Author Topic: Your top 5 things to take on tour  (Read 7048 times)

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Offline LexieCali

Your top 5 things to take on tour
« on: July 08, 2011, 09:52:09 pm »
Hey everyone:

I am going on a leisure tour along the West Coast (USA), and wondering what are the most important things/gear to take on a cycling tour. It seems every time I pack, I miss something important, and then..."what didn't I think of this?!!!" moment repeat over and over.
So I am wondering what is your top 5 things (or 10) that are your must-haves on bicycling tours? Please share. Maybe I will learn something about prioritizing  8)

Thanks and Happy Pedaling!
Lexie

UPDATE!!!
Thank you all about for being so generous about sharing your experience. And thank you for all the brilliant suggestions – I truly appreciate them. Going through all the posts again, I picked out the suggestions I thought were the most useful and also the ones that were simply charmingly odd. What do you think? Anything else to add?

Useful
Comprehensive packing list http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/packing.cfm
Keeping checklists based on previous trips
Collapsible water carrier for the campsites (still looking for a good one)
SpinPower bicycle phone charger www.bike2power.com
Trangia Spirit Stove http://amzn.to/nyxUkH
Leatherman-type tool – found a great one Topeak Alien II 26-function http://amzn.to/n4PByT
Cyclist’s wallet www.bicyclegifts.com
Kindle http://amzn.to/romvXf
Primus cooker (not sure about how to transport the gas)

Charmingly Odd (but still useful)
Gorilla Tape http://bit.ly/rtFBGS
Spork
Telescopic Shower brush - link anyone?
The Bottle http://bit.ly/nN5WnI
The Bottle with Funnel – finally, a link from Shane http://www.go-girl.com
(All hail) the chamois towel!
Remote-controlled handle bar mirror – is there such a thing? ???
Spare soles (for feet, not shoes?)
Patience and attitude
Not losing your partner (or your temper) >:(
« Last Edit: July 31, 2011, 01:27:41 am by LexieCali »

Offline Mark Manley

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2011, 02:00:26 am »
Apart from the expected things like tent, sleeping bag, matt, stove etc. one luxury I like to take is a small flask which I fill with tea in the morning for drinking during the day.
No matter how carefully I pack I always manage to forget one thing so you are not alone in that.

Mark

Offline tonupgilly

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2011, 06:03:04 am »
I purchased all the stuff I thought I would need to start bike touring some time ago, but due to unforeseen circumstances was unable to start touring straight away.  I am now planning a European tour (I live in UK) in September.  Having never done this before I too am wondering what I should take, so I have decided to do a mini-tour close to home to test it.    I intend riding around my home county of Kent, starting next Tuesday and taking three nights and four days.  I will never be more than 60 miles from home and have plenty of shops around if I've forgotten some major item.  Hopefully it will give me a good insight into what it will be like.  So if anyone has ideas on really useful items, I too would be grateful for your tips.

When are you off Lexiecali?

Offline bikeguy54

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #3 on: July 09, 2011, 07:13:38 am »
I just bought a Kindle to take. I guess you could debate whether that is essential or not.

Offline John Nelson

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #4 on: July 09, 2011, 04:28:26 pm »
For most people, thinking too hard about what they might leave out is a sure way to overpack.

Study existing packing lists. There are hundreds of them on the web, including a pretty comprehensive one right here on the ACA site.

http://www.adventurecycling.org/features/packing.cfm

Don't take everything on anybody's list. Also, tailor your list to the location and weather you expect there at the time you are going.

My algorithm is that you should then allow yourself a very small number of luxury items (three?) that aren't strictly necessary. These items should be unique to your preferences and tastes. Maybe you want a small camp stool. Maybe you want a 6-inch thick air mattress. Maybe you want a radio. Maybe you want a down pillow and silk pillowcase. Maybe you want a bear canister. Maybe you want a bike cover. Maybe you like the security of a spare tire. Maybe you want a fishing rod. Maybe you want a Frisbie. Maybe you want a hammer to pound in your tent stakes. But certainly don't take all of them--only take what's most important to you.


Offline johnsondasw

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #5 on: July 09, 2011, 11:46:40 pm »
Headlamp with extra batteries, book, one of those fast drying chamois type towels, extra tubes, extra tire, leatherman with pliers.
May the wind be at your back!

Offline tonythomson

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2011, 05:54:54 pm »
Handle bar mirror - keeps you safe and you can control the vehicles coming up behind.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline DaveB

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #7 on: July 10, 2011, 08:12:23 pm »
Handle bar mirror - keeps you safe and you can control the vehicles coming up behind.
Is this a mirror or a remote control?  I fully agree on the desirability of a mirror of some sort but I never found mine would let me drive an oncoming car.  :D

Offline Grumpybear

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #8 on: July 10, 2011, 10:52:54 pm »
My equipment list is good, and I've been lucky enough not to have forgotten anything important to start my tour (knock on wood).

I have lost two things for a short time that made the tour harder. First was my riding partner, I yinged when I should of yanged. It took half the day and some little worry to meet back up. The second was my attitude. I was very tired, very wet, and getting hungry. every turn in direction was irritating, every hill was put there just to spite me. I found an overhang along the road, brewed up some hot tea and ate a Snickers bar. The truth was I was in a nice area that was pretty, even in the rain. I found my attitude again.

Offline tonythomson

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #9 on: July 11, 2011, 02:35:13 am »
My equipment list is good, and I've been lucky enough not to have forgotten anything important to start my tour (knock on wood).

I have lost two things for a short time that made the tour harder. First was my riding partner, I yinged when I should of yanged. It took half the day and some little worry to meet back up. The second was my attitude. I was very tired, very wet, and getting hungry. every turn in direction was irritating, every hill was put there just to spite me. I found an overhang along the road, brewed up some hot tea and ate a Snickers bar. The truth was I was in a nice area that was pretty, even in the rain. I found my attitude again.

Yeh who hasn't felt like that at times - haven't lost a partner though, regardless of how hard I tried.
Just starting to record my trips  www.tonystravels.com

Offline indyfabz

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #10 on: July 11, 2011, 02:08:41 pm »
Patience.  I think you will find that things rarely go as smoothly or according to plan as you would hope.  This past Friday was the last day of a 9 day tour.  Because of a pass closure, we had to take a detour the day before.  That left us with a final day that was only 26 miles.  Most of that mileage was flat to gently down hill.  Took 2.5 hrs. pedalling time because Mr. Wind decided to rear it's 30 mph head. 

Offline LexieCali

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #11 on: July 14, 2011, 03:41:12 pm »
When are you off Lexiecali?

I am leaving in a couple of weeks once the semester is over. I have also been on a few small tours, but have never ventured out more than 3 days in a row.

Offline staehpj1

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2011, 07:08:17 am »
I thought about replying to this a few times and have had a hard time deciding what to say.

I guess I have to say that I pack pretty light and still I pretty much never say "why didn't I bring ______"?   You just don't really need all that much stuff and the things that you need are pretty much the same for each tour so as long as you have a list of what you took last time you are fine.

For me the few exceptions were usually things I forgot to buy or couldn't find while on the tour rather than things I forgot to pack from home.  Most notably things like forgetting to buy bug dope, sunscreen, or fuel when running out.  I also was unaware that I could take a lighter on a plane and planned to buy one along the way.  I wound up in a fairly remote camp with no way to light the stove.  Fortunately I was able to borrow one.  Funny thing is that I was stupid enough to do this not just once but twice.

For me the key to packing is to do two things.  First have a checklist that is based on previous trips.  After each trip go over the list and think about omitting stuff you either didn't use or could get along without.  On my first tour the list was based on lists from backpacking or canoe camping.  Second, think in terms of what can I either do without or use something lighter.  Almost every clever "that would be a great idea" item turns out to be just another thing that you don't need.

Offline bogiesan

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2011, 08:35:19 am »
Shower brush.
Shower sandals.
Journal/pen/pencil.
Reading matter that does not induce paranoia.
Lube for glutes.

david boise ID
I play go. I use Macintosh. Of course I ride a recumbent

Offline staehpj1

Re: Your top 5 things to take on tour
« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2011, 08:57:58 am »
Shower brush.
Really?  I don't remember seeing that one on anyone's list before.