Personal setups » First attempt
This was my first attempt at a bikepacking trip. I used gear I already had. The ride was in North Dakota in mid October, 6″ of snow the week before, estimated average lows 20, estimated highs 45 and chance of extreme wind. In fact we had sun most days, no rain and highs in the low 60′s!
I learned a few things:
- Keep the weight and bulk down!
- If you use a rear rack you need something heavy on the front to compensate
- a backpack is not great, smaller is definitely better
- Make sure rear bags (rack or seat mounted) don’t interfere with getting behind the seat for steep drop-offs.
- Smartwool socks shed Bentonite clay better than bare feet!
I used a Cannondale Prophet with a Topeak seatpost rack. On the rack a drybag with my rectangular down sleeping bag and non-wp bivysack, 3 spokes, as well as food for the rest of the ride. Bag secured with small camlock straps.
On the handlebar a small REI bag that mounts on top of the stem/bar, has a map compartment. In bag:
- bike minitool
- day food
- arm warmers
- chain lube
- petzl tikka
- small first aid kit
- yellow lenses for glasses
- Park cassette tool
- quick link
Under the handlebar was one 2l Platypus bladder, tied on with giant twist-ties, and the hose routed straight up in the air on one of those.
On my back a 33l Black Diamond Stone pack with the frame removed. In it:
- Cut to calf length and torso shape Ridgerest
- Long midweight bib tights
- spare Smartwool socks
- Mtn Hardwear Tempest pants (a 2l WP/B fabric, not taped, with a brushed lining)
- Mtn Harwear Epic jacket
- Gore-Tex Paclite shell mittens
- Pearl Izumi Amfib shoecovers
- Vaude lightweight fleece vest
- Merino wool boxers
- Sprayway down jacket
- Odlo balaclava
- Mtn Harwear Windpro beanie
- Golite tarp,with spectra guylines and Hi-vis orange Ti stakes
- 1 trekking pole
- derailleur hanger
- brake pads
- derailleur cable
- film canister with Assos
- second 2l platypus reservoir, not allways filled.
Wearing Northwave shoes, Smartwool socks, Specialized Pro bibs, Ibex merino wool zip-T, long finger gloves and Sunglasses.
My friend had the other pole and the canister stove.
The clothes were the lightest I had on hand that would give full waterproof protection in 35 degree weather on the bike, and keep me warm in the morning in camp in 20 degrees. The 2 hats because I used a bag without a hood. I planned on sleeping in all my insulating clothes. The fairly heavy pants were brought because they were only slightly heavier than my rainpants and substantially warmer.
After this I came up with some changes: The backpack needs to be lower, this one kept knocking the back of my helmet if I braked on a downhill. Lighter is better, both for the climbing and for the handling and the comfort of sitting on the saddle. I got lighter clothes and sleeping bag, a Wingnut backpack and much else. I would welcome some comments.