Bikepacking the Camino Portugal – Preparation, Kit List and Journey to Lisbon

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So as I mentioned in the first post this was going to be my first backpacking experience, on my own, in a foreign country, where I didn’t speak the language. Scary. To try and eliminate the growing fear, I spoke to Brighton locals Stu and Helen who had completed this route last year. They actually were the inspiration for doing this ride and very kindly they leant me their guide books, maps, GPS and a frame bag. This helped enormously and they didnt laugh and my silly questions at all.

As I am a bit of a bike geek I had been collecting bits I needed and had already bought an Alpkit saddle pack, stem cell, gas tank and dry bag for my handle bars. Plus camping every year meant I had the sleeping bag, inflatable mat, bivy bag and the millions of other bits and bobs you need for a camping trip be it on a bike or not.

After packing and unpacking the bags a millions times, the final kit list was settled and any more prep was pointless. A ride round Brighton made sure everything stayed as it was and actually I didn’t change a thing on the entire trip.
The day came and with my bike and bags packed into a box, the clothes I was wearing were the only set of off bike clothes I would have for the entire trip other than an pair of pants and t-shirt for the flight home. didnt want to scare away the person I would be sitting next too on the plane. Took a taxi to the station and caught the train to Gatwick. The flights were pretty cheap, easy jet provides a service from Gatwick to Lisbon and then Santiago de Compostela to Gatwick with a £35 cost to take the bike each way. Pretty reasonable I thought and one bonus of travelling with a bike is that you get to jump straight to the front of the queue at check in, that’s worth the extra cost instantly.  A major surprise was how many people missed their flights, it seemed that every 15 minutes names were being called out and warned that their bags would be unloaded. Perhaps they were engrossed in the duty free? However for us straight away there was a 1 hour delay that turned into a 3 hour delay (1 hour of it sat in the plane on the runway). Something to do with a problem in British airspace over Devon, aliens perhaps or a wandering Russian spy plane? Who knows.

Upon arriving at Lisbon, it was easy to get my bike which was still intact and came out pretty quickly. Then the dramas began. It took 3 Taxis until we found one big enough for it to fit in. Finally Fernando came along with his van. Now Fernando was a little crazy and dangerous to say the least. The last time I was in fear of my life was in Bangkok where all taxi drivers’ drive at 1 million miles an hour, Fernando was just as fast. But not only was he fast, he also talked on his phone the entire way and watched live TV at the same time. I think in my fear I became forgetful as I left my dry bag with my passport and other valuables in his taxi when we got to the hotel. A lovely German couple saw my distress as I realised what I had done and bought me a beer, I couldn’t thank them enough. Somehow the amazing lady in the hotel reception managed to track him down and I was reunited at 4am the next morning with my bag. The trip was still on!

Real Fear

Real Fear

Kit List:


Frame Bag

  • Contact Lenses
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Chamoius Cream
  • Bike Tool kit
  • Topeak Pump
  • Inner Tubes x 2
  • Camelback 3l Bladder
  • Lighter
  • Ziplock bags
  • Headtorch
  • Batteries
  • Chain lube
  • Toilet paper
  • Passport
  • Money and Credit cards
  • Lock
  • Notepad
  • Pencil
  • Maps and Books
  • Ear Plugs
  • Hemp Soap
  • Backup Battery
  • Compass
  • Pack Towel
  • Chargers

Seat Pack

  • Endura Merino socks
  • Flip-flops
  • Morvelo Arm warmers
  • Morvelo Knee warmners
  • Giro insulated vest
  • Sun hat
  • Wooly Hat
  • Casual Shorts
  • overthebar bamboo t-shirt x 2
  • Scarf
  • Pants x 2
  • First aid kit
  • Howies merino longsleeve base layer


  • Sleeping bag
  • Bivy Bag
  • Budget Sleeping mat
  • Bike – Niner one 9 with gears (10spd)
  • Compass
  • Book – Dune, The House Harkonen

Stem Cell

  • Various food items

Gas Tank

  • Oakley Frogskins Sunglasses
  • Opniel Knife
  • Bike Tool kit
  • Mobile Phone

3 thoughts on “Bikepacking the Camino Portugal – Preparation, Kit List and Journey to Lisbon

  1. We are doing the Camino Frances, a little bit by foot over the Pyrenees then on the bikes for the next 380 km. We are not doing the complete Camino this time round, saving it for later in the year!


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