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Bikepacking essentials – the gear to pack for a multi-day cycling trip






If you are planning a multi-day cycling adventure – whether you are making use of a luggage transfer company or hoping to carry all your own kit – there are some essentials that will make you journey much more enjoyable.

Bikepacking essentials for all trips

Waterproof jacket: You never know what the weather will bring, especially in Scotland, and in one day you can experience several seasons. A waterproof jacket is vital for keeping out the rain and wind. Make sure you have tested the jacket in the rain before packing it for your cycling holiday.


Insulated jacket: An extra layer that will keep you warm when you stop while cycling is a great idea. There are plenty of lightweight insulated jackets that pack into a small space so you won’t notice you are carrying it. Choose synthetic insulation for better protection even when it’s wet. The jacket is useful for times such as when you need to eat, fix a puncture or mechanical, or simply to enjoy the views.


Spare clothes: Cycling can make you sweaty and damp clothes are unpleasant. Wearing damp clothes when you stop will make you feel chilly to the core. Pack an extra baselayer or two, depending on the time of year.

Puncture repair kit: You should be prepared for the possibility of a puncture, which means packing all the items you’ll need to fix the inner tube. Remember that one puncture can often be followed by another so make sure you are prepared for several punctures. Take patches, spare inner tubes, a pump and tyre levels. A couple of other essentials will include a chain link fixer and Allan key set.


Sun cream and sunglasses: If it is going to be warm and sunny, you will need to make sure you are protected from the sun’s rays. Even on a cloudy summer’s day in Scotland, you can end up with sun glare and sunburn.

Helmet: There is no law that requires you to wear a cycling helmet in the UK, but most cyclists do now wear one.

Navigating gadgets: Route finding is much easier if you have the route loaded on a GPS gadget.You can buy GPS devices that fit to the bike or use your sports watch. For back up, why not load the route on to a map app, such as OS maps, on your phone?


First aid kit: Basic first aid items include pain killers, surgical wipes, plasters and blister plasters.


Emergency foil blanket or bag: You never know when an accident night happen, so you should always carry some kind of emergency blanket or bag. This will keep an injured rider warm while help arrives.

Midge net: If you are cycling in Scotland in the summer moths, you’ll need some kind of protection from biting midges. A midge net and/or midge repellent are vital.

Tick remover: The number of ticks in the UK is fast growing and many people report an increase in tick bites. Ticks can be carriers of the illness, Lyme Disease. Ticks are prevalent in Scotland in the hills and mountains. Make sure you have a small tick remover with you.


SOS device: If you’re cycling off the beaten track and the worst happens, an SOS gadget, such as Garmin inReach, could save your life. Note that phone reception can be patchy in many remote areas of Scotland.





Overnight cycle tour essentials

These items will be applicable whether you are staying in accommodation, such as a guest house, hotel or hostel, or if you plan to camp.

Ear-plugs: If you will be sharing a room (or tent) with someone, a pair of ear plugs may be the difference between a good night’s sleep and no sleep at all.


Toiletries: Take the basics at least, including a toothbrush and toothpaste, antibacterial hand wash or gel, moisturiser etc. You won’t need anything fancy if you are camping.

Evening wear: Think about what you will wear when you are not cycling. It might be you wear your cycling clothes and shoes, or for greater comfort pack underwear, a pair of shorts/trousers and a t-shirt or long-sleeved top. That insulated jacket will come in handy, too.

Bikepacking essentials for camping trips

When camping on a bike-packing trip, you’ll also need to add essential kit such as a lightweight tent or bivvy bag, sleeping bag, inflatable mattress, cooking system, gas canister, lighter, plate, cup, cutlery and for and water.

Night wear: You might choose to sleep in your cycle kit, but many people prefer to change into a clean top and leg wear. Dry socks will also be welcomed when you get off the bike after a day of cycling.


Plastic bags: If you change your wet socks but are still wearing wet or damp cycling shoes, a great tip is to put your socked feet inside plastic bags, such as supermarket bags, before then putting on your shoes. This means you will keep your dry socks dry while camping.



Booking a cycling trip with Highland Transfers means you won't be too far form support if needed


Other items to consider

Waterproof socks: Even the best cycling shoes will not keep out the wet and mud from above, so a pair of waterproof socks is a great idea if you are heading off-road. The socks are also great insulators if it’s going to be a chill day.

Headphones: If you like to drift off to sleep listening to an audio book or watching a downloaded film, it’s worth packing a set of small headphones so that you don’t disturb the peace or other people around you.


Booking a self-guided Scottish cycling trip


Highland Transfers organise self-guided cycling tours in Scotland and offer luggage transfers. Why not give us a call or email us?

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