Pack the perfect pannier

12 things you shouldn’t leave home without

In the wilderness, thousands of miles from home, round-the-world Triumph rider Rhys Lawrey became suddenly aware what the most important addition to his kitbag was.

Not heat or cold gear, not spare boots or even a map, one of the most valuable things he packed… was toilet roll.

Lifesaving loo paper is just one piece of Rhys’s survival kit. Check out the rest.

1. Strap downs – “If you apply the thought that everything should have more than one use, then these are essential. If something breaks, the strap downs can tie it back together but they also keep things attached to the bike. When your bike is on boats, they often don’t have any ties, so the strap downs made sure my bike didn’t slide away.”


2. Woolly hat/beanie – “In the colder climates this was crucial every time I took my helmet off. You lose all your body heat through your head in an instant and once you do, there’s no going back.”


3. Cap – “Likewise, in the sun this is vital for stopping you getting burned. In Uzbekistan I had to use my bike as a sun shelter while I waited to get through customs. Without my Triumph cap I’d have fried.”


4. Cable ties – “These are light, don’t take up any room and are great for locking things when you’re at the border for that little bit of extra security.”


5. Swiss Army knife – “An absolute must to cut cable ties, slice food, open wine bottles and to keep your appearance half decent with the tweezers.”


If I had to take just one, it would be the Swiss Army knife because it does so many things. But Jeff would be a close second.

Rhys Lawrey

6. Tape – “Strong electrical tape is really useful for fixing things to the bike, as well as its intended use.”

7. WD40 – “If you keep everything lubricated and also carry a single adjustable spanner there’s a pretty good chance that even if something goes wrong, you can sort it out. I also took a tyre pressure reader and small pump because if you look after your tyres they will look after you.”


8. GPS – “I had to take this to prove to the Guinness Book of Records guys that I’d done it, but I do know some people who just do it by the sun.”


9. Sunglasses – “I got a pair that fitted inside my helmet so I could go visor up if I wanted to, which was really useful in the extreme heat.”


10. GoPro – “I had a helmet-mounted camera to capture the action. Adventure riding is all about the memories and while they are great in your mind, it’s always nice to look back at them.”


11. My mascot – “Jeff the Kiwi came everywhere with me, attached to the bars by cable tie. He’s a bit grubby now but he meant a lot to me on some of the harder days because he reminded me of home and was a good luck charm given to me by my mum.”


12. Of course you’ll need a decent pannier to stick it all in – Triumph’s water resistant panniers are made from single skin aluminum with 37 litre capacity and have a quick release mechanism.


If I had to take just one…

“It would be the Swiss Army knife because it does so many things. But Jeff would be a close second.”