Personal setups » Singlespeedpunk Bikepacking kit

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Rayader, Wales, UK.

For my stag (bachelor) party last year thought I would do something different and ride the length of Wales with a couple of friends and the best man over 4 days. I started gathering kit and trying to figure out how to carry it all and what I really needed. Turns out I could have left some stuff, brought some stuff I forgot and cut back others. In the end Tym’s bust hand (complete with wires holding it together) meant that Matt, Sheldon and me went from Tym’s place in Shrewsbury rather than Chester and kept (mainly) to country lanes as Matt’s Audax bike might not have been great on mountain tracks!

I used my Carousel Design Works frame bag, a Blackburn rack and two Alpkit.com dry bags lashed to the bars and rack to carry stuff. I also had my ancient Source hydration pack for water and a few bits even though I hate riding with stuff on my back.

Bars: 8L dry bag, Alpkit Hunkka bivvi bag and Highlander 1.5 season down bag (Ebay special). Lightweight poncho / tarp with paracord ties and 6 steel pegs. 3x straps to tie it on.

Frame bag: CDW with 2 compartments and zip-out divider. Waterproof lower zip, streatch gusset on upper. Amazing bit of kit.

Lower pocket: 1x 29er tube, Topeak pocketrocket pump, Topeak Hexus tool, Leatherman folding knife, Rock N Roll chain oil, rag, spare bolts, patch kit, tyre boot and spokes. 4x Lithium AA’s. Pretty much your normal stuff.

Upper pocket: First aid kit, snacks (too many), maps, sun cream, insect repellant, Assos “minty arse lard”, multi use soap, toothbrush and paste. Coffee press / mug combo with 100g of java. Small coil lock (OK for beer garden security!)

Rack: 13L dry bag with 3/4 self-inflating sleeping mat rolled to give bag shape and protect stuff. Cycling shorts, baggy shorts, merino boxers, merino socks, merino T shirt. Ti 1L mug and lid, Coleman micro gas stove and 100g cartridge, lighter, bin bags, scouring pad, spork, Ti+Rose wood Chopsticks (Alpkit again!) Toilet paper.

Bungee Net: on the top of the bag for extra food (in orange silnylon bag in photo, other is rubbish awaiting a bin) and drying shorts / tops on the move. Held on with micro carabinas.

Source Hydropack: 2L H2O, Montane Velocity jacket, Montane superlight rain trousers, glasses case (and regular glasses, bag and cleaner) Rico GR-D camera and spare battery, wallet and keys.

Bike: Solitude custom 29er, WTB Vulpine tyres, 34:20 freewheel / 34:18 fixed. Garmin Legend GPS, Fenix L2D Q5 front light, Cateye LD600 rear light on rack.

I would junk the coffee mug / press and pack a towel next time. A Wingnut Gear pack is also looking good for extra clothes and stuff I need on the move, plus the low carry position should make it better on my shoulders and neck. Less snacks as we were never far from a shop or cafe (love this tiny over crowded island!) and 2kg of “just in case” food is crazy! Everything else worked really well, despite me deleting the GPS track on day 1 and relying on the much drawn over paper maps.

Pictures of the trip can be seen at: here thanks to Sheldon, camera maestro!

Oh, and the “GDR” in the title stands for the “Get ‘em Dai Ride” :)

Alex

Comments (7)

PieterFebruary 3rd, 2009 at 3:18 am

Hi, thanks for that. Nice bike and good to see some input from the UK, as well.

AlexFebruary 6th, 2009 at 7:32 am

There area few in the UK doing this sort of thing, just not on the US scale as we are a pretty small island and except the north of Scotland you are never far from a pub / local shop / garage (gas station) etc… The other thing that is big (well, comparitivly) in the UK is Bothying. A bothy is a maintained shelter, normally an old cottage / house in the middle of nowhere which is open to walkers / bikers needing shelter for a night. There are about 100 in the UK (mainly Wales and Scotland) and if you know where they are you can make quite a good route up with relativly comforatble over night stops.

I am planning to take on the West Highland Way this summer with some side trips to whiskey distilleries and other places of interest. Thats should be 6-7days and give the kit a really good test!

Alex

pieter vroomFebruary 10th, 2009 at 2:23 am

Hi Alex,

I am in the UK as well, and am thinking about the Westhighland Way too! My concern is that it might be very crowded in holidays (can’t go outside of those due to being a teacher) with walkers. Have you done it before?

Pieter

MarshalFebruary 10th, 2009 at 1:57 pm

Hummm, are there any puplished routes for biking/bothying? I could see doing a ‘non tech’ route on a UK vacation with my wife someday.

AlexFebruary 10th, 2009 at 2:26 pm

Pieter, I have not done it before so I can’t comment. I guess most trails will be busy in the holidays but I guess its not a big attraction for kids and most people will stick close to the car parks!

Marshal, in Scotland you have the right to roam across any land as long as you don’t damage crops / walls etc… In England / Wales you need to stick to Bridleways or footpaths if you are away from people and honey-pot locations on sunny weekends! Cheeky trails rules apply!

For Bothies you will need to join the Mountain Bothy Assoc. for their locations, or know some one who has the local knowlege. Planning a route is easy on the map but trail conditions on the ground can be quite different!

Alex

AlexFebruary 12th, 2009 at 3:04 pm

Pieter,

I have word of a low-pro GDR style event in Wales / end of May bank holiday weekend. Email me at singlespeedpunk AT gmail DOT com and I’ll forward it on…unless you have already found it!

Alex

danMay 14th, 2009 at 10:11 am

hi, nice setup!
guys
i biked the west highland way last may and dispite it being busy i had no probs with people, i only took a 20ltr alpkit with all my kit inc tarp,bivvy, stove, sleep bag, sleep pad etc, i went full on ultralight with not change of clothes and did it in 2 days, the only section that was tough was loch lomand north with i took a different route! it was a blast!
im planning to ride the great glen way with the same kit!
here is some snaps of the whw

dan

http://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=131193&id=829955631&l=da1ff6c637

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