Gravel Cycling in Vietnam: Essential Gear and Packing List
Gravel cycling in Vietnam is an adventure that combines the thrill of off-road biking with the beauty of exploring remote landscapes. To fully enjoy this experience, it's crucial to pack smartly, focusing on bringing the right gear and essentials that accommodate the country's diverse terrain and climate. Whether you're carving through the northern highlands or weaving through the waterways of the Mekong Delta, here’s a comprehensive packing list to ensure you're well-prepared for your gravel cycling journey in Vietnam.

Essential Gear

Bike Equipment

  • Gravel Bike: A durable, versatile gravel bike with strong tires suitable for both off-road and paved surfaces. Ensure your bike has been recently serviced.

  • Spare Tubes/Tire Repair Kit: Always carry spare tubes, a tire repair kit, and a portable bike pump. The remote areas you’ll explore might not have immediate access to repair shops.

  • Helmet: A well-fitting helmet is non-negotiable for safety.

  • Water Bottles/Hydration System: Stay hydrated in Vietnam's warm climate by carrying enough water. Consider a hydration backpack for longer rides.

  • GPS Device/Smartphone with Mount: For navigation, a reliable GPS device or a smartphone with a sturdy handlebar mount and pre-downloaded maps is essential.

  • Bike Lights and Reflectors: Important for visibility, especially in rural or less-lit areas after sunset.

Mr Biker Saigon, Cycling Indochina: Vietnam to Cambodia
Mr Biker Saigon, Cycling Indochina: Vietnam to Cambodia

Clothing and Personal Items

  • Moisture-Wicking Clothing: Quick-dry, breathable fabrics are ideal for the warm, humid conditions.

  • Cycling Gloves: To improve grip and protect your hands on longer rides.

  • Rain Gear: Lightweight, waterproof jacket and pants can be lifesavers during sudden downpours.

  • UV Protection: Sunglasses, sunblock, and a hat or biking cap to shield you from the sun.

  • Cycling Shoes and Sandals: Shoes designed for biking and a comfortable pair of sandals for the evenings.

Health and Safety

  • Personal First-Aid Kit: Include antiseptic wipes, band-aids, blister plasters, and any personal medication.

  • Insect Repellent: A must-have to protect against mosquitoes, especially in rural and forested areas.

  • Water Purification Tablets: For times when you may need to refill from a less reliable water source.

  • Personal Identification and Emergency Contacts: Always have your ID/passport and emergency contact information on you.


  • Multi-Tool Kit for Bikes: Equipped with the basics for making minor adjustments or repairs to your bike.

  • Headlamp or Flashlight: Useful for late-evening rides or navigating your accommodation in areas prone to power cuts.

  • Backpack or Saddlebags: Depending on your preference and the duration of your trip, choose a comfortable way to carry your essentials.

  • Camera or Smartphone: To capture the breathtaking scenery and vibrant local life.

Packing Tips

  • Pack Light and Smart: Space is limited, and you'll be carrying everything you pack, so bring only essentials and leave room for flexibility.

  • Use Waterproof Bags: Protect your gear from rain and river crossings by packing them in waterproof bags or containers.

  • Be Ready for Quick Adjustments: The diverse climate from region to region means packing items that can handle a variety of weather conditions.


Venturing into Vietnam's gravel trails requires preparation, but with the right gear and essentials, you're set to enjoy one of the most exhilarating cycling adventures Southeast Asia has to offer. This list covers the basics to ensure your safety, comfort, and enjoyment as you explore the unique landscapes and rich culture Vietnam has to offer. Remember, every journey is personal, so tailor this list to suit your specific needs and preferences. Happy cycling!

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