• Cannondale
  • Ortleib
  • Lone Peak (what I use)

Bike Storage – Trailer vs Panniers


  • Adds drag and rolling resistance (although single wheel is less than double wheel)
  • More expensive than panniers
  • Allows you to carry more stuff (both good and bad)
  • Heavier than panniers
  • Trailer comparison chart
  • Easy to just disconnect and go


  • More flexibility – can change the number of panniers to use for a particular day trip
  • Leak resistance – if one pannier leaks, at least everything doesn’t get wet

Handlebar Pack:

While some consider that the weight of a handlebar pack outweighs the merits, I would not be one of them. A handlebar pack given you a place to readily store the things you’ll want regularly during the day. It’s a great spot to put snacks. A good handlebar pack will have a weatherproof top with a map case on top so you can view your map readily as you cycle along. (You can put your compass in the case as well). A well-designed handlebar pack can also give you somewhere to put your fingers, out of the wind and weather.

Other Bicycle Accessories

  • Cycling computer (optional)
  • Front Racks

There are two distinct styles of front rack, those where the top of the rack sits above the wheel, and those where the rack is centered over the axel (“low rider”). A common concern is that a front rack will make the bicycle unwieldy. Those who think that must have only used the “above the wheel” style. I’ve found that the low rider actually _increases_ bicycle stability, especially at speed.

  • Rear Racks

I’m a weight nut, and I still believe that heavy duty here is best.

  • Fenders
    • Usually the fenders just aren’t long enough in the front. You can add a mud flap made from a plastic milk jug to the bottom of the front one.
  • Front Light (white LEDs are awesome for light output and battery life)
    • Light should be easily removable so as to be used for a flashlight
  • Rear Light (again, LEDs, but red this time)
  • 2 water bottles (and cages)
  • Lightweight bicycle pump. I use the Barbieri Carbon pump  mmm.
  • Stout lock. I actually carry a U-Lock
    • Note that the U Locks underwent a scandal, with the determination that they could be opened with a BIC pen. The new, non-tubular locks are recommended.

Bicycle Repair

  1. Tire Patch kit
  2. spare tube
  3. 2 spare brake cables
  4. spare derailleur cable
  5. Allen keys for seat and handlebars
  6. small crescent wrench (for pedals mostly)
  7. 2 spare spokes
  8. 2 zip ties
  9. Pasela folding tire (overkill)
  10. Fiberfix kevlar spokes (overkill)


  • Tent (I use the Mountain Hardware SuperMegaUL 2 when solo, and the MSR Hubba Hubba as two person)
  • Groundcloth
    • A sheet of plastic cut to size is a simple and yet lightweight solution
  • Lightweight sleeping bag
    • Synthetics will do better when wet, and are cheaper than down. But nothing beats down for weight.
  • Kitchen Kit
    • knife, fork, spoon, wisk, spatula (optional), dish detergent, scrub pad,
      salt/pepper, other spices, cigarette lighter
  • a few matches sealing in a ziplock (for that case where your lighter decides to not work, when it’s pouring rain, you’re freezing cold, and huddled in a open shed behind a fence with “VERBOTEN” written across it).
  • non-stick frying pan
  • small pot/pan. I’ve upgraded my basic set to titanium
  • lightweight stove (I prefer the Camping Gaz Butane stove). Keep in mind you can’t take fuel on the airplane. I’ve also experimented with alcohol stoves such as the as a viable alternative.
  • ?? lightweight tarp and a few lines (in case of rain for a community area)

First Aid

  • Band-aids
  • Paper Tape
  • Gauze
  • Multi-vitamins
  • Generic pain killer of choice tablets
  • Pepto tablets
  • Mole skin (for potential blisters)
  • liquid antiseptic (alcohol)
  • 5 safety pins of various sizes
  • 2 quarters (for in the US, on the off chance you need and can find a pay phone)


  • small mesh bag
  • small bar of soap (and soap dish)
  • toothbrush and cap
  • small tube of toothpaste
  • small tube of shampoo
  • baby fingernail clippers
  • deodorant
  • comb
  • pack towel recommendation 
  • dental floss
  • 4 q-tips
  • 1 razor & shaving cream (or shaving powder, or just use your soap.)


You of course need a map of where you are going. But the map is Important (enough that it gets its own section). Ideally, the map should be about 1:200,000 scale, and have on it campgrounds and hostels. I generally prefer the Marco Polo maps, as they include campgrounds and (many) hostels.

And of course, a small, lightweight compass.


  • Sun screen
  • multi-tool (Swiss army knife, small Leatherman), should include scissors, tweezers, can opener
  • Passport
  • Drivers license (not to be stored with passport)
  • Fanny pack
  • Camera (don’t start with 800 film – airport scanning kills it)
  • spare set of batteries. (If you plan well, everything will use double AAs, so you can swap out if you need to)
  • small notebook (to be used as a journal and to take notes)
  • ballpoint pen
  • ear plugs (heck bring 2 pairs)
  • small packet (about 2 small loads) of powdered laundry detergent
  • 2 small zip lock bags
  • 2 lightly padded envelopes (to ship things home in)
  • Six 17 gallon garbage bags (usually used as pannier-lining)
  • 3 credit/ATM cards
    • To be stored at various parts of your body/bike. I tend to keep one in my wallet, one with my passport in the fanny pack, and one on the bike somewhere.
    • You’ll need to know the PIN numbers, even for the credit cards.
    • Not because you’re going to spend that much, but as reserves in case something goes wrong (lose one, one won’t work, mugged, etc.).
    • Credit cards typically give better exchange rates than travelers check, and are less confusing to the locals (when in the local currency), most of whom have never seen a travelers check.
    • Note the cash advance limit is usually much lower than the actual credit limit.

Things to NOT take

Lantern with a mantle – the mantle just won’t survive the oscillation of the bicycle through the day.

Gear Costs

A quick summary of my core gear, and associated costs:

Tent 430
sleeping bag 250
Air mattress 80
Goretex coat 250
warm coat 179
panniers 265
Rain pants 80
cook gear 90
stove 60
cooking set 30
first aid kit 20
clothes 340
compass 10
misc 50