Now that you’ve put some thought into the variety of bikepacking bags options, let’s walk through what goes inside them. We’ve put together a comprehensive list covering six main categories of gear. This is a good baseline kit that we use for many of our bikepacking adventures. Typically, we carry most of what’s listed here—aside from the alternates—plus a few of the extras, which are marked with an asterisk.
While this list won’t cover all the gear you need for some trips and might be excessive for others, it’s a good starting point. It’s important to research your intended route(s) to help determine exactly what to bring. Understanding the climate and potential weather scenarios will help you decide what clothing and sleep system you’ll need. The frequency of towns, eateries, and resupply points will help you figure out how much space you need for food, and knowing where and how often water sources are accessible will help you plan the amount of water you need to carry.
As you’ll see in this list, bikepacking can be quite gear intensive, but don’t let that stop you. Most folks who are into the outdoors have some basic camping equipment, and if you’re already a cyclist, you probably have a few repair supplies and tools too. Make an inventory and use what you already have. If you’re still lacking the necessary equipment, try to borrow some gear from a friend, make your own, or inquire about gear-share libraries and second-hand shops in your area. Note that we’ve also included resource link lists in each category below to help further your research.
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