Take 3 pairs of underwear and a pair of pliers, but leave the paperback books at home.
That’s the advice from the An Adventure Called Bicycling blog I’ve discovered recently. The entries are written by RJ, who did the TransAmerica in 2009 and now writes up helpful hints, gear reviews and general musings on cycling.
Her latest post focuses on the equipment she took on the TransAm, with notes on what stayed in the panniers and what got ditched. RJ loved her MSR Whisperlite stove (also a favourite of ours), and used her pair of miniature pliers a lot.
“That’s a kind of leverage that’s hard to come by otherwise,” RJ writes on her blog.
We neglected to pack a pair of pliers initially and regretted it. Happily, we found a discarded pair by the side of the road one day (lucky us!) but we would also recommend a small pair of pliers on tour, for getting into tight spots on your bike and also cutting wire, if you need to replace a brake or gear cable, for example.