People often ask us what clothes we carry with us for our trip. In fact, it’s not really a strange question, since we don’t have a lot of storage space. It’s obvious everybody has to make his/her own choices, but it won’t surprise you we compromise ‘a bit’ in terms of luxury. We have to minimize the amount of clothes down to the very necessary, because everything has to fit in two little bags. We don’t have a support vehicle to carry our big Samsonite suitcase to the next hotel. And we are absolutely not willing to pull a trailer with clothes behind our bikes. No need to stand in front of your wardrobe for an hour to choose your outfit for the day anymore. Done with that stress! 😉
When my sister-in-law told me – just before we left – I certainly had to pack a pair of jeans and a white blouse, I just smiled. If there’s two things I absolutely didn’t pack, it’s that heavy pair of jeans that takes hours to dry and white clothes that seem dirty after a few minutes when you live outdoors all the time.
What we did put on our packing list, is a result of a lot of tossing and turning. We invested in clothes of good quality, because they last longer. We chose lightweight and quick drying materials, because we have to wash regularly, that’s for sure! A clothesline isn’t an unnecessary luxury, since washing machines and dryers aren’t easy to find in e.g. West-Africa.
Another advice before you start packing: layer! A very thick fleece pullover takes a lot of space, but you only wear it when it’s really extremely cold. By wearing different layers, you can adjust the temperature way better.
This is how our packing list looks like (not including our riding gear):
- 3 base layer shirts with different thicknesses
- 1 pair of long thermal underpants
- wind stopper / thin fleece à the amount depends on who cold you are 😉
- beanie: your head is the part of your body through which you lose the most body heat
- 2 buffs: one for hot days and one for cold days
- 4 quick drying T-shirts
- 1 cotton T-shirt, because it’s nice to have a different texture on your body ones in a while
- 1 pair of zip off hiking pants
- Tom carries a second pair of hiking pants, I chose a pair of skinny pants. A bit of femininity makes you feel good…
- swimming gear
- for me: a sports bra for riding days and a normal bra for the other days
- 4 pairs of underwear
- 4 pairs of socks
- a down jacket
- for me: a scarf
And that’s it!
Put all these clothes in two little compression bags, pull very hard to compress the clothes as much as possible and make the bags really small. And yes, I can hear you think it: you hardly ever have clothes without wrinkles, so you’d better leave that linen trousers at home.