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What to Take

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What to Take

Many bicycle guides offer suggestions about what to pack for a bike tour. Here’s our version; if you like one of the others, that’s fine too.

Clothes and personal items in overnight baggage
Clothes to ride in    Toilet kit    Warm shirt or windbreaker
Clothes for hotel or camp   Wallet, ID, money   Long-sleeved shirt, long pants
Extra shoes   Notebook, pen for journal   Hat with brim

Choose clothes based on the weather you expect – but take an additional warm layer. One night is likely to be 10-15 degrees colder than you expect.

Personal items for daily use (carry with you or wear)
Helmet        Camera, film or cards   First aid kit
Gloves   Guidebook   Insect repellent
Water bottles/hydration pack   Jacket or sweater   Sunscreen
Rain gear   Swim suit, wading shoes   Sunglasses
Waterproof tarp (5’x7’)   Plastic bags   Toilet paper
Snack or energy bar    Pocket knife   Cell phone (emergency use)

Carry at least a quart more water than you think you need.

Bike equipment
Bike   Patch kit, tire levers   Handlebar pack
Bike lock   Spare tube   Rack
Headlight, taillight   Pump   Rack pack or panniers
Bell or whistle   Tools (know how to use ‘em)   Rain cover for panniers
Fenders   Spokes (to fit your wheels)   Bungee cords

We don’t recommend carrying more than a few pounds in a backpack. Your load will be much more stable in panniers on a rack firmly attached to the bike. If you're camping or traveling without vehicle support for more than a few days, split the load between front and back panniers for better handling. Many people prefer a trailer; a one-wheeled trailer such as the BOB works well on the C&O.

Even if you don’t plan to ride after dark, you’ll want the headlight or a flashlight in the Paw Paw tunnel (C&O MP 155).

Camping equipment
Tent   Stove, matches   Towel
Sleeping bag   Cook kit, utensils   Plastic ziplock bags
Sheet or sleeping bag liner   Food (carry an extra meal)   Biodegradable soap
Air mattress or sleeping pad   Extra water    

Oh, yes – did we mention extra water?

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You are visiting Linking Up, copyright © 1999,2002,2007 by Mary Shaw and Roy Weil. We encourage you to link to these pages or print copies for personal use. However, if you want to copy the material for any other use, you must ask us first. The contents of these web pages is also available in a book. See other outdoor publications by the authors.