Posing on the edge of the lake in Prudhoe Bay before setting out

Our fully loaded bikes

GOOD gear is not the be all and end all for a long cycle tour but it sure can make things a hell of a lot easier – especially when it’s raining cats and dogs, the road’s littered with glass and the temperature plummets below zero.

With that in mind we spent months and months researching and compiling our ultimate gear list in the hope that the hard road ahead would be a little less tough with decent equipment. We scoured cycling blogs (such as read gear reviews and spent more money than I’m willing to admit with the end result being: we’re fairly chuffed with our setup (even if we over did it and had to send parcels back in the first couple of months). We made a few mistakes (more on that to come) but the basics (tent, bike, tools) have so far gone the distance.

Below is a list of our gear with brief descriptions.

Bike and bike accessories:

The slightly modified Surly Long Haul Trucker

The slightly modified Surly Long Haul Trucker

Surly Long Haul Truckers (2012 models) with rim brakes and 26 inch wheels.

We bought these on the recommendation of two bike touring friends and many others. They’re a tough steel frame build and they’re reasonably priced (about $1300 each for Aussie buyers). We decided on 26 inch wheels as this size is available every where in the world.


Schwalbe Marathon Plus tyres. German made (need we say more) and tough as nails (literally). We’ve had three punctures in six months of touring but we know tourers who boast even better stats than that.

Tubus classic (back) Tubus Tara (front) racks. These guys have a great reputation as rack makers and offer excellent warranty on their goods.

BBB touring handlebars (give you heaps of options for where you put your hands).

KOGA long leather open grip

SKS mudguards (front and back)

Paul component thumbie shifter mounts (allow us to keep the bar end shifters that come standard on the Surly LHT saving money and keeping the shifters nice and simple).

Shimano Ultegra R780 break leavers

Shimano XT T780 SPD trekking clipless MTB pedals

Cateye Strada wireless 8 function cycle computer Updated June 2017:  VDO M3 wired cycle computer

Cateye Economo front lights

Cateye TL-LD1100 10 LED rear lights with rack mounts.

Topeak Turbo Morph pump

Topeak Mini Dual DXG pump

Brooks B17 mens saddle (for Scott) and Brooks B17 women’s saddle (for Sarah) and waterproof saddle covers.

Basic cable lock

Abus U-Lock with extra cable

Bike helmets and hi-vis vests

Ortlieb classic back rollers, the front equivalents, Ortlieb classic bar bag with Ortileb waterproof map holder and 32Litre rack pack. Tough, sturdy, completely waterproof and excellent warranty.

Updated June 2017: Mainstream MS-X SL55 CX panniers, MX-X CLS55 MX waterproof handlebar bag with MS-x map holder and phone case and MS-X dry bags.  Superior quality panniers that have survived everything we’ve put them through.

Scott: Decathlon Trekking Forclaz 70L backpack to replace the Ortlieb rackpack

Sarah: Decathlon Women’s Easy fit 60L trekking backpack to replace Ortlieb rackpack

With views like this why would you want to sleep anywhere else?

The Nemo Dagger 3P can pitch perfectly anywhere – including Alaska’s stunning Arctic Tundra

Tent and sleeping gear:

Macpac Citadel tent (colour green). Three man with a great vestibule for stashing your bags. Produced by a New Zealand company – retails at about $1200 so fairly pricey but you can get great sales (we scored ours for half the price in a stocktake sale).

Updated December 2016: Nemo Dagger 3p tent (colour green).  Freestanding, three man tent with two vestibules for storing gear.  Produced by an American company our new home is incredibly tough and reliable.

Macpac Latitude 700 dowsleeping bags. These are also pricey – about $900 each – but we got them for a reduced to clear rate ($300) and they claim to be rated to -10 degrees Celsius comfortably. No good for summer camping but great for when it’s chilly.

The pillow, sleeping bag and mat

The pillow, sleeping bag and mat

Thermarest pillows. Yes, we bought pillows. And before you laugh at us, they roll down super small (made of foam bits) and are pretty comfortable. They’re also reasonably priced.

Exped downmat 9 (for Sarah) and downmat 7 (for Scott). As the name suggest they are stuffed with down, roll down fairly small (they live in Sarah’s rack pack) and are much more comfortable than the average inflatable mat.  Updated June 2017: MEC VectAir Insulated sleeping pad (for Scott).

You use a hand pump (takes about three minutes to inflate) and they can handle pretty cold temperatures.

Sea to Summit silk liners. These add extra warmth in cold conditions and help keep your sleeping bag clean as they are easily washable. They are also good to use in hot conditions when it is too warm for sleeping bags.

Updated December 2016: Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Plus Liner (for Sarah – who feels the cold more) and Sea to Summit Thermolite Reactor Liner (for Scott).


MSR Whisperlite International 2012 model (and large fuel bottle 887ml). Small, easily started and runs off most fuels (white spirit, petrol etc). MSR have since bought out a new and improved version of this (the universal) which allows you to use either a fuel bottle or a canister but ours has so far proved reliable.

MSR expedition service kit.  Comes with all the necessary tools and spares to keep your stove functioning.

MSR deluxe kitchen set. Includes a folding chopping board, stainless steel 4.5 inch knife, spatula, ladle with cooking measurements, combination pot strainer/cheese grater, salt, pepper and herb shakers, a bottle opener, cloth, scrubber and two squeeze bottles.

MSR folding “sporks”

MSR Alpinist 2 system (includes two deep dish bowls and two cups and a saucepan)

Trangia 25 ultra light hard anodised aluminium frying pan

2x coffee filter baskets from Macpac

Sarah's slightly excessive clothing spread

Sarah’s slightly excessive clothing spread



1x long hiking pants (Columbia hikers)

2x cycling shorts

1x TORM merino cycling jersey

1x Mountain Designs fleece jacket

1x Macpac Supernova hooded down jacket

1x Macpac merino long sleeve thermal top

1x Synthetic thermal pants

1x Kathmandu synthetic long sleeve thermal top

1x casual tights

1x Quechua casual shorts

1x Columbia three quarter shorts

1x Macpac merino singlet top

1x Toread Gore Tex rain jacket

1x Macpac waterproof pants

2x Macpac merino short socks

1x Macpac thick winter hiking socks

2x Merino long hiking socks

1x Macpac summer anklet socks

6x underpants

1x pair Shimano SPD Gore Tex cycling boots

1x pair Shimano SPD sandals

1x pair Havana thongs (flip flops)

1x pair swimmers

1x Buff

1x Sunglasses


2x long hiking pants (Macpac zip offs and Columbia hikers)

2x cycling shorts

1x Macpac fleece jacket

1x Macpac Supernova hooded down jacket

1x Macpac merino long thermals (one top, one bottom)

1x pair boardshorts

2x Quechua shorts

2x Macpac merino t-shirts

1x Toread Gore Tex rain jacket

1x Macpac waterproof pants

2x Merino long hiking socks

1x Macpac thick winter hiking socks

1x Summer anklet socks

4x Underwear

1x pair Shimano Gore Tex SPD MX9 cycling boots

1x pair Quechua sandals

1x pair Havana thongs (flip flops)

1x Buff

1x Sunglasses

First aid kit:

Panadol and Nurofen

Keflex antiobiotics (for chest/ear infections)

Anti diarrhoea medication (Norfloxacin, Loperamide, Azithromycin, Trindazole and Cotrimoxazole)

Anti nausea medication (Prochlorperazine)

Promethazine (for allergy, hayfever, nausea and motion sickness)

Framycetin Sulphate drops (for ear and eye infections)

Nasal Spray (for sinus congestion, colds, flu, hayfever and allergies)

Gastro stop





Antiseptic cream

Voltaren (anti inflammatory)


Mosquito head nets


Macbook Air 11 inch laptop (with laptop case)

The Macbook Air - longer battery life than most pc laptops and also no viruses

The Macbook Air – longer battery life than most pc laptops and also no viruses

Two external hard drives

Garmin Map 62s GPS

Kindle Classic (Sarah)

Kindle Classic (Scott)

Basic old samsung flip top mobile phone with international sim card

Travel adaptor with USB charge sockets and multiple fittings

Go Pro Hero 3 black with handlebar mount and spare battery

Nikon AW1 camera and camera bag and Gorillapod original tripod

2x Petzl Tikka 2 headlamp


Katadyn Hiker Pro Micro filter 

Ear plugs

Bungee cords


multi vitamin tablets

2x Wallets

Sea to Summit pocket trowel (for digging holes etc)

Basic garden tarp – used for covering bikes at night and sitting on while camping

Macpac dry bags (2x large for clothes, 2x medium for laptop and medicine etc, 1x small for electrical)




Baby wipes



Lip protector/ paw paw cream





Year supply of the pill


Nail clippers

Tools and Spares 

Rugged Extremes compact canvas tool roll

Short handle 8oz hammer

Needle nose pliers

Allen key set


Multi tool with chain breaker

Chain checker tool

Chain whip

Spoke key

Tyre levers

Victorinox Swiss Tool CS Plus

Chain lube

Chain degreaser

Cable ties

Super Glue

Puncture repair kit


5x Spare tubes

6x Spare spokes

Spare gear cables

Spare break cables

Spare break pads

Shimano chain connector pins

Shimano quick links


  1. How to Live Frugally, so You Can Follow Your Big Dreams - August 5, 2017

    […] in our Nemo Dagger 3P tent, which is free-standing and can be pitched anywhere in any condition (check out our full gear list here) and we mostly eat our own cooked food. We carry a MSR Whisperlite International stove and usually […]

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