Stuff to put in bags

The stuff you take has to fit in your bags!

It is better to reduce the quantity of stuff than to buy bigger/more bags to accommodate it.  Is there anything you can do without?  Really?  Could you reduce things by using mutli purpose items, e.g. a phone that can take decent pictures/video, play music, send emails, act as a sat nav and you can read a book on?

Cycle Break Down Cover and Insurance

Below is a list of all the things I took on my trip, which may help as a guide to the sorts of things you might need to take. Of course this is very much up to the individual and the type of trip you are planning. I was not camping and I also took the risk that I would not need things like spare spokes and tyres for instance.  As an aside, this caught me out on my last Lands End to John O’Groats trip and I wish I had heard of and obtained Bicycle Breakdown Cover.  This is an ‘AA’ type of service for bikes and can get you out of a tight spot for a few pounds a year.  I would thoroughly recommend it for any end to ender as a cheap ‘get out of jail’ in an emergency.  You can read how I was caught out and how the cover could have helped me here.

1. Me

2. Stuff to go on me

  • Shorts
  • Tops
  • Leg warmers
  • Arm Warmers
  • Socks
  • Cycling shoes
  • 2-3 hour supply of food in pockets
  • Gloves
  • Helmet
  • Chest strap for heart rate monitor

3. Bike

  • Monoc TR2 Team road bike (aluminium frame with carbon forks and stays equipped with 30 speed Shimano 105 groupset)

4. Stuff to go on bike

  • Garmin 800 and back up battery
  • Lights
  • Bottles
  • Pump
  • Bag

5. Stuff to go in bag

  • Tyre levers
  • Multi tool
  • Inner tubes x2
  • Zip ties
  • Chain lube
  • Plastic bags
  • First aid kit
  • Wet wipes/antiseptic wipes
  • Sudocrèm ® (butt bream)
  • Toiletries (deo, shampoo/bodywash, toothpaste, toothbrush)
  • Mobile phone
  • Tablet for Blogging
  • Chargers (phone, Garmin,  tablet)
  • MP3 player
  • Batteries
  • Lock
  • Book
  • Wallet
  • Camera
  • Shorts (spare)
  • Top (spare)
  • Socks (spare)
  • Wind stop/rain top
  • Waterproof Rainlegs
  • Sunglasses
  • Silk rucksack
  • Spare food and energy drink powder for the day

The only things I did not use on the trip were my pump, inner tubes, multi tool, first aid kit and mp3 player. Of those the only one I could have got away without carrying was the mp3 player.

The last two times I rode Land’s End to John O’Groats I did not take the spare cycling kit (shorts, top and socks).  This reduced the weight I was carrying a little but the main benefit was that it freed up a lot of space in the bag which I could use to carry proper food purchased en route without crushing it.  However, it also meant meant that once I had washed my kit every evening I had to wander around in a  towel, having nothing else to wear.
It is a good idea to pack your stuff in sealable, clear plastic bags. This will help to keep them watertight, preventing water leaking in and toiletries leaking out. It also makes it much easier to sort through your kit.