SF - LA Bike trip packing list

To get an idea of what I should pack, I consulted books and read several web journals of West Coast riders. I've also been on other bike tours and know that it is best to pack less than I think I might need.

Several sources suggested that I take a "shakedown" overnight ride to experience what it was like to actually pack everything in panniers, ride it to a campground, set-up camp, and then ride back the next day. This was a very good idea and one that I whole-heartedly recommend.

Originally, I wanted to take a camp stove for cooking. However, after the trial run, I wanted to cut weight and I decided to leave the stove and cooking gear home. I also got rid of the levis and heavy belt and took a pair of lightweight nylon pants, instead.

Here is the list of things I packed.

Street Clothes:
1 pair 100% nylon long pants (convertable to shorts)
3 pair underwear
5 pair white socks
3 T-shirts
1 sweatshirt
1 cotton overshirt
1 rain coat
1 pair long underwear
1 pair street shoes
3 pairs black socks
1 ball-type cap

Biking clothes:
3 biking pants
3 biking jerseys
2 head sweats
3 hankerchiefs
bike vest
leg warmers
arm warmers
1 pair bike shoes
1 pair biking gloves
1 pair sunglasses

small bottle liquid soap
small bottle shampoo
antiseptic salve
sewing kit
lip balm
razor + 1 extra blade cassette
tube of aftershave cream
1 small bottle sun screen
1 small bottle bike butt'r
tooth brushes and paste
1 large pack baby wipes
1 camping towel

Camping Equipment:
1 down sleeping bag
1 2-person tent
1 tent ground cloth
1 blow-up sleeping pad
1 blow-up pillow

Bike Equipment:
2 front Orttlib packs
2 rear Orttlib packs
1 Camelback
2 water bottles
1 rear-light
2 replacement tubes
10 bungee cords
1 small U lock
1 36-inch lock cable
1 front-light/flashlight

Bike Tools:
tire levers
pack of hex wrenches
extra chain links
extra nuts and bolts
6 latex gloves
1 bottle chain oil
1 patch kit

1 Digital camera
1 Swiss army knife
1 box matches
2 Adventure Cycling maps
10 pages copied from Bicycling the Pacific Coast
Tape player
2 music cassettes
Book on tape (20 tapes)
2 extra batteries
Paperback novel
Small notebook
Electrical Tape

peanut butter
rice cakes
nut mix (1 lb)
raisins (1 lb)
powered Gatorade
chocolate bars
energy bars

Estimated weight: 45 pounds

Next time, I won't take an extra pair of street shoes unless I will be spending rest days touring some city or national park. I rarely wore anything but my biking shoes. Instead of the the street shoes, I will pack a pair of slip-ons or light sandals. I will also take some shaving cream and bug repellant. I had to spend most of one evening sitting in my tent to avoid swarming mosquitoes.

Because I like to listen to books on tape when I do my local rides, I decided to take a 20-tape book to listen to on the way down. I also took 2 music cassettes. I found that the book was quite boring and only listened to the first 4 tapes before giving up on it completely. I listened to the music tapes quite a bit and the next time I will take 4 or 5 of them. Given the weight of tape cassettes, it would probably be better to take CDs. However, the CD player I have doesn't have enough volume to hear clearly on a bike and it is a bit awkward to deal with. My tape player fits into a jersey back pocket and is easy to stop and start. Also, the tapes fits into my Camelback but CDs wouldn't. The tunes came in handy on long climbs!

I think I could have gotten by on even less clothes. Probably, one less pair of underwear, socks and T-shirt. Everytime I put those clothes on, I had just taken a shower and I didn't keep them on long before I went to bed. On the other hand, it was nice to occasionally have clean clothes to put on.