Important Things To Pack While On A Bike Tour
Biking has been a passion for most people and it is no wonder that they still love to go for long bike rides whenever possible. However, most of them end up having unpleasant experiences. Why? Because their bike broke down and they had no way to repair it, or the place they camped up for the night swarmed with mosquitos.
Many times, due to the heavy luggage and inability to decide what to take and what to avoid for the tour can lead to damage as well. Here is a list as to what one should pack for the trip and then it is just a matter of preference and decision.
The list is divided into various sections based on the different requirements that one has during the entire journey.
- Biking gear
- Repair tools
- Camping tools and Food
- Miscellaneous items
- Sanitation and hygiene
Comfortable yet light clothing and biking gear
The aim of choosing the perfect clothing is to provide comfort and ease while riding the bike. The primary deciding factor here is the route one takes and the weather of that place. One can choose a cycling jersey or synthetic t-shirt, and pair it with cycling shorts. Packing a 1-3 pair of underwear is important. One can also try cycling gloves, shoes, and socks. In case the temperature is dropping down, packing a full sleeve jersey, pants, winter clothes is recommended. Whatever one packs totally depends on the personal choice. If one likes to ride with minimal clothes, he can choose to do so. No hard rules!
Taking a helmet and a pair of sunglasses is compulsory as they provide quite an amount of protection. Whatever one chooses to carry, the basic idea should be not to run out of clothes while riding and yet not multiply the load that one has to pack.
Light but efficient bike tools
Since one is going to spend the entire tour with his bike, he should be promptly prepared for any sort of mishaps. One can get a deflated tire, or can hit a tree. The main aim to reduce the weight yet carry enough tools to face any situation. Some of these tools include:
- Tire lever/patch kit
- Spare tire and tube
- Multi-tool kit
- Brake cable
- Additional nuts, bolts, screws, wires and cables
- Bike chains and its lubrication
- Air pump
- Duct tape
- Spokes and wrench
- Vice grips
- Hose clamp
- Brake pad
- Compression strap (to hold the things to the bike)
- Bicycle bag
Of course, if one has a new bike or newly serviced one, they can skip a few tools here and there. However, accidents can happen anytime, and it is preferable to be fully equipped for any such circumstance.
Of course, one cannot ride 24*7. Breaks are needed, and that is why camping. Plus, if one wishes to sleep in the lap of nature, he should be well equipped with the necessary things to avoid the insects and any other unwanted incident. The checklist for camping includes a tent, a groundsheet, sleeping bag, bag liner, sleeping mat, pillow, and torches. One needs ropes and mallet or hammer to put up that tent.
And if one is camping, he can’t go without cooking. So some basic cooking and serving utensils are recommended. Apart from that, if one can cook on a wood fire, well and good, else carrying a portable stove and fuel saves lots of hassle. Lighter or matchstick will be needed unless one knows to create fire by stones. Spices, oils, honey, a thermos can also be packed.
One must pack only that which he would want to cook and eat after biking the entire day. Easy meals, preferably ready to cook ones should be handy so that even if the biker is dead tired after the day, he can make a meal for himself.
Flashlights are needed because it is going to be very dark at night. And if one is camping up in the thick forest, it becomes mandatory to take necessary precautions. Insect replants must be kept in the luggage else one will wake up with love bites, and that won’t be pleasant.
This list includes all the things that one won’t need for the exact biking thing but must keep with them always. These include the necessary documents like passport if traveling abroad, driver’s license, ATM/ Debit/ Credit Card and other stuff like this. Cash should always be handy. An emergency contact number and a contact list of the family and friends should also be carried along while biking. Of course, most people have cell phones, so there is no need to take extra sheets for contact numbers.
Since the cell phone is on the list, portable chargers are recommended. Or a spare battery, according to the biker’s preference. Then there is a small list of the watch, sunscreen, lip balm, eyeglasses and so on. And in that case, an addition would be a digital camera. Of course, what good would be a tour if one cannot keep any memories of it?
LED headlamps and batteries are also suggested if one is riding in the dark hours. Radio, GPS, USB mini cable, iPod, journal, reading book, maps, guidebooks, pens, bike lock, binoculars are also necessary though not compulsory.
Sanitation and hygiene
This is an important part of our daily lives and going on a bike tour does not change a dime. Plus, one will be traveling places, where he might be allergic to a particular insect. Or the water won’t suit him. Or the weather would be way too clumsy and humid for him to adjust. Therefore, it is crucial that hygiene and sanitation are maintained so that the bike tour is worth the ride. Otherwise, what good is a tour with bad health!
The list includes stuff like travel towel, washcloth, soap, shampoo, toiletries, deodorant, toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, hand sanitizer, skin cream, nail clippers and file, comb, razor, mirror, general medicines, and multivitamins.
Girls should keep sanitary napkins in case they might need it. Guys can keep condoms if they think there is a fair chance of them getting lucky.
Band-Aids, first aid components, bandages, Ibroprophen, cotton, pain reliever, anti-itch cream, foot powder, knee wrap, zinc tablets, anti-diarrheal tablets, and any other medication depending on the health condition of the biker must be packed.
Whatever one keeps, one must ensure that they actually need it. One good trick to packing is to pack things without which one cannot do. And then the accessories can be added if there is room to fit in any more stuff.
Biking has and always be one the most loved sports. It is upon the rider whether he wants to make it a memorable experience or a nightmare. While choosing a perfect road bike is the most important aspect of preparing for a bike tour, the materials one carries also impact severely the quality of the tour.
This list is intended to provide a wholesome approach to the things to bring for the bike tour. One can, of course, make any number of additions and subtractions as long as it does not cause and inconvenience. Therefore, keep luggage light but sufficient and happy biking!