Taking too many things or leaving most of the gear can make your trip a disaster. The below list includes clothes and equipment which are necessary on almost every expedition. When planning your adventure think if this list is complete or you still need more items. e.g., water filter, gloves or more warm clothes.
1 long sleeve, cool shirt
1 long sleeve warm shirt
1 light raincoat
1-2 cycling shorts with insert
1 long cycle gaiters
1 regular shorts
1 warm, long pants
2-3 pairs of socks
2-3 pairs of underwear
flip-flops ( for shower)
scarf or cap under a helmet
torch ( headlight is recommended)
light pot/cook set
spoon, fork is optional
good pocket knife
small rough dish sponge
few webbing straps and bungee cords
pen and notebook
business cards and family photos
maps, guidebooks, tools
fork spanner (usually 6,7,8,10)
set of hex (allen keys)
2 tire levers
tools to repair inner tube
small pliers than can cut ropes
star key for freewheel
good bike pump
1-2 spare inner tubes
spare (folding) tire
1 long brake cable
2 long derailleur cables
spare brake pads
6 spare spokes ( 2 front, 2 back-left, 2 back-right)
few spare screws, nuts, washers
small container with grease
few zip ties
2-3 chain connectors
-All your clothes should be light and quick-drying. Choose fabrics that easily remove sweat and guarantee perfect thermo-regulation. Unfortunately cotton is not good at that.
-Raincoat should be light, otherwise you will get hot, even with a membrane. Make sure that your back is covered with a jacket.
-Dress in layers. Add or remove clothing as needed. All clothes should match which means that for example jacket cannot be too tight when you put a shirt under it. Putting on all the layers should give you thermal comfort in the worst weather conditions in every climatic zone.
-Leave some dry clothes for cool nights. Riding in the rain can be exhausting but wearing wet clothes at night is a nightmare.
-If your clothes from the last day are still wet and weather does not seem to improve, do not put your last dry clothes. If they get wet you will not have any dry clothes for the evening. It is better to put on wet clothing and warm up .
-Cycling shorts with insert can take a long time to dry. During good weather fasten your shorts to the bike till they dry up. You can put on regular shorts while the bike shorts are drying.
-Flip flops are very light. They are useful when using public bathrooms, having baths in lakes and stony streams.
-A tent should be light and easy to pitch. You can put panniers or cook in the vestibule, even a small one.
-A sleeping bag should be adequate to temperatures of a region where you are going. Cheap sleeping bags bought in supermarkets are too big ( like the popular “one kilo” sleeping bags ) and do not guarantee luxury, that is why it is worth buying a good quality product.
-The most practical of all types of torches is a headlight, which does not need our hands during pitching a tent or bike inspection. Light-emitting diode torches waste less energy than regular torches and are lighter. They are worth buying!
-When travelling around Europe we usually need a gas stove. For further expeditions it is better to have a good quality stove for gas, petrol, paraffin and even diesel oil. Although this kind of stoves are pretty expensive, they are very efficient and wherever you are there will not be any problem finding fuel.
-We recommend to buy better quality tools produced by well-known manufacturers. There are plenty functional sets on the market which contain most of the mentioned tools.
-If your bicycle have some non-standard bolts (e.g., disc rotor mounted with torx bolts) remember to carry the correct wrench.
-Puncture repair kit for tubes and a pump should be a part of every bicycle taking part in an expedition, in case of loosing a team member or leaving him behind.
-Remember that tires in the expedition bike are working under much higher pressure than in the regular bicycle. When you buy a pump, select one that will be able to generate the required pressure. Small pump can have a telescopic problems.
-Chain lubricant should be carried in a plastic bottle with a dispenser nozzle. Grease in a spray can is not efficient and takes a lot of space.