Planning a bike packing adventure – what I’m taking with me

The real dilemma of any trip, adventure, holiday, or even just a day out! What to take! Trust me this took a while to narrow down!

Bags! This is a key part, since they will carry everything I need to take, they needed to be small enough to fit on my rather small bike frame (I am taking a Liv Langma size – small), big enough to take everything I need. Not any bigger as that would encourage over packing (who’s ever come back from holiday with half a suitcase of clean clothes? – yeah your suitcase was too big and encouraged over packing!) Waterproof, easy to attach to my bike and not too scary to my bank balance as lets face it… I’ve never done anything like this before… It could be a once in a lifetime thing, so I’d rather not find that out after taking out a 2nd mortgage to pay for my kit…

There are a number of brands offering incredible bike packing bags, but after some research the one that seemed the best balance between functionality, durability and price was Altura… Open to other opinions obviously, but I did my own research and these were the ones I opted to purchase…

I have:

1 x Altura Vortex 2 6ltr waterproof compact seatpack
1 x Altura Vortex 2 5ltr waterproof front roll bar bag
2 x Altura Vortex 2 waterproof top tube bags

So whats going in the bags?!

Top tube bag number 1:

This bag will be attached to my top tube and my seat post and contains mechanical type stuff (technical terminology right there)!

2 x spare inner tubes
1 x genuine innovations co2 inflator
3 x co2 cartridges
8 cable ties (variety of lengths/thicknesses)
Puncture repair patches
A roll of black electrical tape
1 x Shimano chain quick link
1 x 14 function multitool (includes a chain tool)
1 x pair of spare cleats

Top tube bag number 2:

This bag will be attached to my top tube and stem and will mainly be filled with snacks/nutrition…

2 x tubes of SIS Go HYDRO tabs – berry flavour
4 x Torq Fitness Gels – 2 x raspberry ripple and 2 x rhubarb and custard (yes I have a sweet tooth… although these are for emergency back up only, i intend to eat solid food wherever possible)
1 x nutrigrain breakfast bar – chocolate chip (this eats like a cake! Super easy to eat on the bike)
1 x Rice Krispie Marshmallow Squares bar (favourite mini pick me up)
1 x Nature Valley Protein Bar – Salted Caramel nut
1 x Cadbury Brunch Bar – Raisin

This is what is packed at the moment but realistically I will also add mini cheddars as I dont go anywhere without a back up back of mini cheddars… and I may add a few extra breakfast bars in my jersey pockets – I don’t like to get hungry!

Please note I intend to stop in towns and eat proper meals each day… (I will not be living on Rice Krispie Squares…)

In addition to nutrition my top tube bag also contains a foil blanket, some plasters, wound wipes and aspirin… These are stored in a tiny sandwich bag at the side of my snacks – just easy access in case of an emergency.

Saddle Bag

This doesn’t have many items in it, but the ones it does are crucial to my survival!

1 x OMM Mountain Raid PA100 half bag (literally the lower half of a sleeping bag)
1 x OMM Mountain Raid PA100 Jacket (a synthetic down jacket with clever connections to attach it to the half sleeping bag creating a full sleep system…)
1 x Mountain Warehouse Bivvy Bag (waterproof mummy type bag that you wiggle inside to sleep without getting soaked -that’s the aim) – think giant black bag… but bottle green and a slightly more attractive material…
1 x Silk sleeping bag liner
1 x spare tyre (schwalbe durano)
1 x Cateye TL-LD610 LED Rear Light (attached to the rear of my saddle bag – not in the bag…)

Handlebar Roll

Now are you sitting comfortably…? Got a cuppa tea? Then lets begin…

This bag literally contains everything else!!!

Toiletries (stored in an XS dry bag):
11 pairs of daily contact lenses (this gives me 2 spare pairs incase any wash out in the rain or get scratched with grit)
10 x WellWoman Sports and Fitness Multivitamin tablet (I am under no illusions my diet will be less that ideal on the move, these should help, I take them daily anyway.. Good habits!)
1 x travel sized toothpaste
1 x travel sized folding toothbrush
1 x travel sized Corsodyl mouthwash… (No one wants ulcers or dodgy breath for 10 days… again – bad diet expected, mouth ulcers would not be welcome!)
1 x travel sized factor 50 sunscreen (optimistic maybe, but no one wants to get burnt…)
1 x travel sized deodorant
1 x travel sized Jungle Formula Maximum insect repellent… (I am going to snack my way round the country, I don’t want to be the snack)
1 x pack of babywipes – these fix everything – hygiene, messy hands, filthy bike… Love a babywipe!
A ‘few’ nappy sacks – for taking dirty baby wipes and rubbish etc away with me till I find a bin!

First Aid Kit (conveniently stored in a self labelled ‘First Aid Kit’ bag – no ambiguity here):
Wound wipes (maybe 10? I didn’t count)
1 pack of antihistamine tablets
1 x small tube of Savlon antiseptic
1 x pack of Anadin (Aspirin and caffeine version)
2 x pairs of disposable gloves (could also be used for warmth if the weather gets moody)
1 strip of water purification tablets (I hope to top up from reliable sources but doesn’t hurt to be prepared just in case)
1 x 6 imodium tabs…
1 x roll of micropore tape
1 x pair of small scissors
1 x roll of Rocktape
3 x safety pins
1 x triangular bandage
1 pack of Compeed blister plasters
1 x mouth to mouth resus shield (obviously I cant use it on myself… I am aware of this… but it is something I tend to carry)

Casual Clothing Items (stored in a xs dry bag) an unnecessary luxury for most bikepackers but I will be staying with friends for a few nights and I would like to be able to get changed and not sit in my smelly kit)
1 x pair of leggings
1 x pair of shorts
1 x vest
1 x pair of foldable shoes (yes true luxury but who knows I might wanna go out one evening? lol)

Cycling Clothing Items – Outside of the drybag but still in the handlebar bag I have the following other clothing items:
1 x pair of Primal armwarmers
1 x pair of Primal legwarmers
1 x Primal Asonic rain jacket
1 x pair of Specialized Womens Deflect long fingered gloves

Electronics (stored in a ziplock sandwich bag – classy!)
1 x travel plug with USB slots
1 x Shimano di2 charging cable
1 x USB cable with multiple connections (mini USB and lighting etc)
1 x Petzl Reactik headtorch

Right! I think we are nearly done!

On the bike:
1 x Garmin Edge 1030
1 x Garmin External Battery pack (fits into the same mount as the 1030 and provides cable free charge on the move – genius!)
1 x Lezyne mini pump (attached under bottle cage)
1 x 1ltr water bottle
1 x 500ml water bottle
1 x Lezyne 1100XL front light
1 x Cateye Volt 300 front light
1 x TopPeak stem mounted smartphone drybag
Schwalbe Durano Tyres

On me!
Currently not fully decided on kit but likely the following:
Primal aqua Bib Shorts
Primal aqua Jersey
Primal socks – Narwhals if I wear the aqua kit… well I am going along the coast…
Primal base layer
Primal custom RomfordCC cap
Fizik Womens R5B Donna Road Shoe
Specialized S-Works Prevail II Mixtape helmet
Optional/undecided could depend on the weather forecast- Primal Aqua gilet… and matching gloves…

I will also be taking my phone… A debit card, credit card, driving license and a small amount of cash…

So now you know why my fully loaded bike is the weight of a baby hippo – and thats before I get on it!

Footnote: I am a Primal Ambassador however I have purchased the items of kit mentioned in this post.

Any products specified (regardless of brand) have been purchased personally and are my items of preference. No items mentioned in this post are gifted or sponsored…