CyclingSite Logo  
Lists & Articles



  CyclingSite > Lists & Articles > The Big List

The Big List -

Last updated in 2005, but still fairly accurate.


    By Rox Heath  

How to Use This List
General Notes
In-Camp Clothes
Basic Bike Clothes
Outer-Layer Bike Clothes
Medical or Bathroom Supplies
Food Supplies
Bike Supplies
Camping Gear


This list started out with a list of what to take to Cycle Oregon that was a compilation of several other trip lists on my computer. I also added in other things I thought of that people might want to take and generalized it somewhat and put it on the email list for CO XII.

The next year I went over the list completely and tried to make it very general so it applies to different size groups of people and is also very inclusive. This means that anything I can think of that other people have recommended taking to CO is on this list.

My part of this list is a result of 6 Cycle Oregons, 11 years of Boy Scouting, and 30 years of car camping and motel trips with and without kids. We enjoy "comparative luxury" and obviously don’t pack light. However, making the 65 lb. goal was still no problem. Many of the explanations are out of the book we give out to new Boy Scouts who join our troop.

I combined both the male and female lists of clothes here. Just ignore what doesn’t apply to you!

Back to Top

How to Use This List

This list is meant to jog your memory. Simply print it out, or compare it to your own existing list, and cross out anything that does not apply to you.

Do NOT plan on taking all of this. You would need a fork lift to carry your luggage and your very own transport truck. We each experience Cycle Oregon in a different way and want different clothes and equipment to supplement that experience.

Explanations are given after many items and this website contains even more detailed discussions about most of these items. I have also tried to indicate some cheaper alternatives – especially on clothing.

For some packing suggestions go to How to Pack.

Click here for a printable version of this list.

Back to Top

General Notes

  • Take enough of all items to last you the whole week. Many items are very hard to find in small towns and you probably have better ways to spend your time anyway!
  • I have had some trouble on campouts with other bags so I use only Heavy Duty Freezer Ziploc brand bags on CO.
  • The term "fleece" is used to indicate something similar to Polar Fleece although we use many brands. All are made of synthetics and contain no cotton. [Also see fleece.]
  • I have indicated some cheaper "non-bikewear" substitutes on the clothes that are working well.
  • This list does not include clothes to wear home after CO. I am going to leave those in the car during the bike ride.
  • You can often buy T-shirts (and sweatshirts) along the route. I will probably leave home 1-2 of the "in camp" shirts and assume we will buy some somewhere. I make sure to take all of the "cycling" T-shirts because we are so picky about color and fit on these.
  • When you wake up in the early morning and pack your tent it will be wet inside from condensation. Put all of your next-day’s clothes in a plastic bag the night before. This also makes it easier to find them. We pack each day’s cycling clothes in a 2 gallon ziploc before we leave home and then just pack the ziplocs. This works VERY well. The clothes were nice and dry and ready to go when we are half asleep in the mornings.
  • Dirty clothes – we dry them out and pack them in 2 gallon ziplocs, flatten the air out, and seal. They are put on the bottom and around the edges of the big duffels. I use the same ziplocs the clean clothes were packed in.
  • Stuff in tubes (like Desitin, A&D, sunblock, etc.) does not spread well when cold. On cold nights put the tube in your sleeping bag with you (in a ziploc) so you can get it out of the tube in the morning.
  • Pack things together that are used together. I know this is kind of obvious, but on this type of trip you will find it sometimes makes sense to group things in odd combinations.

Back to Top

In-Camp Clothes

In-Camp Clothes (you may want to augment this if you plan on spending the optional day(s) in camp). The quantities are what we use for CO’s including what we wear on Saturday for the drive to CO. This list is for little or no laundry - If you are planning on laundering these during the week decrease the quantity. These clothes are all loose and comfortable (and often somewhat shabby or "broken-in").

  • 8 "normal" socks (wear 1)
  • 1 pair of heavy boot socks (wool or polyester) if you get cold feet at night
  • 9 underwear (wear 1)
  • bra(s)
  • 4 shorts (wear 1)
  • 2 long pants
  • 8 T-shirts (wear 1) – leave out 1 or 2 if you plan on buying these along the way
  • fleece sweatshirt or jacket
  • windbreaker (unlined nylon or polyester jacket) – it should be large enough to fit over your fleece and any other layers. This should not be the same windbreaker you use while riding as that one will often get damp.
  • raincoat or rainsuit – it should be large enough to fit over all the layers. You can use your cycling raincoat or you can bring along something big that will cover you well when walking around camp. For very wet weather a separate in-camp raincoat is handy.
  • knit or fleece hat – "stocking" hat style – it should be long enough to pull over your ears when needed
  • around camp shoes – comfortable!
  • lightweight belt
  • swimsuit
  • sun hat or bandana (especially for the follicle-ly challenged!)
  • pair of long johns – I decide if these are needed based on weather the last couple of days before I leave
  • hiking shoes and clothes – If you are planning to hike around on the rest day(s) bring something sturdy and comfortable.

Back to Top

Basic Bike Clothes

We pack these into 2 gallon Ziplocs with one day’s clothes in each bag. This list is for no laundry - If you are planning on laundering these during the week decrease the quantity.

  • 7 bike socks – you can substitute athletic socks containing cotton here. These are used for nice days and the cotton will help to cool your feet. See below for wet days. Or you can just use regular bike socks all of the time.
  • 7 bike shorts – no substitutes here! You want the real thing. We also avoid the kind with the seam down the middle of the chamois padding.
  • 7 loose-fitting, light colored T-shirts or 7 short sleeved bike jerseys. See "What to Take - Clothes" for a discussion on both.
  • 7 sports bras – CooLMax is nice!

Recumbent Riders – Substitute unlined bike shorts or regular shorts for the bike shorts above. We have had very good luck using the long pants with the zip-off pant legs for these. We take an ankle strap along and start with the pants long each morning and convert them to shorts as it heats up. They are made out of artificial fabrics and the zipped off legs are very lightweight and pack small.

Packed separately in a Ziploc – to substitute in when needed on wet days –

  • 3 pair heavy bike socks – you can also substitute fuzzy acrylic socks. Use them for wet days when you want warm feet if you are using cotton socks or very lightweight bike socks on the sunny days.
  • 2 short sleeve bike jerseys if you use cotton T-shirts
  • 1 long sleeve bike jersey for the really nasty weather day we will probably get.

For these jerseys we have also had good luck with shirts designed for other sports – such as soccer. Just be sure the shirt is made of artificial fabrics and contains no cotton. Also, check the back length. Of course there are no pockets in back, but that may not matter to you.

Back to Top

Outer-Layer Bike Clothes

These are used throughout the whole week. Each night we listen to the weather forecast and choose what to wear. Coats and vest should have full-front zippers so you have a wide range of temperature adjustments. Whatever is not being used each day is packed in plastic in your luggage. Each night all items are packed in plastic to keep them dry.

  • fleece vest – these are not wind-proof, but very warm when combined with the windbreaker or raincoat
  • windbreaker, unlined – big enough to fit over the vest.
  • bike raincoat (or lightweight nylon raincoat long enough to cover your back when riding) – also big enough to fit over the vest.
  • bike gloves – normal padded, semi-fingerless
  • warm gloves with fingers – these need to be flexible enough to run your shifters and brakes. Avoid cotton (too cold) and wool (takes too long to dry)
  • polypropylene or lycra skullcap or knit hat – this is very thin to wear under your bike helmet
  • rain cap to fit over your bike helmet – I've also heard shower caps work well.
  • bike helmet – absolutely required!
  • bike shoes or sandals – real bike shoes are nice (stiffer sole), but you can also use cross-trainers or low basketball shoes or…. Just be sure they are comfortable to ride in for many hours and have as stiff a sole as possible. Bike sandals are very comfortable, but they should only be used with a clipless pedal (cleat) system.
  • booties for shoes or sock covers for sandals
  • arm warmers – if you have big arms just buy small leg warmers for these.
  • leg warmers or tights or unlined nylon pants – If you use the pants include a strap to go around your ankle so the fabric doesn’t get caught in the chain. Bring both the leg warmers and nylon pants so you can layer them. Some mornings are VERY cold!
  • sunglasses & case – it gets very bright on sunny days in Oregon

Recumbent Riders – in place of the lightweight bike gloves above include a very light pair of glove liners or those "one size fits all" lightweight stretchy gloves for chilly mornings.

Back to Top


I just pack these in a 1 gallon Ziploc for each person – all bottles are travel size and with a good seal. If you want to dump shampoo, etc. into a smaller bottle REI has small Nalgene bottles.

  • comb, brush
  • toothbrush & paste in their own Ziploc
  • dental floss
  • deodorant
  • hand soap (in a soap case) or soap on a rope
  • shampoo and conditioner
  • razor
  • shaving cream

Back to Top

Medical or Bathroom Supplies

I sort this into 2 or 3 Ziplocs.

  • 1-2 bottles Ibuprofin or Aleve, travel size
  • a few Sudafed
  • a few Imodium
  • itch relief if bug bites bother you
  • lotion for dry skin
  • small unbreakable mirror – regular size mirrors are also available at the shower area
  • toe nail clippers
  • tweezers
  • Q-tips, travel size pack
  • band-aids, etc. to augment what you carry on your bike
  • pre-wrap tape – The tape they wrap knees with may cause some skin sores if you don’t pre-wrap the area first.
  • prescription medications
  • over the counter medications you take on a regular basis or like to carry while traveling
  • vitamins, minerals, etc.
  • feminine hygiene stuff
  • diaper wipes, 2 travel size packs each in its own Ziploc – these can be used to bathe a small area of your body anywhere, anytime – use them on areas where you have sweat build-up problems, spilled ketchup, etc., or where you just want that "fresh feeling". So far I have not tried them on my face, though. The kind I get fit perfectly into a one pint Ziploc. They also work well cleaning grease off of hard surfaces…(bikes, camp stoves, etc.)
  • Bag Balm, Desitin, A&D, etc. – I use Bag Balm for prevention of chaffing problems. Desitin is the only thing I have found that lets you actually ride on an area that has already been severely chaffed. Take a couple of small tubes if you think you may have problems. Remember this is a week-long ride and there is not a lot of recovery time. I use multiple small tubes rather than one large because with a severe outbreak you may need to carry one with you on your bike to reapply at rest stops.
  • facial tissue – a couple of small travel packs
  • eyeglass or contact lens products as needed
  • bug repellant – mosquitoes are everywhere...
  • sunblock – If you burn easily then lotions (even with a high SPF) may not last all day. We are currently using Coppertone Sport SPF 48 with good results. I re-apply it at least once in the afternoon on sunny days.

Back to Top


Pack in Ziploc(s) and group by use.

  • 1-2 thin bath towels or pack towels
  • washcloth in its own Ziploc
  • tote bag, thin nylon or mesh – this is to put your towel, toiletries, and clothes in while showering. It should fold up to almost nothing
  • laundry soap
  • thin nylon rope – I buy a 48’ package of 1/8" nylon rope and put it in a Ziploc. Multiple uses – clotheslines, tying down tents, hanging tarps or rain flies for sun shades, etc.
  • 10 or so clothespins per person – I use plastic and make sure they have a good strong spring. These can be used not only for laundry, but also to hold things together for sun shades in camp. Also, to hold a plastic bag over a bike seat overnight.
  • duct tape – either get a small camping roll or roll up a cardboard core and wind the tape around that. Short pencils also work well for a core. Duct tape can be used to fix an amazing amount of items including cracked tent poles.
  • Swiss knife
  • Leatherman or multi-tool
  • alarm clock, very small travel style
  • earplugs!
  • space blanket – the really thin, small kind. If you are very cold at night wrap this around your sleeping bag
  • flashlights – take at least 2 (they break at inconvenient times) - we use 1 small 2-AA flashlight per person (Maglites work well for this) and 1 lantern/flashlight per tent – these use 4 AA batteries and are made by Eveready and a few others, and the front pulls in and out to make them either a flashlight or a lantern. Very handy hanging in a tent or when visiting the blue rooms at night. They also work well when you are packing/unpacking in the dark. We went through 2 sets of batteries during the trip.
  • headlights – Headlights are very nice. They are handy because the beam always points where you look. The new LED headlights have a good bright beam.…
  • MANY spare batteries – flashlights, cameras, razors, GPS’s and other electronic gadgets.
  • spare flashlight bulbs
  • sewing kit, very minimal, including a few safety pins of various sizes
  • camera(s) – whatever you want for both on and off the bike
  • film or spare camera memory
  • binoculars, very tiny set. We camp in some scenic areas!
  • cards, stationary, post cards, stamps – whatever you want to send the folks back home. Do not count on being able to buy this stuff on the road. There is usually a post office with a drop box for mail with stamps in the towns.
  • address book
  • pens, pencils, etc.
  • phone numbers
  • cell phone, batteries (charged!)
  • free-time stuff – books, magazines, small drawing pad and pencils if you like to sketch, playing cards, frisbee, etc.
  • plastic bags – all large items such as sleeping bags need to have extra plastic bags packed in case one rips. Also include a few extra of each size. You can’t have too many. Sizes we take – garbage bags (lawn and leaf size, tall kitchen with drawstring, small); Hefty bags (many sizes); Ziplocs (2 gallon, 1 gallon, quart, pint) 1 gallon bags (these are the non-Ziploc lightweight kind that use twist-ties) or vegetable bags from the grocery store. Take quite a few. They are handy to cover bike seats at night, carry with you during the day for messy food, etc., and can be put over dry socks in wet shoes for warm feet. (It works great!)
  • cash – you will need ones to tip the sherpas (usually around $1 or so per bag per trip), and also money for souvenirs (T-shirts, etc.), ice cream cones, sticky buns, espressos, and other "habits" you want to support. Although some towns have cash machines, small change is very hard to get. We will be going through some very small towns!
  • bankcard(s)
  • billfold
  • watch
  • keys to car, home, bike locks
  • plane, bus tickets
  • directions to get to CO
  • form CO wants parents to sign for the "under 18"
  • CO jersey, etc. order info if you pre-ordered something
  • parking permit
  • extra ziploc – for all of the literature (including Cycle Oregonians) you will be given and want to keep
  • fanny pack – you will often have a shortage of pockets – both in cycling wear and when going through the food lines. You can use anything from a lightweight pack for just your billfold, flashlight, etc. to a heavy duty pack with room for cans of juice and lash points for a jacket.
  • insulated mug – to carry hot beverages away from the food lines
  • Walkie Talkie type radios using the Family Radio Service band. If your group gets separated a lot in camp or you want to be available to a wandering teen (and do some wandering yourself) then these may be for you.

Back to Top

Food Supplies

  • power bars, gel etc. – If you want extras of a particular brand or flavor. Last year CO had Cliff bars of several flavors.
  • powdered drink mix if you use it
  • gorp or other snacks if you think you will need them or want something special
  • stuff to eat after riding for a quick re-fueling while waiting for dinner
  • stuff to munch on, drink while goofing off if you want something not commonly supplied by CO. Often you can buy this in a local grocery store (boost the local economies if at all possible!) but some places are too small.

Back to Top

Bike Supplies

What you carry and what you just leave at camp depends on your style. We carry a few tools and spare parts with us to fix what is most likely to happen to our bikes. Since we often ride together this can be combined. Remember that one of a group can be pulled out to sag with little notice (accidents and exhaustion happen). Put group items in an easy-to-find pouch or bag for quick transfers to the remaining riders.

Supplies such as sunblock are bought in several small amounts and the extras are carried in the regular luggage.

  • Bike – it would be embarrassing to forget this!
  • Bike pedals, etc. – items you removed from your bike in order to box it!
  • Bike tool kit – patch kit, tire levers, Kevlar or Fiberfix spoke, small crescent wrench, ignition pliers, phillips and straight screwdrivers, 10 mm wrench for brakes, pump, Allen wrench set, multi-tool, etc.
  • Bike first aid kit – big gauze pads, tape, band-aids (both normal and big for knees), ointment in tiny packs, wipes, gloves, safety pins, etc. Make your own and put it in one of those small waterproof bags often used for cameras, etc. (Camping section at sporting goods stores like GI Joes) You can always choose to wait for help, but I would rather have a few things with me for minor injuries.
  • hydration system, cleaning supplies, spare parts such as bite valves and elbows; or at least two 20 oz. waterbottles (CO says you must be able to carry at least 40 oz. of water (or sport drink, etc.))
  • water bottle with electrolytes – some people carry mix and make their own, some just grab a bottle at a rest stop, some just drink water and get electrolytes from other sources.
  • spare water bottle or cup – if you use a hydration system a very lightweight plastic bottle to spray water all over yourself (and others) can be handy. You may want to fill it part way and carry it while riding for those "between water stop" cool-offs. Another method is to use a lightweight cup at the water stops.
  • while-riding medications – think of what you may need during the day. Besides what you would normally take would you like Ibuprofin, Aleve, Benedryl, etc. available? I buy name brand stuff that imprints their name on the pill and stick a couple of each in a tiny plastic case with a little tissue to keep them from rubbing together on the bumps. This has been invaluable when I had a muscle cramp and needed some Aleve. Ambulances carry some stuff, but not all, and are not always handy when you need something for that headache.
  • TP or kleenex – Small travel size roll. The blue rooms are stocked well and available at all rest stops, but you may use other "facilities" en route.
  • bike headlights & mounts, rear reflector – some of these headlights can also be used around camp as flashlights.
  • bike front bags, trunks, under-seat bags, panniers – whatever you are comfortable with. We use a front bag and a bike trunk. The bike trunk holds tools, clothes we shed, etc. The front bag holds food, cameras, a handkerchief, and small items that are easily lost.
  • bike locks & cables – These are for in-camp use. Decide if you want one for your peace of mind. Bike corrals are not always guarded.
  • sunblock, small tube (you will probably want to have replacement small tubes carried in your luggage)
  • lip chapstick with sunblock
  • Bag Balm or other lubricant – small supply, well packaged (it will get hot and run out of some containers!)
  • artificial tears if dry weather irritates your eyes
  • lightweight plastic bag for fruit and other messy stuff
  • bandana or handkerchief for cleaning your hands (grease rag)
  • bandana or handkerchief for wiping sweat off your face before it runs in your eyes
  • neck cooling bandana – filled with water-absorbing crystals. Cools you as water evaporates over several hours.
  • white handkerchief to drape over your neck, under your helmet to keep the sun off of your neck
  • greasy wet wipes – These are small foil-wrapped wipes for greasy hands. Somehow our flats are always on the back!
  • blue shop paper towels - handy, tough throw-aways for those greasy clean-ups. Just fold up a few and bring them along.
  • cycle computer – also extra battery or replace it ahead of time if it has been a long time.
  • GPS – Bob has fun with this
  • spare bike, etc. parts – dupes of any small or unusual parts, also extra shoe cleat (Frogs, etc.), etc. Choose these by looking at your bike and gear and deciding what can easily go wrong that the bike mechanics wouldn't have or that you might want to carry with you while riding.
  • inner tube(s) – you must carry this (CO rules)
  • tire, spare – if you think it is something Bike Gallery won’t have
  • tire pump
  • mirror – CO reccommends you have one of these on you or your bike. They are extremely handy when riding safely with large crowds of cyclists.
  • bike bungees to hold clothes to back rack
  • chain lube oil – small bottle
  • Power Bars or gorp or whatever you pick up at a food stop and carry with you to snack on during the next leg of the tour. Have a small supply with you at the start to carry you through until the first food stop.
  • route maps and elevations – print these ahead of time if they are posted online. They fit better in map pockets and you don’t want your tour book getting wrecked. These will get very wet sometime during the week!
  • mascot or decorations

For the car (if driving):

  • tiny bottle Windex and cloth – Keep this in the car and wash all of the bike mirrors immediately after unloading the bikes if they travel on the exterior of the car and collect dead bug carcasses.
  • bike rack and bungees or bike boxes or whatever you need to get the bike to and from CO

Back to Top

Camping Gear

  • pillow, small (compress it if needed)
  • Thermarest or similar sleeping pad, include patches
  • sleeping bag
  • folding chair or stool – the kind that fold up into a narrow cylinder
  • tent – make sure it has enough room for you and your gear when it rains.
  • rain fly for tent – make sure it covers most of the tent. Oregon rain sometimes blows sideways.
  • groundcloth – use 3-6 mil plastic cut to be slightly narrower than the tent. We leave one end a couple of feet too long to serve as a porch during nice weather. Be sure to tuck it under in the event of rain or it will funnel water under your tent. This should be a disposable item at the end of the trip as cow and deer pastures are sometimes used for camp sites. Be sure and fold it so the against-ground side is against itself before you put it in your duffel! You will probably also want a plastic bag to store it in when it is all wet and dirty.
  • tent stakes (take a few extras) Metal work better in hard, dry ground.
  • hammer, lightweight plastic for the stakes
  • whisk broom – to sweep out your tent
  • small piece of pack towel or a washcloth in its own Ziploc – use it to mop up puddles of water inside your tent when it leaks in that monumental thunderstorm. Use it to clean mud off of things.
  • sun shield – equipment to set a shield up out of a tarp or rain flies. Be aware some campsites are too crowded for this.
  • flag, blinky light to help find your tent
  • giant duffel bag or backpack per person to hold all of this
    Back to Top  
  Page Last Updated: Sept. 2, 2005  
    CyclingSite > Lists & Articles > The Big List  

Copyright 2004, Artist's Touch or by original content developer.

CyclingSite Home Page General Info Photo Album Lists & Articles CO at a Glance CO Collected Wisdom CO History Bike Rides Stories & Humor Guest Book Lists & Articles Home Page Back Up Next Site Map The Big List The Minima-List Gearing 101 Tutorial Weatherization