Because the gear is important.

A lot of people have asked us the question: "But what do you carry in your saddlebags?". So there you have it: no secret, we'll tell you everything!

Initially we spent a lot of time thinking about what to bring, looking for information on blogs, then with the vendors of the Old Camper : how to do the lightest? How will it resist? Is this really necessary ?

Below you will find the list of the equipment taken, with a small "accordion" to discover the commentary (it's like lots of little gifts to open!).

Notes : 1) the comments are totally subjective and depend on our experience this year; 2) we have no connection with any of the brands mentioned, no sponsorship. Promise!

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To dressFor the mealTo sleepMake yourself beautifulBicyclesAdministrativePhoto-VideoDivers

To dress

Estelle Clothing


1 waterproof pants - Quechua

Very little breathable, but quite strong and practical: in addition to protecting against the rain, it allows you to sit on the ground without getting dirty; also used in over-pants to keep warm during the cold evenings of bivouac.
Considering the low price it cost us and the intense use we had of it, this is a very good investment!

3 cycling shorts (otherwise called short moumoutte) - Decathlon and At the Old Camper

After a year, the lycra-only ones have become a bit transparent in places. But nothing surprising from being worn and washed so often.

1 Light windproof and very waterproof jacket: in gore tex activ - Millet

Well breathable, very comfortable; on the other hand, we are quite disappointed with the waterproofness level: after about 8 months (and fairly occasional use), it is no longer waterproof at the level of the arms. At the price it costs, we got it a little bit through our throats. Is it the fact of being in a "ball" in the saddlebags?

1 Technical fleece - Mammut

Super long lasting, very comfortable; both thin and hot. We love and recommend!

1 pair of thin gloves

Gloves initially seemed secondary to the list of things to take. They turned out to be indispensable! To tackle the Chinese mountains, we both bought ourselves a thicker pair of gloves.

1 Long-sleeved Merino wool top (not pictured)

Indeed, Merino clothing hardly smells of perspiration and regulates temperature well.
Very useful and comfortable. Perfect for pedaling!

1 Lightweight long-sleeved cotton top

Useful to keep a clean clothes, the day when everything else goes to the laundry; or feel pretty on days off!

1 zip-off pants to make shorts

Used to the end of the end ... too threadbare on the buttocks, had to be changed after 10 months. But very useful!
A little anecdote: in Thailand, it's hot! But you can't visit the temples with bare legs… In 2 minutes, hop, I'm ready!

Closed shoes - Decathlon

Good solidity! We rode with the shoes open most often, but they are necessary for colder days. Bulky, of course, but necessary.

Waterproof open sandals - Keen

Le bonheur des cyclos ! Nous n’étions pas convaincus de l’achat au départ, mais nous ne pouvons que les recommander aujourd’hui. Très solides, confortables et utiles. Nous les gardions même les jours de pluie : ça sèche beaucoup mieux que des chaussures fermées.
Marques de bronzage originales assurées ! 🙂

Autres : rien à redire, en bonne quantité et tout est utile :

4 culottes
1 soutien-gorge + 1 brassière de sport
Chaussettes : 4 paires, dont une paire en laine de Mérino + 1 collant
4 Tee-shirts
1 pyjama
1 maillot de bain
1 chapeau (pas sur la photo)
1 écharpe légère

J’ai acheté au cours du voyage

  • Another pants, in light cotton, to have something to dress up when the pants are in the wash!
  • A thicker pair of gloves
  • A short-sleeved feather down jacket (The North Face made in Hanoi - Vietnam…) to face the cold weather.
  • A woolen hat: when it's cold, having your head covered already makes you feel much less cold!

Thomas Clothing


For comments: Basically it's the same as above!

    • 1 waterproof pants - Quechua
    • 2 cycling shorts (otherwise called “moumoutte shorts”) - Decathlon
    • 1 Light windproof and very waterproof jacket: in gore tex activ - At the Old Camper

      1 Fleece - Mammut

      The orange “fart” has disappeared a bit (it has to be done, with the multiple washes with clothes of different colors!) But otherwise the rest has not budged. Same as Estelle's.
    • 1 Hat / balaclava
    • 1 pair of gloves
    • 1 écharpe légère

      1 chapeau (pas sur la photo)

      Worn 365 days a year, the poor hat has lived well!
    • 4 Underpants
    • Socks: 4 pairs, including a pair in Merino wool
    • 4 Tee-shirts
    • 1 long-sleeved shirt: to stay classy in all circumstances!
    • 1 Jean
    • 1 short
    • 1 maillot de bain
    • Closed shoes - Decathlon
    • Waterproof open sandals - Keen

J’ai acheté au cours du voyage

  • A thicker pair of gloves
  • A long-sleeved feather down jacket (The North Face made in Hanoi - Vietnam…) to face the cold weather.

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For the meal


Gas stove: omni lite ti - Primus

We're pretty happy with our stove.
The + : very light, cooks fairly quickly (even if less than the time indicated), does not go out in the wind. A gas stove is really an easy and economical solution!
The - : it takes a few weeks to tame it: sometimes it would go out and you weren't sure why; the solution: regularly clean the orifice of the nozzle (and if, like us, you break the cleaning needle: a stroke of a toothbrush is fine!). And the pump seal is apparently fragile: we had to change it twice a year (and only one in the maintenance kit) ...

1L gasoline tank

1 liter is a good amount. Autonomy of 10-12 days at least, by cooking 3 meals a day with the stove.
We put the gasoline bottle in a bottle holder on the bike, so it wouldn't smell in a saddlebag. Tip seen in other cyclists: bottle
base smaller, but a small plastic bottle in reserve.

Stove maintenance kit

Indispensable !

Small note about the stoves: a alternative which costs next to nothing and which is very light (if during the trip, your stove breaks down, or you really want something ultra light): make a stove from a can (like a can of coke)! The fuel? Methylated alcohol. How to do ? It's explained over there, over there or over there ! Several models, but built on the same principle!

Quick 2 system cooker (2 saucepans, 1 lid-colander, 1 clip-on clip handle, 2 polypropylene plates, 2 insulated cups) - 795g - MSR

Very pleasant for cooking, very practical. Maybe we should have taken an extra pan, because the bottom ended up spoiling with the fried potatoes, pancakes, etc.

Folding fork and spoon: 1 each - MSR

Practical and pleasant.

Swiss knife

The must: the small saw which has become essential for our evenings around the fire!

1 other small knife (not on the picture) - Opinel

Cuts better than the Swiss Army Knife, so better for the kitchen

Cutting board-plate - Sea to Summit

Very useful for cutting vegetables, sausage, ... Or making a third plate when you have a guest!

Foldable sink 10L - Ultra Sil fabric - Sea to Summit

OK, it’s a bit of a luxury because it’s cheap (29 €), but the space and weight of this sink are incomparable. Having this "basin" has been very useful to us throughout the year, especially for hand washing.

Italian plastic coffee maker - Bodum

Too good for making good coffee! After a year of intensive use, there will start to be some grounds at the bottom of the cups because the “seal” is no longer very effective. Otherwise, TOP!

1 Sponge and 1 Microfiber Cloth-Towel

In the end, we opted for just a microfiber kitchen towel which allow you to wash and, once you have wrung it out, to dry almost completely! Effective !

2 flexible water bags 2L - Platypus (not in the photos)

Very practical for a controlled flow of water, thanks to the nozzle. Allow same to take a shower in nature, to wash the dishes with a good flow but without using too much water ...
Two pockets were not necessary for most of the trip, EXCEPT in Mongolia where it was needed provide at least 2 days of water autonomy.

Water filter Katadyn, for drinking anywhere in the world + Spare activated carbon

Very useful. The freedom not to have to negotiate inflated prices on bottled water (they know you really need it, so vendors take full advantage!), To feel peaceful in less urbanized areas (no tap? pff, let's find a river, that will be enough!) or in areas where you have doubts about the bacterial quality of the water (we had very little digestive illness during our trip: the filter is perhaps there for something !).
Indispensable if you are passing through Mongolia by bike!

Plastic boxes Ziploc (not in the photos)

Ont servi more than imagined!

And also… A bag with basic foods: pasta base, semolina, sauces, mackerel with mustard, pâtés, ... For the fresh, you buy it as you go!
Small zip bags of condiments (♥) to enhance meals: spices, herbs, onions, shallots, garlic: the joy of cooking on the road. Thank you Bike Camp Cook !

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To sleep


Tent: Mutha Hubba - 3 people - 2,190 g - MSR

Awesome! The choice of the tent was the hardest, but we do not regret. We spent approximately 2/3 of the time under try.
The - :
- Mongolian sandstorms got the better of the zippers of mosquito nets: sand, the real enemy of zippers! Solution: 4 meters of zipper bought on the market in Mongolia, and a seamstress who sewed this for us in 1 hour; total of the operation: 5 €!
- a fairly fragile underside: after a year without Tarp / imprint or protection placed underneath, the canvas has a few holes ... which we sealed with a little SilnetColle. In short, for a tent at this price, it's worth spending a few euros more for a footprint. Another technique: a reusable survival blanket (not the golden ones, but the silver ones) can do the trick very well!

The +:
- really light and easy to assemble (knowing it and with a little dexterity, we manage to ride it alone)
- very resistant to wind: she faced without flinching some beautiful storms as well as the kids who played “trampoline” on it.
- no loss of tightness
- freestanding: it has been very useful to us more than once!
- entrances on both sides: very pleasant when there are two of us.

Sponge to wipe the dew on the tent: small microfiber

This is silly and it helps to lighten the tent a bit when it is folded up after a night of rain (microfiber towel Decathlon cut and hem made)

Floor mats: Thomas: Prolite-regular; Estelle: Prolite-women - 460g each - Therm-a-rest

They may seem impressive with their finesse, but they insulate very well from the cold and are comfortable. Lightweight and efficient. A single compartment which seems to make them more solid than thicker but compartmentalized rugs. In the event of a hole: bicycle patch, tested and approved technique!
We were reluctant to put € 100 each in a groundsheet, but we weren't disappointed.

Sleeping bags: Thomas: Trek Lite + 3 ° - 6L - 800g - Deuter ; Estelle : Light Extreme - 7L - 680g - Lestra

One regret that we want to share with you: don't skimp on the heat ! It is better to spend a little more on the sleeping bag even if it means depriving yourself on trinkets next to it.
We got cold at times and should have bought warmer duvets. In Mongolia, we had to buy a blanket at the market because even the survival blanket did not warm us enough. In short, be careful to estimate the night temperatures where you will pass, and allow a little margin.

1 silk sheet each - Quechua

Very useful for a lot of reasons! Sleep clean without having to wash feather duvets; gain a few degrees more when it's cold; sleep with just the silk sheet when it's hot; sleeping clean in some guesthouses in Asia where hygiene is sometimes questionable.

1 pillow each - Therm-a-rest

Top comfort!

1 eye mask each

Useful on the plane, on buses or in Northern Europe if you are there in summer (sleepless nights)!

Balls The quietness

Used especially in the first months of wild camping where the slightest noise wakes us up. Can also be useful in dormitories of hostels with charming snoring neighbors, or in overnight transport.

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Make yourself beautiful


Toiletry bag

For both :

The indispensable :
Toothbrushes and toothpaste
Nail clippers + nail file
Baby wipes
2 washcloths and 2 microfiber towels
Toilet paper roll
Cottons and cotton swabs
Hydroalcoholic solution : not essential, but very useful sometimes.
Sunscreen index 50
Insecte écran : normal et tropiques

Moins utiles :
Savon magique : remplacé par des pains de savon ou même du gel douche.
Douche solaire : peu utilisée et finalement renvoyée.
Huile de massage : peu utilisée.

Pour elle :
Crème visage
Peigne et brosse – élastiques
Rasoir mécanique
Mascara (qui se retire à l’eau chaude)
Mooncup ♥ : Parce que ce n’est pas parce qu’on est en voyage qu’on n’a plus les petits “tracas” liés au fait d’être une fille ! 🙂 Testé et approuvé : je le recommande chaudement pour toutes les voyageuses… et pour tout le monde en général !
Mascara (qui se retire à l’eau chaude)

Pour lui :
Electric trimmer: for the beard and the hair of Mr.

Aid kit :

medicamentAnalgesics: Paracetamol and Ibuprofen
Anti spasmodics: Spasfon
Anti diarrhéique : Tiorfan – Imodium – Smecta
Rehydration solution
Anti vomitifs : Primpéran
Corticosteroids: Solupred
Anti histaminique : Cétirizine
Anti acids: Inexium and Gaviscon
Antibiotics: Pyostacin (Thomas is allergic to Augmentin) and Oflocet
Antibiotic cream: Fucidin
Corticosteroid cream: Diprosone
Local antifungal: Pevaryl

Anti malaria: Tolexin, treatment for 3 1/2 months each, it takes up space! Ultimately used for 2 months. You really have to be careful with sunburns: on her bike, Estelle got badly sunburned on her hands.
Some cyclists encountered (the Dudus, for example) were not taking any preventive oral treatment but were careful to protect themselves with long clothing and body sprays; it's up to everyone to choose their solution!

Grapefruit Seed Extract: This is known to be a natural antibiotic, antiviral and anti-infectious agent. They say that it can stop a tourist at its first signs ... (bought in organic stores): tested a few times: why not! It doesn't hurt anyway.

First aid kit :

Tout ça a très peu servi au final ! Mais c’est plutôt bon signe.

Utilisé :
Blanket : for very cold nights - cf down abovefirst aid kit
Sterile compresses
Biseptine (25 ml)
Physiological serum : useful for cleaning the eyes when an annoying dust or grain of sand has become lodged.
Simple dressings
Anti blister dressings
Disposable gloves: used for… tinkering on the bike!

Not used :
Antiseptic eye drops
Tape roll
Greasy tulle
Velpo tape and gauze tape
Elastic compression: Elastoplast
2 FFP2 masks
Disposable scalpel
Sterile scissors
Sutures: one for us, and one for the bike!

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Estelle : Surly Long Haul, bought used ♥

Happiness, this bike. We can only advise it to all tourdumondiste like us (OK that's a big investment if you buy it new).

Thomas : Giant Revel 3

He did the job. The downside: putting a luggage rack on the front wheel. The suspensions are not necessarily necessary given the difficulty of finding a compatible AND strong luggage rack. Other than that, easy to fix everywhere.
Good value for money.


Thomas : Vaude on the front and on the handlebars; Ortlieb at the back ♥

A little better after-sales service from Ortlieb than from Vaude. When it comes to strength and practicality, it's worth it!

Estelle: Front, rear and handlebars bags: Ortlieb

Great ! The only problem with the suitcase, which was bought second-hand and which has therefore traveled approximately 26,000 km: the zipper failed us at the end and we were unable to repair it.

Divers :

Normal odometer: Thomas
Spare batteries for the computer
2 tensioners

Odometer + altimeter: Estelle

The counter, wireless, of the departure died pretty quickly. We opted for a meter with wire, therefore less greedy in batteries.
One criterion that we kept, however: the built-in thermometer! It may seem secondary, but it's nice to have the temperature throughout the trip.

Bike helmet: 1 each


Pompe Zefal

Super pump that pumps very well! Good investment.

Can: 1 each: for the rest, we do with water bottles.

It is not always easy to clean the cans well. But it's still very practical for drinking while pedaling.

French flag ♥

Three flags during the trip! First lost after 10 days, second (bought back just before the Italian border) stolen in Beijing; third hand sewn!
The French are loved in many countries around the world, the flag has been a good way to communicate with people.

2 Whistles


1 Anti-theft

Small padlock of not much, just to dissuade. Either way, in big cities, avoid leaving your bikes in sight. We always made sure they weren't sleeping rough when we were in town.

USB regulator (on Estelle's bike) ♥

Very practical for recharging the phone which uses GPS. On the other hand, suddenly the batteries were damn damaged due to not having full charge cycles. We recommend that you go with an external battery (type power bank): there are now quite “big” ones for not too expensive.

Repair material


Everything was useful to us:

Multi tool: allen wrench, flat and Phillips screwdriver, tire iron, chain tool, bottle opener (important!), 8, 9, 10 open end wrenches
15mm spanner
Brake cable (2 to be safe)
Derailleur cable (same)
Spoke keys + 4 spare spokes (2 different sizes)
Air chamber: 2 spare
Pair of new brake pads (not pictured)
Puncture kit (patches, glue, tire iron, etc.)
2 chain quick couplers
3 in 1 penetrating squeegee (not pictured)

Bike grease (not pictured)

In Asia you can buy sewing machine oil, it works great.
Consider re-greasing every 3-4 days, or more depending on road conditions. We didn't think about doing it so much at first, and we felt the difference afterwards

Box of Proofide cream for Brooks saddle + wrench to screw the saddle on

And when you run out of cream, find leather cream at shoe stores!
We greased our saddles when they seemed harder to us, when they had caught the rain,… A little blow in the evening, above and below; a little wipe over in the morning; Here we go again !

Toothbrush for cleaning ♥ (not pictured)

Super efficient!

10 m of paracord to hang / fix everything ♥

My best impulse buy! To repair, dry the laundry, ...
Silnet glues: to re-glue or seal everything (not in the photo)

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Some important documents ...

International vaccination records
ID photos : for visas
Ventral pocket to hide all this: little used finally!

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Hi-Tech: photo - video - telecommunications

Since our return Thomas has given a videotaped lecture on his return to photography equipment. We discover all the tips to save precious time while traveling, and an opinion on the choice of gear: the presentation Prezi is online here ! Otherwise the full video is (long) available on youtube.


Computer : Mc Book Air 2013 + chargeur ♥

Fast charging, quite incredible autonomy, computing power necessary for photo / video processing, SSD hard drive that makes the difference when processing large volumes of data. Indispensable for mounting in the tent at night!
However, be careful to protect it well and not leave it against the wall of the saddlebag: we did that (yes, yes ...), and the hull sagged a little in places. When he no longer wanted to light up after 12 months of traveling, we figured that was it! Well, finally, not even. A priori too much humidity had disturbed it: once well rested in the dry, it works again as before! More technical info on computer this way.

Photos : Canon EOS 60D + charger ♥

I chose this case for its durability, and it was remarkable! He braved the elements brilliantly: sand, rain… Heavy, certainly, but very solid!

Goals : EFS 18-50 f3.5-5.6 + EFS 24mm f2.8 + EF 55-200 3.5-5.6 + lens protection pouch

I didn't expect to use my 24mm fixed focal length so much, a superb sharpness and really well stabilized for the video! I used the 18-50 mainly in town, and the 55-200 to keep it low on portraits, or to crush distances when Estelle was in the distance.

Son : Zoom H1 (+ his little homemade moumoutte!) ♥

A little gem. Superb sound quality for a very fair price.

Video : Gopro 2 + fixing material

The Gopro 2 let us down during the trip; we bought the Gopro 3, which has a better picture. For an idea of ​​the rendering: have a look at our videos (the 10 seconds a day are filmed with the Gopro!)

SD Cards: 2 of 32 Go

Since I chose to dump the cards every week into my two backup hard drives of 2TB each, I have had enough of those 2 cards.

Additional batteries: one for each phone and camera

Very useful ! Can be replaced by a power bank.

Microphone holder home made

DIY here: Very good result in terms of sound. I used it almost every day, to have my hands free when recording the sound I made for the 10 seconds a day

Usb cables
Phones + micro USB charger

Photo foot - manfrotto ♥


Timelapses, night photos, bike rides in front of the camera: yes a photo stand is very useful! This foot is really strong.

Frontales Tikka R + - Petzl

A little happiness! The power of the lighting automatically adjusts according to what you are looking at: super useful!
Small example of a scenario: you cook at night, in a wild bivouac. You watch your cooking pot cooking on the stove: low power. And suddenly, a noise: you raise your head to look into the distance: strong power!
For more details, tests carried out by Expemag, it's over there !

Pouch with all the necessary papers (photocopy of passports, identity photos, insurance papers, etc.)

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Solar charger - purchased at Nature and Discovery

Average efficiency. It gave us a backup battery, but as I said above (concerning the USB regulator): if we set off again today, we would rather take a typical external battery power bank.

2 external hard drive, 2 TB each

Pour charger les photos et les vidéos essentiellement. Nous avons fait le choix de sauvegarder nos données sur disque-dur externes (certains autres choisissent d’acheter des cartes et de les renvoyer par la poste). Plus exactement, nous avons fait les sauvegardes sur un disque-dur, puis une copie sur le deuxième.
On est jamais à l’abri de pertes de données : en gros, un problème de compatibilité MAC/PC sur les disques durs nous a fait perdre quelques données… 🙁

Guide g-palemo - Le Routard : des dessins pour se faire comprendre partout dans le monde ♥

Génial ! (indispensable ? Presque !) Pour se faire comprendre en cas de besoin (chercher la Poste, un hôtel, etc), mais aussi un bon moyen de créer un contact avec les gens, et particulièrement les enfants.

Liseuse Kobo Aura♥

Perdue (ou volée ?) pendant le voyage… 🙁 Sinon, très pratique ! Liseuse rétroéclairée, ce qui est super pour lire dans la tente le soir, tout en économisant les batteries de la frontale.

Trousse de couture : fil de couture, épingles à nourrice, épingles, aiguilles, mètre♥

Utile pour réparer les habits, coudre un drapeau, mesurer…

Sac à dos (se replie dans une pochette pour ne former plus qu'une toute petite boule) Decathlon

Value for money: TOP! Zipper which released the last weeks of the trip. Served us super well throughout the year!

Sunglasses (not in the photos)

Did you doubt the usefulness of sunglasses?

Compass (not in the photos)

Lost during the year. It can be useful, but we can do without, when we have a GPS!

If, despite all this info, you have any questions, don't hesitate, contact us !