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Biking Le Petit Train du Nord

What to Pack on a Multi-Day Cycling Trip

If you’re heading out self -supported on a multi-day cycling trip then you need to consider a few things. Are you planning to camp or stay in B&B’s and hotels? How much weight do you want to carry?

This packing list for a multi-day cycling trip is geared towards people who don’t want to carry a lot and who are staying in accommodation other than tents. Adding camping equipment and a tent/sleeping bag likely means you’ll have to carry a set of front panniers. Consider the following essential or highly worthwhile for a multi-day (2 – 7 day) bike ride.

Updated April 2020. This post includes some affiliate links. If you make a purchase via one of these links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. 

Easy biking on the Confederation Trail
Number your panniers so you can remember what you put where

Must have bike gear on a multi-day cycling trip

Biking Le P'tit train du Nord - one of the great bike rides in Canada
Biking Le P’tit train du Nord in Quebec

Personal gear for the bike

  • 2 pairs of bike shorts so you can alternate every day
  • 1 pair quick dry pants for cycling
  • 2-3 pairs of biking socks + 1 pair of waterproof socks
  • Bike shoes
  • 2 quick dry cycling jerseys + one long sleeved jersey if the weather is colder
  • Arm warmers, leg warmers
  • Rain gear including a helmet cover, shoe covers, pants and jacket
  • Cycling gloves
  • Sunglasses
  • Bandana
This is what a drumlin looks like
Biking in the Peterborough area

Off the bike gear

  • Several pairs of quick dry underwear
  • 1 – 2 pairs of socks depending on the season – merino wool is great
  • Sandals and runners
  • Shorts
  • Long pants
  • T-shirt + one clean shirt
  • Fleece jacket
  • Sleeping attire
  • Personal toiletries and medications including sunscreen, lip protection and insect repellent
  • Biodegradable soap
  • Alarm clock
  • Books, Kindle, journal, pen, cellphone
  • Maps
  • Camera and binoculars, batteries, solar re-charger
  • Corkscrew, cutlery set, collapsible bowl and cup
  • Headlamp and extra batteries
  • First aid kit with pain killers, Benadryl, bandaids, Neosporin, gauze, waterproof tape, iodine solution for wound cleaning
Missed the absolute peak fall colours by a week
The Mesabi Trail in Minnesota

Miscellaneous gear for a multi-day cycling trip

  • 2 water bottles or a CamelBack
  • Assorted power bars
  • Warm set of cycling gloves for cold weather

For shorter trips in hot weather, you can usually get by with fewer clothes. I find it easiest to wash bike shorts and jerseys every day so I always have a clean pair to put on.

The list is a guideline only. People develop personal preferences over time. Certainly getting a bike well tuned before any big trip is a good idea. And if you’re biking in an area with bike repair shops then you might be able to get by with less repair gear.

Biking up Highwood Pass
Biking up Highwood Pass in the Rockies

Further reading on multi-day bike trips


Leigh McAdam

Leigh McAdam is a Calgary based writer, author, photographer and social media enthusiast with over 61,000 followers. Her blog: HikeBikeTravel is frequently cited as one of the top travel and outdoor adventure blogs in Canada.

Author of Discover Canada: 100 Inspiring Outdoor Adventures
Co-author of 125 Nature Hot Spots in Alberta

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Great list though I’m missing chocolate and a bottle for the corkscrew, not to mention the Compeed gel plaster that cures almost anything. But how do you fit all that into two saddle bags?

    1. @Mette You would be amazed at what fits into two saddlebags. We can’t buy Compeed in Canada but I stock up on the stuff when I’m in Europe. I make sure my Swiss Army knife has a corkscrew and chocolate is a great addition – and required for energy.

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