The tricky thing about packing for a multi-day bike trip is accounting for the weather. Well, that, and watching the weight of your bags. Granted, we don't have to transport them from campground to campground, but we do have to carry them from where they're unloaded to our campsites.

Another challenge is the fact that you basically need two outfits for each day: the clothes you ride in and the clothes you change into at the campsite after you pull off your nasty, sweat-soaked trail clothes. Last year I took way too much stuff. Here's all the stuff I took and didn't wear/use:

Cruisin' the Katy

I'm trying to do better this year. With temperatures forecast in the mid-90's, I knocked the pants off my list. Figuring that chances of running after a 30-50 mile day are slim, I took out a pair of running shorts. And while I have a few shorts/tshirt combos packed, I plan to spend most of my post-ride time in a couple of racerback t-shirt dresses.

On last year's ride, after struggling to get my damp body into those tops with the built in bra and then sweating even more in the close-fitting workout-type clothes I brought, I heard a lady mention just putting on a sundress. Light bulb moment! I spent the rest of the week in a swimsuit coverup dress. Much more comfortable!

So, my packing list as it stands now:

  • Toiletries & makeup (vain person that I am, I'll start the day in makeup even if I'm going to sweat it off in no time)
  • 3 pairs of bike shirts (I'll wash them in the shower)
  • 6 sports bras (tricky item bc that's all I have and what I need under my trail and post-ride clothes. I'll wash them in the shower and also wear the next days trail bra under the previous day's post ride clothes)
  • Socks & underwear
  • 7 tank tops/bike jerseys
  • 2 short-sleeved shirts
  • 1 long-sleeved shirt
  • 2 tshirt dresses
  • Tennis shoes
  • Flip flops
  • Towel
  • 3 pairs of regular shorts


  • Sleeping bag
  • Backpacking tent
  • Sheet
  • Pillow
  • Tarp
  • Camp chair
  • Camera
  • Phone charger and spare batteries
  • Flashlight
  • Book (Les Miserables, so I'll only need one)


  • Immodium AD (just in case)
  • Ibuprofen (which I'll most likely be taking before, during, and after the ride)
  • Anti-Monkey Butt powder (cut down on friction)

I'm nearly all packed, and I think that my luggage diet has been pretty successful. Remember the picture above? Remember, that was only the stuff I took and didn't use. Now check out the picture below. It shows all the clothes/books I'm taking...and it's a smaller pile than the "didn't use" pile. I'll let you know how it goes!

Katy Trail 2010


  1. P.S. My bag with sleeping bag, tent, tarp, and such weighs 27 lbs. My clothes bag weighs about 23. So, basically, I'm taking half the weight I'm allowed. We'll see if I'm right on or if I forgot half of what I needed.

  2. Lol on the makeup! Have a fun trip!


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