Essential gear for cycle-touring (in extreme conditions)

Essential gear for cycle-touring (in extreme conditions)

In December I traveled to Alaska and cycled there with quite a bit of equipment It was a tuff winter journey that started on the Dalton Highway with temperatures of -40°C. A good bike and gear were absolutely necessary.

In my preparation I took the following into account:

  • Cycling between 5°C and -5°C is annoying because it is not only about cold but it is also important to protect myself against wetness
  • Cycling in -15°C is comfortable and for me not much different than +15°C
  • If the temperature starts to drop below -20°C and there is no strong wind, then cycling and camping with the right gear won’t be very annoying
  • Cycling in  -30°C is also no problem until I need a break, camping is a challenge with little room for mistakes or malfunctioning gear
  • Cycling and camping in -40°C is possible but quite exhausting

The more in-dept preparation for these circumstances can be found here.

In order to prepare for all these weather conditions, I have been quite committed to purchasing the right gear over the past few years. I have carefully tested the list of items that follows according to my personal preferences.

Cycling Alaska in winter


✔ Surly Long Haul Trucker
✔ Surly Front Carrier
✔ Tubus Cargo Rear Carrier
✔ Brooks B17 Saddle
✔ Bottle Holders 2x


✔ Front Bags Vaude SE World Tramp II Bike Bags
✔ Back Bags Ortlieb Back Roller Classic 2 x 20L
✔ Back Bag Top Ortlieb Rack Pack 40L
✔ Apidura Handlebar Pack 14L Expedition
✔ Apidura Accessory Pocket 4.5L Expedition
✔ Vaude triangle frame Bag
✔ Sheepskin Saddle Pad
✔ Schwalbe Marathon Winter Plus Tires
✔ Schwalbe Earothan Inner Tubes


✔ Thermos 1L
✔ Thermos Stanley 0,75L
✔ Thermos Stanley All-In-One Food Jar 0,53L

Equipment cycling North America winter 2022-2023


First layer (underwear):

✔ Craft Active Comfort Bike Boxer
✔ Icebreaker 260 Zone Half Zip Shirt
✔ Icebreaker Roamaway LS Mock Neck
✔ Boxershort Regular
✔ Icebreaker 260 Tech Shirt
✔ Icebreaker 260 Tech Legging

Second layer (fleece):

✔ Northface fleece sweater
✔ Salewa thick fleece hoodie
✔ Quechua fleece pants
✔ RAB down pants

Third layer (wind/rain):

✔ Fjällraven Expedition Down Jacket
✔ Patagonia Down Jacket
✔ Berghaus Ridgemaster Gore-Tex Jacket
✔ Quechua rain paints


✔ Sorel Caribou Snow Boots
✔ Sorel inner liner (extra)
✔ Exped Down Socks
✔ Alpaca merino wool socks
✔ Smartwool Classic Hike socks
✔ Salewa knee socks
✔ Set of feet warmers from Haägo


Equipment cycling North America winter 2022-2023


✔ Fjällraven Cap
✔ Coldavenger Expedition Balaclava
✔ Buff Merinowol
✔ Buff Regular
✔ Helly Hansen Balaclava
✔ Snow Goggles Apex with yellow lens


✔ Forclaz liner Gloves
✔ Gore-Tex Winter Gloves
✔ New Balance Performance Gloves
✔ Extremities Tuff Bag Overwand
✔ North Face Himalayan Want
✔ Set of hand warmers from Haägo


Equipment cycling North America winter 2022-2023


✔ Hilleberg Soulo Tent
✔ Pieps Shovel
✔ Gerber Pack Hatchet
✔ Pull Saw
✔ Termometer
✔ Petzl Tactikka Plus Head Torch
✔ Brush to wipe away frozen condensation


✔ (Backup) MSR Whisperlite International Burner
✔ MSR fuel bottle 891ml (on the bike frame)
✔ MSR fuel bottle 591ml
✔ MSR alphine 2 pan set
✔ Fox Outdoor whistling kettle
✔ Bialetti Espresso Maker
✔ Homey Pocket Knife
✔ DIY Pine spatula and spoon
✔ Lighter / matches / fire steel


Equipment cycling North America winter 2022-2023


✔ Forclaz isolerende Foam Mat MT500 (2,2 R)
✔ Exped SynMat 7 MW Sleeping Mat (4,9 R)
✔ Exped Schnozzel Pump Bag
✔ Sleeping Bag Fjällraven Polar -30°C Long
✔ Enlightened Equipment Revelation Apex Synthetic Quilt -1°C Long – Wide
✔ Sleeping Bag Liner Sea To Summit Reactor Extreme

Equipment cycling North America winter 2022-2023


✔ Spot Gen4 Satelite GPS Messenger
✔ iPhone 7 Plus
✔ Charge Cable iPhone
✔ Powerbanks Xtreme 26000Mah and 10000Mah
✔ Boost Earphones
✔ Nikon PowerShot G7X Mark II
✔ Spare Batteries


✔ Deuter Accessories Wash Bag
✔ Sea to Summit Microfiber Towel
✔ EHBO kit (incl safety blanket)
✔ Toothbrush and toothpaste tablets
✔ Vaseline 50ml
✔ Soap/shampoo bar
✔ Hostel Earplugs for the snoring
✔ Pee Bottle


✔ Bank card with reader for internet banking
✔ Mastercard
✔ Some cash
✔ Notebook with pen
✔ AAA Spare Batteries
✔ Nutrition like freeze dried meals +/- 50000kcal for 8-10 days

Even though all this stuff is very expensive, I consciously chose to take this trip without sponsorship deals. All these items have been consciously purchased, usually second-hand, over a longer period of time. I value the free feeling of cycling and I also like to be completely independent. I share experiences to help and inspire, voluntary donations made in this context I see as a nice appreciation and I am very grateful for that. You can donate here.

Find more research about cycling in extreme winter here.