Personal setups » Ropeman’s Scottish Summer Bikepacking Kit


I’ve been getting further and further away from excess weight in my gear over the last few years. Mainly, it’s a mental exercise but it also helps my old bones get out if they only have my excess body weight to carry rather than excess kit weight.

This is the setup I took for a longish overnight up over Lochnagar and then around Glen Muick via Broad Cairn and Dubh Loch. The route has a lot of pushing and carrying, it may well be the worst route choice in all Scottish mountain biking.

All the kit:


Arc’teryx Atom LT Hoody
Marmot Stretchy Waterproof
Montane Atomic Rain Pants
PHD Minim Down Vest (didn’t take in the end)
Nike Running shorts for the night
Merino Buff
Fox MTB shorts
5.10 shoes
ProTec hat (didn’t take)
Mechanix Gloves (didn’t take but wish I had as I got a wicked sunburn on my hands).
All the clothes were used, I slept in everything as there was a big wind coming through the bealach at night so I was a little chilly for a while.
Clockwise from Bottom left:
Porridge pot
Wayfarer Beans and Bacon
Haribo Tangy Monsters – A new one for me and I won’t be getting them again.
Torq Gels – Also new and delicious, will be getting these again.
Orange Rocky Biscuits – A classic improved.
Half pint of Glenfiddich
Clif Bars
Nuun Hydration tablets – Only used one and it flavoured the bottle so I think no for the future.
Jelly Belly Beans – A fabourite.
Gummi Bears
Jelly Belly Sport Beans – I just have some lying around, they are good for a quick burst of sugar and caffeine
I ate just about everything except the porridge (see cooker issues) and the Haribo (minging).
Cooking gear:
Alpkit 750ml Ti Mug
Plastic Spoon (MSR?)
Esbit tabs (never again)
Bic lighter
Esbit pot holder
I decided, this once, to go as light as possible and take Esbit but I won’t be doing it again, in any sort of wind (which we have some of up here) they take an age tp bring water to any sort of heat, one tablet managed to get 500ml of water to a moderate simmer. Waste of time and, in my opinion, too finicky to be reliable for Scotland. back to the gas or meths for me.
Sleeping gear:
Thermarest Prolite Short
Nunatak Quilt
Equinox lightweight bivi
I am 5’11” and the Prolite short would have been too short if the summer hadn’t decided to come for a change, the peat was dry as a bone and provided a nicely insulating surface to sleep on. Even with all the clothes on I was a bit chilly where the very strong winds pushed the quilt flat against me, a better site behind a rock would have dealt with this superbly. As it was the Glenfiddich did a reasonable job.
Tools and suchlike:
Left Column:
Midge Headnet
Skin So Soft – Both of these are Scottish summer essentials but actually weren’t really needed due to bright sunshine and altitude. I still wouldn’t leave home without them.
First Aid Kit:
Blister sheet
Tick removers
Safety pins
IDF Trauma bandage
Middle column:
Topeak Alien Multitool
Patch kit
29″ tube
Park Levers
Petzl Zipka +
Compass and whistle
Right column:
Map and Etrex 20 GPS with route preloaded
Victorinox Classic
Uncle Bill’s Sliver Gripper tweezers
Green and White Photon LED lights.
Apart from the GPS all I used out of this pile was a few Ibuprofen and a preventative squirt of Skin So Soft for midges. I wouldn’t have left without the rest though.
The packing:
The tools, headlight and 2 litres of water go in this wee Osprey rucksack along with the raingear and the Arcteryx hoody. I’d like to get the hoody out of there for future rides to save my neck a little.
The sleeping gear all fits into an 8l drybag from Alpkit
Which goes into a Tiger seatpack harness made by Wildcat gear in the UK. I recommend them highly, the kit is well sewn and works.
The rest of the kit goes into a frame bag I made myself to fit my old Trek 4300, I need to make a new one for this bike as, although a close fit, there were enough issues that it would be a lot better remade.
I zip tied a bottle carrier on the bars so that I would have a visible reserve of water, there’s nothing I like less than having a Camelbak run out on me unexpectedly.
The bike is an On-One Inbred 29er I built up with a mix of all sorts of componenets from XT to Deore. Tyres are Continental Mountain King II and the whole rig worked brilliantly.
Everything behaved very well except that I had too much weight on my back for the amount of carrying the bike and dragging it over rocks that I was doing.

Comments (4)

JRAJuly 29th, 2013 at 2:35 pm

Great to see your setup.
Thanks for posting it.

JamesAugust 7th, 2013 at 1:12 pm

Thanks for posting. Lots of nice detail!

BikerButt76August 12th, 2013 at 6:08 pm

Looks like a solid set up. Ride on!!!! Candy and cliff bars.LOL!!!

chris grevenJanuary 4th, 2014 at 3:42 pm

We’re a group of three French riders from the Alps and planning a five day Coast2Coast between Montrose and Fort William in late April (day six is supposed to see us ride up Ben Nevis, weather permitting), and we’ll be riding along some of the places you’ve mentioned (night at Loch Muick, among other places).
Would you mind sharing your impressions on our intended route at that time of year? (I’d have to be able to send you my gpx file, if you don’t mind…). Any advice would be welcome actually, although we’re quite used to long distance tre-riding, although not in Scotland…
We intend to take mostly tracks, along Montrose, Loch Lee, Loch Muick, Braemar, Loch an t-Seilich, Kingussie, Loch Laggan, Loch Treig, and the Caledonian Canal to Fort William.
Thanks a million for your help and knowledgeable advice!
Chris, from France.

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