So - you want to try bikepacking but are unsure where to start?
This blog was prompted by so many people contacting me on social media asking for help with what to take and how to pack! (this will be followed up with blogs on bags, what to put where, kit suggestions etc etc)
Please note that this is a summer pack list - I will talk about winter kit in another post.
Now - I am no grand multi-country tourer or ultralight bikepacking endurance racer - but I do have 4 years experience of bikepacking throughout the UK - both solo and in groups. I have gone out in all weather - from difficulty finding water in the droughts of the 2018 summer to dealing with everything freezing (including my chain etc!) over harsh, long winter nights.
For the first year I learnt what did and didn't work. Each time I went out I changed something or adapted my list. That learning process is all part of the fun! You will find that some of this list you wont need (I mean - not everyone needs a menstrual cup - but lets keep it real = they are the best solution for multi day adventures!)
My list is not definitive - it started as a guide to prompt me as an individual with my unique needs (ie I stop & sleep VERY cold!). I probably take things that are not on this list but I don't think to add (that doesn't help you does it - sorry!)
Nowadays, unless I'm guiding, I can pretty much just grab and go with far less thought - but who doesn't love a list eh?
Make this list your own - add, remove, tweak - the more you go out the more you will find what works for you. But hopefully this will give you an idea of where to start.
This list fits on both my medium hardtail and my XS 47 frame gravel bike. Bag choice for a small gravel bike is important - many are too big and will rub on tyres. There will be a bag choice post coming soon.
Please do contact me to ask questions if you have any!
On me –
Helmet with headtorch & rear light attached
Headband (round wrist if too hot)
Merino bra & vest
Merino long sleeved top (tied round waist if hot!)
Baggy shorts (waterproof if risk of showers if cooler – just get wet if really warm)
Sometimes waterproof long socks depending on weather.
Waterproof mitts to go over gloves in pockets
Extra front handlebar pouch
2x cockpit/Stem bags
Top tube bag
Fork bags (not often used unless more than 2 nights)
Full frame bag
Seat post bag
On my bike -
For Me –
Waterproof jacket & trousers (waterproof trousers are useful against midges and sitting at camp if a cool breeze!)
Spare pair of full finger gloves
Spare merino top
Merino socks to sleep in
Merion leggings to sleep in
Merino lightweight gloves to sleep in
Down/Synthetic packable jacket (Lightweight)
neoprene shoes (used as camp shoes)
For bike –
Spare inner tubes x2
Mini Track Pump with duct tape and electric tape round it for quick fixes
Multi tool inc chain breaker
Tubeless repair kit
Small tube of lube
Needle & thread
For cooking/drinking –
Jetboil or MSR Windpro II + titanium mug
Titanium grill & Titanium plate if I fancy ‘open (leave no trace) fire’ for making bread/grilling sausages etc!
Plastic mug and/or collapsible silicone mug (if cooking system is for two – if just me I eat from the jetboil or titanium mug)
Collapsible water container
Nalgene water bottle (kept full for drinking on the bike)
For H&S –
1st aid kit
Toothbrush & toothpaste tablets
Loo roll & dog poop bags
Tent/bivvi repair kit
Spare emergency food/sweets to cover 24 hrs of calories
A couple of fuel tabs
Emergency heat pads
For Sleeping/Camp –
Blow up pillow
Tent or bivvi (Tarp + rope/pegs & Ground sheet if bivvi)
Fairy lights/camp lights
Garmin InReach Mini
Powerbank + cables
I can provide this as a word document to edit if you want - just drop me a message and I will send it to you.
Feel free to drop me a line to ask any questions too!