Electronic Gear And Gadgets to bring on a Bicycle Expedition
Our first prototype of the Automatic Road Sampler
A comprehensive list of electronic equipment and gadgets you may take with you for long-haul bicycle touring
GPS, action cameras, solar chargers, and more
We don’t need to get as far back as in the days of the pioneers of bicycle touring, just 20 years ago is enough to find ourselves stripped of all the gadgets and electronic stuff that we are now so much used to in bikepacking.
Some people, still nowadays, enjoy the old style, a way to be more in touch with nature and take a break from the stress of the modern world.
All these electronic gadgets though, give bicycle travelers a new set of possibilities that can simplify and also improve the bike touring experience.
Shoot great videos and pictures, stay in touch with your relatives and friends, know always where you are, and even work remotely while traveling.
We put together this list of gear to help you think about what you may need for your next bicycle expedition.
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Some may not agree with that, but we consider a decent Camera as an essential piece of equipment for adventure cycling.
A bicycle tour is often among the best times of our life, taking some memories with you is something you’ll hardly regret, will you be happy without pictures of your wedding?
I’ve met many people who first thought they will be fine with their phones and maybe an action cam, like a GoPro or such, most of them regretted this choice and bought a decent camera as soon as they could. We personally use a Nikon D5300, after our Panasonic Superzoom failed.
Especially if you’re traveling solo, a lightweight travel tripod is almost a must… otherwise you’ll never be in your pictures (besides selfie-style stuff).
Another great addition to your camera gear, one that won’t weigh a gram, is a photo editor, either a mobile app or for your laptop if you’re carrying one. Pimping up a little your photos on the go will help you get the best out of each shot, even when the lighting might not be ideal.
Why should you use a GPS device in the era of smartphones? Well, for a bunch of reasons:
longer battery life: way longer, our Garmin lasts around 18 hours with a pair of reasonably new Panasonic Eneloop.
Sturdier and water-resistant: Two times I rolled over my Garmin with my fully loaded bike, not a fuss.
Better Signal, faster and more accurate location: when riding in a busy city like Seoul, you want your device to tell you exactly where you are.
We traveled for one entire year without a smartphone and we survived. Anyway having a modern phone can help you keep in touch with your people, find hospitality on Couchsurfing or Warmshower, post on social networks, and so on.
We have two XiaoMi RedMi 10, which we like a lot. They come for around 200$, have a surprisingly good camera, and a sealed case (once I dropped mine in a bucket full of water and it survived, perfectly operational).
If you have a dynamo hub, why don’t use it also to charge your electronics? There are a few chargers on the market that will do this job, like the Supernova The Plug III or the cheaper BioLogic ReeCharge Power Pack.
Another way to charge your electronic equipment while cycle touring is by using solar chargers. There are brands coming out with new products every month, and solar panel efficiency is constantly improving.