For going cycle camping in the summer in England, you won’t need expedition equipment. And if you don’t intend to do a very high mileage you won’t need the lightest of lightweight equipment which can be expensive.

It’s not difficult to get cycle camping - what you really need is a bike!

It doesn't have to be expensive - even a cheap mountain bike will do. But make sure it will take a rear pannier rack - this is the metal frame that fits on the back of the bike and holds your panniers.

Then you will need panniers to carry your stuff . These are the bags that hang on either side of the rear rack.

You can put panniers on the front forks as well and if you are carrying a lot of stuff this is a better way to carry it (you will need a different front rack if you have front suspension).

After that you will need a lightweight tent (preferably one that’s big enough to sit up in), a sleeping bag and a sleeping mat. You will also need some warm clothes such as a fleece jacket for evenings sitting outside, or for cold nights inside your sleeping bag.

Camping can be cold - it isn’t like being in a warm house at night. Take a waterproof jacket for daytime in the rain.

Ideally take a small stove and a lightweight pan set. Even if you only make yourself a morning cuppa its good to know it’s there. Your light from your bike will be your torch. Add a few more bits and pieces and your personal stuff and you are almost there.

The last things to go in will be a small tool set, a spare inner tube, some maps or a GPS, a small first aid kit and some snack food! We’ve made a quick checklist (see opposite) for you to get an idea but you will soon want to write your own list with exactly what you plan to take!  

What to take when you go cycle camping

What exactly do you need to go cycle camping? It may not be as much as you think to be really dry and comfortable - and it won’t include the kitchen sink!

At the very least, take a small stove for an early morning cuppa!
What to take cycle camping

A lightweight tent

A sleeping bag

A sleeping mat or Thermarest

Camping stove such as a Trangia

A torch (or your front light from your bike)

Lightweight cooking pots


Cup, plate and bowl

Knife, fork and spoon

A plastic container for spare food

Kit to cycle in

Spare set of clothes for the evening

Camping pillow (or an old pillowcase)

Pyjamas or spare dry clothes for the night


Sun hat or cap


Wash kit (soap, toothbrush etc)

A fleece jacket for cold nights (and days!)

A rain jacket

A map or satnav

Some basic bike tools and a pump

A spare inner tube (or one between two people)

Washing bowl (optional)

A book to read (optional)

Cash, credit card or debit card

Mobile phone

Camera (or use your mobile phone)

Water bottle(s) on your bike

Bike lock

Watch (or use your mobile phone)


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