In March 2012, I left my home in Gloucestershire, UK, to cycle around the world. I have no idea how long this will take ...


Do you want to know what I’m carting around the world with me?  Getting the balance right between weight and comfort is difficult and I’m not convinced I’ve got it right yet.  It depends on how much you value that extra pair of underwear versus a marginally easier hill-climb. At only 2 pairs of boxers I think it’s clear where I stand.

What’s in my panniers changes with the climate zone. In cold areas I must carry more clothes whereas in hot places sunscreen and mosquito repellent are the order of the day.  Likewise, certain stretches require extra equipment, for instance more food and water containers, spare bicycle parts or communication booklets.

Below lists everything I started out with …

Bike & accessories
Dawes Galaxy bicycle
Tesco combination lock
Bell bike lights (front and back)
Karrimor panniers (front and back)
Karrimor pannier covers x4
Osprey Aether 70 rucksack
Rucksack waterproof cover
Bungees x2
Brunton water bottles (1L) x2
Nike water bottles (0.75) x2
Cateye Adventure cycle computer
Halfords bike pump
Giro helmet
Bike Maintenance
Puncture repair kit
- tyre levers
- patches
- glue
- sandpaper
Bike oil
Inner tube (spare)
Spokes (spare) x2
Chain tool
Chain links (spare) x2
Spoke key
Cleaning rag
Beanie hat
Smith sunglasses
Helly Hansen baselayer tops x3
Cycle jerseys x2
North Face windstopper jacket
Altura Night Vision jacket
North Face heavy jacket
Long johns x2
Cycle shorts x3
Cycle tights
Waterproof trousers x2
Socks x5
Boxer shorts x2
T shirts x2
Smart shirt
Smart trousers
K-Swiss Ariake trainers
Mammut walking boots
Flip flops
Leg support bandage
Casio watch
Basic first aid kit
- Bandages
- Safety Pins
- Plasters
- Medical tape
- Scissors
Diarrhoea relief
Antiseptic cream
Flucloxacillin (infections)
Deep Heat
Rehydration sachets
Anti-chafing gel
Camping equipment
Vango Banshee 200 tent
MH Lamina 20 sleeping bag
Sleeping bag liner
3m x 3m tarp (with cord)
Bozeman sleeping pad
Dry bags
Trangia 27-8 stove-set
MSR 1L fuel bottle
MSR Miniworks water filter
- toothbrush
- toothpaste
- soap
- sponge
- deodorant
- razor
Microfibre towel
Loo roll
Ortlieb 10L folding bowl
Clothes wash liquid
Bug repellent
Emergency firestarter
Emergency whistle
Emergency PLB
Working map folder
Storage map folder
Nearby attractions sheet
Nokia mobile phone
Mobile phone charger
Global SIM card
Panasonic digital camera
Camera protective case
Memory cards (16GB) x3
Memory card case
Gorillapod tripod
Camera charger
Netbook protective case
Netbook charger
USB stick
Sony portable radio
AA batteries (spare)
AAA batteries (spare)
Photocopy of passport
Passport photos
Insurance documents
EHIC card
Bank cards
Bank phone numbers
CarryOnCycling business cards
You might be interested in the following FAQs:

What kind of bike do you have?

My bike is a Dawes Galaxy made in 1997. Dawes is the manufacturer, Galaxy is the model. I bought it in 2008 second-hand on eBay for £320. In fact, it was my 18th birthday present. Briefly, the frame is steel, the handlebars are dropped, V-brakes (no discs), no suspension, derailleur gears (no Rohloff hub), 28 inch wheels and weighs roughly 13kg. It is by no means the Rolls-Royce of bikes. It is only a very strong, simple contraption: always reliable and easy to fix.  Click my ‘how I came to have my bike‘ post for an ode to my beginning on two wheels.

What baggage do you carry?

I carry two back pannier bags (one on each side of the back wheel), two front pannier bags (one on each side of the front wheel) and a large travel backpack which lies across the back (I don’t wear it when cycling). What I carry in those bags depends mainly on the season and location. In winter I have to carry a lot more clothes and equipment and in remote places I must carry extra food, water and spare bicycle parts. Take a look at my ‘kitlist’ to see what I’m carrying in detail.

Isn’t your bike really heavy?

In short, yes, although I’ve seen other cyclists with a lot more.  As indicated above, the weight of my bike depends on the time of year and the area in which I’m cycling.  I’d guess on average my baggage weighs around 30kg.