Many tour companies offer what's known as "supported tour" adventure cycling packages that only require you to bring your body and your bike -- everything else, like catered meals, overnight hotel stops, and support vans ("sag wagons") -- are either included or optional for riders.
If you prefer a more independent adventure, however, you'll want to take care of those things yourself. Think of the experience as backpacking on a bicycle. Some standard equipment includes these items:
- Camping tent and ground cover
- Sleeping bag and ground pad
- Camp stove and basic utensils
- Panniers (storage bags that straddle one or both wheels)
- Front and rear wheel-mounted storage racks
- Equipment trailer (optional)
- Season- and region-appropriate clothing
- Bike repair parts and tools
- Navigational equipment (maps, GPS, bike computer, etc.)
- Water bottle cage and bottle(s)
- Snacks, instant soups, water purification pills
- Environmentally friendly toilet paper
- Bike lock
New products are coming out all the time to make riding safer, more convenient and fun for cyclists, so check enthusiast sites, forums, and bike blogs for reviews of specific brands and products. Before you spend a lot of money on what could become an expensive paperweight or coat rack, check out the amazing bargains available online. Ebay and Craigslist, not to mention deals from members of local cycling groups, can save you tons of money.