.58%
Thermal socks1600.060.17%
Cycling gloves (full fingers)1600.060.17%
Warm gloves11400.140.40%
Balaclava1750.080.21%
Hiking pants15000.501.41%
Toilet kit:0.862.42%
Towel12000.200.56%
Carrying pouch1250.030.07%
Disposable Razor1200.020.06%
Shaving cream (small)11000.100.28%
Tooth brush1140.010.04%
Toothpaste (small)1500.050.14%
Liquid soap/shampoo11000.100.28%
Hand sanitizer1500.050.14%
Sun screen [Bought on trip]11500.150.42%
Chap stick1100.010.03%
Insect repellent11000.100.28%
Toilet paper1400.040.11%
Camping & Sleeping Gear:4.1411.67%
Sleeping bag110001.002.82%
Waterproof stuff sack1850.090.24%
Sleeping pad19000.902.54%
Tent + bag121002.105.93%
Cold-water detergent1500.050.14%
Cooking Gear:0.902.54%
WindBurner Stove System14400.441.24%
Match box1100.010.03%
Lighter1300.030.08%
GSI Outdoors Commuter Java Press12900.290.82%
Plastic lunch box1500.050.14%
Cup1500.050.14%
Plastic knife/fork/spoon1300.030.08%
Food & Water:8.9825.35%
Water bottles with water38705.5315.61%
Aquamira Water Treatment Drops1500.050.14%
Freeze-Dried Dinners32500.752.12%
Heat and eat Pasta32500.752.12%
Electrolyte Replacement51000.501.41%
Energy Bars22000.401.13%
Biscuits/Cookies22000.401.13%
Train mix22000.401.13%
Coffee11000.100.28%
Sugar11000.100.28%
First aid kit + Prescription medications:0.601.69%
Electronics:5.5315.61%
MacBook Pro + charger122502.256.35%
HDD + case12600.260.73%
Battery bank16000.601.69%
Phone + Charger12500.250.71%
Camera + lens + Charger + spare batteries112001.203.39%
Earphones1200.020.06%
Zoom H1 with batteries11000.100.28%
Tripod - small - Cullmann18500.852.40%
Miscellaneous:0.100.28%
Wallet/credit cards/driver’s license/Identity11000.100.28%

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

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

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:

'For man and beast' Need I say more?
'For man and beast' Need I say more?

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

Rear pannier bag 1:

Rear pannier bag 2:

Front pannier bag 1:

Front pannier bag 2:

Handle bar bag:

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.

The planned route of my month long self-supported cycling trip
The planned route of my month long self-supported cycling trip

First published on January 1, 2018
#cycling#featured, #bicycle touring packing list, #cycle tour in india, #cycle touring, #manali to leh cycling

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