How to Pack

You know where you are going and what you will be doing, so you have a pretty good idea of what things you will need to bring along. Take advantage of the fact that you also will have a pretty good idea of what the weather will be on your bicycle overnight. A trip in the summer in most of North America means that you can probably leave the expedition-quality, 4-season tent at home and bring a more appropriate tent instead. Similarly with your clothes and other equipment, take what you will need but you don’t necessarily have to be prepared for a blizzard.

Your packing list will largely be determined by where you are going and what you are doing. Regardless of the trip, make sure you bring the tools to fix common bike problems such as flat tires. This is probably just the same set of tools that you bring on any day ride. Going to an inn or B&B? Then you don’t need much beyond your bike equipment, toiletries, and clothes to wear on and off the bike. For a camping trip, add in the necessary camping equipment, and anything else you would like to have with you at the camp site. You may find that you have compiled a relatively large packing list, and that’s not uncommon. Some experienced tourists carry more on a bicycle overnight than on an extended tour, since they are planning on more activities and a less Spartan camping experience. Our gear lists page sketches out Minimalist and Deluxe options.

Photo by Sarah Raz

Get more information about bike overnights.

Guest post by Sean Smith

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