At the most basic, to go bikepacking you need three things: Shelter, Sustenance and Bags. Shelter is essentially a way or place to sleep typically consisting of your clothes, tent, sleeping bag and pad. Sustenance is everything you need to stay fueled while you are out. This includes all your food and water. I would also lump a stove in there if you plan to cook and a water filter for refilling safely when in the backcountry. And lastly, you will need a way to strap all of that good stuff to your bike, aka, the bags.
To set you up for success and to consider the DIY side as well as less cost prohibitive methods, I will break down each item I feel is a necessity into categories: Run what ya brung and Gear up. The first is a way you could possibly start bikepacking tomorrow with stuff you probably already have or at minimum cost. And the second is what I would recommend for a starting kit if you were to buy what you need.
Let’s start with your sleeping situation.
Now we're on to your tent.
And what clothes should I bring?
Unfortunately, you gotta eat something and you’re gonna have to carry it.
And finally, how the hell am I going to carry all this stuff?
Written by lukas brinkerhoff
Lukas, AKA Moose Knuckler, has been cycling for years. He spends his weekends cycling, running, and camping. He currently rides around on a Santa Cruz Chameleon and you can usually find him eating Peanut Butter Pro Bars.