Cycle Touring Gear

This is my working kit list for all the stuff we’re going to need for the trip. Despite thinking we’re going to go light everything soon stacks up!

All the gear listed is great (we hope!) and if you buy it through the links we get a kick-back from Amazon, so go right ahead.

Bikes

We’ve got racer/touring bikes with pannier racks already- hopefully they’re going to hold up okay!

  • Freshly serviced bikes
  • Brake pads that will work in mountains with heavy loads. I fitted a set of these Clarks brake pads last night- they are the business!
  • Disposable packing boxes
  • Panniers- ones we’ve had for ages
  • Handlebar bag– Seems like a good idea for small items and food

Bike Tools/Bits

I’m no mechanic, but this seems like the minimum gear.

  • Pedal wrench
  • Multi tool (including tyre levers)
  • Some gaffer tape (not whole roll)
  • Chain lube
  • Inner tubes (2?)
  • Patches- quick patches (good for speed and have always worked for me, but some say they don’t last) and old school ones too
  • Pump- high pressure for road tyres
  • Lights
  • Helmet
  • Lock- going  for a fairly lightweight flexible one and packing some extra faith, a D lock is just too heavy
  • Cycling shoes- I love the ones that lock in- great for extra power

Camping Gear

We’re hoping to wild camp as much as possible for the flexibility, adventure and value of it.

  • Tent- We’ve invested in a new one. After much deliberation we’ve gone for the Coleman Cobra 3 as it’s pretty lightweight (2.9kg = light for size, but not featherweight), spacious, excellently reviewed, very spacious for two and very reasonable at £85. We are concerned it’s not freestanding which might be an issue on stony ground, and maybe a bit large for wild camping but we’ll see
    Cobra 3 Tent Before
    Cobra 3 Tent Before

    Cobra 3 tent 15 mins later
    Cobra 3 tent 15 mins later
  • Sleeping bags- Again, investments made. It seems very tricky to balance features/weight/warmth/price but hopefully the Snugpak Jungle Bag will do the job. At £40 it’s within budget, 850g seems about as light as it gets without being daft and it’s easy to unzip them for blankets or zip them together to get cosy (just make sure you get two with zips on different sides). They’re also water repellent, breathable, windproof and have mossy nets built in which might make for good, light bivvy bags
  • Exped sleeping mats– More like beds! These are a real extravagance but the reviews are amazing, and having tried them a couple of times they’re right. They pack pretty small and light, but are luxury to sleep on- if a bit expensive! We opted for the Synmat Ultralite 7s as a compromise between price/weight/comfort
  • With the ultralights you also need a Exped pillow pump
    to inflate them. This adds to the expense, but is very nifty and surprisingly comfy

‘Cooking’ Gear

We’re not planning on actually cooking anything- hopefully we’ll survive on cereal for breakfast, picnic lunches and a meal out in the evening. Having said that we’ll still need some gear. We’ve decided to pack some cooking stuff to boost our self-sufficiency, and because Anna could need a cup of tea at any moment.

  •  Light My Fire Swedish FireKnife-The absolute puppy of a knife/survival lighter. This is total and utter overkill for chopping feta and tomatoes; but look at it?! I just couldn’t resist and I’ve already been happily chopping and lighting the hobs in the kitchen with it- it’s amazing!
  • Xbowls– Not strictly necessary either, but these collapsible bowls seem pretty cool
  • Titanium spork– Okay, I admit I’ve got a bit of a problem! Nobody needs a £12 titanium spork- but it is a thing of beauty and wonder and I’m pleased it’s in my life
  • Chopping mats– Back to Earth! Cheap, cheerful,  light mats for preparing food on
  • Tea towel- My bike touring mate reckons it’s a surprisingly essential luxury
  • Electrolytes– I’ve come to love these for hydrating during exercise (and after heavy nights!)
  • Water to Go bottle– Perhaps literally the best thing in the world ever. It instantly purifies any (fresh) water- handy for camping, revolutionary for the world
  • Some old but light Alu camping pots
  • A couple of cheap plastic mugs (though titanium was truly tempting!)
  • Salt/pepper/oil
  • Coleman F1 camping stove (brand new and looks great, but need to get gas out there)
  • Swiss army knife- old and trusty

Toiletries

  • P20 Suncream– Amazing stuff, just apply it once a day and you’re burn free despite sweating or swimming
  • Toothpaste/brush- Enough said
  • Lifeventure Soap– I’ve only just come across this, but always wanted it in retrospect. It can be used on body/hair/clothes/food/crockery fine and is biodegradable so it’s fine to use in rivers. I just hope it’s as good as the reviews
  • Multivitamins- keep the energy levels up
  • Travel towel– Naturally

Electrics

  • Smartphone- Always in the office!
  • Charger/adaptor
  • Sony RX100 Camera– Simply the finest camera you can fit in your pocket; and if I can’t pocket a camera it’s useless to me
  • Earphones with Comply foam tips– Guaranteed ‘peace’ anytime, anywhere
  • Kindle– Feet up reading in the sunshine is where it’s at
  • Travel speakers? Decided against
  • Laptop? Decided for, a great luxury but would like to keep the blog up
  • Fiio X3 Mp3 player- a total luxury and a treat to myself for my birthday. I’m sick of sub-quality phone sound for the sake of convenience. Music should envelop you, not just tinker with your eardrums

Navigation

  • Peloponnese guide book– This one is simply superb as a background read and for inspiration; hopefully it’s as good on the ground
  • Peloponnese map– Again, looks good at home!
  • Compass
  • Mani– The original 1958 tale of adventures in the mountainous region known as the Mani; Kindle edition, of course

Clothes

After all this ‘gear’ there’s not going to be much space left for usual holiday clothes!

  • Cycle shorts
  • Cycling tshirts x2
  • Down jacket
  • Thermals
  • Waterproofs
  • Tshirts x2
  • Light trousers
  • Boardies
  • Other shorts
  • Pants x4
  • Socks x4 (mostly 1000 milers)
  • Old watch
  • Sunglasses
  • Trainers- we’re running the Royal Parks Half Marathon a couple of days after we get back and need some serious training
  • Flip flops

Practicals

Boring…

  • Passport
  • Insurance- covering cycle touring etc
  • Tickets/boarding passes
  • Debit/credit cards- especially my excellent Halifax Zero credit card for (almost) free currency withdrawals

 

 

 

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