Kit List

(A work in progress!)

This page is mainly for the benefit of anyone who is looking to do a similar cycle tour and is interested in what equipment I ended up taking. At the moment my equipment list is still incomplete and there are some major decisions left to make so this page will be updated over time to reflect my latest plans. As I assembled my kit list I found I often already had an item on the list but it wasn’t quite right for the needs of a cycle tour – usually because it was too heavy or bulky. So I’ve now got two lots of several items. EBay beckons…

The Bike 

The Surly Long Haul Trucker

  • Surly Long Haul Trucker. Surly make a fine bike frame for touring, I’m told. More info and pics of the bike here. Things to note: cromoly steel frame, 26″ wheels (smaller = stronger, less chance of broken spokes, 26″ is a more common size than 700c = easier to find replacements in remote parts), Continental Contact City tires.
  • Fitted with Shimano PD-M324 SPD MTB pedals – SPD on one side, platform on the other side. Nice and versatile!
  • Also fitted SKS Chromoplastic MTB Mudguards as the LHT doesn’t come with mudguards.
  • Swapped factory-fitted saddle with the more comfy Ridgeback saddle from my hybrid. Only time will tell if this was a good move!
  • AGU X-Rain 850 waterproof panniers (rear) with Klick Fix fitting. 45 litre capacity.
  • Altura Orkney Bar Bag. 7 litre capacity.
  • Minoura SG1 Space Grip Bar Extension – very useful when you’re trying to attach a bar bag, cycle computer, reflector and light to your handlebars!


Camping gear 

Vango Superlite 200

  • Tent: Helium Superlite 200. Just 1120g. Not the quickest tent to erect but very lightweight and you can pitch the flysheet first and keep the inner dry if its raining.
  • Sleeping mat: Therm-a-Rest NeoAir. I splashed out on this one – but it is truely awesome. Extremely compact and light to carry but very comfortable and keeps you nicely off the cold ground when you sleep. Just don’t roll off it – its quite narrow.
  • Sleeping bag (TBD) + silk lining
  • Inflatable pillow (found in my loft, so thought I might as well use it!)
  • Patch kits for tent & sleeping mat.



Its very yellow!

  • Cycling (SPD) shoes: Shimano MT32
  • Cycling shorts x1
  • Cycling inner shorts (to wear under baggy shorts) x1
  • Cycling jersey/vest x2 (light, breathable, not cotton)
  • Cycling tights (for chilly mornings) x1
  • Cycling gloves
  • Long-sleeved cycle top x1 – Adrenaline Bike Top
  • Waterproof top x1 – Altura ‘Pocket Rocket’ Cycling Jacket
  • Baggy shorts/swim shorts
  • T-shirt x1
  • Fleece x1
  • Base-layer x1
  • Sunglasses
  • Boxer shorts x2
  • Socks x3
  • Lightweight trousers
  • Flip-flops
  • Baseball cap
  • ??? (TBD)


Cycle accessories

Topeak Hexus II


Electronics etc 

PowerMonkey Explorer

  • iPhone 4 (My phone, MP3 player, sat-nav, web-browser, email client, camera, video-recorder, diary, calendar, compass. alarm-clock, Bible, notebook, newspaper, book, address-list…and much, much more! What the heck would I do if I lost this?! TBD – not sure what to do about a phone contract whilst in the States.
  • Insurance for my iPhone 4 🙂
  • Panasonic DMC-TZ3 digital camera. Average – but with a 10x optical zoom which I really like. Bit bulky though!
  • PowerMonkey Explorer – portable solar charger and external battery with a range of adaptors.
  • iPod Shuffle (so I can listen to music without getting the iPhone out)
  • Earphones
  • Bluetooth keyboard (for typing up blog posts on the iPhone)



The TransAmerica Map Set

  • ACA TransAmerica route maps – expensive but very useful. Details of distances, campsites, special instructions etc.
  • Passport
  • Wallet (Credit, Debit cards, cash)
  • Small notebook & pen
  • Emergency contact details and other important info (paper back-up)
  • Spiderpodium
  • Duct-tape, nylon string (washing line), pegs, safety pins, cable-ties, sewing kit. McGyver stuff 🙂
  • Bungee cords x2, bungee mesh (for rear rack)
  • Waterproof dry-bag (might sit on top of rear rack secured by bungee mesh)
  • First-aid kit
  • Multi-vitamins (to supplement the American diner diet…)
  • Dazer II ultra-sonic dog-repeller – for the wild dogs of Kentucky.
  • Lifeventure travel towel
  • Toiletries: Sunscreen, shower-gel, toothpaste, toothbrush, deodorant, chapstick, chamois cream, contact lens case & solution, 2 spare pairs contact lenses.
  • All-purpose liquid soap – for clothes and hand-washing mostly, also as a back-up for shower-gel.
  • Insect repellent
  • Glasses (of the spectacle variety) & case
  • 1 Litre water bottles x3 (in bottle cages on the bike frame). For really long stretches with no water breaks, I’ll probably buy a 2-litre plastic bottle and strap it to the rear rack.

14 Responses to “Kit List”

  1. Neil Sneade says:

    Bog roll? Bound to want it at some point.

  2. Neil Sneade says:

    Oh, and a small spade for when you have to do as the bears do.

  3. Andy S says:

    – Gaffer tape. Because.
    – adjustable spanner – heavy, but there’s some tasks where a multi-tool just doesn’t hack it in my experience

    • Graham says:

      Duct tape = gaffer tape
      Yeah, I think that might be a good call on the adjustable spanner thing. Although there really aren’t too many nuts on my bike.

    • Charles says:

      The only use for an adjustable spanner I have found on a modern bike is for holding a nut while I screw the other end with an Allen key or something. If you take one, make it a light weight small one.If you need a big strong one, every warm blooded American has one in his garage alongside the gun rack and survival equipment.

  4. Ninjim says:

    Presumably you’ve already loaded the shuffle up with your Chas and Dave back catalogue?

  5. Kevin Pride says:

    I assume you’ll purchase the Magnum revolver upon arrival!

  6. George says:

    What saddle have you got on the Surly? And where did you get the bike?

    • Graham says:

      More details on the bike to follow. I’m actually thinking of swapping out the saddle that came with the Surly for my Ridgeback one as I know I find that comfy and the Surly one is rock hard!

      I got the bike from Primo Cycles in Cambridge – courtesy of Stephen Hawkes. George – I believe you’ve met his brother once or twice…

  7. George says:

    If you add up all your kit, what sort of weight are you going to be carrying on the bike for the trip?

  8. Jessie says:

    Forgotten items to be added to your list:
    – Tour t-shirt designed by tour manager
    – Customised camera-holder brackets to sit on handlebars
    – A red bandana – to protect your neck, and as a necessary fashion accessory.
    – Gloves? Not every evening will be delightful
    – Headtorch

    Bring these things and your trip will be a success.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Highslide for Wordpress Plugin