Packing for Hungary and Slovakia

 photo IMG_6709_zpsjkppvmgk.jpgI am taking a very different approach to my cycle tour of Hungary and Slovakia than I took with my previous travels. In the past I have thrown a few things in a bag and my bike in a box the day before I departed. I didn’t put too much thought into what I did or didn’t pack because I had four panniers, a rack pack and about 60kg baggage allowance on the flight (I love Air Asia’s buy what you need baggage policy). This resulted in me carrying quite a bit of weight and also carrying items that I didn’t use. But it also meant that I didn’t have to make many compromises in camp comfort.

But this trip is different because I only have 30kg baggage allowance (including my bicycle) and 7kg carry on allowance. For Korea my bike (in box) weighed 26kg and my luggage weighed 15kg (I had packrafting gear with me). For Japan my bike (in box) weighed 23kg and my luggage weighed 10kg (I didn’t have packrafting gear and had fewer clothes and kit). In both cases, I am glad the airline didn’t weigh my carry on backpack because it definitely went over the 7kg allowed. So I still needed to cut down on my luggage. And that’s exactly what I did. It does help that it will be summer in Hungary so I don’t need to carry as much warm clothing and can take my lighter weight sleeping bag.

 photo IMG_6710_zps3dtuuhus.jpgCutting down has also had another benefit: I can travel lighter on the bike too. It turns out that the frame triangle on my Specialized Fatboy fatbike and my Vivente World Randonneur touring bike are the same size. This means that I can use the frame bag on both bikes. And so I am going to travel Hungary and Slovakia bikepacking style. I test rode the bike loaded today and it felt wonderful. It’s so light and nimble compared with being loaded with panniers. The most difficult item to pack is my laptop. While it’s a small laptop (Asus Transformer Book for the tech heads out there), it is still an odd shape. But I found a spot for it and even remembered to leave space for food that I will buy while in Hungary.

So here’s my packing list:

Camping equipment 

Cooking equipment 



  • Black Diamond Storm head torch – An old favourite
  • Toiletries and towel (towel is from Daiso)
  • Bike pump, pedal tool, shifter, bike multi tool, tyre levers and patches
  • Bicycle lock
  • Cannon Powershot D30 camera and battery charger
  • Asus T100 Transformerbook laptop and charging cable
  • Mobile phone and charging cable
  • Maps and marker pen
  • Helmet – Compulsory in Hungary on roads with speed limit >50kph
  • Tozzie – My travel buddy who was given to Paul and me by a friend

9 thoughts on “Packing for Hungary and Slovakia

    • Yeah me too. Will be my first time. But if weather is very bad I tend to find a hostel or hotel. The Helium is apparently quite new for Outdoor Research. It’s about 500g plus pegs and ground sheet. My tent is only 1.5kg but packs bigger.

    • I forgot to write down the short sleeve Outdoor Research T and my board shorts. Good point. The long sleeve shirts are incredibly lightweight and breathable too

  1. You’re definitely travelling lightly Andrew. It’s great to see the VWR packed and interesting to see it without panniers, which I’m so used to. I’ll look forward to reading your adventures over these coming days.

    • I love the bikepacking style of riding. I don’t want to go back to panniers. The bike is easier to maneuver and to park. I am going to get a second lunch box bag for the other side rear.

      • I was really interested to read in your post about how much easier it was Andrew. I imagine the weight is more concentrated in the centre and so more stable. Great to know!

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