Packing Lists For Our Bike Tour from Vancouver to San Francisco 6

Fully Loaded

Salsa Vaya fully loaded at the campsite.

In my previous post, we revealed that we will be riding down the Pacific Coast starting at Vancouver, British Columbia to San Francisco, California.  You should know the stops that we will be taking on our month-long adventure but are you curious about what we will be bringing?

I have noticed that one of the unwritten tradition of bicycle touring is that people love to see what you’re packing and bringing.  There’s always a certain curiosity of what’s inside those panniers, so instead of denying you this bit of detail from previous trips, we are going to share with you the list of things that both myself and Sang Hyun will be carrying down the coast.

Sang Hyun’s List


The interesting thing to note is that we are planning to step up our videography game as Sang Hyun will be riding with a slider and monopod to improve video panning techniques.  Here is Sang Hyun’s list of possessions that he will be traveling with.

  1. Sleeping bag
  2. Pillow
  3. Headlamp
  4. Ear plugs
  5. Ear phones
  6. Toiletries
  7. Camp towel
  8. Tarp
  9. USB wall charger
  10. Beanie
  11. Riding shorts x 2
  12. Bike jersey x 4
  13. Underwear x 4
  14. Buff
  15. Beanie
  16. Patagonia Nano Puff jacket
  17. Wool socks x 2 pairs
  18. Closed finger riding gloves
  19. Wool arm warmers
  20. High Vis riding jacket
  21. Arm sleeve/cooler
  22. Waterproof socks
  23. Spork
  24. Tubes x 2
  25. Patch kit
  26. Multi-tool
  27. Charging cables
  28. Newtrent Charger
  29. MSR cooking pan
  30. Spork
  31. Lighter
  32. Chain lube
  33. Camera
  34. Cell phone
  35. Altoid box/Credit card/ID
  36. Passport
  37. Tent
  38. Cable & lock
  39. Sleeping Pad
  40. Monopod
  41. Camera Slider
  42. Water bottles x 4
  43. Sunglasses
  44. Road ID
  45. Helmet
  46. Garmin Edge Touring
  47. Go Pro
  48. The Purple Book

Johnny’s List

Packing for Vancouver

What Johnny will be bringing down the coast. Click on the image for a larger view in Flickr.

My list is a bit more comprehensive because I need to know exactly what I’m bringing.  For example, I could have consolidated 5 things on this list into “toiletries,” but I don’t want to forget anything.  You’ll notice that I’ll be carrying the blogging kit which is essentially my iPad with keyboard.  I will also have Tara Alan’s cookbook, “Bike Camp Cook” which I received for supporting her Kickstarter campaign. Here we have my list of things I will be carrying.  All items with the exception of my undies, spork, and cell phone are pictured above.

  1. Sleeping bag
  2. Cocoon bivvy
  3. Sleeping pad
  4. Pillow
  5. Headlamp
  6. Ear plugs
  7. Ear phones
  8. Face wash
  9. Toothbrush
  10. Nail clipper
  11. Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soap
  12. Camp towel
  13. Contact lens (extra set)
  14. Glasses
  15. Handwarmers x 2
  16. Charging cable
  17. Pants / Shorts
  18. Hiking short
  19. Bike jersey x 3
  20. Underwear x 4 (Not pictured)
  21. Wool shirt
  22. Buff
  23. North Face Thermoball jacket
  24. Wool socks x 2 pairs
  25. Cycling cap
  26. Beanie
  27. Blogging kit – iPad, Keyboard, & Case
  28. Rain jacket / High Vis
  29. Rain pants
  30. Helmet rain cover
  31. Waterproof socks
  32. Closed finger riding gloves
  33. Camera battery charger
  34. ACA Maps
  35. Jetboil (No fuel)
  36. Spork (Not pictured)
  37. First aid kit
  38. Tubes x 2
  39. Patch kit
  40. Fiberfix Spoke
  41. Extra chain
  42. Bicycle Multi-tool
  43. Sunglasses / Riding glasses
  44. Eye drops
  45. Camera
  46. Camera battery
  47. Passport
  48. Tent
  49. Rope
  50. Waterbladder
  51. Cable lock
  52. Goal Zero solar panel
  53. Water bottles x 3
  54. Cell phone (Not pictured)
  55. Road ID
  56. Credit card / ID / Cash
  57. Battery packs x 2
  58. Reflective triangle
  59. Cookbook
  60. Front and rear light
  61. Music speaker
  62. Helmet
  63. Frame pump
  64. 4 Orlieb panniers

Purchasing in Vancouver

Here is a list of things we need to purchase when we land at Vancouver.  You’ll notice many of these things are perishable items or things we can’t fly with, like fuel canisters.

  1. Jetboil fuel
  2. Contact solutions
  3. Toothpaste
  4. Gatorade
  5. Groceries
  6. Sunblock


Our main concern is that we may be carrying too many things for this trip.  Our bikes will be packaged properly and checked-in during our flight.  We just need to make sure we don’t exceed the 50 lbs requirement, otherwise it’s a $75 penalty!  It’s already going to cost us $50 for the bike and checked-in bag.

I’m sure there are things that each of us can shed, so please let us know your thoughts in the comments below about our packing list.  There will definitely be some learning experiences that come along with a long trip like this, and we may even have to send more things home as the month progresses.  We will tentatively use this list as a foundation for our packing list for other trips.

About Johnny Lam

Johnny is an avid cyclist who enjoys bicycle touring as well as anything bicycle related. Johnny has traveled the entire Pacific Coast by bike from Vancouver to the border of California and Mexico. He’s also toured through-out locations in Southern California. Johnny is also a League of American Bicyclists League Certified Instructor (LCI) and also completed the Adventure Cycling Association’s Leadership Training Course (LTC). He is an active member in Los Angeles bicycling community being involved in organizations like the Los Angeles County Bicycling Coalition (LACBC), C.I.C.L.E. (Cyclists Inciting Change through Live Exchange), and Bike San Gabriel Valley (Bike SGV) by taking part in ride marshaling, pedestrian & bike counts, and other volunteering opportunities.

6 thoughts on “Packing Lists For Our Bike Tour from Vancouver to San Francisco

  • tonyg

    If you have more than 2 panniers of gear plus stuff strapped to the top of the rack, you have too much stuff. If you do not have a 24 tooth small front ring get one, thank me later. I’ve done that trip 3 times. Less is more

    • Johnny Lam Post author

      @tonyg – Thanks for the your feedback and insight. That’s a pretty phenomenal feat of riding down the Pacific Coast 3 times. I can definitely see the benefit of dialing down on our things but we just finished a 5 day Joshua Tree trip a few weeks ago with just as much. I suppose if we don’t need anything, we’re going to send it home but for now, I think we are appropriately packed. Thank you for the recommendation.

      As for the 24 tooth small front ring, that is an interesting idea. We may switch out in the middle of our trip but for now I’m rolling with my 30T and Sang Hyun is on a 28T. Specifically which area do you think this will play to our advantage having a 24T small chain ring? Do you also know if it is easy to obtain drinking water through-out the trip where you don’t need a water filter? Thanks again for your feedback.

      • tonyg

        The 24 tooth ring will fit on your crank as is, it will be used all the time, believe me, you have a good solid heavy bike with a lot of gear. There are all sorts of micro ups and downs along the coast that arent visable on maps. Its also cumulative fatigue that sets in after a few days. I have shipped home front panniers on the road. that was the last time I ever used them. my full loaded touring bike with camp/cook gear is 50 pounds, and I notice it a lot on long uphills, There is water/ stores everywhere on the entire trip. lots of great seafood shacks and taquerias too. I looked at your route,you are using the bible route, its a good one, you will have good weather. use LOTS of sunblock. be safe

        • Johnny Lam Post author

          @tonyg – Really good information. It’s good to know that the route we’ve chosen is accommodating in terms of weather and food. We’re planning to get lots of sunblock and if the going gets tough, maybe a 24 tooth ring. Thank you again for your helpful insights.

  • Mary Kimball

    Last year I took a camping trip to Yellowstone. To save on driving time, I flew from Los Angeles to Salt Lake City. I stupidly admitted to the check-in agent that I had a JetBoil in my bag. I was not permitted to bring it on my flight, either in my carry on bag or in my checked luggage.

    Have you found that so long as you don’t mention it that you can fly with your JetBoil? I thought all I had to do was clean it, and I could bring it on.

    • Johnny Lam Post author

      Hi Mary,

      I believe the issue with bringing a Jetboil is the fuel. You definitely cannot travel with the fuel canister in the Jetboil. We had to buy our fuel when we reached Vancouver for this trip. I would just leave it in your checked luggage the next time. I’ve traveled this way across the country without any issues.


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