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Packing List for Riding the Katy Trail

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Karen F from St. Louis on 3/8/2006 11:37:14 PM:
Two of us are planning to ride the Katy Trail as an out-and-back starting in the middle of May of this year. We plan to start in St. Charles and go to Clinton and then turn around and go back to St. Charles. We plan to stay in B&Bs and hotels along the way. Does anyone have any packing list suggestions? I don't want to overpack, but I don't want to forget anything important, either.

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 3/9/2006 10:36:45 AM:
BikeIowa has a pretty good packing list. It was generated as a list for the RAGBRAI ride across Iowa. There are several catagories, such as....Daily on the bike...Clothing...Toiletries....Camping....Misc.

I've used this list when planning Katy rides. It seems to adapt well from Iowa to Missouri use.



ET from Columbia on 3/9/2006 12:07:19 PM:
Be sure to pack some snacks and extra fluids for when you can't find a place to buy food. Places along the trail may have irregular hours, especially before Memorial Day. Also, sunscreen, but spray, and in May, pack to dress in layers. You could have any weather, including rain--so pack accordingly! We pack pretty light--bike shorts and T-shirts which we wash out at nights (so take 2 sets in case one isn't dry), and I like to have a pair of wrinkle-resistant pants to pull on over my shorts or tights when we stop. Also, it is worth taking a pair of comfy shoes to slip on when you are off the bike at the B & B's

Trek Biker from St. Joseph, MO on 3/9/2006 8:44:26 PM:
For extra fluids, I usually carry powdered sport drink in my trunk bag. I have small zip lock bags that came from a jeweler that I put individual portions in to mix one per water bottle. They don't take up too much room, are easy to mix preportioned, and I don't have the weight of hauling liquid. It's usually easier to find water than it is to find a sport drink.

Nails on 3/10/2006 12:31:52 PM:
Here's a modified pack list from a Memorial Day weekend trip last year. Sedalia to St. Charles in two days with a night in a B&B.

Bike, Pedals, Shoes, Socks, Shorts, Jersey, Helmet, Sunglasses, Speeedomter, heart rate monitor.

Backpack, Bladder with valve, Spare tire – Kevlar belt, Spare tubes – puncture resistant (2), Patch kit, Tire tool, Tool kit, Tie wraps, Camera, Carb Boom.

Itinerary/maps/directions/phone numbers/addresses.

Cash, Credit card, Train tickets, Photo ID, Cell phone.

Medications, Birth control, Contact case, Contacts, Sunscreen, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, mini-brush.

Frame pump, Whistle, Waterbottles (2 each), minature first aid kit.

sbikes from KCMO on 3/16/2006 6:04:46 PM:
I have ridden the trail end to end and my advice is go minimalist...basic stuff mentioned
above and the most important thing I can suggest is a little pack of baby wipes..yup, baby
wipes. They remove grease from hands and clothes and are just darn handy in a variety of
ways on the trip. You can buy a travel pack that squishes down small.

And, put your cell phone/camera, etc. in plastic bags. Trail dust gets into everything.

Have fun!

Brian from Wichita, KS on 3/17/2006 12:27:05 PM:
You guys have some great advice! The bikeiowa.com list noted above was helpful (and even has some whimsical items like "extra fork for Homemade Pie" and "hill erasers"). The mini first-aid kit described by Nails is also very clever.

Nails on 3/17/2006 2:39:57 PM:
Thank the Boy Scouts of America for the first aid kit idea.

MLH from Overland Park KS on 3/17/2006 6:15:55 PM:
The baby wipes work great for cycling trips, especially if you have to make a trailside repair. They sell boxes or individually-wrapped Wet Ones at Office Max. You can pack as many as you see fit.

Karen F from St. Louis on 5/26/2006 5:25:51 PM:
Thanks to all who responded. We just finished our trip of starting in St. Charles and heading to Clinton and then turning around and going back to St. Charles -- 450 miles!

We both brought packages of baby wipes and they were a lifesaver -- both for repairs and for bathroom breaks.

I had everything that I needed without packing a lot of extra. I packed a pair of sandals to wear off of the bike. They didn't take up very much room. In fact, I was able to strap them to the top of my rear bag.

arlo from Wildwood on 6/16/2007 9:25:04 PM:
Birth control? Was this a bike ride or a party?

Nails on 6/17/2007 11:57:37 AM:
The parties I go to aren't for swingers. (No keys to throw in the bowl when I'm on my bike.) Rather, when there are 2 riding and spending their nights in a B&B (as Karen F described), what do you expect to happen? Just trying to help someone that might not be ready to buy a trail-a-bike.

PJ from Dexter, MO on 9/17/2019 4:00:11 PM:
We are wanting to try biking part of the Katy Trail and would appreciate getting some good tips on doing so. Thanks!

LSMOBiker from Lees Summit on 9/18/2019 9:06:14 AM:
On our recent trip, we were lucky with no major mechanical issues, but did have some minor ones - some untested bags ripped, and some screws on several rear bike racks worked their way out.

The two things we were super thankful to have, were extra bungy cords, and a bunch of plastic zip ties.

Margaret Ritter from Kansas City, Mo on 7/5/2020 7:35:58 PM:
Planning an October trip on the Katy Trail and wondering about what to pack for the trip

Mel Zabecki from Fayetteville, AR on 7/6/2020 8:32:51 AM:
Here's my list from my end-to-end trip on my 2 wheel recumbent August 2018:
Bathing suit
Thermals (for sleeping if no bag)
Hair ties
Face soap
Lotion (face/eyes/body)
Pills (plus Tylenol!)
Wet Wipes
Dry wipes
Mosquito wipes
Plug block
Long charge cord
Chargers (fitbit/phone/headlamp/solar)
Solar battery
Hammock/straps/mossie net/rainfly/carabiners
Map/katy trail books
Salt pills
Seat pad/bandana
Bear spray
Pepper spray
1st aid kit
Flat kit
Extra tubes
Chain lube
Water bottles
Water pure tablets?
xtra shopping bag
phone case
individual pb

For future: https://www.cyclingabout.com/our-bicycle-touring-gear-packing-list/

Anonymous on 7/7/2020 12:53:28 PM:
Bear spray? What about a harpoon?

Mel Zabecki from Fayetteville, AR on 7/7/2020 6:39:02 PM:
I got knocked off my bike a few years ago by a dog that resulted in two surgeries, a bone graft, and IV antibiotics. I love dogs but none are getting near me on a bike ever again.

Kevin S from O'Fallon on 7/31/2020 12:40:12 PM:
Looking to bike the whole thing

AB from Jackson on 3/29/2021 2:26:46 PM:
How far would be a reasonable distance to bike in a day, for beginners with 3 kids, ages 13,11,9?

Bill in Houston from Houston on 3/30/2021 12:06:56 PM:
What's their longest ride so far? Will they be choosing your nursing home? Do you want for them to have happy memories?

Missouri Preacher from Lamar, MO on 7/21/2021 8:53:53 PM:
Planning a trip from Clinton to St Charles in 2022. Which month is the best time to do a 4-5 day trip?

Bill in Houston from Houston on 7/22/2021 8:43:48 AM:
Depends what you are looking for.

We rode in April and the weather was nice and the flowers were blooming and the trail was deserted. We were way before any kind of rush that may happen, and were a little sad to not see any other through riders. Well, we saw one. But the solitude was kind of nice.

A lot of the local places were not in full swing yet, so we missed some of the things we had looked forward to. People hanging out at Cooper's Landing, a store at Cooper's Landing, the lady at the Mokane grocery store yelling at her customers not to put their bikes in front of the store, Katfish Katy's, etc.

Apparently people wait until summer to ride, and the trail is busier then, and everyone is in full swing. But, summer is hot.

Anonymous on 7/23/2021 7:55:10 AM:
Fall is a good time to ride also. It can be busy on Saturdays around major trailheads on nice weather days. Lodging may fill up quickly because of MU football game days or because of fall color. It's a beautiful time to ride though. Have ridden it on Halloween day and had the trail to ourselves.

Lucy Fox from Nashville on 8/24/2022 12:05:00 PM:
Planning a bike of the Katy trail in a couple weeks

Amanda Caplan from Ocala, FL on 3/31/2023 9:01:31 AM:
Is car camping (overnight sleeping in car) allowed on trail parking areas? We're planning 20-30 mile round trip segments cause we have limited budget. We will be cycling starting June 5, 2023.

It will also give us an opportunity to explore each town using both bikes and car. Any tips and information would be helpful. Thank you.