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The story of how I saved money, quit my job, sold my possessions, and set off to endlessly travel by bike around the world. My Plan

My 3 Books
I write, self publish and sell books about touring

Picture Gallery
Travel Plan

My Books
About Me
Media/Press Room


Photo Use Info

Read Sample Letter
Continue My Travels

Places I have been
How can I afford this?)

India and Neighbors
May 2010 to present

Alaska / Canada / USA
May 2008 to April 2010

New Zealand
Sept 2007 to May 2008

Sept 2006 to Sept 2007

SE Asia / China
Nov 2004 to Sept 2006

South America
June 2003 to June 2004

AZ, Mexico, and Central America
March 2002 to April 2003

How I started
The 5 years before I left

*Help Support this Web Site and Continue My Travels.

Equipment Pages Index

How Much to Bring and Weight
Some Advice About Advice
A Note to Perspective Sponsors and Gear Suppliers
(See more about Sponsorship)

START HERE for Touring Bikes and Commuting Bicycles
Custom Touring Bicycles and Bike Upgrade Buyers Guide
Bicycle Touring Frames 
The Steel Repair Myth.
Steel and Aluminum Derailleur Hanger Repair.
Bicycle Touring Wheels
Phil Wood: The Best Bicycle Hubs

Panniers / Bike Bags
Cargo Trailers Vs Panniers
Tires for Bike Tours..
Bicycle Touring Saddles.
Women's Specific Bike Touring Saddles
Brooks Leather Touring Bicycle Saddle Care and Conditioning
Bike Computer
Touring Handlebars, Bar Ends, Adjustable Stems, and Padded Grips.
Sealed Cartridge Headsets

How to prevent flat tires
Bike Route Trails and Maps

Buying Camping Equipment
Tent and Ground Cloth
Sleeping Bag
Sleeping Pad
Camp Stove
Pots and Pans
Water Filter
First Aide Kits
Solar Power for Camp

Bike Touring Shorts

Short-wave Radio
Bicycle touring lights

Packing list
Pictures of Equipment Failures

See My Videos Here

(see all 3 book)

The Equipment and Packing List

 Below is a packing list from in my second book about traveling through South America.  I have reviewed the list a few hundred times. I'm sure I've left something out but I'm not sure what.

I realize it is a long list. I'm on a multi-year tour  so there are a few extras to make life more comfortable.  A lot of the electronic gear is necessary to create the website, write and publish books, and mix video on the road.  It is a bit of a load to travel with but not much when considering it is practically everything I own.

I have been on the road for many years and have traveled through different climates, over various terrain and in both the developed and developing world.  I don't always carry everything on the list at the same time and try to note these distinctions where they apply. I hope this packing list provides you with ideas for your next bicycle tour.

BICYCLE - Custom made touring bike with 26-inch wheels, front and rear racks, bike computer, water bottles and cages, tail lights, kickstand, touring specific saddle and clipless pedals.

Tim and his loaded bike (packed light for Southeast Asia).

PANNIERS (bike saddlebags) My bike has front and rear waterproof panniers, seat bag, handlebar bag, and pannier repair kit. I use adjustable bungee cords to hold the tent, sleeping bags, and pads on top of the rear rack. After South America, I added a clip-on shoulder strap attachment to convert a pannier into daypack for off-bike hikes and shopping.

- tent, stakes, ground cloth and repair kit
- light-weight tarp (used in wet climates to cover the bikes when camping)
- sleeping bag and waterproof dry bag stuff sacks
- sleeping pad (also folds into camp chair attachment)

camping with the kangaroos

- 10-liter (2.6 gallon) water storage bag that converts to a solar shower with shower head attachment.
-3 bicycle water bottles (extra disposable 1.5 liter water bottles for long dry stretches)
- 0.25 micron ceramic water filter and repair kit
- iodine tablets see Potable Aqua Iodine Tablets here

water filter and hand pump

- 3 cooking pots and 1 coffee cups .
- utensils: two sporks
- pot scrubber
- liquid dish soap

all the pans pack into the biggest one

- gasoline burning camp stove
- wind screen
- lighter
- repair kit
- fuel bottle (size changes depending on the frequency of gas stations and how much I use the stove).

stove and small fuel bottle

(Items below are also carried for frequent camping/cooking)

- small knife
- thin plastic flexible cutting board
- can opener, army style
- spices – salt, pepper, garlic, cinnamon, ginger, and more
- olive oil – kept in a sealed plastic container
- re-sealable bags
- dish drying cloth

FOOD - I always have at least two meals with me. In remote areas, I carry up to two weeks' supply of food staples.
- coffee
- sweetener
- powdered milk
- peanut butter (when I can find it)
- bread or tortillas
- oatmeal
- pasta and sauce
- rice
- vegetables from the market or dried vegetables
- instant noodles
- canned meat
- powdered soup

- laptop computer and power cord
- network cable and coupler
- USB thumb drive (I use my mp3 player)
- MP3 player
- external amplified speakers
- headphones
- shortwave radio (phased out for an MP3 player with music and podcasts

MP3 player strapped to the amplified speakers in handlebar bag.

- video/still camera
- additional high capacity battery
- connector cables
- power cord for charging
- lens cleaning kit
- zoom  lens, wide angle lens, polarized lens
- UV filter
- mini-tripod
- flash memory stick

- AA rechargeable batteries (number depends on the availability of electricity)
- AA battery charger and cord
- extension cord with three way splitter (US plugs)
- international plug adaptors
- light socket adaptor (T)

The "T"  light socket adaptor makes an electrical outlet from a light bulb.

- flashlight/headlamp
- altimeter/compass watch (someday I will change to a GPS.

- lip balm
- sunscreen
- insect repellant and mosquito coils
- multivitamins
- earplugs
- eye mask (blindfold) for sleeping

- international health and first aid manual
- adhesive bandages, various sizes
- elastic-wrap bandage
- gauge, pads and roll,
- antiseptic wipe
- safety pins
- medical tape
- scissors
- tweezers
- antibacterial cream
- burn/first aid cream
- antifungal cream
- eye drop antibiotic
- aspirin/ibuprofen (which ever is available)
- antihistamine
- Moleskin
- antacid tablets
- Doxycycline (Malaria)
- Antibiotic Metronidazole (Amoebiasis and Giardiasis)
- Antibiotic Ciprofloxacin (bacillary dysentery, shigellosis)
- Antibiotic Amoxycillin (broad spectrum for general use such as infected cuts)
- Mebendazole (worming)
- Thermometer

- toilet paper
- toothbrush and toothpaste
- quick drying towel
- brush/comb
- shampoo and conditioner
- bar soap
- razor
- fingernail clippers
- small mirror
- wet wipes

- 2 pairs cycling shorts
- 1 – 2 short sleeve jerseys
- 1 wool long sleeve jerseys with rear pockets (for cold climates)
- 1 pair cycling tights
- 1 pair cycling gloves
- helmet
- sunglasses
- bandana

- 2 short sleeve shirts
- 2 pairs convertible shorts/pants
- 4 pairs lightweight wool socks
- swimsuit
- sun hat
- underwear
- laundry bags used to separate clothing in panniers

- fleece jacket
- long underwear top
- long underwear bottom
- mid-layer/wool long-sleeved top
- cold weather hat
- long fingered gloves

- wind/rain jacket
- waterproof socks
- waterproof  helmet cover

- bike shoes
- walking shoes
- sandals

- money belt
- credit card
- ATM debit card
- travelers checks – I don’t use these as often anymore and am phasing them out.
- local currency
- maps
- travel/guide books
- passport
- tourist visas and travel permits when applicable
- copies of important documents (stashed in a separate area)
- vaccination records (can be important at some borders)
- driver’s license
- small notepad and pens

- combination padlock for hostel lockers
- combination cable locks for bikes
- emergency stash of US currency

- patch kit
- tire levers
- tire pump
- tire pressure gauge
- chain tool
- allen key set
- cassette cracker (remover)
- chain ring bolt wrench
- cone wrench if not using sealed cartridge hubs
- chain lube/rag
- spoke wrench
- 8 and 10 mm wrenches
- pedal - 32 mm headset wrench if not using threadless system
- crank puller/bottom bracket tool
- multi tool/knife - (blade, pliers, screwdrivers, needle nose pliers, file, etc.)

more than the bare minimum tool set

- one folding spare tire Shop for Schwalbe Tires Here
- spare tubes, (number depends on the continent)
- shift/brake cables and housing
- spare brake pads
- spare spokes
- bike grease
- frame bolts
- short chain replacement section with extra joining links
- electrical. tape
- zip ties

small folding emergency tire

- laundry cord and detergent
- mini binoculars
- recreational reading books
- English/local language dictionary
- sewing repair kit
- Guide book
- reading glasses


Spotting black swans with mini binoculars

The bikes below are sold online and shipped to your address.  Online bikes are a very good value but hard to find so I have rounded up my favorites.
Shop All Touring Bicycles Here

This is the type of bike I have done most of my traveling on.  Great for road and off road with an agile geometry and accepts wide or narrow tires.

REI brand Touring and Trekking Bikes

This is the bike I am buying next. I am tall and recently bought a mountain bike with 29er wheels and really like how it rides and would like to try this in my next touring bike.

Salsa Fargo

If comfort is your first priority check out these great bikes.  I have never toured this light but I know a ton of cyclist who like this style of bike.

Salsa Marrakes


The new breed of off road bike packing and snow bicycle. I have never owned a bike like this but I bet someday I do.

Fat Bikes


Seasonal - Surly bikes are not always available on line but they are a great deal. 

Surly LHT touring bicycle


My favorite big rear Panniers
Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus Rear Panniers

If you are going to be living out of just a few bags you need big. durable and rain proof ones.  I have used these bags for years and still can not find anything better on the market.

These spacious bags are some of the largest around for extended trips.

  • Polyurethane-coated Cordura® nylon makes panniers durable and waterproof

  • Zippered outside mesh pockets hold wet gear or allow easy-access to essential gear

  • Large reflectors make you visible to motorists in poor light

  • Contents are held secure with two buckle closures and compression straps

  • Convenient handle on top for easy carrying

  • QL2 mounting system makes mounting and un-mounting panniers a snap

Shop for Ortlieb Bike Packer Plus Rear Panniers

Most common Front Panniers
Ortlieb Front Roller

My travel partners usually carry less than me and use these bags on the front for quicker steering with a lighter load

Waterproof panniers with a unique roll-top closure. Symmetrical shape allows more leg room. Not only ideal for use on long cycle tours; they are also suitable for everyday use as a shopping bag or shoulder bag. Can be used with the carrying system as a daypack.

Absolutely waterproof, special 3D welding constructed bicycle panniers--for front rack mounting, small bag rear rack mounting or children's bikes

  • 3D welding is a special overlapping technique that uses no thread or adhesives

  • Roll-over style closures keep water out and are able to expand with your load

  • Attaches with the Ortlieb QLR-System: a strong, fast, quick-releasing system that locks tightly into place; easy unlocked by lifting up on the handle

  • QLR-hooks are replaceable and adjustable; will fit racks with tube diameter of up to 10 mm; 14 mm hooks available separately; will fit low-rider racks

  • Made of heavy-duty, double polyurethane coated polyester

Shop for Ortlieb Front Roller Panniers

Larger Front (my pick) or Smaller Rear Panniers
Ortlieb Backroller

I am always thinking outside of the box but on my long trip packing light was not an option for me so I used these traditional rear bags on my front low rifer rack on a bike with smaller wheels.

Waterproof panniers with a unique roll-top closure and constructed of an exclusive Cordura material that is completely watertight and welded. Utilizes Ortlieb's QL 2 Mounting System. Its symmetrical shape allows more leg room. Not only ideal for use on long cycle tours; they are also suitable for everyday use as a shopping bag or shoulder bag. Can be used with the carrying system as a daypack.

Made of durable Cordura(R) nylon with polyester; coated with PVC for water resistance

With 3D welded seams, these panniers will keep your gear dry on rainy rides. Constructed with welded seams for strength. Designed with an easy access, roll-top closure. Replaceable, adjustable, quick-release security catches mount panniers quickly and easily on racks--also removed easily. Lifting on pannier carrying strap automatically releases the QL1 system security catches, while releasing the strap causes latches to lock in place. Please note: This item is sold as a pair.

  • Constructed with welded seams for strength

  • Designed with an easy access, roll-top closure

  • Replaceable, adjustable, quick-release security catches mount panniers quickly and easily on racks--also removed easily

  • Lifting on pannier carrying strap automatically releases the QLR-system security catches, while releasing the strap causes latches to lock in place

Shop for Ortlieb Backroller

Convert a saddle bag to a backpack
Ortlieb Panniers Backpack System

You will be surprised how often you use this. 

The Ortlieb Pannier Carrying system turns selected Ortlieb panniers (sold separately) into a backpack, so you don't have to bring a separate backpack along.

  • Foam construction offers carrying comfort

  • Quickly converts a pannier into a backpack; rolls up small for easy transport when not in use

  • Padded ventilated back support is made from fold-resistant foam

  • Adjustable, anatomically-shaped straps feature reflective yarn; equipped with a chest strap and carrying handle

  • Fits Ortlieb bike panniers: BackRoller, FrontRoller, BikePacker, BikeShopper, all sold separately; also fits SportPacker and BikeTourer, not included

Shop for Ortlieb Panniers Backpack System

I keep my emergency tools ready to use
Ortlieb Micro Seat Bag

When I get a flat tire or need a quick adjustment having these tools available in a waterproof seat bag, not buried at the bottom of a pannier, is a great idea.  If you are tired of looking like you are having a travelers yard sale with all your gear dumped on the side of the road just because you need a tube and lire levers put them in a seat bag.

Waterproof and ultra light, the Ortlieb Micro Seat Bag with rolltop closure secures on-the-bike essentials with watertight, low-profile design.

shop for Ortlieb Micro Seat Bag

Good choice if you don't like a roll top system
Ortlieb Sport Packer Plus Panniers

I have used these in the past. At first I wasn't sure about the flap closure but ended up appreciating it. I would have no problem using these again.

Features 3M Scotchlite™ reflectors to increase your visibility in poor light. Made to mount on low-rider front racks or rear racks, these feature snug-fitting lids that allow for higher load capacity. Outer mesh pockets are spacious and feature zippers to hold contents secure. QL2 suspension system holds bags secure and is easy to load and unload. Surrounding compression straps allow size of panniers to be altered. These panniers are the perfect size for your daily commute, or to strap on to children's bikes.

shop for Ortlieb Sport Packer Plus Panniers

My Next Handlebar bag (if my old one ever gets lost)
Ortlieb Ultimate6 M Pro E Handlebar Bag

I have an older (no longer available) version of this bag but with all the extra features I am very tempted to upgrade anyway.  This is the bag with my camera, Blue Tooth Speaker and wallet so you can bet it is coming off the bike and with me into stores and campground offices to keep important stuff with me. 

 Built tough with waterproof protection from the elements, the top-notch Ortlieb Ultimate6 M Pro E Handlebar Bag features a transparent lid for use with smartphones or electronic navigation devices.


  • - Made of coated nylon, the pack is rated to protect against splashes from all directions
    - Features a lockable mounting system and lockable lid closure, keys included
    - Touch screen of your devices can be operated through the lid of the bag
    - Internal zip pocket, key clip and removable internal dividers help keep contents secure and organized
    - Includes shoulder strap, inner pocket, internal dividers, lockable mounting kit, 2 keys
    - Ortlieb Ultimate6 M Pro E Handlebar Bag is designed to fit handlebars with a diameter up to 31.8mm
    - Compatible with Rixen & Kaul KLICKfix system (not included); not for use with carbon handlebars
    - Reflector on front of bag; large front mesh pocket

Shop for Ortlieb Ultimate6 M Pro E Handlebar Bag

Ortlieb Ultimate 6 S Plus Handlebar Bag

 If you are traveling light or are a smaller rider you may want less weight on the handlebars    This bag is smaller, lighter but smarter because you can ride all day without fatigue from wrestling with poorly weighted heavy steering all day

Shop for Ortlieb Ultimate 6 S Plus Handlebar Bag

Ortlieb Ultimate Map Case

Mapcase for all Ortlieb Ultimate (L or M) Handlebar Bags with removable mapcase feature. New version: won't turn yellow over time.  The Ortlieb Ultimate map case is a waterproof, universal map case with a roll-top closure. It affixes to your Ultimate handlebar bag or can be worn around your neck for ease of use while hiking.

Shop for Ortlieb Ultimate Map Case

Ortlieb GPS Cover / Case for Handlebar Bag - Horizontal Model

Details Have your GPS or PDA within the field of vision, and still know it is protected from moisture, dirt and dust. The ORTLIEB GPS cover is also a contemporary transport solution on the bike for your mobile phone or communicator.

Shop for Ortlieb Handlebar Bags and Accessories



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Bicycle Touring
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Sleeping Bags
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Pots and Pans
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Bike Maps
Preventing Flat Tires

Bike Computer
Cargo Trailers
Kick Stands
Commuting Bikes

Camp Shower/Toiletry Bag


Bike Shoes
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Stealth/Free Camp

What I Have Learned On The Road

Dreaming of Endless Travel

Injustice of Poverty

Much MORE Gear Here!

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