Bicycle touring can’t be done without the right gear. All tourers choose different gear for different reasons. While some may focus on being lightweight, others focus on carrying just the essentials, some don’t even concern themselves with weight and regret it later, and some — like me — slightly overpack with things like a chess board and multiple books (give me a break, I am a librarian after all).
So, to start with the most asked question: what am I riding?
I currently ride a steel frame Fuji Touring bike. My partner and I have done extensive work to improve and enhance it since I started cycling, including the addition of a generator hub to power my front and back lights, changing my rims and tires to handle rougher riding than the original road tires it came with, changing the stem after getting professionally fitted, and adding a Brooks Saddle. Additionally, we changed my back rack to a sturdier steel rack and attached one on the front as well, so that I can carry front panniers — or “share the load” as my partner likes to say in reference to Lord of the Rings.
My best advice for buying and enhancing your bike: choose what fits you and the kind of riding you want to do.
When it comes to tools, clothing, and touring and camping gear, my partner and I are basically walking REI advertisements and you can find most of the gear we use here — for questions and updates about gear, feel free to contact me, check out my blog post feed, or follow me on Instagram.