The Ultimate – very special and highly unique – Cycle Touring Kit List(s) of joy…

We HAD to do it! Yes, yes, every cycle-tourer does a kit list and we all think we’re special… SPOILER: they’re all preeeeeetty similar – although, did you see our 5 things you wouldn’t expect in our panniers? Anyway, here’s our list – there are a few bits that we may now ditch having done the inventory and made this (long) list…! When we were planning our trip we found other people’s kit lists really helpful and ended up combining and adding to a few to make what works for us so this might just be a good starting point for you. Perhaps.

*We’ll try to update this post with links to some of our favourite things sooooon-ish*

We’ve separated it by what both of us are carrying, although there are additional, variable bits during each and every day depending on what’s in store (if we know…). For example FOOD! We always carry peanut butter, chocolate spread and some crackers – which along with fruit usually does us for a lunch when there’s nowhere to stop or it’s a short day. Sometimes – if we’ve been organised/restrained – we even manage to carry leftovers from the previous night’s dinner in our Tupperware boxes – this doesn’t happen often… And finally, love them or hate them, we always make sure we carry a couple of packs of Emergency instant noodles, they’ve helped us out of a hole a couple of times!

We’ve done a separate blog on our bikes (the list got a bit unwieldy), you can find that here. Anyway, without further ado, The Lists… #yourewelcome

2018-10-09 19.37.18
Matt’s fully-loaded bike looking Fab-U-Lous

Matt’s carrying:

Panniers and Bags:
Pair of Ortleib Waterproof Classic panniers (40L)
2 x Sea to summit Big River 5L dry bags (+Salsa Anywhere cages)
Altura Waterproof bar bag
LOMO diving hold-all rackbag
LifeVenture 10L stuff sack
Mesh bag for clothes
Lezyne saddle bag – perfect for spare inner and levers
Topeak waterproof phone case/wallet – now held together by gaffa tape
MSR 590ml fuel bottle
2 x water bottles

3 x bamboo socks – no smelly shoes here 😊
Sealskinz waterproof socks
Leg warmers
Arm warmers
Howies lightweight gilet
REI zip-off walking trousers
Running shorts
2 x padded shorts (not bib shorts – I wear these liners under running shorts to cycle in. Comfortable, lighter and quicker to dry than full bib shorts. Plus I look (relatively) normal in cafes and supermarkets
2 x boxer shorts (1 x merino, 1 x M&S)
3 x icebreaker t-shirts – all now with various holes. Totally essential! Can go for at least 3-4 days between washes, if needs be, without stinking. Great in the heat, too.
1 x cotton t-shirt
Colombia long-sleeve baselayer
Isobaa mid-weight merino hoody
Howies long-sleeve merino jersey
Montane Prizm jacket
Patagonia down pullover – only just acquired this, lovely kit and expecting regular use in the high Andes
Rab waterproof jacket – heavy but actually waterproof
Merino hat
Kask helmet
Baseball cap
Pair of short-fingered mitts
Pair of merino liner gloves
Pair of Endura Long fingered gloves
Sunnies – on my 3rd pair now…
Swim shorts – actually, just thrown them 😆

Shimano CT46 touring shoes – these are excellent, have dealt well with the heat, some chilly days, and good for walking in
Salomon run/hike trail shoes
Cheap flip-flops

Camping and sleeping:
MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent (2 person) + fabric repair tape
MSR Gear shed – we’re actually going to send this back as haven’t used it enough
2 x groundsheets – for extra protection against stones, thorns etc.  Essential in the desert, less use in the tropics but will be needed again
Tarpaulin – aquired in Panama and not yet used in anger….we are in rainy season for a few months yet so it’s really a back up as extra waterproofing for the tent if we really need.
2 x bungees
Exped synmat (air bed) and patches/glue
Schnozzol bag
Sea-to-summit thermolite sleeping bag liner
Cotton pillow case – put a jacket or clothes in here for sleeping, it’s easily washable
Alpkit headtorch
Sea-to-summit campshower – not used often, but a great luxury when a running shower is not available
Katadyn water filter – saves plastic, saves money!
Spray-on tent sealant
Plastic string
10L Ortlieb water carrier – used a lot, particularly in Baja, and generally not having to plan for water stops so much

Washing/Hygiene stuff:
Burt’s Bees handcream – great for everything including proofing Brooks saddles!
Suncream and lippy (factor 50)
A few Milton sterilisation tabs – for bottles
Decathlon quick dry towel

Spares, tools and repairs for bikes:
Small cable lock
9-speed chain – wouldn’t bother next time.  Forgot I was carrying it during last trip to bike shop, will use it to replace current chain in a few thousand Ks!
3 x powerlinks
Bottom bracket – probably wouldn’t bother next time.
Bottom bracket tool – will probably send this home, very unlikely to need emergency BB change on the road.
Brake cable
Gear cable
Handful of various-sized zip ties
Gaffa tape
Bike rags
120ml bottle lube
Small can WD40
Film canister of grease
4 spare tubes
Self-adhesive and glue tyre patches
Various spare bolts
4 x spokes plus nipples
2 x full sets brake blocks
3 x tyre boots
2 x spring and pawl hub spares
Clear nail varnish (for frame scratches!)
Chain splitter
Chainwhip/adjustable spanner/lock ring remover: not the ideal things to carry! Thought I could remove a cassette with an old bit of chain and a screwdriver….over estimated my abilities…hypercracker (small, light tool to remove a cassette) is arriving over Christmas, so I can ditch these heavy tools!!
Philips screwdriver
Leatherman – AKA ‘David’
Cable cutters – and these will go home too. I’d thought ‘What if I need to re-cable in an emergency?’, and brought the tools to do it. But a bodge job doesn’t require them, so they’re going home.
Allen keys – check to ensure you only have the relevant sizes! Thought I did but realised after 8 months I was carrying one massive Allen key which doesn’t fit anything on our bikes….
3 x tyre levers
Spoke key
2 x pumps
Spare Schwalbe Marathon Mondial tyre

iPhone 6
Garmin 810 – a combination of apps are making this redundant really, however it’s robust, reliable and a great back-up if nothing else
iPod nano
iPad mini with keyboard – been an ideal if luxury item. Much easier to use than a small iPhone screen, and not as heavy as a mac. Great for writing blogs…
Kindle and case
Mini speaker – used occasionally but won’t survive much longer probably
Various charging cables
Multi-USB wallcharger
2 x small USB chargeable Lezyne lights – hardly used, but essential on occasion!
Powermonkey solar charger – hardly used and heavy 🙄… really not been that remote for long enough. Electricity more available than clean water in much of the world… We may keep the battery and send the solar panel home.

Luxury item:
Handmade wooden bottle opener care of Chipmumf. Had a light dogchew but otherwise still in service!


And Zoe’s carrying:

2018-10-09 19.57.01
And Zoe’s fully-loaded bike looking like a DREAM

Panniers and Bags:
Pair of Ortleib Waterproof Classic panniers (40L)
Pair of Carradice Waterproof front panniers (10L)
Altura Waterproof bar bag
Ortleib Waterproof Canoe bag (20L – Rack bag)
2 x sea to summit ultra-sil 8L dry bags – for stuff in your panniers
LifeVenture 10L stuff sack – for clothes
Day pack (10L Decathlon Quechua) – we use this all the time off the bikes
Saddle bag – free from lovely bike shop in San Diego

2 x bike shorts (1 x Assos, 1 x LVIS club shorts) – I LOVE the Assos shorts, luckily.
3 x sports bras (2 x Fabletics, 1 x Decathlon)
Howie’s merino T-shirt –  I’ve had this for years and it’s been great but unfortunately now full of holes… 😭 
SuperNatural merino scoop neck T-shirt
2 x SuperNatural merino vest – 1 for sleeping
2 x lightweight bamboo T-shirt’s
1 x standard Mango T-shirt
Howies lightweight merino hoody – likewise with the holes…
Long sleeve Icebreaker base layer
Howies long sleeved cycling jersey – a bit heavy, Matt’s merino one is much better/warmer
Thin Merino liner gloves
Dhb Long fingered gloves – not used yet and not warm enough for the Andes…
Giro Short fingered mitts
Fat face bobble hat – again, not used much yet but will be ESSENTIAL soon
Dhb merino leg warmers
Crane merino arm warmers  – Lidl, amazing and CHEAP!
Bikini – did anyone say ‘hot springs’?
Baseball cap – found on a road by Edwards
Bike glasses (with interchangeable lenses – oooOOOOooooo) – they’ve been repaired in 2 places with duck tape and I’m hoping to get some new ones in January… 🤞🏻
2 x Buffs
2 x pants (1 x merino, 1 x not!)
1 x  Thick 1000Mile double layer socks
2 x ankle socks (1 x Muddy fox, 1 x Bamboo)
Alpkit Balance waterproof jacket – LOVE this – lightweight and actually waterproof
Montane Pertex microlight jacket – soooo warm but again, I’ll need a hardier one for the Andes
Black diamond climbing trousers – heavy but v warm and comfy on/off the bike
Fabletics leggings – probs don’t need these but they make me feel like a slightly normal human if I wear them in the street
Crane merino base layer leggings – not stylish but again, Lidl did goooood
2 x casual shorts – one pair bought for $2 in Nicaragua 💰
Cotton dress (Hush) – for laundry days/last minute Mexican parties
Colombia quick dry shirt – hardly worn, going to get donated to someone!
Giro bike helmet – yes, size: small…

Keen bike sandals (with spds) – good but I look like a right geek 🤓 so I don’t wear them off the bike, EVER.
Innov8 RaceUltra270 Trail shoes – they don’t make these anymore (gutted) and mine have multiple holes (they did a 50k race and training just before we left too) but I’ll be getting new Innov8’s
Haviana flip flops – pretty but heavy for flip flops!

Cooking-type gear:
MSR Whisperlite international stove and heatshield – burns anything, does need the occasional clean but so far indestructible. In fact, they should rename it the MSR Whisperlite Indestructible Stove
2 x bic lighters
MSR expedition repair kit
3 x sporks
Sea -to-summit collapsible bowl
2 x small washing up sponges
Small (like, really small) bottle washing up liquid
Dried garlic, stock cubes, salt and pepper, olive oil
Opinel knife – Just. Amazing. End of.
Lifeventure Titanium Pot set
Homemade pot cosies – have also been remade on tour!
2 x Alpkit Titanium mugs
Tupperware lunchbox – for leftovers/anything
3 x bike water bottles

For camping and sleeping:
Enlightened Equipment Down Duvet (Double) -UHHHHMAAAAZIIIIINGLY warm
Sea-to-summit Thermalite sleeping bag liner
Exped Synmat Air bed
Exped Schnozzle
Thermarest Pillow – Edwards ditched his pillow, what a loser 😉
Alpkit headtorch
LuminAid Solar/USB LED lantern – One of my kit essentials now for camping (by that I mean mainly reading…)

Washing/Hygiene stuff:
Chamois creme – hard to buy in Central/South America FYI
Eyebrow tweezers – as you can see, hardly used except for removing wire from tyres 🙄
Mooncup & tampons – oh the glamour
Suncream and lippy (factor 50)
Decathlon quick dry towel
Small amount clothes washing powder

First aid kit:
Plasters, bandages, safety pins, alcohol wipe, needles, bite stuff (pre and post), sewing kit, antihistamines, ibuprofen, paracetamol, micropore tape, survival blanket, surgical gloves, strepsils and my favourite thing ever, SAVLON!

Spares, tools and repairs for bikes:
2 x inner tubes
Pair of tyre levers – unused 😉
Tyre glue patches
Spare handlebar tape – I’ve had to re-do mine a few times but Matt hasn’t, grrrrrr. Lesson learned: Brooks tape lasts. Or I’m a sweaty-handed-laydeee
Kryptonite bike lock
Small cable bike lock
Cat-eye basic bike computer
Bungees – don’t buy cheap!

iPhone 6 and case
Kindle and case
Various charging cables
Panasonic Lumix DMC-TZ70 & Lowepro camera case
2 x small USB chargeable KOTR lights
Extra USB chargeable light for back of helmet
Pebble portable USB charger

Luxury item:
Mikey the dinosaur – for photos obvs

2018-08-19 04.19.53
And as a prize for reading this far: an out-of-focus-cat-in-a-bag!

6 thoughts on “The Ultimate – very special and highly unique – Cycle Touring Kit List(s) of joy…

  1. Pingback: The Ultimate Kit List continued – our (infamous and fabulous) bikes… – Let's go and do fun stuff…

  2. cbstaubyn

    Love a good kit list – the more the merrier and SO useful for trip planning, so thank you for taking the time!! Really interested that you’re using a double sleeping bag – would you recommend over taking singles?!

    Thank you!!


    1. Hey Milla – YES to the quilt! It’s been ace and only takes up the space of a warm single sleeping bag in the pannier. We’ve also got sleeping bag liners though which are really helpful if the quilt’s too effective/warm! The quilt’s preeeety expensive though… 😉 Glad you liked the post – happy planning!


      1. cbstaubyn

        Hi Zoe, that’s really useful to know, thank you for getting back to me! My boyfriend and I are actually planning a cycle trip to Colombia, so reading your blog and Instagram is getting me very excited!! Hope you’re having an amazing time in Ecuador – I spent some time there 10 years ago after I left school – it’s a very special place. M


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