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Top 10 gear list for cycling through Africa

I was thinking the other day about some of the things I brought along with me on this Joburg2Kili journey that have just been so useful and I really could not live without. This gave me the inspiration to put together this post on the top 10 pieces of kit I would recommend as “must-haves” to taking on a cycling expedition or even an overlanding expedition through Southern Africa.

  1. Sea-to-Summit Tek Towel – Initially I was planning on bringing an ordinary beach towel for the Joburg2Kili for Qhubeka cycling expedition but knowing how long they take to dry I knew I needed to find an alternative. And the answer was the Sea-to-Summit Tek Towel which is a microfiber towel that is super absorbent and quick drying that is ideal for any camping or beach excursion. It has honestly been one of the best purchases I made before taking on this expedition.
  2. UltraTech Solar Lantern – These lanterns are amazing to create an ambience around camp at night. They are easy to pack away as you can fold them up and you can either charge them out in the sun during the day or by a USB cable when you have electricity available.
  3. Extreme Lights Headlamp – An absolute essential for any camping trip to see around camp and in your tent at night time. I have also found that whilst sitting around a campfire eating dinner the fire doesn’t give off enough light to see your food on your plate so having a headlamp is a win.
  4. Nail file and scissors – Besides the obvious reason for having a manicure set to keep your nails neat and tidy, a nail file and manicure scissors have been essential tools on this trip. I never realised how useful these two items would be strangely enough for filing down SIM Cards to make them fit into your phone slot.
  5. Stuf Anti-chafe cream – I could never have done this cycle without Stuf anti-chafe cream. I don’t think I need to elaborate more but it really has been a life-saver especially in 30 degrees plus heat to ensure that all necessary areas are protected.
  6. Stuf Sunblock sachets – As I am fair-skinned sunblock is an absolute must for me on any sunny day but cycling through Africa in over 30 degrees plus heat has meant that I have had to make a concerted effort to ensure that I continually reapply sunblock throughout the day whilst cycling. Stuf has created these great sachets that are shaped almost like a credit card so they easily fit into your cycle pocket. To open them you fold it in half and you will be amazed as to how much sunblock you get out of each sachet.
  7. Powertraveller Power Gorilla – As we only ride about 100km a day on our Qhubeka Buffalo Bicycles we have not always been near to any formal campsites so we have ended up having to find a spot just off the road to “bush camp”. On these occasions having a powerbank has been essential to ensure I can charge up my devices especially my Suunto Ambit 2 Sport watch and my cell phone. The Powertraveller Power Gorilla is a very high quality powerbank which can even charge a laptop.
  8. Hi-Tec Trek pants – I have never had the need to own a pair of trek pants but for this journey they really have been so essential. I love the fact that you can convert them into shorts on a hot day and then you can put the legs back on at night time to keep the mosquitoes away and to keep warm. They are also made out a quick-drying material which is also so useful whilst camping.
  9. Buff – I have always been a big fan of Buff and even more so on this trip. I love the fact that they are so multi-functional as you can not only use them as a headband but to also protect your neck from the sun and even as a sweat band on seriously hot days. As a proud South African riding through Africa, I am also loving having my SA flag Buff on this journey.
  10. Sawyer FilterSince leaving South Africa we have filtered all our water that we use to drink whilst we cycle as well as the water we use to cook and wash up dishes. To date we haven’t had any issues with any of the water we have been drinking thanks to having a Sawyer filter.
Top 10 gear list for cycling Africa: From left to right - Buff, Sawyer filter, Powertraveller powerbank, Hi-Tec Trek Pants, Extreme Lights Headlamp, Stuf sunblock sachet and anti-chafe cream, manicure set
Top 10 gear list for cycling Africa: From left to right – Buff, Sawyer filter, Powertraveller Power Gorilla, Hi-Tec Trek Pants, UltraTech Solar Lantern, Extreme Lights Headlamp, Stuf sunblock sachet, Stuf anti-chafe cream and manicure set
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