Adventure – ECT17 – Equipment List

Deciding what to bring along on a long self-supported bike tour can be a little frustrating – through trial and error, a bit of internet research, and buying some not-so-ideal things, I think I’ve finally narrowed down my equipment list – click ahead to check it out!

East Coast Trip 2017
What: A 5,000km Grand Bike Tour
When: August 2017

The Big Criteria

Everyone’s trip is different. We all have different budgets, ideas about how much “roughing it” we can stand, whether or not we will cook, how fast or slow we will travel, and we also probably all have different ideas of what an enjoyable vacation is!

For this particular trip, I had a fairly tight budget, but thankfully I already had a lot of camping equipment from previous adventure. I wanted to be able to cook, and I was planning on camping the entire way, except for a few nights in the bigger cities.

On the Bike

  • MEC National Touring Bike
  • Ortlieb Classic Roller Rear Panniers
  • Ortlieb Sport Roller Front Panniers
  • Topeak Handlebar Bag
  • Blackburn Expedition Front Rack
  • Blackburn Expedition Rear Rack
  • Topeak Mountain Morph Bike Pump
  • Clickstand Kickstand
  • Front Flashy Light
  • Planetbike Rear Flashy Light
  • Cargo Net
  • Cargo Strap
  • Bike Lock
  • Bell

My MEC National is still pretty new. I swapped out the stem for a slightly shorter one, swapped the seat a handful of times, and put a set of Schwalbe Marathon 700×35’s on for tires. For the panniers and handlebar bag, there is not much to say – Ortlieb and Topeak are well known companies and provide pretty solid waterproof bags. The Blackburn Expedition racks so far have not impressed me much however – their installation and quality of welds has left me not 100% satisfied with that choice.

Camping Gear

  • Marmot Tungsten 2P Tent
  • No Name Sleeping Bag
  • Thermarest Sleeping Pad
  • Thermarest Inflatable Pillow
  • Other: Clothespins, Rope, Bug Mesh, Bear Spray

My camping setup is pretty straightforward and not particularly advanced. The Marmot tent could be substituted for a smaller one, but I opted to bring my 2 person tent because I couldn’t stand the idea of being stuck in my 1 person tent for half a day if there are bad weather conditions. The sleeping bag was a surprise for me, since I purchased it for around $30 off AliExpress last year – it’s lightweight and comfortable for the temperatures I’m expecting. The sleeping pad and pillow are both nice Thermarest items in the mid-range of their product catalog – I’ve used them a handful of times and they are both comfortable.

Other items I’ve included in my camping gear include some clothespins for hanging clothes and wet tents, some rope to use as a clothesline and food bag rope, a head bug mesh for those particularly buggy nights, and some bear spray. Although no one ever expects to see bears, it’s better to have this as a safety than to not.

Cooking Gear

  • Biolite Campstove v2
  • Biolite Kettle w/o Lid
  • Biolite Bowl
  • Toaks Titanium Mug
  • Aeropress Coffee Maker
  • Other: Long Spork, Dish Cloth, Camp Suds, 2 Mini Bic Lighters

It was a tough deciding which stove to go with on this trip. Ultimately I went with the Biolite because fuel will always be available, and in an emergency situation, having it as a backup USB charger seems pretty worthwhile. I plan on firing up the stove twice a day (Breakfast and dinner) for around 20 days so the idea of bringing along solid fuel, fuel canisters, or bottled fuel was not too appealing.

Everything else on the list I consider to be pretty much bare minimum. The kettle is nice and large and fits efficiently on the Biolite campstove, and also stores the stove itself. The Aeropress is my one splurge here, since I do like a nice cup of coffee in the morning.

Tool and Spares

  • Swiss Army Pocket Knife
  • Park Tool MT-1
  • 4, 5, and 6mm Individual Allen Keys
  • 2 Park Tool Tire Levers
  • Pinhead Lever for Locking Skewers and Headset
  • Misc. Spare Bolts
  • 4 Spare Spokes (2 of each size)
  • Misc. Zip Ties
  • Couple Meters of Gorilla Tape
  • 2 Spare Tubes
  • Park Tool Adhesive Tire Patches
  • Chain Lube
  • Tube of Hand Cleaner
  • Shop Rag

I am bringing minimal tools and spares on this trip since I will be relatively close to civilization the entire time. I will see what my chain and brake pads look like when I reach Halifax and if they need replacing I will do so then while in town.

As for tools, I only need 2 or 3 Allen Key sizes, and the Park Tool MT-1 has the appropriate wrench to adjust my fenders, which makes it pretty indispensable.


  • 10,000mAh Battery Pack
  • Biolite Bike Light
  • Eton Mini Compact Radio
  • Asus Transformer Tablet
  • 2TB Portable HDD
  • Samsung Galaxy S7
  • GoPro Hero Session
  • Flexy Camera Mount
  • Garmin Edge 520
  • 4 Port USB Charger
  • 4 USB Cables

On the electronics side of things I’m packed pretty heavily. Between the bike light, tablet, cell phone, action camera, GPS unit, and my watch, there are a lot of devices to keep charged up.

I’ll be taking plenty of video along the way, and lots of photos. Nightly, I will likely be firing up the tablet and moving data from my cameras to the external hard drive for backup.


  • 2 Bike Shorts
  • 3 Light T-Shirts
  • 1 Cycling Gloves
  • 2 Regular Shorts
  • 1 Under Fleece
  • 4 Socks
  • 2 Boxers
  • 1 Sleep Shorts
  • 1 Sleep Shirt
  • 1 Rain Jacket
  • 1 Regular Shoes
  • 1 Sandals
  • 1 Buff
  • 1 Sandals Carabiner

Nothing special here except for the fact that I actually started weighing my t-shirts and realized that some of them are significantly heavier than others. I’ll be bringing along clothing selected almost purely for their light weight, or small packing size. I’m expecting temperatures to be in the range of 15 degrees Celsius at night, to the mid 20’s during the day.


  • Toilet Paper
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • 1/2 Bar of Soap
  • Razor
  • Chapstick
  • Pack Towel
  • Face Cloth
  • Nail Clippers
  • Tweezers

My electric toothbrush will be sorely missed, or I will find a way to bring it along…

First Aid Kit

  • Contact Card
  • Space Blanket
  • Band Aids
  • Polysporin
  • Gauze
  • Sewing Kit
  • Safety Pins
  • Tick Remover

Just a basic first aid kit. Combined with items in my other bags, I should be able to disinfect and stop the bleeding for all but the very worst of injuries before getting into a major city. I’m not carrying any painkillers or digestive aids – if they become necessary I should be able to pick them up from a local corner store.


  • Cash
  • 1 Garbage Bag
  • Bug Spray
  • Baseball Cap
  • Buff
  • Helmet
  • Passport
  • Watch
  • Sunglasses

What’s Next?

Well, the next part is the tricky part. Actually riding my bike for 30 something days across Eastern USA and Canada.


One thought on “Adventure – ECT17 – Equipment List

Comments are closed.