RAGBRAI© Packing Tips

RAGBRAI© is a camping adventure.

The following list of items to pack is a compilation from my experiences on previous bike tours. I have ridden five different state tours, (Missouri, Indiana, Virginia, Wisconsin, Ohio) and have learned something new on each and every one. – Howard Foltz



  • Helmet
  • Frame pump
  • Cyclometer
  • Extra tube
  • Water bottles (2)
  • Pressure gauge
  • Allen wrenches
  • Gloves (2 pairs)
  • Tire patch kit
  • Garbage bag to cover bike
  • Handle bar bag, fanny pack, or back-rack bag


  • Tent with rainfly and stakes
  • Sleeping bag
  • Pillow
  • Ground cloth
  • Clothesline
  • Clothespins (12+)
  • Plastic bags of all sizes
  • Extra water bottle
  • Flashlight
  • Pocket knife
  • Duct tape


  • ID
  • Cash
  • Credit card
  • Insurance card
  • Sunglasses
  • Sunscreen
  • Chapstick
  • Lotion
  • Insect repellent
  • Travel kit
  • Hand towel
  • Bath towels (2)
  • Wash cloth
  • Mycetracin/Cortaid
  • Disposable camera


  • Cycling shorts (3+)
  • Cycling socks (3+)
  • Cycling jerseys (3+)
  • Cycling tights
  • Cycling shoes
  • Windbreaker/rain jacket
  • Running/street shoes
  • Sandals/flipflops
  • T- shirts
  • Shorts
  • Long pants (1)
  • Long-sleeve shirt (1)
  • Underwear
  • Hat

Use plastic bags to pack everything in. You can even put bread bags on your feet before you put your shoes on to keep them dry if it is raining. I pack a shirt, shorts, socks, and undershorts in each bag. That way if your large duffel bag gets wet, everything inside will stay dry. I take at least four of everything. You should be able to do laundry along the way. I personally have never used a rain coat on any tour, although I probably could have a couple of times. Flip flops are great to cary in your bike bag because they are so light and you can put them on when you stop for lunch breaks. It feels good to take off your shoes and socks, especially if they are wet! You might want to take a disposable camera and film. I also recommend taking Mycetracin anti-bacterial gel or Cortaid, Advil, Ben-Gay, Visine, and A&D ointment. I will take a hat of some kind to wear on lunch breaks, etc. Keep in mind that whatever you are wearing when you leave home, you have to pack along the tour (shoes, etc.) I would recommend bringing between $250 – 400. Some people don’t want to use credit cards, so they spend cash for everything. Remember you are buying your meals everyday. I estimate you will spend around $10 – 15 per day on food. There are usually vendors where you can buy cycling clothes and equipment. If you need more money, you can go to the ATM along the way.


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