Header.php: Bikepacking: A Packing List « Ride Studio Cafe | Lexington, MA | Synthesizing cycling & cafe cultures

Bikepacking: A Packing List

There are many packing lists out there in the world. Below is our packing list for 2-4 day trips in the US, not going too far off the grid. Most of this you own already.


  • Helmet
  • Cycling Cap
  • Cycling Gloves, full-finger preferable for protection
  • Cycling bibs
  • Short-sleeve cycling jersey
  • 2 pair – Food service gloves – for messy mechanicals & for protecting hands from elements
  • Wool socks (to wear)
  • Knee-high Waterproof socks – in case you need them for warmth or to stay dry
  • Photochromatic Sunglasses – for protection day and night
  • Neck Buff – weight appropriate for the season
  • Leg warmers
  • Arm warmers
  • Baselayer
  • Rain jacket
  • Lightweight plastic poncho


  • Lightweight tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • Inflatable sleeping pad
  • Inflatable pillow or stuffable pillow sack


  • Sharp knife – for cutting wood and/or vegetables
  • Gel packs for hot fires to boil water
  • Titanium Pot
  • Plastic bowl
  • Lightweight mug – for coffee
  • Durable plastic or titanium eating utensils, fork, spoon, knife. Yes, sporks are useful.
  • Bikepacking freeze-dried meals if you won’t be near a store; these taste better than you’d expect them to
  • A few Bonk Breakers, Untapped maple shots, typical food you’d enjoy on a bike ride – just in case
  • Waterproof matches
  • Coffee – pre-ground if space is tight
  • Coffee beans & hand grinder – if space allows!
  • Dish soap (doubles as hand soap)
  • Aluminum foil – good as a lid for pots/pans & wrap for food that is roasted in the fire

Personal Hygiene & Basic First Aid

  • Travel-size toothbrush
  • Travel-size toothpaste
  • Travel-size deodorant
  • Wet wipes
  • Any medications you need
  • Ibuprofen
  • Steri strips
  • Bandaids
  • Clean gauze
  • Tea tree oil
  • Sunscreen
  • Toilet paper
  • Chamois cream with disinfecting ingredients
  • Chap stick with SPF rating
  • Cats Tongue Towel – for cleaning greasy hands

Bike Essentials

  • Muli-tool that includes 4,5,6 Allen keys, torx key, chain tool – do a full inventory of bolts your bike uses & be sure you have the right size wrenches for these bolts
  • Extra spokes taped to seatstay or tucked into frame
  • Patch kit
  • Shifter cable
  • SRAM/Shimano power link
  • 2 spare tubes
  • Hand pump
  • Light & Motion Urban headlight. More than 1 if any chance you’ll be riding after dark.
  • Superflash Rear Light
  • Chain lube
  • 3 – 26oz water bottles if your bike has space, fill what you’ll need

Before the trip, do the following for your bike:

  • Get a Tune Up
  • Get new brake pads if yours are near the end of their life
  • Get new tires if yours are near the end of their life
  • Get a new chain if yours is near the end of its life
  • Make sure everything is properly lubed & running quietly
  • If you ride Di2 or SRAM Red eTap, charge your bike/batteries.

Things that make life easier at camp

  • Headlamp
  • String – Many uses. Make sure long enough to tie up food bag and hang from tree at night (keeps animals out of your food)
  • Large Plastic bags – for trash


  • Phone – doubles as a camera OR take a separate camera
  • Garmin bike computer
  • Backup Garmin bike computer (or one on your companion’s bike)
  • Charging Cord – for phone
  • Charging Cord – for Garmin bike computer
  • USB Rechargeable battery packs, charged
  • 2 Extra AAA batteries – for rear light
  • Extra batteries – for headlamp
  • If it’s an extended trip, Di2: bring the charger. eTap: bring an extra battery or two fully charged.

Wallet Essentials

  • Credit cards
  • Cash
  • Medical insurance card
  • Emergency contact info on a Road ID bracelet or necklace
  • Drivers license
  • Make a copy of all of these cards, front and back. Fold and tuck the paper in one of your bar ends, so it can’t get wet/lost.
  • SPOT Tracker
  • Pen/writing utensil
  • Blank piece(s) of paper

Check out the packing list prepared by Joe Cruz for every last thing he took with him on his Kyrgyzstan trip (scroll to the bottom of the page).

top ^