Tour Preperation

The pre-trip self-care bikepacking checklist

The key to living a balanced, on-the-go, bike-camper life and keeping your shit together at the same time is having a good todo list. A good camp prep checklist is a great way to stay organized. Phil and I rely pretty heavily on Swift’s Get Lost list (pictured above), which is an amazing go-to resource for pre-trip gear packing. Preparing for a trip is a mixture of stress and excitement, and I’ve found that to mitigate the former, there’s a few other key steps you can take. I like to plan so the worst part of a trip, the coming home part, isn’t as big of a bummer as it has to be.

10 things you should do before you leave for a bike camping trip

  1. Empty your dishwasher
    This can be a nightmare to forget before leaving. Before our Cypress Island trip, I totally forgot to empty the dishwasher, and came home to some moldy, dank plates.
  2. Take out the compost, trash and recycling
    This prevents a stinky house and lessens the chance you’ll come home to new bug-roommates.
  3. Make your bed
    This might seem unnecessary, but the feeling of falling into a crisp bed after a long trip is incredible.
  4. Water your plants and garden
    Don’t forget about your plant babies if you have them.
  5. Vacuum the common areas
    So when you come home with a dirty bike you’re not just piling onto the old dirt.
  6. Lock back entrances
    No one likes to come home to a ransacked house.
  7. Charge your electronic gear (extra batteries, gps, cameras, flashlights, bike lights, etc)
    It’s always good to get into a rhythm of keeping your gear charged. That way you can just grab them and go.
  8. Make sure you have toilet paper reserves for when you get back
    You can really get yourself into a jam if you forget this after digesting your last backpacker meals.
  9. Do what laundry you have
    It’s always a bummer to have a huge stack of laundry to do when you get back. If you do it beforehand you don’t even have to worry about it.
  10. Pay those bills
    Make sure you pay your rent, health insurance, etc before you leave. If internet connection is spotty where you’re going, you could come home to an angry landlord.