A Flexible Schedule
First off, it took me at least 100 hours to get everything ready for my trip. Therefore, I wouldn’t be too quick to book things in advance as you might encounter some aspects of readying your gear. My biggest obstacle was finding and installing the right front rack and panniers for my bicycle. In fact, as much as possible, I would advise against booking things in advance because unforeseen events will happen during a lengthy bicycle tour. These include; bicycle mishaps, physical mishaps, etc. But the main reason I like to keep a flexible schedule is to allow myself to explore things, areas that I hadn’t planned on visiting. True travel freedom!
Waterproof stuff is more expensive but in my opinion it’s worth it. Unless you’re super diligent about putting covers over your stuff (which is tough if you’re planning to tour full time) waterproof gear is a good investment if you can afford it. This applies to:
- Panniers (bike bags)
- Jacket and pants (waterproof pants are optional IMO)
- Backpack (optional IMO)
The rest of the gear probably doesn’t need to be water proof as it will be housed in one of the items mentioned above.
- A camera, the memory fades it does
- Different types of clothing depending on where you’re going
- An unlocked cell phone (I recommend buying a new prepaid SIM card in every country)
- A compass, you won’t always have reception
- A little paperback book
- A little gas stove (optional but fun)
- A sleeping pad (inflatable is usually better for size & weight)
- A headlamp
- Good walking shoes
- A fake wallet you can give to a thief just in case (I recommend using it regularly with only one card and a few buck in it and keeping all other cards in a hidden location.
- Multiple bank/credit cards (for the scenario above)
- A traveler’s towel, compact, dries quickly
- Small first aid kit
- Plastic bags for dirty laundry etc.
- Hygiene stuff
- Night mask
- Water filtration system, don’t die
- Dry camping food high in protein
- Spare screws for your bike
- Tool kit that meets the need of your bicycle
- A bit of duct tape
- A bungee chord
- Bike lock(s) I use a U-lock and two small cable locks
- Spare inner tube & repair kit
- Small bike pump
- Front and rear lights for your bike
After having read this list you might still think you would want to bring some additional items. I would advise to ask yourself if you will use this item often or if it is crucial to your safety/happiness. If the answer is no, you probably shouldn’t bring it with you. Bear in mind, you will have limited cargo space and the more weight your bike is carrying the less enjoyable it will be to ride it.
Side note: It is typically recommended to hold most of the weight in your rear panniers as weight on the front rack will affect your steering.
To see which gear I use specifically click here.