Having the right kit can be the difference between failure and success.


As a cycle courier, I had to work outside, five days a week, all year round, in all weathers. I very quickly learned that there are certain corners you don’t cut. Waterproof gloves aren’t just a luxury – they’re the difference between going home at lunchtime because you can’t stand the pain any more, and riding around in the freezing sleet till 7pm with a smile on your face. Decent pedals and the right saddle are the solution to painful feet, aching knees and agonizing saddlesore. A couple of layers of New Zealand merino and you’ll forget the abject shivering misery of your first winter, when all you had was a t-shirt and a hoodie.

So the kit lists that follow aren’t based on anyone’s advice or sales pitch – they’re the result of long experience, trial and error, and real-life pain and suffering. I know exactly what I need.

Wish list
Click here if you feel the urge to buy me a present!

Custom touring frame and forks built by Oak Cycles
Shimano XT hubs
Rigida Sputnik 26″ rims
Schwalbe Marathon XR 26″ tyres
Shimano UN54 bottom bracket
Sugino cranks
Spa Cycles XD-2 touring triple chainset with custom TA chainrings (24-34-48)
Chris King sealed bearing headset
Tubus Logo rear rack
Tubus Tara front rack
Time All-Road Gripper pedals
Brooks B17 Select saddle
Truvativ Stylo Race seatpost (27.2mm)
Salsa Bell Lap handlebars (42cm)

Bar Bag (Carradice Super C)
camera (Sony CyberShot)
Leatherman multitool (Blast)
Park multitool
mobile phone (still sans SIM)
head torch (Silva)
pump (Morph Mini Master Blaster)
puncture repair kit
tyre levers (Pedro’s)
business cards
toilet paper
hip flask
MP3 player (Phillips)
rear light (something cheap and old)
batteries (AA and AAA)
spare inner tube
lighter + spare
emergency energy gel
alarm clock
spare cash
spare memory card for camera
lip balm
moxa stick
spare key for lock
pocket mirror
Yunnan bai yao powder
nail clippers
spare pen
address book
Kindle + case
picture dictionary

Front Right Pannier (Ortlieb)
stove (MSR Whisperlite Internationale)
spare MSR fuel bottle (887ml/30 fl. oz)
Smart Lunar front light + bracket
spare pump (Blackburn mini)
miscellaneous food

Pac tool pouch, containing:
Park master link pliers
Park chain tool
Park spoke key
Shimano lockring remover
3 x Tacx tyre levers
small adjustable spanner
2 x V-brake blocks
5 x spare V-brake inserts
spare derailleur hanger
Rohloff chain wear indicator
doubled-up spoke (to remove dust caps from pedals)
4mm allen key
miscellaneous spacers

Green plastic bag, containing:
WD40 (100ml)
large roll of gaffer tape
spare inner tubes (Specialized presta; 26 x 1.2/1.5)
spare chain (SRAM 8-speed)
7 x puncture kits
spare spokes (Sapin; 256mm, 257mm)
Green Oil Ecological chain lube
spare gear cables and outers
spare brake cables
spare Time cleats
spare clip for Klikfix bracket
patches for tent
tent pole splint
tyre boot
many cable ties
velcro strips
bits of string
paperclips, for some reason
whole collection of spare screws, nuts, bolts, spacers, nipples, noodles, pins, clips, valves, powerlinks, barrel adjusters and those little screwy bits that fall out of your chain breaker and get lost just when you least want them to

Front Left Pannier (Ortlieb)
MSR fuel bottle (591ml/20 fl. oz)
Thermos flask (500ml)
moisturiser (400ml)
insect repellent spray (125ml)
Steripen water purifier + batteries

Evernew titanium cooking pot (1300ml), containing:
SeaToSummit collapsible silicone bowl
SeaToSummit collapsible silicone mug
100ml pot cao bang bitter tea

small cotton drawstring bag, containing:
small bottles shampoo and conditioner
mending kit
washing line
factor 30 sunblock
spare soap, toilet paper and wet wipes

small cotton drawstring bag, containing:
electrical adaptor
phone charger
camera charger
kindle charger
USB camera cable
USB stick

Medical kit:
antihistamine pills
hydrocortisone acetate cream
ibuprofen tablets
Canestan cream
sterilizing fluid
elastic bandage
sterile dressings
verucca removal gel
laxative tablets (senna)
immodium tablets
flucloxacilin tablets
ciprofloxacin tablets
avloclor tablets
oral rehydration sachets
dental floss

Rear Right Pannier (Ortlieb)

North Face waterproof trousers
Assos winter jacket
Swrve Milwaukee hoodie (S)
Salewa down jacket
spare bungee
file of paperwork, documents, photos, etc.

SeaToSummit 20l waterproof stuff sack, containing:
Assos 3/4-length cycling shorts (L)
Gore gilet (L)
Sugoi Wallaroo merino hooded jersey (M)
Decathlon silk glove liners (L)
Icebreaker merino glove liners (L)
Bontrager leather mitts
merino Buff (grey)
Swrve Blk merino winter cap
Sealskinz waterproof winter hat (XL)
Sealskinz mid length waterproof socks (L)
black kameez
green cotton scarf/sarong
swimming costume and goggles
2 x boxers
Brixton Cycles DeFeet socks
hand-knitted woollen socks

Rear Left Pannier (Ortlieb)
sleeping bag (North Face Blue Kazoo)
Rab sleeping bag liner (silk)
Thermarest Prolite small sleeping mat
Swrve winter softshell trousers (32)
Sealskinz Thermal Performance road cycling gloves (XL)
spare notebooks (in waterproof bag)

On the rack
tent (Terra Nova Superlite Voyager)
carrier bag full of food

On me (subject to weather, season, etc.)
Assos cycling shorts (L)
Swrve softshell shorts (34)
leather belt
Aldi merino baselayer
Shock Absorber sports bra
Sugoi cycling socks
Bontrager cycling mitts
Shimano MT43 shoes (42)
Wiley X sunglasses
Bontrager Circuit helmet
Abus chain lock (round waist)
key (round wrist)


  1. Ja
    Posted August 30, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Permalink

    All the best Emily !

    I’m a cycle touring friend of Tamsin.


  2. sam
    Posted January 23, 2012 at 3:24 pm | Permalink

    Surely the next logical thing would be to show a pic of your fully loaded bike.

  3. Posted July 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Emily…a decent kit list is just what I need.
    I am still in the preparation stage of a big trip…sorting out routes, collecting equipment and vaccinations. Renting out my place will be the next big job.
    Going to be heading West so may be see you on the road in a year or so :0)


One Trackback

  1. [...] Kit. Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. This entry was posted in [...]

Post a Comment

Your email is never published nor shared. Required fields are marked *


You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>