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  1. #1
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    Idea! Bikepacking logistics Questions and hopefully Answers

    I wonder if the bikepacking guru members could shed some light on the logistics of bicycle bikepacking.

    1. Sleeping accommodations:
    Do you usually use: small one man tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad and/or a tarp? How do you find a suitable spot for camping?

    2. Change of clothes?
    socks and undies only?

    3. Water/food situation - how much water to take and how?
    Or is that dependent on water/food availability on the route.

    4. Bicycle tools, chain links, spare tubes, first aid kit, etc.

    5. Best way to carry your gear?

    Thanks
    Last edited by metalaficionado; 05-31-2013 at 04:13 PM.

  2. #2
    My other ride is your mom
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    It's highly individualized....but here is how I roll:

    1) Sleeping bag only with minimalist bivy from REI...I prefer no pad, but that's just me. I sleep wherever l find a spot that looks good...in the desert, usually a sandy wash...in the forest, usually under a tree with lots of pine needles.
    2) I bring a change of socks and a change of chamois only.
    3) Water is planned out based on where I'm going and how much I need in between water stops. Sometimes you can go from tap to tap...other times I go from puddle to puddle with my water filter....you will find this is what consumes most of your anxiety and planning before a bikepack. Foodwise...I prefer Don Miguel Bomb's and Breakfast burrittos for major meals, then supplement them with a post ride powder mixed with water (recovery), and CarboRocket in a water bottle for sipping on during the day. Little snacks throughout the day are also nice. Make sure to have your nutrition dialed before you really hang it out there...or you will be entering a world of pain.
    4) I carry all the same tools I carry with me on normal bike rides during the week.
    5) Get as much weight off your back as possible....try to only carry water in your camelback...everything else goes in your handlebar bag and your seat bag and/or frame bag if you use one.

    In the end...you're going to have to experiment and find the system that works best for you. Do some trial runs close to home and/or which have lower risk logistics with respect to water/food options. Once you get it dialed, branch out and do some stuff with higher risk in terms of logistics (uncertain water - water filter rides).

  3. #3
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    The system won't let me rep you again.

  4. #4
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    Reputation: dtownmtb's Avatar
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    I am more comfort oriented than Maad, so here is my take.

    1. Sleeping bag, minimalist bivy and blow up pad. Camp wherever. Just not on the trail itself.

    2. I have no desire to sleep in the clothes I've worn riding all day. So, a lightweight shirt and a pair of lightweight shorts or long underwear - depending on weather. That way you can air out your riding gear overnight. Definitely a change of socks. For more than one night, a change of riding shorts and jersey. Oh, and a puffy jacket is great for cold nights.

    3. Bring as much water as possible and a filter. Being without water is a really bad feeling - I know this from experience. In AZ, water is one of the biggest challenges. There is no such thing as a "dependable" spring here. For food there are all kinds of energy bars that provide convenient nutrition, but are less than satisfying. I like to bring at least some real food. That can be snacks (almonds, dried fruit, twizzlers, etc) or a burrito or wrap or even a pb&j sandwich. For me real food is very important on a big effort - partly psychological. Maad, is absolutely right - you really need to get this dialed in before going big. It is the kind of thing you gotta work out for yourself.

    4. Carry as much as you think you'll need to get you home in case of a situation. Chances are you'll be pretty far from everything if you are bikepacking so you don't want to be walking.

    5. The seatbags they have now are amazing. Can't believe how much crap you can put in there. I use a front roll on the handlebars for all my sleeping gear. Others go more basic.


    Check out bikepacking.net. Lots of folks post their setups there. Just start reading, you'll learn a ton.

    Oh, and make that first outing a short one. You are bound to do all kind of things wrong. It took me 2 outings to get my basics down. Even after the azt300 I came away with some things I need to do better/different.

    One more thing. Have fun - BPing is awesome!

  5. #5
    Vincit qui patitur
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    It's trial and error.
    Seasons also make a difference.
    It's fun.
    Here is a good place to look also.
    Bikepacking.net forums - Index
    Vincit qui patitur
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  6. #6
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    Good timing on this thread. A buddy and I were talking about doing this, and I'd like to start accumulating the goods.

    Ever have issues with wildlife while bike packing? Especially at night?

    Again, thanks for all the info.
    “Think of bicycles as rideable art that can just about save the world.”
-Grant Petersen

  7. #7
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    Gearing

    I'm not all that of an experienced bikepacker, however, I think one thing that should not be overlooked is gearing choices.

    Riding a loaded rig can be tough. Having adequate gearing to accomodate this added weight can prove very helpful, especially when hauling large amounts of water.

    I find the task of mounting/dismounting to HAB to be fairly exhausting. I'm able to control my heart rate quite a bit better if I go into ultra granny mode and spin my way to the top of a steep climb.

    If you're running a 5 arm spider, by all means, invest in a cheap Race Face 5 bolt 20t chainring. If you're running a 4 arm spider an ELS Ti Action Tec 20t will suffice. For the rear cassette, at the minimum, I'll run a 36t, but an Action Tec 38t is all the better (Action Tec also produces a 39t).

    Having the option for an ultra granny is more than helpful when pedaling through mountainous oxygen deprived environments (e.g. the Colorado Trail).

    Obviously, if you're a SS rider, this information can be neglected. However, if you've always been fascinated with maximizing the amount of trail you can ride (especially with a loaded rig) an ultra granny setup can prove to be a worthwhile investment.

    Edit: Not trying to shoot down the art of SS riding in any way. I've seen many SS riders shred stuff (dtownmtb & Raybum to name a few) that I could barely ride on my ultra granny rig. Just stating my opinion from the perspective of a super lazy geared rider.
    Last edited by markphx; 05-28-2013 at 07:26 PM.

  8. #8
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    Reputation: dtownmtb's Avatar
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    Although Mark is full of crap about not being experienced (azt300, coconino 250, CTR, etc.), he does bring up a great point about gearing. If you are SS go down one or two teeth in the back from normal - or you'll be a hurting pup.

    Also, the extra weight on your bike means you need to put more air in your suspension fork (or shock, if you have one). I also put a few more PSI in my tires. And go easy the first few miles. Having gear on your bike changes how it handles and takes a little getting used to.

    I've never had any wildlife issues, but I've only got about a week's worth of nights under my belt. Just make sure you don't keep food in your sleeping bag or bivy and you'll be fine. I hear coyotes all the time at my house - never hear them out bikepacking. not sure why that is.

  9. #9
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    I'm a rookie still dialing in/however my .02c good gps/topo and water or filter are very important since I like to wander and check stuff out and get off route. Went to Rage to pick up Revelate to carry gear and spent time on bikepacking.net Maad,Freeskier& Seron, Rayburn ,Az Tripper and others post on here are great inspiration to get off the couch and step up the miles ..Thanx ! Backpacking logistics Questions and hopefully Answers-img_0345.jpgBackpacking logistics Questions and hopefully Answers-img_0346.jpg

  10. #10
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    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to Maadjurguer again.

  11. #11
    My other ride is your mom
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    I never said I sleep in my clothes Jeff....best moment for someone else to realize this was on my failed Coco250....I was at the stage one overnight, airing it all out on the rim overlooking Sedona.....you know....todger just flapping in the breeze, walking around snapping pics of the sundown.....when one if those tour choppers came flying over just above rim level.....At first I thought to run to grab some clothes, but then I figured, "awwww phucket"....

    dtownmtb makes a good point which I neglected....I use a REALLY lightweight bag which I supliment on cold nights with a wool beanie, a Patagonia capeline II top and a synthetic puffy.

  12. #12
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    What do you all think about this:
    overkill?

    Amazon.com: Eureka! Solitaire - Tent (sleeps 1): Sports & Outdoors

  13. #13
    Ahhh the pain....
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    What do you all think about this:
    overkill?

    Amazon.com: Eureka! Solitaire - Tent (sleeps 1): Sports & Outdoors
    I'd say way too heavy...
    You should aim to have your sleep system (including what you carry it with) be under 4 lbs. Here's mine...
    Western Mountaineering Summerlite 19.00oz
    Stoic Pad 11.50oz
    Mountain Laurel Superlight Bivy 6.50 oz
    Lightweight Tyvek Ground Sheet 3.50 oz
    Green Dry bag (to put it all in) 1.20 oz
    Handlebar sling (homemade) 7.40 oz
    TOTAL = 3.07lbs

    The REI bivy's are really a great value especially if you have a coupon and you cut off a few of the monster zippers on them. As far as bags go, the WM Summerlite is great, the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 32 is great and MH also has a Mountain Speed 32 which looks good.
    As far as clothes, I agree with everyones comments. If nights are down in the mid 30's, I bring a puffy, a hat, long sleeve merino, and merino tights. I also will bring recovery socks and wool socks since my feet are inherently cold. I'm a firm believer in not sleeping in what you rode in.
    Regarding seatbags, Revelate is sort of the "standard" (viscacha model) however,there are lots of other players in the market now making what seems to be some really nice stuff. Even with all the inherent side to side motion of riding SS, that viscacha when packed properly and cinched up, is rock solid. They have a smaller model (pika) if you have tire clearance issues or don't need the space.
    Nutrition; exactly what was said...gotta dial that in and find what works for you. If your Flag experience worked out well, start with that and add to it.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  14. #14
    Ahhh the pain....
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    Quote Originally Posted by markphx View Post
    I'm not all that of an experienced bikepacker...[/B]
    ^^^^ Sandbagger ^^^^
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  15. #15
    Vincit qui patitur
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    For bike bags try here. They are in Flagstaff and you can take a look at what they have and see if that is what you are looking for.
    Bike Bag Shop | Bicycle Panniers, Racks and Bags
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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raybum View Post
    ^^^^ Sandbagger ^^^^
    Haha! Totally, don't forget his Stagecoach400.

    Posts like this are great, I always pick up a tidbit or two. Metal: I think we briefly met once over @SMP parking lot, we were finishing up when you were starting out and based on your posts here you have the right attitude. That is key, being mentally prepared for some of these bigger outings is just as important as the physical preparations.

    I roll with a Tarptent Contrail 1-man tent, Big Agnes mummy air mattress, Mountain Hardware UltraLamina32 & a piece of Tyvek for ground cover. This past weekend I took all of the above with the tent & air pad rolled around it stuffed into my handlebar bag (Phantom Pack Systems), sleeping bag was then attached to the front of the handlebar bag with a couple of REI straps. **On the AZT300 I left the tent/pad at home & was pleasantly surprised how well I slept with only the Tyvek & bag, especially since I didn't crash out into a sandy wash!!

    +1 on the Revelate seat bag. I also have a Revelate gas tank by the seat post which I use solely for a spare tube. My sis-in-law sewed up my frame bag for me and it's been working well. I also have a small REI feed bag on the top tube just behind the stem for quick snacks, gummies & maps. I've also used the two water bottles/cages gorilla taped & zip tied to the forks for last year's 300 & Coco250, they worked really well too.

    I guess the only other things I can chime in on would be to just get out there and do a ride. You don't have to wait until you have a 'perfect' setup. Mine was far from it the first couple of rides, but as you'll find out, each ride is a learning experience. Plus, the ride doesn't have to be 60+ miles. I took a friend out for her first bikepacking trip a couple months ago, she lives in Gold Canyon so we just rode to the other end of the network, camped out there & rode back to her place the next morning - 14 miles TOTAL. Now she's hooked.

    My first overnight ride I set it up as almost a car camping trip, I did a lollipop loop from Freeman Rd around Ripsey camping back near the car, but I carried all my gear anyway to get the feel for it.

    I was also a bit leery of venturing out on my own, so the first few rides I was with some friends. This year's 300 was the first time I slept out with no one in sight. It was more relaxing than I thought it may be.

    This thread needs some pics, so here are a few of my setups as they evolved over the past year.

    This was my maiden voyage, test run of the setup on Desert Classic. Note how the framebag doesn't fit, it was originally intended to go on my 26" Jamis, but I picked up the Voodoo while my bag was being shipped to me.
    From Bike Setup


    From the same setup, at the time I was using REI drybags for the front (with a sling inspired by Ray) & seat (worked OK, not great).
    From Bike Setup


    My current handlebar bag.
    From Bike Setup


    This was about as fully loaded as I've had the bike, from the Coco250. Bottles on each fork leg, max'd out seat bag, etc.
    From AES - Coco250


    My setup for this year's AZT300, a bit less up front.
    From AZT300: Redemption!! 2013


    Hope that helps.
    Ski. Ride. Hike. Be.
    My Two Schillingsworth

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer View Post
    I never said I sleep in my clothes Jeff...
    And I thought you were hard core...

    Quote Originally Posted by Maadjurguer View Post
    best moment for someone else to realize this was on my failed Coco250....I was at the stage one overnight, airing it all out on the rim overlooking Sedona.....you know....todger just flapping in the breeze, walking around snapping pics of the sundown.....when one if those tour choppers came flying over just above rim level.....At first I thought to run to grab some clothes, but then I figured, "awwww phucket"....
    At least you gave the touristas a "memorable" experience.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by metalaficionado View Post
    The system won't let me rep you again.
    I did it for you. Great info Maadjurger! Best part was waive to the tour helo.

    I might try a bike pack one day... Maybe...
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by freeskier46 View Post
    ...I guess the only other things I can chime in on would be to just get out there and do a ride. You don't have to wait until you have a 'perfect' setup. Mine was far from it the first couple of rides, but as you'll find out, each ride is a learning experience. Plus, the ride doesn't have to be 60+ miles. I took a friend out for her first bikepacking trip a couple months ago, she lives in Gold Canyon so we just rode to the other end of the network, camped out there & rode back to her place the next morning - 14 miles TOTAL. Now she's hooked. ..
    Very cool and make sense!

    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to freeskier46 again"
    Joe
    2003 KHS Alite 4000 26" Hardtail - XC, All mountain, blah blah blah.. I just ride.

  20. #20
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    For me, I can barely stand to be in a mummy bag, so a bivy is just not an option. I have a Big Agnes ultralight tent that I take back packing. Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2 Tent - Free Shipping at REI.com

    yes it adds a little weight and bulk, but not as much as you think. I'm not "racing" so I don't care how long it takes to set up, which is not that long. I sleep better and if there is any rain, I have a dry place for clothes and gear.

    Food and water are the most important. lots of great advice on these. If you're out with a group of experienced bike packers.....having extra Zia packs goes a very long way in bartering for use of their gear/skills.

    +1000 on Revelant packs. I over loaded my seat bag and it preformed flawlessly on a bike pack on Mt. Lemon (Green to AZT to Miligarosa)

    Oh, and for your first test ride, you might not want to do what I did and start with a full coast to coast run on National. While fun in a crazy way, it was not a ride for people that are not completely comfortable with suffering.
    b

  21. #21
    Ahhh the pain....
    Reputation: Raybum's Avatar
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    Brian brings up a great point...rain... I'd consider my setup to definitely be a dry weather one. Although my bivy is waterproof, it does have a face screen and there's no room for gear inside. I would have to add a lightweight tarp if rain was a possibility. If you're at all claustrophobic, a bivy probably isn't the best choice either.
    As you search for gear info, I think you have to keep in mind where people are riding and whether they are racing or not. Even here in AZ, the hardcore BP racers carry little more that what they would on a day ride except maybe an emergency bivy to jump in an catch a nap. At the other extreme are the recreational bikepackers that carry a few more of the luxury items like a small stove. Anyway, tons of stuff out there to read and learn.
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  22. #22
    Ahhh the pain....
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    good idea on the pics...here's mine.
    Backpacking logistics Questions and hopefully Answers-bp-setup.jpg
    Your limits are both physical and mental. Suffering will help you find and overcome both.
    http://onegear-ray.blogspot.com/

  23. #23
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    One more thing.
    Make sure your trail snacks are easy to access while riding or HABing.
    Taking off pack is a pain and you'll likely not snack as much or when needed.
    I learned the hard way.
    I have heard about 300 calories per hour is good.
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  24. #24
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    My Set Up

    Here is my setup.
    Front roll,-Sleeping Bag, Hennesy Hammock.
    Frame Pack- Tools, Water bladder, money/wallet, camera
    Handle Bar bags-Inhaler, snacks ,phone, lots of snacks
    Panniers- Stove, lite cook set, clothes
    Top of Rack- Sleeping pad,( you need one with a hammock as your back will get cold otherwise),

    I like comfort so I carry more weight than I should,(50+pounds)
    Backpacking logistics Questions and hopefully Answers-photo-14-.jpg

    Jerry

  25. #25
    Give it a crank
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    That's some great info in this thread. I just want to know why nobody seems to use a lightweight aluminum rear rack with panniers. Too old school, maybe? Seems like it would be ideal on a hardtail as long as you properly distribute the weight.

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