Preparation – Packing for an ebike tour
Packing your panniers for an ebike tour needs a bit of preparation and thought. If you get it right, it will be a great tour. If not, nightmare! Take a bit of extra time before you set off and, you won’t regret having to carry more than you need or feel annoyed that you have forgetten something essential.
For a Tour you need to consider the following:
- Route with km, ascent & descent figures ✅
- Bike checked. Go to your local bike shop if you don’t know how ✅
- Accommodation: are they bike-friendly? ✅
- Packing – OMG, that’s a whole other story ❌
Packing – let’s take a closer look at what I do
I have to carry it all
I have to carry all my own gear for an ebike tour, so I have to be practical. My list includes ‘must have’ and ‘nice to have’. For instance, I can’t leave my hair straighteners behind or my Kindle; they are a must-have, but I can leave behind swimming gear.
My list is split into 4 areas.
- Clothes – day, night and toiletries
- Tools & spares – minimal in my case. I’ll go to a local bike shop if I have a mechanical issue.
- Paperwork – medical & credit card, identification & insurance papers
- Miscellaneous – the biggest list! From my charger to suncream, padlock to tea bags!
What not to skimp on:
- Bike shorts – I take 3 pairs, 1 on, 1 drying, and 1 ready for the next day.
- Shirts – again, I take 3 for the same reasons, and I wear quick-dry ones. They don’t need to be cycling tops; I find them too tight, so I wear sports shirts.
- Socks – wet or smelly socks are unpleasant. So take enough that you can change them every day.
What you can skimp on:
- Evening wear, 2 T-shirts, 1 pair of shorts and a longer pair of light trousers like walking trousers are more than enough. On a tour, no one will see you wearing the same stuff every night!
You have to carry it!
If you don’t get your packing right, you end up with really heavy bags filled with stuff you don’t need or use. Don’t make it so minimal that you are miserable (hence my hair straighteners!) Take time over your list and preparation, and you will never regret it.
Lay everything out, then go through it and check it twice. Do you really need it? Pack it all in your panniers, then go out on your bike and see how it handles. It will be different from normal. Remember to pack all your stuff, including your charger, rain gear and shoes. You think you have everything until you do that final check and realise that you have forgotten something that is quite heavy. I mean 500g or 1 kilo as heavy; that makes a big difference if you are carrying it yourself.
Make sure the weight is equal on both sides, or you will notice it. After the first day, the packing will not be the same on day 2; it’s like everything expands overnight on the first night, and you seem to have less room in your panniers.
My panniers are waterproof; tried and tested Ortlieb ones. However, I still put my gear in a plastic bag inside the pannier, as removing it at the end of the day is easier. Pulling out 1 plastic bag full of your stuff is quicker than taking things out one by one.
Remember that you will need whatever you put at the bottom of your bag as soon as you set off. Sod’s law.
👉 Follow me on Facebook and Instagram. Find out what riding an ebike is really all about. Give it a go; you will never regret it. https://www.facebook.com/ebikeeurope
Not sure where to go on your tour? Check out this article to give you some ideas on where to start. https://ebike-europe.com/ebike-tour-where-to-go/