Basic cycle touring gear list

We’ll be honest with you. Writing an article about cycle touring gear list sucks. We deliberately pushed it towards the end of our “Cycle touring for beginners” series. There’s great amount of subjectiveness what one considers as essential or basic.

We’re preparing a page summarising all our gear on this journey but that should be separate. Because we may carry things that are absolutely ridiculously sounding to somebody (like ehm 4 camera lenses ehm) as other people are carrying things that are absolutely ridiculously sounding to us (like ehm camping chairs ehm). We’re also not going to suggest any brands etc in this one.

This blog post should be more like a check list for somebody who has no clue and searches the internet trying to find that straw to grab on. So there you go, our basic cycle touring gear list for beginners!

Bike + accessories

  • bicycle with the front and/or rear rack
  • helmet
  • panniers/backpack on the rack/trailer (depending on your preference)
  • front and rear light (as the front light we use head lamps)
  • rear mirror (mounted on handlebars/helmet/glasses)
  • water carrying system (water bottles, camel bag, dromedary bag/large volume water carrier)
  • cycling computer (optional)
  • bike lock

Repair kit


  • spare inner tube + patch kit (spoiler alert – self-adhesive ones suck usually in longterm) + tire levers + pump
  • multitool – one with which you can tighten all the different screws, nuts and bolts on your bike
  • chain lube
  • spare screws, nuts and bolts
  • zip/cable ties + duct tape/zinc tape (Leukoplast) – this is the kit that will repair nearly anything that’s broken/torn or damaged in any other way 😉
  • mini sewing kit


  • more spare inner tubes or patches 😀
  • chain tool (often part of the multitool) + some chain links/few cm of chain
  • spoke wrench + spare spokes for front and rear wheel (measure yours before buying)
  • spare brake pads, gear and brake cables
  • spare tire


  • tent (lightweight but you want some extra space for storing some of the panniers inside)
  • tent footprint (prolongs the life of your tent) or tarp
  • camping mattress
  • sleeping bag
  • sleeping bag liner – ideally silk (can be used on its own when hot, protects the sleeping bag)
  • inflatable pillow (luxury) or your clothes stuffed into the sleeping bag stuff sack
  • head torch


  • camping stove
  • camping cooking kit (really depending on the type of meals you plan to cook – one pot, two pots, two pots+pan…)
  • spork – titanium recommended, we went through few plastic ones before discovering it
  • knife/pocket knife
  • to bring more luxury into your kitchen: camping mug, kitchen utensils, cutting board, coffee filter/aeropress/mokka pot for coffee lovers
  • water filter (depends where you’re touring)
  • basic cooking essentials – salt, pepper, spices – carried in mini zip lock bags or tiny plastic containers, oil, sugar, coffee/tea


As a cycle tourist you don’t need special fancy cycling clothes. And sometimes you don’t even want it – when touring in countries where this will make you look like an all lycra alien.

Warm weather

  • 2x shorts (with good saddle you really don’t need padded shorts)
  • 2x T-shirt or 1x T-shirt + long sleeve light shirt (that will protect you from sun)
  • cycling gloves

Cold weather

  • long sleeve thermal shirt and underpants
  • warm jacket
  • buff, cap, warm gloves, warm socks


  • waterproof and windproof jacket
  • waterproof overpants
  • waterproof shoes covers (or plastic bags ;))


  • 3x underwear
  • 3x socks
  • sports bra + normal bra (female only)
  • swimsuit


  • 1x shoes for cycling with firm sole (that you can use for hiking and walking around the town too) or clipless cycling shoes if you’re used to them
  • 1x sandals/flip flops


  • 1x set of casual clothes when all your other stuff is in laundry
  • sunglasses
  • hat/cap (if required)



  • toothbrush (you can shorten the handle) + toothpaste + dental floss
  • multi purpose bar of soap (soap + shampoo + shower gel and laundry detergent in one)
  • light quick-dry towel
  • toilet paper/paper tissues
  • comb/hair brush
  • small scissors and tweezers (can be part of your pocket knife)
  • sunscreen
  • bug repellent
  • female only 😉 – menstrual supplies, lightweight and small to pack option is a menstrual cup
  • chamois cream/baby diaper cream
  • pain + fever – ibuprofen, paracetamol
  • diarrhoea – activated charcoal, rehydration sachets, immodium (loperamid)
  • bandages + plasters + disinfection + adhesive tape
  • antihistamines for allergic reaction
  • wide spectrum antibiotic if difficult to access health care provider


  • money
  • personal ID
  • credit card

Other than that, all the personal items will fit into this category, electronics, books, maps, things you can’t imagine to leave at home. We’re not going to give you suggestions about this because each of us is different and considers different things relevant.


Notes before we finish

  • you don’t need to go and buy everything new and invest a lot of money
  • we are currently touring on 8 years old bicycles and they’re doing the job well
  • you can make your own panniers, like here or here
  • go to charity shops, buy used gear/clothes on internet until you’re sure you want to invest more money into your newly found passion


If this cycle touring gear list was helpful for you or you find it valid, please share it with others so they can pack easier for their first adventure. Check out also our previous articles from this series, where to sleep for free and how to pick a route. See you next time!


cycle touring gear list, flatlay photo of cycling gear and two dogs




Follow Luba Lapsanska:

Older woman, 33 years old, experienced. She stopped being a doctor and started being a traveller. She likes animals more than people because they don't lie. She also likes looking at the the world through the viewfinder of her camera.

Tell us what you think