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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Bikepacking - what to pack, how to pack it?

One of the reasons for choosing the Fargo frame was that it has plenty of room for bags. It's a 20" frame so it can take a large frame bag, and there is plenty of room behind the saddle for a large seat bag. Not quite so roomy at the front with drop bars, but I've got the widest woodchippers available, so it is what it is. Both fork legs have triple bosses for Anything cages.

I'm assuming the need to carry gear for 4 seasons, water for a day and perhaps an overnight camp, and food for up to 3 or 4 days.

Three Anything cages will be used, one on each fork leg and one under the downtube. The fork leg cages will be fitted with Anything bags and will be my complete kitchen and larder. I'm hoping that a Jetboil or MSR Windburner will fit in one bag, if not I'll find a tall pot and use my Kovea Spider. The other will carry food. The third Anything cage under the downtube will carry a Tarptent Protrail.

Handlebar bag will carry sleeping bag in a compression stuff sack, rain jacket and rain legs, gilet, arm and leg warmers and gloves. Attached will be a pocket which will contain snack food, personal stuff, toiletries, medications, back up battery etc. A couple of cockpit bags will hold camera, phone, charger and cables.

Seatbag will hold one set of street clothes and one set of camp clothes (merino thermals), an ultralight down jacket and two spare sets of cycling clothes.

I'll use a two compartment frame bag. The top compartment will hold a 4 litre water bladder and Sawyer mini filter. The lower compartment will contain tools and spares, sleeping mat, camp shoes and any overflow items.

For bags, I've been looking at Porcelain Rocket, Revelate, and Bedrock. I've concluded that I prefer the more streamlined sweetroll type bag to the harness/drybag arrangement. Porcelain Rocket are very nice bags but very expensive, so I've all but ruled them out on price. Revelate bags are most affordable, and I could be happy with them, but I think the Bedrock handlebar bar has much neater and more compact closures than the Revelate, and will make the best use of the limited space within the woodchippers. And the new version of the Coconino seat bag has the built-in Railwing stabiliser which should be a worthwhile feature.

So current thinking is, Bedrock two-compartment frame bag, Coconino seat bag, Entrada handlebat bag with pocket, Revelate Sprocket, Gas Tank and Jerrycan, Salsa Anything bags.


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