Camping Gear

A good tent is extremely important. It must be lightweight, waterproof and of the appropriate dimensions for your needs. Make sure your tent is large enough to shelter both yourself and your belongings in case of rain.

Make sure that you are familiar with your tent and how to set it up properly before you leave on your trip. Even the best tent, if set up improperly, will leak during rain.

A sleeping pad is important to keep you off of the ground and provide proper rest. Although inflatable mattresses are comfortable, in my bike tour experience they have proven to puncture easily and are difficult to patch. Thermarest makes a comfortable, uninflatable mattress that poses no risk of puncturing.

Make sure that your sleeping bag is appropriate for the temperatures that you will be experiencing. Remember that sleeping bag temperature ratings are only applicable if paired with an insulated pad.

Pillows are optional. Many bike tourists fill the compression bag from their sleeping bag with a sweater to make a pillow, but there are some inexpensive, compact travel pillows on the market.