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 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.
|Helmet||Camera, film or cards||First aid kit|
|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||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).
|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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