I thought I’d share this kit list here as it’s something I’d have certainly found helpful when I was getting ready to go!
I found this amazing (and bright yellow!) sleeping mat in GoOutdoors where as ever the service was fantastic. I was able to test lying on the mat in store, and also had a demonstration, and got to have a go at the OEX inflation method. This mat coupled with the pillow below have completely changed camping for me. I’ve always struggled to sleep in a tent but on this I am so comfy and able to get the rest I need to power my pedals day after day! It’s perfect for cycle touring too as it packs up really really small. I was a little worried that the dry bag / pump would be a pain, but it worked well and I think will make the mat last longer as it doesn’t get damp each time it’s inflated.
Wonderful inflatable but squishy pillow – Forclaz Helium Trek Pillow
This was the last one available in Decathlon and thank goodness it was there. It also packs up really small, enough for it not to really be a luxury and really helped me be able to sleep. I think what makes it really excellent is the way that it is padded as well as inflatable, so unlike inflatable pillows that I have seen before, it’s not solid when inflated so is comfy to sleep on.
Sleeping bag – OEX Helios EV Hydrodown 300
I’ve been doing my research and have just bought myself this new sleeping back by OEX at GoOutdoors again. Weighing in at 750g, it’s a 3 season bag -3C-3C comfort range and an extreme of -19C. I’m sure this will be what I need to keep warm on my trip!
On my last trip I borrowed a Karrimor Global 900 sleeping bag. At 900g this was lighter and smaller than my one left over from DofE days, or the one I’d hastily bought in GoOutdoors. This was a 2 season bag, comfort range 8-12°C, extreme lower temp -5°C.
Tent – MSR Hubba one man tent
For my upcoming trip I’m borrowing a one man tent which is nice and light and has all the space I need for my adventures.
Last time I borrowed a Vango Tempest 200. Weighing in at 2.85kg this two man tent had plenty of space for two cycle touring girls and most importantly adequate waterproofing for when Scotland threw its best weather at us. Ideally I’d rather split the weight of the tent between two as my bike was rather heavy, but my plan is to buy a more lightweight two man tent that I can use and share with friends on future adventures.
Panniers – Altura Dryline 56L panniers
Last time I borrowed some Altura Orkney panniers which I think were a 56 litre capacity for the pair. They were big and waterproof and had reflective bits. Not in stock at Evans but here is the Evans Cycles page for them. I bought myself some from the middle of Lidl just before lockdown, I’m not sure they’re as big, so may use those for commuting and do some pannier shopping in the mean time!
Update 11/8/2020: I decided the Lidl panniers were a bit small and possibly fragile so I have bought my self a new pair of Altura Dryline 56L panniers. They’ve just arrived and have fluorescent yellow insides – how exciting! 🙂
Eating – a spoon, my trusty opinel and a borrowed MSR windburner stove
Update 11/8/2020 I’ve decided to ditch my smart reusable cutlery kit, plastic mug and plate in favour of the above and a few just add water meals.
The cutlery kit is a little fancy, also containing chopsticks alongside the spoon, knife and fork. I wonder if a spork would be a good idea for next time as camping food doesn’t require all that many utensils! I also took my trusty Opinel – you never know when you might need to cut some cheese, or anything else!
Dry bags – an OEX set of three from GoOutdoors.
These kept all my stuff squashed, organised and dry throughout the trip and the bright colours made it easy to find what I was looking for. I rather like this brand!
- Essential toolkit – all the stuff I’d normally take on a bike ride with me, except for this trip it was in a little zip lock style bag rather than a saddle bag.
- 2x inner tubes, tyre levers, puncture repair kit, multi tool
- bike pump attached to my bike
- I also carried some duck tape wrapped around an old shop card. Seemed a good idea for on the road repairs of anything!
- Cycling shoes – my CX/MTB shoes. These are set up with SPD cleats that are indented in the shoe meaning that a bit of walking is possible in them, rather useful for cake stops / walking through campsites etc.
- Cycling helmet – trusty and turquoise! 🙂
- Bicycle lock and chain
- 2 x water bottles
- Electrolyte tablets to put in water bottles, nice to have a bit of variety, and they’re lighter than squash!
- 2 x cycling shorts. (Both my Alé pairs, my most comfortable shorts – ideal for long days on the bike.)
- Waterproof jacket. (not sure how I did LEJOG without this and it certainly came in handy on this trip! Mine is a lovely bright pink and super waterproof one from DHB)
- 2 x cycle jerseys
- 1 x thin long sleeved thermal
- Gilet with big pockets
- 2x sports bras
- 3x socks
- 1 x cropped cycling gloves, 1 x warm gloves. (Both fluorescent yellow – always good to be visible)
- Thin cotton buff
- Cycling leg warmers & arm warmers. I paired up the legwarmers with my shorts for mountain hiking – quite a look and meant my warm leggings were dry for the evenings which I appreciated!
- Shorts & t-shirt
- PJs – nice to have something to put on at the end of the day that was always dry and
- Warm leggings & fleece
- Racer back running / sports top
- 3x pants, 1 x normal bra
- Additional pair of warm socks for the evening.
- Trail shoes – great for hiking and could even have been used for a run if I’d felt really keen!
- Sliders / rubber slip on shoes – lightweight and ideal at the end of the day
- I bought a fleece buff at the base of Ben Nevis to keep warm in the fog on our way up.
- Bikini, hat & goggles.
- Rechargable powerpack – I borrowed one last time, but have now just ordered this one from Amazon which has a large capacity and emergency solar panel too.
- 4 USB charger to make the most of any camping or café electricity points.
- Cables: iPhone, Android (for all the bits), Garmin cable
- Garmins (my 920xt watch, HR monitor & maps cycle garmin)
- Front & rear lights (Originally bought for LEJOG, but came in handy on this trip!)
- Selfie stick (my essential – I do love a mid ride selfie!)
- Mini action camera + spare batteries.
- Head torch
Something I did look into that I didn’t get around to buying before this trip was a a solar powered powerpack. The idea would be that you could attach it on top of your bags to generate energy while you pedal in the sunshine. Not too sure how it would have worked on this trip as we had lots of rain, but I might see if I can get one before my next adventure!
I kept all these electricals inside a small washbag which kept them together, organised and easy to find.
- My diary – yes a bit of a luxury, but not writing after 12 years of it would be a bit of a shame!
- A little notebook to record my adventures
- A couple of pens, spare ink cartridge
- My kindle (mostly used on the train journeys up and down – when I wasn’t chatting to friendly ladies about my trip!)
- Waterproof phone cover – ready for the Scottish weather (and turns out it was a good idea!)
For a not particularly girly girl when it comes to lotions and potions I did seem to have quite a lot with me. But it was all used or useful!
- Travel sized shampoo, conditioner, face wash & shower gel
- Toothbrush & toothpaste
- Travel towel
- Handcream, vaseline & lipsalve – no one wants chapped hands and lips on the road!
- Suncream & face suncream
- Roll on deodorant (much better than breating it in, whether in a tent or elsewhere!)
- Small travel wash for clothes
- Antibac (probably no longer available to purchase!)
- Baby wipes – so useful!
- Anti bug cream, and after bug cream!
- Germolene – the solution to all ailments!
- Paracetamol, ibuprofen, anti-histamines
- Small jars of chamois cream and E45 to avoid and fix any chafing.
- Contact lenses
- Mini travel mirror (bought in an Edinburgh outdoors shop as I realised I needed it for the contact lenses!)
- Hairbrush + lots of hairbands – they always disappear!
- Nail clippers, lighter