Bike Touring Pack List: For Africa

On our current tour I am rolling with a somewhat minimal kit, assembled for covering long distances over mixed surfaces (as much off-road as possible), in fairly primitive environments. Although there are a few slight modifications I would make (noted), this is pretty close to the perfect kit for me.

This packlist revolves around a saddlebag/framebag combination with peripheral drybags to accomodate sleeping gear, food and extras. I will continue to update this list as it evolves. But here it is, down to the last sock, by luggage item, then category. If you are interested, here is a link to my last packlist on a fully loaded Troll.

Longflap Saddlebag (DIY)

My DIY long flap saddlebag is the heart of this kit. It is similar in size to the Carradice Camper long flap and has about 25 liters of space. Here’s what’s inside:

Bike Touring Pack List
  • Bike Touring Clothes
  • Bike Touring Tool Roll
  • Bike Touring Backpack


  • Sea To Summit Garment Bag (M)
  • 2 cotton tshirts
  • 1 pair Kuhl Revolver pants (great lightweight pants that are very durable)
  • 1 pair Prana Titan shorts (great quick dry lightweight short)
  • 1 pair of Icebreaker Bodyfit boxer briefs (tough merino wool for riding… surprisingly durable)
  • 2 pairs Smartwool PHD socks
  • 1 pair Patagonia long underwear
  • 1 Icebreaker long sleeve merino top
  • 1 Prana Sabbatical button down lightweight shirt

Packable Backpack

I love this pack. It doubles as an around town bag and an overage pack when extra food needs to be carried. Also works great to stow items if using a bus. The pack folds and stows neatly in it’s own internal pocket. It seems to be very well made and only weighs .31 kg (11 ounces).

  • North Face Verto 26

Tool Roll

In one of the large side pockets of the saddlebag is this DIY tool roll containing the following:

  • Crank Brothers multitool
  • PDW 3wrencho
  • Leatherman Juice C2
  • A few spare zip ties
  • Park Tool emergency tire boot (2)
  • A few Park Tool tube patches and vulcanizing glue
  • 1 spare Rohloff cable
  • Two-sided wrench 4/8 (I think) for Rohloff stabilizer nut and rack nuts
  • T25 Torx wrench to fit BB7 adjustment knob
  • Several spare nuts and bolts
  • 2 backup pairs of BB7 pads
  • Tube Phil Wood grease (in pocket, not roll)
  • Bottle of Squirt dry lube (in pocket, not roll)
  • Bottom bracket tool for SKF (in pocket, not roll)
  • Park Tool allen wrenches wrapped in cloth (#4, #5, #6, #7) (in pocket, not roll)


  • Macbook Air 11”
  • Charger for Macbook
  • Charger for Canon 6d battery
  • USB cable for iPod
  • USB cable for Garmin and Canon 6d
  • USB cable for Kindle
  • SD Card Reader
  • 1 TB external harddrive

Framebag (DIY)

I built this frame bag the day before we flew to Cape Town. It has served me well, so far, although I have had a few zipper issues and plan on building another with a slightly more meaty zipper. Here is how it’s packed:

Bike Touring Pack List - Framebag
  • Bike Touring Custom Framebag
  • Bike Touring Cooking Kit
  • Bike Touring Cooking Kit

Cook kit

Most of my cook kit fits in a small Domke waxed canvas bag:

  • Trangia spirit burner
  • Vargo Octagon Titanium wood stove (used as pot stand and wind blocker for the Trangia)
  • Snow Peak Titanium Spork
  • Shard of chamois to wrap the Trangia
  • MSR drip coffee maker
  • Lighter
  • MSR salt/pepper 2 sided container
  • Universal pot handle
  • Snowpeak Titanium plate
  • Platypus Platy (2 Liter Foldable Water Bladder)

Additional tools/spares

  • Topeak Mountain Morph pump (with a few wraps of Gorilla tape around the handle for backup repairs)
  • 2 Schwalbe 29er tubes
  • Baby nose squeeze/baster (used to inject Stans, and blow out camera)

Rain jacket

  • Mountain Hardware Typhoon (green)

Handlebar Bag (Crumpler Kashgar (M))

This handlebar bag was converted to use the Klikfix system (here is a tutorial) and I have found it to be a great addition to the kit. On future trips I will probably make a lens change to lighten it up a bit for off-road riding:

Bike Touring Custom Handlebar Bag

Photography gear

  • Canon 6d
  • 24-70mm f/4 Lens
  • 135mm f/2 Lens
  • 40mm f/2.8 Lens
  • Nikon Lens Pen
  • 10 various SD cards in Pelican card case
  • 1 spare battery for the 6d
  • I think I’d change the lens selection to: 24 f/2.8 / 50 f/1.4 / 135mm f/2 next time


  • Passport/documents/wallet
  • iPod Classic/earphones
  • Small sketchbook/pencil
  • Garmin eTrex 20 GPS (next time I’ll change to a GPS/computer)
  • Bunyan Velo wool cycling cap
  • Crumpler rainfly


I use several dry bags to house the remainder of the kit. Here is how they are attached and filled:

Bike Touring Drybags
  • Bike Touring Straps
  • Bike Touring Handlebar Bag
  • Bike Touring Water Bottles

Salsa Anything fork cage / Sea To Summit Big River Dry bag (5L)

My Salsa Anything cage failed, then got welded, then failed again, so I had to distribute this a bit, but plan on keeping this configuration with the new version of the cage.

  • GSI Pinnacle Backpacker pot/nesting bowls/bag
  • Big Agnes Q-Core UL sleeping pad (mummy)
  • Big Agnes Q-Core UL pillow

OR Window Dry bag (5L) (strapped to the Minimalist front rack behind the handlebar bag)

  • Big Agnes Pitchpine SL 45 degree sleeping bag

Exped Dry bag

Strapped between the saddle and saddlebag…

  • Big Agnes Fly Creek UL3 Tent
  • 6 foot cable for locking bikes (next time, this doesn’t go)
  • Spare tire (Geax Saguro strapped under the dry bag) (next time, this doesn’t go)

Bunyan Velo Bartender Bag (by Randi Jo Fabrications)

This has been my favorite new piece of gear on this trip, hands down. It is a perfect nook for stowing small stuff that requires quick access. For me that’s sunscreen, a GPS, apricots, a banana or two, a beer… etc. Also, the webbing on the side is perfect for sheathing sunglasses by the earpiece. The bag is well made and dries quickly. Get One!

  • Garmin eTrex 20 (when not in the bar bag)
  • Sunscreen, etc.


Strapped between the saddle and long flap…

  • 3 Lezyne Power cages (I love these, they have withstood a lot over 2 tours)
  • 1 Klean Kanteen 750ml Stainless bottles
  • 1 Klean Kanteen 500ml Stainless bottle for coocking fuel
  • 1 Topeak Modula XL cage



Bikepacking Gear Lists


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