Travel Insurance. Initially I managed to find travel insurance for two years. It wasn’t easy, insurance companies think that all travellers are under 30. Also trying to find insurance that covered for cycle touring was a little harder as some companies see it as a risky activity. After 2 years I managed to get insurance with a travel insurance company that specialised in travellers but which was a little bit more expensive than the two year policy that I had initially bought. Trying to buy insurance when you are out of your country of residence becomes more expensive and tricky.
First Aid Kit
Ortlieb Back Roller Pro Classic Panniers
Ortlieb Front Roller Classic Panniers
Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Classic 8.5l Handlebar Bag
Carradice Saddlebag. I didn’t really need this, I did have a lot of literage. I just had it because I liked it.
Tubus front and rear racks
MEC Spark One Person Tent. This was an ultralight free standing tent. I did wish that I had a two person tent so that I could store my panniers in my tent.
Exped inflatable Downmat. This was one of my few luxuries. It took up a lot of space in my panniers, but was well worth it. I’ve never found those really thin sleeping pads comfortable.
An Alpkit three-season synthetic sleeping bag. This was bulky and took up a large amount of room in my pannier, but for me it was easier to maintain than a down sleeping bag.
Sleeping bag liner
Trangia and Multi-fuel burner. I did use petrol as a source of fuel. I was really quite surprised that in some countries the petrol stations do not have a minimum delivery of 2 litres at the pump, which we have in the UK. This meant that I could really easily fill up my 500ml bottle. petrol is a mucky fuel and so everything did get really sooty really quickly.
Titanium mugs. Ultralight. I have to have two cups of tea in the morning.
Opinel Knife. I could have just used my swiss army knife instead of this knife. Although I did prefer to have my swiss army knife solely as a tool and not used in cooking and eating.
Exped coloured packing cubes. These are extremely helpful for organisation. I also used different coloured dry bags
Water purifier x 2. I was maybe a little extra on having two but I thought that if I only had one purifier and it stopped working for whatever reason that I’d be pretty much buggered. So I went for two different types one was the LifeStraw the other was a SteriPen.
Puncture repair kit
Two spare inner tubes
Folding tyre. I never did actually use it, but I felt reassured having it just in case I ever had a blow-out. I also did have a tyre repair kit, so maybe the folding tyre was a bit extra. I did have to buy a couple of new tyres whilst I was away and I never actually thought of using the folding tyre instead of buying a new one, so I really was just carrying it around for fun!!!
Bicycle pump. I ended up investing in a pump that had a flexible hose after getting a puncture and snapping the valve whilst I was pumping up the tyre with my mini-pump.
Spare chain links
Swiss army knife
Bolts and washers
Gaffer tape and electrical tape wrapped around a pencil
Cable ties of differing lengths
Bicycle D lock. Extremely heavy, but it gave that little bit of extra security when locking up. I also had locks on my wheels and I had a Dutch bicycle lock on my rear wheel.
Tie down straps. Great for strapping things to my bike when needed and more secure than using a bungee.
Waterproof lobster gloves
Long sleeved shirts x 2. I found that it was easier for me to wear long sleeved shirts and long trousers rather than using sunblock which I just sweated off. I found that waterproof sunblock blocked my pores and gave me dermatitis.
Sun hat. This covered my ears, back of my neck and gave shade to my face.
Two pairs of exactly the same zip off trousers. This meant that I only needed to take the bottom half of one set of the trousers. I actually didn’t wear padded shorts as I had a leather saddle and I wore trousers that had a diamond shaped crotch, so no seam in the wrong place. I wanted to turn up at my destination looking normal looking. Looking back I should have taken padded underpants as there were a few days where I’d had enough of my saddle.
Smart Wool Socks. These were great, they didn’t wear out like merino wool socks
Synthetic Down Jacket
Merino wool baselayer. This was great but did wear out and get holes in after a while
A very small sports towel
Toiletries. I did take an electric toothbrush with me. My toiletries always weigh far too much and I struggle to try and cut down. I had far too much when I first started out. 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo was my best discovery as not only did it leave my hair nice and clean and soft it was perfect for washing my clothes and the dishes in, so I didn’t have to carry three different things. The interesting thing with 2-in-1 conditioning shampoo is that not all countries sell it, so after perfecting the art of using it for near enough everything I had to find alternatives, which unfortunately weren’t as efficient.
A Luv Ur Body menstrual cup. Some countries don’t sell tampons, so using a menstrual cup meant that I didn’t have to carry supplies of tampons around with me on the off chance that I couldn’t buy any tampons. Menstrual cups are more environmentally friendly and take up less space than a box of tampons.
Travel washing line
Waterproof blue-tooth speaker. This was essential for me. I enjoy listening to podcasts whilst cycling.
Garmin Edge 1000. This made my life so easy with navigation,
Drink’s bottles. I carried just under 3 litres with me and of course on hot day I had to top up my bottles during the day.
My kit evolved over time. I didn’t travel light and I did have a lot of comforts. The clothes that I started out with were mainly merino wool because of its ability to be cool on hot days and warm on cold days. It is also naturally odour resistant and dries really quickly. The downside that I found with merino wool was that it was very fragile. I ended up with clothes with massive holes in them. I eventually gave up on merino wool clothes and wore ordinary outdoor clothes. I discovered that washing my clothes in white vinegar helped to get rid of smells in clothes.