Packing for an adventure is a very personal thing. Since this particular adventure involved cycling through Colombia and Ecuador keeping the weight down was the number one priority but there is only so much you can leave behind and still be prepared with the essentials. Including my bike, panniers, water and food I was pushing close to 40kgs at any given time (depending on how much food and water I had on board) so keep that in mind when you come to decide what you will or won’t pack.

Cycle touring Colombia

There is no right or wrong way to pack so this should be treated as a guide only for what to take. We chose to wild camp so tents and cooking gear were required however this weight could be avoided if we had decided to sleep in accommodation instead.

Left rear pannier –

Clip on koalas and Australia Magnets as gifts to hosts

First aid kit

Sunglasses case

2 in 1 shampoo and conditioner

Sleeping bag

Thermarest sleeping mat

Inflatable pillow

Electronics – mobile phone charger, iPad charger, camera charger, spare AAA batteries for headlamp, headlamp

Toiletry bag – hair brush, nail clippers, hair ties, deodorant, hygiene products, Afterbite cream, medications such as anti inflammatory, malaria mess etc. toothbrush, toothpaste

Right rear pannier –

Map of South America


Book (I swapped them out from the occasional hostels we passed)

Passport folder

Dryer Lint (kept in small zip-lock bag in case we ever needed to start a fire)

Ocky straps

Duct tape

Rain poncho


Sun hat

2 buffs

Thermals – long pants and long sleeve top



Long fingered gloves

2 pair socks

3 undies

1 bra and 1 sports bra

Travel towel

Singlet (used for pj’s)

Sport shorts (used for pj’s)

2 tshirts

1 skirt (bought in Mompos as originally only packed shorts and pants)

1 Icebreaker jacket

1 pair travel pants

1 pair shorts worn every day on the bike and replaced as needed

1 long sleeve quick dry shirt worn everyday on the bike

1 pair bikinis

Packing list for a bike trip

Rear pockets of panniers –

Cable ties, Velcro and spare bolts for bike and rack

2 spare tubes

Patch kit and glue. Extra patches

Tyre levers

Multi tool bike tool

Chain rag

Hand pump

Chain lube

Extra green backpack –

Tent (2 person)


Extra 2.5 lts of water

Rain protection – pants and jacket

Toilet paper

Bug spray


Thongs (Flip Flops)

Extra plastic bags

Baby wipes

Eating dishes and cutlery

Front pouch –

Right side – purse, camera, Spanish translation book

Left side – phone, water purification tablets, lip balm, hand sanitizer, tissues, sunglasses cleaner cloth, bottle/wine opener,

Extras or Attached to bike – bike lock and keys, helmet, riding gloves, passport and yellow fever certificate with extra cash and spare bank card worn on a shoulder sling money pouch at all times under clothing,

Handy hint – cut up bike inner tube to help protect wear spots on the frame if you intend on cable tying anything to it.

What I packed and didn’t use – Ocky straps, sunglasses case, passport folder, dryer lint to start a fire, rain poncho, stockings/tights

What I didn’t pack and used from others – camp stove, food bowl and plate, leatherman knife,

What I wished I packed – Sarong or skirt- I bought one in Mompos as I originally just packed one pair of shorts and one pair of pants. The shorts I wore on the bike and it was too hot and sweaty to wear pants once you had finished riding for the day. Having something that allowed air flow and a bit of breathing was nice and gave you something to wear on rest days when everything else was being washed.

What I would do differently – The original idea of the green backpack was in case we left the bikes and went off for a few days. It was great to have the extra space and was needed, however, it wasn’t great in wet weather and I had everything inside a garbage bag inside the back pack to try and prevent water getting in. If was to do again would have a dry bag instead and just have a collapsible or fold up backpack carried inside my panniers for buying supplies on rest days or doing day hikes etc.

Carry On,