How you can Pack for Bikepacking

by jpc_touring-bicycle

Bikepacking is a enjoyable and adventurous technique to discover the outside. With all the pieces you want for a number of nights packed securely in your bike, you may journey quick to achieve locations that may be days away by foot.

Packing your bike for bikepacking requires you to assume strategically about the place issues go and be good about distributing weight. A loaded bike won’t ever deal with in addition to one which has nothing further on it, however whenever you pack nicely, you’ll discover you may efficiently navigate off-road terrain and have enjoyable doing so.


Video: How you can Pack for Bikepacking


How you can Pack for Bikepacking
Put light-weight, cumbersome objects in your seat pack and handlebar pack: Overloading these packs can negatively influence the dealing with of your bike. Many bikepackers put issues like garments, a sleeping bag, sleeping pad and tent of their seat pack and handlebar pack.
Put heavy objects in your body pack: Packing your range, gasoline, bike tubes, further meals and different heavy objects in your body pack retains your bike’s middle of gravity low to assist preserve your bike’s dealing with.
Hold often used objects inside attain: Issues like snacks, water, maps and a cellphone are greatest stored in stem baggage, high tube baggage or cages the place you may get to them simply.



Have in mind there’s nobody proper technique to pack your bike. You may observe the packing rules specified by this text to get you began, however as you acquire expertise and get concepts from different bikepackers, you’ll doubtless develop a system that works only for you. Additionally, when packing, make it possible for your cargo weight mixed along with your physique weight doesn’t exceed your bike’s weight capability (many bike producers publish weight capacities in consumer manuals and/or on their web sites).


What to Pack in Your Seat Pack

Crucial factor when packing a seat pack is to watch out to not overload it with heavy objects. Doing so will throw off the burden distribution of your bike and make using tougher.


An illustration showing what to pack in a bike seat pack: sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothes, rain gear


How you can Pack a Seat Pack
Put solely light-weight objects in: Most skilled bikepackers put cumbersome, light-weight objects of their seat packs, similar to garments, rain gear, a sleeping bag and a folded sleeping pad. Go forward and stuff this stuff straight into the pack with out utilizing stuff sacks (this protects weight and is the simplest technique to fill each sq. inch of the bag). In case your seat pack shouldn’t be waterproof, be sure that objects like your sleeping bag and garments are packed in a water-proof stuff sack earlier than placing them within the seat pack.
Place heaviest objects closest to the seat put up: This can assist restrict the quantity of side-to-side sway that may typically happen with a seat pack.

Remember the fact that entry to your seat pack shouldn’t be terribly troublesome, but it surely’s additionally not tremendous fast and simple, so that you don’t put something again there that you just’ll want often all through a day of using.


What to Pack in Your Handlebar Pack

As with the seat pack, you want to pay attention to how a lot weight you set in your handlebar pack. Placing an excessive amount of weight in your handlebar can drastically have an effect on dealing with and steering. As a common rule attempt to fill your handlebar pack so it finally ends up weighing about the identical as your seat pack. This can assist hold your bike balanced.


An illustration showing what to pack in a bike handlebar pack: sleeping bag, sleeping pad, clothes, tent


How you can Pack a Handlebar Pack
Use it for light-weight, cylindrical objects: Your handlebar pack is a superb place to stow objects like a tent or a dry bag stuffed with garments. You would additionally put your sleeping bag and folded sleeping pad in there. Like with the seat pack, most bikepackers will forgo particular person stuff sacks and cram this stuff straight into the handlebar pack to avoid wasting weight and make use of all obtainable house. In case your handlebar pack shouldn’t be waterproof, shield vital objects like your sleeping bag and garments with waterproof stuff sacks.
Hold often used objects accessible: Gadgets buried deep in your handlebar pack will be powerful to get to, so take into consideration the order by which you pack. If you wish to hold your rain gear there however have it helpful, put it in final. Some handlebar packs have an outer zippered pouch for stowing a pair small objects for straightforward entry, like gloves and a hat.


What to Pack in Your Body Pack

A body pack matches contained in the triangle of your bike that’s created by the highest tube, seat tube and down tube. Most bikepackers attempt to get as a lot weight as they will into their body pack; doing so retains the bike’s middle of gravity low, which helps preserve good stability whereas using.


An illustration showing what to pack in a bike frame pack: bike tools, spare bike tubes, camp stove and fuel, food


How you can Pack a Body Pack
Use it for seldom-used gear: Attending to an merchandise buried on the backside of a body pack is usually a ache, so it’s greatest to solely stow stuff that’s hardly ever wanted whereas using. Some body packs do have an outer zippered pocket or two for preserving a pair small objects helpful.
Put your heaviest objects in low: Put issues like large bike instruments, spare tubes, a camp range, gasoline and meals that you just received’t eat till arriving at camp on the backside of your body pack. Some riders like to position a hydration reservoir in there and run the tube as much as their handlebar to allow them to sip simply whereas pedaling.


Different Storage Luggage

Bikepacking bag makers supply many artistic methods for storing gear past the usual choices above. There are baggage, pouches and cages that connect to simply about any little nook in your bike. When you’re struggling to pack a specific merchandise or simply want a bit extra cupboard space, search round for what’s on the market and also you simply may discover the precise factor to unravel all of your storage troubles.


Diagram of a bike with a stem bag, top tube back, bottle cage, cargo cage, and backpack


Frequent Extra Storage Choices for Bikepacking
Stem baggage: These small pouches connect behind your handlebar, normally to the handlebar and/or stem with a pair hook-and-loop strips. Most bikepackers use a number of stem baggage to maintain small, often used objects close by. Issues like snacks, water, a map, a cellphone or sun shades are good objects to stash in there. Some riders select to maintain their digital camera and additional lenses right here.
Prime tube baggage: Often a tad larger than stem baggage, high tube baggage connect to the highest of your high tube, behind your head tube. There are additionally high tube baggage that connect simply in entrance of your seat put up. Prime tube baggage are sometimes the simplest baggage to get out and in of whilst you’re using, in order that they’re nice for holding small objects that you just use often, like vitality bars, sunscreen, lip balm and a cellphone. You may additionally hold a small multi-tool in right here for fast repairs.
Bottle cages: Customary bottle cages are key for carrying water whereas bikepacking. They connect to threaded fittings (a.okay.a. braze-ons) on the seat tube and/or down tube on most bikes, providing you with a spot to place standard-size bike bottles. Some bikes designed particularly for bikepacking have braze-ons on the fork and/or underside of the down tube as nicely. These are good to have in case you plan on utilizing a body pack, which can doubtless intervene with normal bottle-cage braze-ons. In case your bike doesn’t have braze-ons on the fork or underside of the down tube, you may safe a cage with hose clamps from a ironmongery shop.
Cargo cages: These look so much like bottle cages, however are designed to hold gear or bigger water bottles as an alternative of ordinary bike bottles. They’re typically meant to go in your bike’s fork, however some can go on the down tube and/or seat tube. You’ll need to examine how the cage attaches and ensure it’ll work along with your bike. Some cargo cages require a 3-hole mounting sample, which you could find on some forks designed for bikepacking.
Backpacks: Many bikepackers attempt to not put on a backpack as a result of it may be cumbersome and tiring to have weight in your again whereas using. However, for longer journeys that require extra meals and kit, it may be unavoidable. When you do experience with a pack, attempt to hold it as mild as doable. Some riders will solely carry water in a pack with a hydration reservoir, making sipping whereas using easy. When you stow different gear in there, attempt to put any light-weight, odd-shaped objects that don’t match nicely somewhere else. As a common rule, use a light-weight climbing or biking pack that’s 20-liters or smaller; something larger will doubtless be uncomfortable.


Extra Packing Suggestions

Give it a check run: Earlier than you head out on a giant multiday journey, load up your bikepacking baggage and head out for a experience. Ideally, you may check issues out on terrain that’s just like what you’ll really experience, however even in case you simply bike throughout city, doing so will provide you with an opportunity to get used to how your loaded bike feels. You may then make changes earlier than you head out on a giant journey.

Don’t overpack: It’s quite common for brand spanking new bikepackers to carry an excessive amount of stuff. We are able to let you know this, however typically the one technique to determine it out is to make this error for your self. Each journey is a bit completely different, so packing can at all times be a little bit of a puzzle, however with some expertise you’ll be higher in a position to establish what you do and don’t want. To assist get you began, check out our bikepacking guidelines.

Trim weight: Much like ultralight backpackers, bikepackers often search for methods to chop weight and save house. To get some concepts for the way to do that, see our Ultralight Backpacking Fundamentals article.


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How you can Pack for Bikepacking