Self Support Cycle Gear List

I have fine-tuned my gear list for a self-support European touring cycle trip. I usually ride with a small hydration-shaped pack, a rear rack trunk bag, a top tube frame bag and a water cage container. This configuration of bike bags allows for about 10-12 pounds of gear. This gear list includes; a 2-man tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, full bike kit clothing, two sets of non-riding clothing, some electronics, and toiletries. All items are chosen for lightness, compact-abiIity, ease of cleaning and ability to dry quickly. I carry no cooking gear. And remember, if in doubt, don’t bring it, buy it when you need it.

For an updated self support gear list, check out my book Euro Tours.

Cycling bags

  • Bontrager Trunk Deluxe (Trek Interchange System) Note: This model has built-in rain condom, but doesn’t have the drop-down panniers. I think the drop-down model is too much backend weight for a rear rack. The Interchange System makes fastening and removing your trunk bag fast.
  • I have switched to a Jandd Frame Bag, it fits on a 54″ frame. Primarily, it carries my non-riding shoes. I tried a Relevate Frame Bag but it was too big to fit within my 54″ frame triangle.
  • REI Flash Pack (without hydration system) I try to load this pack with no more than two pounds of gear, otherwise, it becomes uncomfortable for long riding days. It is nice to have a small pack along for grocery runs or day hikes.
  • Soma Stash Bottle (fluids or easy access to raincoat) This a good place to store the Sugoi rain jacket, very accessible.

Camping Gear

  • ThermaRest Neo Air Full-length Sleeping Pad. This year I upgraded from a 3/4 to full length for more comfort.
  • Western Mountaineering Highlite sleeping bag (1lb) good to about 35F-40F temperature range
  • 2 man TarpTent Note: that the Cloudburst is very roomy for two people.
  • 6 tent aluminum tent pegs

Bike Clothing

Zero gear preplanning happens
  • Pearlizumi X-Road Shoes (Hybrid: bikeSPD/hike) Because you might want to go hiking some days. Standard road bike shoes are worthless off your bike.
  • Pearlizumi Riding Shorts
  • Sugoi leggings
  • Assos Full Zipper Jersey
  • Catlike Riding Helmet
  • 3 pairs bike socks
  • 1 pair riding gloves
  • Pearlizumi glove liners (optional when colder)
  • Pearlizumi wind vest (optional when warmer)
  • Assos Full Zipper/Sleve Riding Jacket (optional when colder)
  • Sugoi Rain Jacket. I keep this in the Soma Stash bottle, for quick access. This jacket works fine as a breathable wind breaker too.

Evening Clothing

  • Bison Belt (nylon webbing/Fastex belt buckle) Bison does have a money belt version of this belt.
  • REI Adventure pants, 4 zipped pockets, dries quickly and light weight.
  • Pearlizumi or Nike black nylon stretch pants
  • one dress shirt (optional)
  • long sleeve nylon shirt
  • short sleeve nylon shirt
  • Nylon Baseball Hat
  • Pile Hat helmut liner cap
  • Crocs: Santa Cruz evening shoes; lightweight, packable, comfortable Evolv Cruzers ($75): These are climbing approach shoes. Does everything that the Croc Santa Cruz plus a great climbing tread. These would make much better Via Ferrata shoes than the Crocs.
  • 1 pair high socks
  • 3 synthetic Patagonia underwear
  • MontBell Ultra-Light Down Jacket (7 oz.) Very light and compact able. Perfect for cool mornings or evenings. This is also the down for your pillow case.
  • small toilet bag (you can reduce weight here)
  • ThermaRest Pillow bag
  • REI small or medium backpacking towel
  • nylon bathing suit, quick drying as always.

Small Items

  • Apple iPhone; GSM unlocked, iPhone headphones, & USB Cable/Charger. I highly recommend an unlocked GSM phone, with GPS and Google Maps app.
  • New Trent rechargeable battery (optional) Good at campgrounds without charging plugs or for charging in a tent, and when public outlets are insecure, strangely pronged, or emit unfamiliar voltages.
  • North America to European plug adapter (critical) for charging iPhone or Trent battery
  • Prepaid SIM card of country I am riding in. ($10)
  • 1GB Flash SSD memory stick for photo backups or carrying around digital files.
  • Canon PowerShot SD1200 IS camera & USB Cable iPhone4 camera is my only camera now. (optional)
  • Compact nylon grocery bag, there are pack versions of this too.
  • Lexan Spoon. This is the only kitchen/eating utensil I bring along.
  • waterproof Dry-Pak for camera or iPhone. (optional)
  • Headlight
  • Sunglasses with dark and rose lenses.
  • Folding reading glasses (optional)
  • mini carabiners
  • Passport and credit card. Take pictures of other wallet id cards (health insurance, etc.) and leave cards at home.

Bike Gear

  • Richey Breakaway Bike
  • Continential Gatorskin tires 700/25 especially for the extra weight over the rear wheel
  • Bontrager Rear Rack (Trek Interchange System)
  • Shimano A530 SPD dual platform road touring pedals. SPDs during the rides, flat platform with evening shoes.
  • Rear rack light, nice for dark long tunnels and heavy traffic
  • Knog front light. This light can be easily fastened on any tube area of your frame and is waterproof.
  • Lightweight bike lock. I try to never leave my bike unattended in public.
  • Slime Skabs patches, instead of a tire tube
  • tire levers
  • Presta valve adapter, when you can’t find a good floor pump. This can be used at most gas stations.
  • small bottle of chain lube
  • Spin Doctor mini 4 hex tool (55grams)
  • Blackburn AirStix pump 58 grams
  • pant leg straps with reflector strips to avoid pants shredding
  • One Clean water bottle, type that can be opened and cleaned from the bottom
  • Michelin Road Atlas as iPhone photos or Google Maps with GPS and data capability
  • iPhone Apps: SBB Mobile (Euro trains), Google Translate, FXChange (currencies), iPhone Kindle (books), Google Maps

Telegraph Cove

 Recent pics of an eleven day sea kayaking trip to the Broughton Islands off of Vancouver Island. The Broughtons offer endless small islands to explore, paddle or camp. The biggest trip obstacle is the Johnstone Strait crossing (3km) which you navigate leaving and returning to the Telegraph Cove. We rented a double sea kayak from North Island Kayaks out of Telegraph Cove, British Columbia. Telegraph Cove makes for a very easy putin/takeout location. You can organize out of the Telegraph Cove Resort campground or go luxurious with one of their cabins on the Cove’s boardwalk. Getting yourself and your backpacking gear to Telegraph Cove is really all you need to do logistically to make this trip happen. We flew from Vancouver to Port Hardy, BC, you can get a cab at the airport, we negotiated a 45 minute grocery stop at the IGA in Port McNeill with our driver (Reg, Rainbox Taxi, 250 956 8294). You can buy last minute items at the small dockside store in Telegraph Cove. Many sea kayakers or boaters; short on time, use various water taxis to get shuttled out into the Broughtons. The rates seem to vary greatly, but expect $400 to $600 for any destinations beyond Johnstone Strait.