It’s been a while since we got back from our 2 week bike packing trip in the Outer Hebrides, and I promised you all a post with my kit list and how I packed up the bike.
First things first…
Big thanks to Julie from ‘Living This Life Out Loud’ who not only directed me to her blog post on the topic, but also sent me a fab email packed full of information about how she packs for bike packing trips. It really helped me to get my head straight about packing for my own trip.
I also had a message back from the Adventure Syndicate who gave me a link to their blog post about how Lee Craigie packs her bike. Again, this was fantastic research and along with the information from Julie, really helped me to get my own packing pretty much spot on.
One of the big things I picked up from everyone was that merino clothing is the bees knees for multi-day trips, helping to keep you smelling fresh as a daisy when you have to wear the same thing day in day out.
I’ll be honest, I’ve worn a well know NZ brand of merino over the years, but never really gelled with it. However, the fab people at EDZ Layering kitted me out with t-shirt, long sleeve top and leggings for our Outer Hebrides trip and I’ve absolutely fallen in love with it.
I slept in the leggings and long sleeved top and wore either a t-shirt or long sleeved top whilst cycling. It was super comfy, non-itch, and stayed fresh in between laundry stops – and having worn the t-shirt every week on some pretty tough walks in the hot temperatures we’ve had since our return from Scotland, I’ve become an absolute convert.
Ok, without further ado, here’s the list…..
Front Handlebar Bag (Alpkit Dual 20L dry bag)
- Mountain Equipment Glacier 450 down sleeping bag
- Snugpak silk liner (must be 15 years old, but hopefully this is similar!)
- Klymet Static V sleeping mat
- EDZ merino leggings
- EDZ merino long sleeved top
- Foil blanket (used as a liner under the mat if really cold)
- Ear plugs
Handlebar pouch (Alpkit Roo pouch)
- Lots of snacks!
- Cafe lock
Rear bag: attached to top of pannier rack (Alpkit 13L Airlok Xtra dry bag)
- Spare EDZ merino top
- Spare padded shorts
- Spare cycling shorts
- 3 pairs wicking underwear
- Spare underwear for the evening
- Prana Halle trousers (lightweight, fast dry, roll up)
- Outdoor Research base layer hoodie
- Alpkit Griffon hoodie
- 3 pairs socks
- Lightweight leggings
- Marmot wicking t-shirt
- CamelBak water reservoir
- Woolly hat
- Sun hat
- Midge net
- Windproof gilet
- Spare inner tube
- Puncture repair kit
- Basic medical kit
- Cash and credit cards
It’s worth noting that I started the trip wearing my rucksack on my back, but soon realised that it was much more comfortable to attach it with a bungee cord on top of the pannier rack. This trip was all about learning the secrets of packing!
I used front pannier bags mounted on the rear as full panniers are too big for the frame size of my bike. It meant that I had less capacity than with a normal pannier set up.
- Trainers and socks (for walking and evenings)
- Notebook and pen
- Arc’teryx Atom SL vest (synthetic body warmer)
- Arc’teryx Atom SL hoody (synthetic jacket)
- Ion waterproof jacket
- Berghaus waterproof trousers
- Playing cards
- 2 plastic cups
- Pack towel
- Toiletries (see list below)
- The North Face flip flops (lightweight)
- Sit mat
- Knee warmers
- Midge coil
Toiletries list (carried in pannier bag)
- Small pack wet wipes
- Small pack face wipes
- Small face towel
- Travel toothbrush
- Travel size toothpaste
- Moisturiser (small pack)
- Travel size shower gel
- Travel size shampoo
- Travel size hair conditioner
- Coconut oil (for hair conditioning, after sun and cooking)
- Prescription medicine
- Small container of Sudocrem
- Smidge (midge repellant)
The other essentials
As I mentioned, my bike frame is too small to fit larger panniers or a frame bag, but I was lucky to be travelling with my better half who carried some of the essentials – thanks Jason 😉
If I’d been travelling solo, I would have needed to think more carefully about my packing in order to leave room for these items!
- Terra Nova Trisar ultra (20 year old back packing tent)
- Trangia stove
- 2 packs of dehydrated food for emergencies
- 2 plastic plates
- 2 plastic bowls
- Spoons, forks, knives
- Gas cannister
What did I miss?
I really wished that I’d packed a spare sports bra and one thing which I’ve already added to my kit list is a battery pack to charge my phone and kindle when away from plug sockets.
What I loved
Comb, sit mat, flip flops, trainers, coconut oil and knee warmers!
What might work better in future
Walking sandals, GPS device with a longer battery life, interchangeable lens cycling glasses, fast drying socks (I wore cotton, duh!) and a tent with a bigger porch for storage.
When I look back over my kit list, it was pretty much spot on for a comfortable trip. There were just 2 or 3 of things which I didn’t use, but only because the weather was much warmer (and drier) than anticipated. I’m happy to use this list again when we return to finish the northern half of the Hebridean Way, which is a pretty good proof that it worked!
If you have any ‘must have’ items on your own kit list or things you’ve learned about packing from your own bike packing trips, I’d love to share them via the comments below.
To read more about our trip, check the series of posts below: