Take as much as possible with you, just to be sure, and it can provide at all times when things go according to plan. But do bear in mind that it is impractical and unsustainable over a long distance trip too.
It is always possible to find somewhere to buy, borrow or rent if necessary, for instance special trekking or mountain climbing equipment. Your “wardrobe” could also be refreshed along the way.
Cycling and Riding
- A good bike. Having a strong frame and nice tires on your bike is reassuring, but not absolutely necessary. I am riding a Trek.
- Wool cloths, windproof, sunglasses, cycling gloves, closed toed shoes, a sleeping bag, a tent and a helmet. - It’s better to carry more weight on your front rack than the rear one. Your bags should either be waterproof or be protected from the rain. Bring along 2 inner tubes, a repairing kit, lights, straps for the bags and a torch. - Use an offline map on your smart phone. I am using MapsWithMe for iPhone. - Chances are that you don’t know everything about repairing bikes. Neither do I. So the best way to prepare for it is to watch free online tutorials on how to do some basic maintenance. - The essentials of cooking supplies. Your cooking pot can double as a bowl or supply holder, your plate can double as a cutting board, a Swiss Army knife and a water bottle. - A positive mental attitude.
- Baggage with a solid back and side opening (unlike a suitcase which opens outwards), or a good packable daypack like a North Face.
- A light sleeping bag that is not too bulky, and a multipurpose sarong which could protect your windscreen from dirt, be used as a cloth, and even help to define your “territory”. - A mosquito net. - A long sleeve shirt, a windproof vest, a warm vest, a pair of detachable pants, a bandana and sunglasses. - A belt with an inside compartment (it isn’t visible to others and allows you to put a few dollars). - Walking shoes, sandals (I recommend Teva Dozer) and flip-flops, - A Swiss Army knife except in JAPAN otherwise you will probably end up in jail.
- A headlamp.
If you are hitchhiking or walking, try to have less than 12kg of baggage with you. Avoid hailing down a driver with the name of the city on a card. Do ask the driver where he/she is going, then reveal your destination. Remember to keep your baggage with you and never in the trunk.
Then just keep cool and follow your instinct!