Bicycle Sport Bikepacking Basics: Packing List
Packing light and tight is the key to getting what you need – and want – to where you’re headed on any bikepacking trip. No matter how far or how long you’ll be gone, we believe this is a great packing list to make sure you’ve got the basics covered. Your experience will help you tailor your bikepacking set-up to meet your needs even more specifically.
Here are the essential top 10:
- Map or cue sheet
- Food and snacks, or money/credit cards to purchase food along the way
- Water and/or water purification system
- Personal care (toothbrush, sunscreen, lip balm, TP, etc.)
- Lights and batteries
- Basic first aid kit and ID
- Shelter/Sleep system (tent, hammock, bivy, etc., sleeping bag)
- Fire starting (waterproof matches, lighter, etc.)
- Tools, tubes, pump or CO, duct tape, cables, chain links
Above and beyond:
Naturally, you’ll want to fine-tune the above list to meet any specific needs for your particular trip, the time of year, the expected weather, etc. Additions to consider:
- GPS or other navigation system. But always have paper maps and directions as backup, and Ziplock bags to keep them dry.
- Camp stove, fuel, cup and spoon/spork. If you’ll be gone more than one night, want a hot meal, or really enjoy a morning cup of joe, this is a must-have.
- Coffee system. This can be as simple as instant coffee, a pour-over system, or an elaborate grinder and french press set-up. An absolute MUST, in our opinion!
- Sleeping pad. For far less than a pound of weight, you can really up your sleeping game with an inflatable sleeping pad.
- Headlamp. While your bike headlight will work in a pinch, we appreciate the hands-free convenience of a headlamp around camp.
- Drybags or Ziplock bags. No excuses for wet clothes, gear, etc., with the light weight and readily available options here.
- Money or credit cards. If your trip includes store stops or resupply opportunities, you’ll need some way to pay for it!
- Nylon cord. Use to hang out clothes to dry, or keep food out of the critters’ reach, etc.
- Camp towel. These quick-drying towels don’t take up much room and have 100’s of uses from wringing out wet clothes, drying hands, shower towel, etc.
- Extra socks. Like Lt. Dan said to Private Gump, “take care of your feet and they’ll take care of you.” We love wool socks for temperature regulation in any temperature, quick drying and their lack of stink when compared to synthetics.
- Bike lock. If your trip takes you through town, or you’ll make stops that take you away from your bike. A lightweight cable lock is often enough.
Bibs or shorts? Wool or cotton? Quit wondering! See the Bicycle Sport Bikepacking Basics: What to Wear Guide for tips on what to pack for on and off the bike!
For more on bikepacking, check the Bicycle Sport Bikepacking Basics page.