So, we’ve talked about how the cycling trip thru Croatia came to be + how we made the coastal Croatia trip logistics work…what about the packing process? I’m no stranger to shoving a lot of my life into small bags, but before this trip I had *no* experience with pannier bags. Neither packing them nor balancing a bike with them attached. This was actually where things got interesting…I’m comfortable with the winging it aspects of adventure but the balancing aspect of bike, not so much.
When this bike touring plan was thought up I needed to do some shopping — for a bike, for bike essentials + for touring gear. The bike + the pannier bags came together, a bonus of buying from a friend who had cycled to you from another country.
Everything else…well that all required some research + planning + online shopping!
Since I was in Switzerland I couldn’t turn to my usual US-based online store [ie: Amazon!]. Instead I opted to purchase most of my cycling gear from Wiggle, a UK website that sells all sorts of outdoor gear at great prices. I purchased bottle holders, water bottles, handlebar wrap, multi-tools, tire levers, chain lube + extra inner tubes from Wiggle. They came in a variety of packages + the lady at the post office saw a lot of us that we were building + packing the bike!
As for the rest of my gear…well that all got whittled down one list at a time + pulled from my existing stash of ‘roam the mountains’ essentials I had packed when I left the US three months earlier. For clothing I made do with running layers, for camping I used my ultralight tent + camp set-up, for city exploring I pulled together a single ‘acceptable’ outfit.
Thanks to Nite Ize, I also got my hands on some great bike lights + safety essentials. They were kind enough to send over an entire set up of bike lights along with a cycling jersey, gear ties + other gadgets.
Since some people [myself included] really like detailed list I am including a very specific outline of the gear I packed for this cycling tour. You can also scroll down to find a printable PDF with a basic list you’ll be able to customize as you plan + pack. Without further ado, here is the list of my essentials…
…Raleigh road bike — converted into an e-bike, then back to a pedal-only bike
…helmet [borrowed for the trip]
…ROS pannier bag* combo
…Nite Ize Handleband phone mount
…Nite Ize SpokeLits for extra visibility
…spare inner tubes
…bike tire pump
…Topeak multi-tool* with chain breaker
…Nite Ize INOVA STS Rechargable headlamp + STS bike mount
…Nite Ize LED TwistLit in red as a tail light
Clothes + Shoes…
…Pearl Izumi M2 Trail Shoes* [my mountain runners]
…Xero Z-Trek Sandals*
…Zensah Tech+ Compression socks
…no-show running socks
…Zensah Compression leggings*
…Zensah Compression shorts*
…tank top [2!]
…Nite Ize cycling jersey
…Zensah long sleeve top*
…Ultimate Direction Ultra Jacket*
…Nite Ize trucker hat
…Trail Sisters buff/headband
…Nite Ize CamJam
Campsite Set Up…
…Nemo tent [they no longer make it + I ripped it, I’m so sad!]
…Thermarest sleeping pad
…Montbell Hugger sleeping bag
…MSR ultralight camp stove*
…GSI Minimalist Cookset*
…GSI Backpacker Mug*
…Nite Ize Gear Ties
…toothbrush + tooth paste
…beach towel/bath towel
…concealer + mascara
…[didn’t pack soap, used what we could in campgrounds along the way]
If my memory serves me correctly, this is the full list of items I stashed on my bike for the trip with the exception of one thing…my first aid kit. I always carry along a basic first aid kit with a variation of the ’10 essentials’. This was definitely on this trip as well + housed some of the hopefully-we-don’t-need-this bike tools.
Oh, yes I did bring my computer on the trip. I’ve been working on various contract gigs I can remotely + I wanted to be sure I was still semi-available to the world. I was also planning on spending a week working at a campground in Montenegro, so I wanted my computer for that. I have an 11″ Chromebook that is worth about $150, making it an easy electronic to travel with — size wise + financially speaking.
We have officially talked about nearly ever aspect of my cycling trip along the coast of Croatia. It started out with Cycling Croatia // The Story, where I recapped the entire adventure. The second chunk of information was shared in Cycling Croatia // The Logistics, an outline of how I got my bike around + how I got around on my bike. This is the final blurb of information — the packing! It’s the last thing you do, but it’s something you need to start thinking about right away!
Should you have any questions about my gear selection or packing process do not hesitate to reach out — I’m happy to share a bit of insight or talk pros + cons. You can comment here or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you’re looking for a place to start with the packing for your own cycling trip I have just the list for you! You can download this printable PDF with a list of all the items you’ll need for your adventure. Simply click this link, or click the image below, to get started >> Packing the Pannier Bags Checklist.
*Disclaimer: Every link with a * next to it is an affiliate link. I tell you this because the FTC requires it, but also because it may give you an excuse to click it before you do some online shopping so you can support this oversharing! Thank you!
Bits + Pieces of My Life…As Seen in the Story Above