Packing for a cycling trip is not hard. It’s rather like following a script. There is no room to improvise. Literally, every inch of space is already allocated.
It helps to have done this before. Last year’s trip was the true test, and after two months on the road I can say with absolute certainty that I got it just right. I had exactly what I needed. No more, no less. And so I return to my List. It will not surprise anyone who knows me to find out that I have detailed documentation on every single item I carried. And despite the brevity of contents in my panniers, my list runs to four pages. I’m nothing if not thorough. Want to know how many ziplock bags I used to keep everything dry? My list will tell you: 8 gallon and 9 quart sized bags.
The hardest part is collecting everything. Where did I put my Swiss Army Knife? What happened to the little bottles for toiletries? Looks like I’d better put granola bars on my shopping list. But before long, I fill my assigned spare bed in the guest room. All the paraphernalia I’ll need for 4-5 weeks of travel fits on a single size mattress.
From there, it is a simple matter of stuffing the works into those ziplock bags, squeezing out every last ounce of air and fitting them into my panniers. If I have any doubt as to where certain items belong, I have only to refer back to an old blog post. Who knew that blogging would come in so handy?Honestly, it’s a lot harder to pack for the road trip out to Glacier where we will start our Glaciers to the Sea cycling tour. After all, I have a whole car at my disposal. There are endless things I can bring, especially as my cycling gear takes so little room. And I don’t even need any ziplock bags.