Cycling Across the USA: What to Pack

Every challenge in life can be broken down into workable goals. Cycling 6,200 kms across the United States from NYC to Seattle was no different. Preparation for the 3 month journey started with choosing the right gear. Having spent my younger years riding bikes and hitting mountain bike trails, the first task was acquiring some wheels. 

After deciding on the Brodie Circuit frame, I spent the two weeks prior to the trip riding around Toronto and assembling my kit. Every gram of weight counts on a long ride, so it was crucial that each piece of equipment be the right fit. 

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Choosing the Right Gear.

Before making any purchases, I run through a quick check list to see if it ticks all the right boxes...

  1. ) Lifetime warranty- Sustainability is key to me, so it's important I invest in good quality, durable products. I try to buy from ethical companies who offer ongoing support to repair and replace their goods.  
  2. ) Multipurpose- In order to keep my belongings to a minimum, I focus on choosing items that have multiple uses. I am careful to select clothing that I can wear not only as active wear but during my everyday life. My stainless steel tiffin tin gets utilised for food storage, prep, serving and the actual cooking of my meals as well.
  3. ) Lightweight and minimal- I favour merino which not only has the ability to keep me warm or dry, depending on the conditions but it is incredibly lightweight and easy to wash and dry. It's natural antibacterial properties in the fibre also means that it stays fresh for longer. 

The List. 

Below is a complete list of the gear I took with me on the road. Each item is used daily and aside from the bike, it all fits in a carry-on sized bag. My clothing can be worn in any combination, layered and used for all purposes both physical and functional. Everything can be washed quickly by hand and air dried.  

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Bike Set-up.

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Camping & Cooking Set-up.

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Tech Gear.

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Clothing.

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Toiletries.

  • Tooth Brush bamboo -biodegradable
  • Toothpowder - better and longer lasting then toothpaste
  • Dr. Bronner’s Castille Soap - All natural, to wash body, hair, clothes and dishes
  • Small comb
  • Nail clippers
  • Lip Balm
  • Wahl Electric Shaver - hair / beard - I cut my own hair and beard
  • Quick Dry Towel
  • Coconut oil- as a moisturiser and for cooking (not pictured)
  • Sunscreen (not pictured)
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Miscellaneous.

  • Sunglasses
  • Wallet- Allett ultra slim
  • Passports
  • Water Bottle -Vapur Eclipse Foldable
  • Backpack - Matador Beast 28L -ultralight, packable (not pictured)
  • Day bag- Matador Daylite 16L -ultralight, packable (not pictured)
  • Tech Bag- Bogear EDC Pouch- clamshell style organisational pouch for all my tech gear (not pictured)
  • Packing Cells- to store clothing (not pictured)
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What to eat. 

For those that are interested in what I ate along the way here is a sample of what I carried with me. I have a plant based diet and try to eat whole foods as much as possible.

Bulk foods: I kept a close eye out for Co-ops, to refill my reusable cotton bags with bulk essentials.

  • Oats - traditional
  • Rice - brown
  • Lentils - green
  • Coffee- grounds
  • Trail Mix - (almonds, raisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds)
  • Peanut Butter
  • Honey
  • Dried refried beans
  • Nutritional Yeast
  • Dried Soy protein
  • Pasta
  • Quinoa
  • Cous Cous
  • Soy Sauce
  • Vegetable seasoning
  • Cinnamon
  • Pepper
  • Chilli powder
  • Curry powder

Dumpster diving: The perfect place to replenish perishable goods and help reduce wastage.

  • Fruits and Vegetables
  • Granola Bars
  • Bread
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