Biking Across Kansas

BAK Packing List


Water - You each will be given a water bottle to carry on your bike, make sure that your bikes have waterbottle cages.

Inner Tube and/or Tube repair kit - Every rider should know how to fix their own flat times. I might suggest that each of you have a tube and a repair kit in your bike bag. After a few days you can determine if you need to carry the spare tube. I would also have another spare tube in your luggage for each of your tires.

Tire Irons - To remove the tire from rim. There are some plastic ones available that are very light and do a good job. Be sure that you know how to fix a flat without pinching the tube.

Chain repair kit (or spare chain) - I don’t remember every having a chain failure. Make sure that you have a fairly new chain on your bicycles. If you happen to get the chain wet you might need some spray lubrication for it. Also investigate a way to have a clean chain by maybe using a wax lubrication. I never did like to get that black grease from a chain on me when changing a tire or even when brushing up against it at any time.

Basic Tools - I suggest that you bring only those items necessary for fixing a flat tire. Other tools can be in your luggage. Usually there is a repair vehicle along that will visit your group from time to time. If an emergency arises most of the time the sags will be able to help.

Sun Block - Yes. You will be out in the sun for longer than usual each day. Don’t forget to reapply if perspiration or rain removes it. SPF 30 and above.

Lip Balm-Good to bring--your lips WILL get chapped/sunburned.

Sunglasses- If you are using sunglasses be sure that the ones selected offer adequate peripheral vision. Many riders prefer cycling googles.

Energy/Granola bars- Fruit will be available at each Sag. When I was riding we carried dried fruit(apricots), raw cashews, and sometimes candy (starlight mints). Available now are "power bars" or "power gel" paks; it seems that many people carry them for needed energy.

First Aid Kit - Again I would keep this to the absolute minimum on the bike. You might consider adding a piece of moleskin to your kit.

Frame pump - A frame mounted pump seems to be a well accepted piece of equipment. I have seen people that relied on others for a pump.

Extra T-Shirt- Why not wait until after a shower to change. A windbreaker or rain gear might be more appropriate especially for the first day or so. Some people carry trash bags to be used as emergency rain gear. They pack small and are very effective. The down side is that they don’t breathe.

Toilet paper- Good idea especially for the women. A small roll would be a good choice. or even a small package of Kleenex might be appropriate and would be smaller.

Map with route marked- Route Guides will be provided - a state map might be of interest but is not necessary.

Helmet-BAK STRONGLY recommends that you wear an approved helmet while riding your bicycle. It should be worn even in the evening when riding to a restaurant or other attraction. For safety's sake, use a helmet all the time when on your bicycle.

Cycling Gloves- Helps relieve the hand discomfort of holding the bars for long miles. More important is if you happen to fall they protect the hands from abrasions.

Cycling Shoes- Cycling shoes (with clipless pedals)have a stiff bottom and cleat that helps with a more efficient transfer of energy. They also help relieve foot discomfort from pressing on the pedals for long periods.

Cycling Shorts- If you have not been exposed to cycling shorts, you may be surprised that they fit very tight and have a padded seat. The padded seat is obvious what it provides. But they also are seamless in the areas that might cause chafing. On a trip like this the comfort of your bottom and hands is very important.

Cycling Jerseys- Again they fit very tight and promote the wicking and rapid evaporation of perspiration for proper cooling. Usually they have pockets across the lower back for storage of food and things you might need during the day.

Rain Gear- You may not have to use it, but be prepared for rain with at least a waterproof jacket and hood. Riding in light rain isn't bad, but you need to stay dry and warm. Avoid using rain panchos or long coverings that tend to flap in the breeze as you ride.

Spare Tire-If your tires are new chances are that you won’t need any replacements. Also if a tire is new they seem to pick up fewer flat-causing problems.

Real Money/Plastic Money/Checks- During the day you will have an opportunity to visit many different communities, each will possibly have something of interest. Antiques, Ice Cream, Food or other souvenirs that you won’t be able to live without. ATM card- Convenient if you happen to run out of cash along the way

NO Kick Stands- If you have a kick stand on your bike I recommend that you remove it. When you stop it is safer to just lay your bicycle on its side than to try to stand it up and hope someone doesn’t knock it over and do real damage to it. If its already laying down it can’t fall over.



Air mattress/Pad & Pillow- Be sure that you are comfortable and can rest well in your bed. After the first night most people can sleep very well. Self inflating Thermo rest mattresses are popular.

Sleeping Bag/Blankets- I would suggest a light summer bag and a sheet. Most warm evenings a bag is too heavy and a sheet provides the necessary cover. There are some bag liners that look interesting . Some of those are made of polar fleece and would feel very nice and are also washable. Local sources for these bag liners say that a fleece or polar tech liner is available for about $80 or you could go to a fabric store and purchase the material to make one yourself. These liners are estimated to be good to about 60°.

Ear Plugs- Some soft ear plugs might be appreciated if you happen to pick a spot by a noisy sleeper.

Tent: A lightweight one-two person tent should work nicely. Some outdoor supply stores rent a limited number of these.

Changes of shorts/shirts- You each will receive a BAK t-shirt. Many people "go out" in the evening to local attractions.

One pair of jeans- Long pants are nice the first night or two.

Several pairs of underwear- Enough said. Although usually underwear is not worn under cycling shorts.

Evening Shoes- Especially if you have cycling shoes. Teva sandals are light and don’t take much room.

Socks- Several pairs. Most people plan on doing laundry at least once during the trip. So you can have clean clothes to wear every day and not overpack.

Swimsuit- Several cities will offer swimming to us

Light sweater/Long sleeve shirt-Some evenings can be cooler especially early in the trip when we are at higher altitudes. Don’t forget that we will start out at an altitude of nearly 4,000 feet.

Other Tools-Things you think you might need but don’t want to carry on the bicycle. Usually there are tools that can be borrowed and as said before we will have a repair vehicle along.

Towel/Wash Cloth- Yes, do bring. You might want to check the new pack towels available at backpacking stores. They hold up to 12 times their weight in water and can be wrung out to nearly dry.

Toiletries- Yes. Hopefully you will shower at least every evening, don’t forget soap, shampoo, deodorant.

Talcum Powder- Some people use powder or an antibacterial cream on/in their shorts each morning to treat and prevent chafing.

Flash Light-Each of you will receive a small flashlight in your registration packet

Post Cards-Each of you will receive two stamped post cards in your registration packet
and others can be purchased from your leaders. A mail box will be available at your leaders table each evening.

Cell Phone- not completely necessary, but if you need to keep in touch with your home base, you may want to bring it along. The pay phone lines can be awfully long on BAK. Also, for safety reasons, a cell phone is a good thing to have out on the route. If there is an emergency (accident or mechanical problem) you will be able to call the local authorities or your BAK directors.

Pen or pencil- Something with which to write your postcards.

Insect Repellent- Sometimes in the evenings the insects can be bad. Bring a small bottle of repellent.

Camera and film/digital storage card - These items can be an important part of your memories of this adventure.

Business Cards- Hopefully you can escape from your daily life and fully enjoy BAK. But just in case…