Well as with all things in cycling you need to make life comfortable for the way you like to ride. Some people ask me about gadgets they should get. I have come to realise you can be swindled into buying all sorts of expensive unnecessary gadgets that just make the ride heavier. There was a blog I read that the husband and wife have resorted to making their own panniers and bicycle bags as it is cheap and does what they want it to do. I like Velcro straps. I use them to hold things on to my bicycle, they are like ropes that never come undone.
At the Cape Argus tour they had an expo. It is plain to see there are all sorts of gadgets. Trying to keep my head I did purchase a few gadgets.
1) Shimano saddle bag for the extra standby tube, if my tubules tyre gives in and to put in a small tool kit.
2) Cycling shirt so can put my cell phone in the pocket at the back when doing small rides. Now that feels real good. They look so uncomfortable but really they are not.
Well it was not a long list but that is how it should be. You need to grow your gear carefully and slowly. Then discontinue the less effective gear to make sure your ride does not get to heavy. It is easy to build up a lot of unnecessary items.
I was once told the most important areas are: Hands, butt and feet. All the places the body comes in contact with the bicycle. When first started ridding I refused to wear those cycling shorts. Well now I know they are the most important item. Then I discovered cleats, what an improvement. Gloves a must have on a long trip. Water bottles no question, now I have upgraded to two. One for water and other for energy drink. Cycle computer helps to get directions, can tell when the next turning is coming up and if you are going to make the destination before sunset.
Well the more I think the list can grow but that is enough for now.