Bikepacking Checklist and Essentials – Everything You Need

bikepacking gear list

For many people, bikepacking is a new word. Bike-what? Bike-Packing! Bikepacking is the act of biking while backpacking – carrying all you need for your overnight stay on your mountain bike or in some cases, just the basics like water and snacks.

Bikepackers are often self-sufficient, so they don’t rely on services at campgrounds to get by. This bikepacking gear list will help you decide what to bring on your next mountain bike adventure!

Bikepacking Packs

Instead of carrying things on your back like in backpacking or hiking, you don’t want to have a lot of weight on your back when biking. So if possible, you should not wear a backpack. The most important thing is that the majority of the weight should be placed as low as possible onto your bike frame for better stability and riding comfort.

  • Seat Pack
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BV Bicycle Strap-On Bike Saddle Bag/Seat...
BV Bicycle Strap-On Bike Saddle Bag/Seat...
For a safety ride - 3M Scotchlite reflective trim & Taillight hanger; Perfect size for all your essential items with Mesh pocket and key clip
$15.99
  • Frame Pack
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  • Water Bottle Cage
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Helmet

Your head is the most impact-prone part of your body. So, it’s important to protect yourself with a helmet when you ride your bike even though it may cause some neck soreness when riding for long distances.

A good modern bike helmet consists of a lightweight outer shell and protective liner made from polystyrene foam that absorbs impacts.

With more coverage, mountain bike helmets come with more features. They are highly ventilated and can offer face protection, and also have visors to help protect your eyes from the sun when riding high in the mountains.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Giro Fixture MIPS Bike Helmet - Matte Black,One...
Giro Fixture MIPS Bike Helmet - Matte Black,One...
MARKET-LEADING PROTECTION: Engineered in Giro’s category-leading helmet test lab.; VENTILATION: 18 Wind Tunnel vents with internal channeling.
$69.95 −$25.45 $44.50
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Giro Verce MIPS Women's Mountain Cycling Helmet -...
Giro Verce MIPS Women's Mountain Cycling Helmet -...
MARKET-LEADING PROTECTION: Engineered in Giro’s category-leading helmet test lab; COMFORT: Easily adjust position and tension with the Roc Loc Sport MIPS Fit System
$70.00 −$20.00 $50.00
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Lights

When you’re out riding and want to set up camp for the night, using a high-output bike light that is mounted on handlebars is essential. The brightness of these lights can easily complement any headlamp. So when it’s time to find some wood for the fire, see if there are any food sources nearby such as berries, or crawl under rocks looking through crevices in search of insects like ants.

  • Bike Light
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NiteRider Lumina 1200 Boost USB Rechargeable Bike...
NiteRider Lumina 1200 Boost USB Rechargeable Bike...
Important: the Lumina 1200 boost is set to lock mode at the Factory. Unlock before use.; All new collimator lens, Distributes a generous even widespread beam pattern
$124.99 −$56.00 $68.99
  • Headlamp
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GPS Tracker

Dedicated bikepackers often use stem-mounted GPS systems called cycling computers to navigate and track their distance and location. Athletes and most people, however, prefer using a smartwatch that can also monitor heart rate and other physical data points as well as tell you where exactly you are located at any given moment.

  • Wristwatch
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Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch...
Garmin 010-02064-00 Instinct, Rugged Outdoor Watch...
Rugged GPS watch built to withstand the toughest environments
$249.99 −$76.99 $173.00
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  • Cycling Computer
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Sleeping Gear

bikepacking essentials

One of the most important things to consider when planning for a bikepacking trip is what kind of shelter you want. Many options are available, including tents, tarps, and bivies or hammocks if that’s your preferred style. You may even be fortunate enough to find an established tent site with two trees at just the right distance apart!

And instead of an air mattress, buy a quality down sleeping bag or quilt. These are lighter and more compact than foam pads that require bulky space in the pack. Foam pads, on the other hand, can be used for desert touring where it is hot during day time but cold at night when you’re resting up to begin your next cycling leg due to its insulating properties.

  • Tent
SaleBestseller No. 1
Wenzel Klondike 8 Person Water Resistant Tent with...
Wenzel Klondike 8 Person Water Resistant Tent with...
Convertible screen room with inverted "T" style door and inside flap zippered windows; Removable seam-sealed fly provides versatility
$209.95 −$29.96 $179.99
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Coleman Camping Tent with Screen Room | 8 Person...
Coleman Camping Tent with Screen Room | 8 Person...
Conventional Pitch: Sets Up in 15 Minutes; Roomy interior: 15 x 12 ft. With 6 ft. Center height; fits 2 queen-size air beds
$289.99 −$180.00 $109.99
  • Hammock
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  • Bivy
  • Tarp
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Amazon Basics Waterproof Camping Tarp - 8 ft X 10...
Amazon Basics Waterproof Camping Tarp - 8 ft X 10...
Multi-purpose outdoor tarp is great for covering items or placement under a camping tent; Reinforced corners and edges for long-lasting strength
$23.79
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  • Sleeping Bag
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  • Sleeping Pad
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Coleman Self-Inflating Camping Pad with Pillow ,...
Coleman Self-Inflating Camping Pad with Pillow ,...
Inflatable sleeping pad provides extra cushioning on camping trips; Self-inflating design; free-flow valve inflates the pad with no air pump required
$59.99 −$30.02 $29.97
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Clothing

Wearing the right clothes is important when riding a bike. It will be necessary to have biking gloves, shorts, jerseys, socks, mountain bike shoes, and rain protective gear for camping after you’re done biking with your friends.

  • Athletic Wicking Jersey
SaleBestseller No. 1
Augusta Sportswear Girls Sleeveless Wicking Attain...
Augusta Sportswear Girls Sleeveless Wicking Attain...
Wicks moisture; Tear away label; V-neck collar
$17.18 −$7.85 $9.33
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Majestic Athletic Wicking Youth Large Seattle...
Majestic Athletic Wicking Youth Large Seattle...
Cool and Comfortable Top for Fans to Support their Favorite Team; Short Sleeve Crewneck Jersey T-Shirt Available in Youth S, L, XL and Adult M, L, 3X
$22.45 −$6.55 $15.90
Bestseller No. 3
Majestic Athletic San Diego Padres Adult Cool Base...
Majestic Athletic San Diego Padres Adult Cool Base...
Majestic Athletic San Diego Padres Adult 2X (Yellow); Officially Licensed Wicking Cool-Base Replica Jersey.
$39.95
  • Padded Shorts
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  • Cycling Tights
Bestseller No. 3
Baleaf Men's Thermal Cycling Tights Size M,Black
Baleaf Men's Thermal Cycling Tights Size M,Black
Thermal fabric with fleece lined is engineered to trap and retain body heat; Sidelock ankle zippers ensure easy on-and-off with excellent durability
$34.98
  • Sports Bra
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PUMA Women Sports Bra, 3-Pack (Black/White/Grey,...
PUMA Women Sports Bra, 3-Pack (Black/White/Grey,...
Removable Cups; Moisture Wicking; Racerback; Medium Impact; 90% Nylon | 10% Spandex
$35.55 −$6.55 $29.00
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Hanes Sport Women's Compression Racerback Sports...
Hanes Sport Women's Compression Racerback Sports...
Cool comfort technology rapidly wicks away moisture to keep you cool; Wire free compression styling
$28.00 −$20.10 $7.90
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PUMA Women's Seamless Sports Bra, Black/Grey,...
PUMA Women's Seamless Sports Bra, Black/Grey,...
Removable cups; Adjustable straps; Knit-in logo; Body-mapping for contoured fit; Cut-out designs
$28.00 −$14.34 $13.66
  • Socks
Bestseller No. 2
Smartwool SW001722018L Cycle Zero Cushion Print...
Smartwool SW001722018L Cycle Zero Cushion Print...
Indestructawool technology for enhanced durability; 4 Degree elite fit system for a dialed-in, performance-oriented fit
$21.90
  • Mountain Bike Shoes
Bestseller No. 1
Five Ten Freerider Mountain Bike Shoes Men's, Red,...
Five Ten Freerider Mountain Bike Shoes Men's, Red,...
Classic do-it-all flat pedal mountain bike shoes; DOTTY TREAD: Classic Dotty tread for superior pedal traction.
$77.55
Bestseller No. 2
Five Ten Sleuth DLX Mountain Bike Shoes Men's,...
Five Ten Sleuth DLX Mountain Bike Shoes Men's,...
Everyday comfort and pedal-gripping control; Non-marking rubber: Stealth Phantom offers unbeatable grip and non-marking utility
$64.88
Bestseller No. 3
Five Ten Trailcross LT Mountain Bike Shoes Men's,...
Five Ten Trailcross LT Mountain Bike Shoes Men's,...
Breathable mesh upper; Imported; Lace closure
$93.87
  • Bike Gloves
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Giro DND Mens Mountain Cycling Gloves - Black...
Giro DND Mens Mountain Cycling Gloves - Black...
PROTECTION: 2mm EVA crash pads.
$24.95 −$6.25 $18.70
  • Rain Jacket
SaleBestseller No. 1
Columbia Men's Watertight II Front-Zip Hooded Rain...
Columbia Men's Watertight II Front-Zip Hooded Rain...
Omni-tech waterproof/breathable fully seam sealed; Attached, adjustable storm hood; Drawcord adjustable hem
$90.00 −$40.00 $50.00
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Columbia Men's Glennaker Lake Rain Jacket,...
Columbia Men's Glennaker Lake Rain Jacket,...
Omni-shield advanced repellency; Stow-away hood; Zip-closed pockets; Drawcord adjustable hem
$60.00 −$12.92 $47.08
  • Rain Pants
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FROGG TOGGS Men's Signature Bull Frogg Waterproof...
FROGG TOGGS Men's Signature Bull Frogg Waterproof...
Made with Frogg Toggs breathable, waterproof, wind-resistant, and lightweight material; Zippered leg openings allow pants to slide on and off easily over rain boots or shoes
$34.99 −$13.99 $21.00
  • Warm Hat
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Carhartt Men's Knit Cuffed Beanie, Dark...
Carhartt Men's Knit Cuffed Beanie, Dark...
Carhartt label sewn on front; Prev. Name: Acrylic Watch Hat
$19.99
SaleBestseller No. 3
  • Travel Towel
  • Sunglasses
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Cooking and Nutrition

Always be prepared and pack food and snacks for your hike. Also, you won’t want to forget your stove, fuel, lighter, and spork. You’ll need a mug for hot drinks too! What you bring along will depend on how long of a trip it is, but here are some recommendations to get you started.

  • Portable Stove
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Jetboil MiniMo Camping and Backpacking Stove...
Jetboil MiniMo Camping and Backpacking Stove...
Measures 5.0 inches W, 5.5 inches H (12.7 cm x 14 cm); weighs 14.6 oz (415 g).
$154.95
  • Fuel
Bestseller No. 2
GasOne Camping Fuel Blend Isobutane Fuel Canister...
GasOne Camping Fuel Blend Isobutane Fuel Canister...
4 Pack - Comes 4 pc of Gas One's Isobutane fuel
$29.99
SaleBestseller No. 3
12 Butane Fuel GasOne Canisters for Portable...
12 Butane Fuel GasOne Canisters for Portable...
12 Butane Fuel Canisters; New & Sealed; Cartridges Automatically Reseal when Removed from Stove
$34.33 −$2.38 $31.95
  • Lighter
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Waterproof Lighter Outdoor Windproof Lighter Dual...
Waterproof Lighter Outdoor Windproof Lighter Dual...
Warning: Do not use it with metal products.
$15.39
  • Spork
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Ka-Bar Tactical Spork (Spoon Fork Knife) Tool 9909...
Ka-Bar Tactical Spork (Spoon Fork Knife) Tool 9909...
Overall length: 6.875-inch folding spork is made in USA, Extremely light weight.
$12.89 −$5.90 $6.99
  • Mug
Bestseller No. 3
Sea to Summit X-Series Collapsible Silicone...
Sea to Summit X-Series Collapsible Silicone...
Pocket-sized, super lightweight collapsible cup packs that flat for storage or transport; Rigid Nylon rim holds its shape and provides a comfortable grip for handling hot liquids
$13.95
  • Nutrition Bars
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ZonePerfect Protein Bars, 19 vitamins & minerals,...
ZonePerfect Protein Bars, 19 vitamins & minerals,...
MANAGE HUNGER: 14g protein to help manage hunger; MADE FOR TASTE: Delicious flavor and nutrition you need to make the most of your day
$20.97 −$0.99 $19.98
  • Bowl
Bestseller No. 3
GSI Outdoors 6' Mixing Bowl, Green
GSI Outdoors 6" Mixing Bowl, Green
Great for camping or cabin; Includes 6" bowl; Appropriate for indoor or outdoor use
$4.95
  • Camping Food
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Mountain House Breakfast Skillet | Freeze Dried...
Mountain House Breakfast Skillet | Freeze Dried...
RECYCLABLE - Recycled used packaging with TerraCycle to reduce waste
$9.97
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Peak Refuel Chicken Pesto Pasta | Freeze Dried...
Peak Refuel Chicken Pesto Pasta | Freeze Dried...
Made in USA - Our products are both freeze dried and packaged in the USA.
$13.99
  • Can Opener
Bestseller No. 1
Coghlan's G.I. Can Opener, Pair
Coghlan's G.I. Can Opener, Pair
Lightweight, versatile tool for camping, backpacking, backcountry trekking, and more; Made of nickel-plated, hardened steel that won't rust; will stay sharp for years
$3.49
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Water

This is not an option. You have to carry H2O with you when hiking, even though it’s inconvenient because at the end of the day, your pack will be much heavier than before, and drinking lots of fluid can lead to needing more pit stops along the way.

If you are planning to hike in a remote location, make sure that before your trip starts you have packed the necessary water filtration system.

  • Water Bottle
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  • Water Filtration System
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Safety, Hygiene, and Toiletries

bikepacking checklist

When packing for the trip, remember that you can only bring as many hygiene and toiletry items. You shouldn’t pack more than what is needed to reduce how heavy your bag will be at the end of every day.

  • First-Aid Supplies
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Coleman All Purpose Mini First Aid Kit - 27 Pieces
Coleman All Purpose Mini First Aid Kit - 27 Pieces
Embossed logo allows for quick identification of this travel first aid kit
$8.38
  • Shampoo
SaleBestseller No. 1
Rinse Free Body Wash & Shampoo | Hospital Grade...
Rinse Free Body Wash & Shampoo | Hospital Grade...
You will receive 3 Large 8.5 Fl. Oz. Bottles.
$34.95 −$10.00 $24.95
Bestseller No. 2
Foaming Rinse Free Shampoo & Body Wash; Case of 6...
Foaming Rinse Free Shampoo & Body Wash; Case of 6...
Easy to use and requires no water.; Excellent for all types of hair and skin.; Gentle, no-rinse formula is pH balanced and alcohol free
$24.95
Bestseller No. 3
Medline Remedy Phytoplex Hydrating Cleansing Foam,...
Medline Remedy Phytoplex Hydrating Cleansing Foam,...
Gentle application - Convenient pump bottle easily dispenses gentle foam cleanser
$8.99
  • Toothbrush, Toothpaste Kit
SaleBestseller No. 1
Colgate Max Fresh Wisp Disposable Mini Travel...
Colgate Max Fresh Wisp Disposable Mini Travel...
Brush Your Teeth on the Go, Anytime, Anywhere; Mini Prepasted Toothbrush, No Rinsing Necessary
$31.96 −$16.68 $15.28
Bestseller No. 3
Colgate Max Fresh Wisp Disposable Mini Toothbrush,...
Colgate Max Fresh Wisp Disposable Mini Toothbrush,...
Just brushed clean anytime anywhere; Clean and Freshens on the go; Single use travel toothbrush
$15.16
  • Face Surgical Masks
Bestseller No. 1
Disposable Face Mask, 100 PCS Black Masks, 3 Ply...
Disposable Face Mask, 100 PCS Black Masks, 3 Ply...
Masks made of 3 layers of high-quality non-woven fabric which is more breathable; Our disposable face masks are suitable for adults and teenagers
$9.99
SaleBestseller No. 3
MAVINA Surgical Face Mask 3-ply EcoGuard B with...
MAVINA Surgical Face Mask 3-ply EcoGuard B with...
Model Number: EC001
$21.99 −$3.00 $18.99
  • Hand Sanitizer and Antibacterial Wipes
SaleBestseller No. 1
Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes, Clean Refreshing...
Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes, Clean Refreshing...
Case includes: 6 - 20 count PURELL Hand Sanitizing Wipes
$16.99 −$1.51 $15.48
Bestseller No. 2
Cleanze Antibacterial Hand Sanitizing Hand Wipes |...
Cleanze Antibacterial Hand Sanitizing Hand Wipes |...
FDA Registered OTC Product: NDC #77720-007-01
$5.99
Bestseller No. 3
Alta + Antibacterial Hand Wipes 90 Wipes (3)
Alta + Antibacterial Hand Wipes 90 Wipes (3)
Without harsh chemicals and Alcohol Free formula, does not dry hands; Resealable Package, Large Single wet Towels, 5.5 x 6.5 inches
$12.99
  • Insect Repellent
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OFF! Deep Woods Insect Repellent Aerosol, Dry,...
OFF! Deep Woods Insect Repellent Aerosol, Dry,...
DEET mosquito repellent formulated with 25% DEET; Repels mosquitoes that may carry the Zika, Dengue, or West Nile viruses
$12.99
  • Common or Prescription Medications
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First Aid Only 298 Piece All-Purpose First Aid...
First Aid Only 298 Piece All-Purpose First Aid...
First Aid Ideal For: home, travel, and on the go use
$20.57 −$2.07 $18.50
  • Sunscreen
Bestseller No. 1
Banana Boat Sunscreen Sport Performance Broad...
Banana Boat Sunscreen Sport Performance Broad...
4 - 1 Ounce tubes; Sport performance sunscreen lotion; Water resistant; SPF 30; Broad UVA/UVB protection
$6.85
Bestseller No. 2
Banana Boat Sport Ultra Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum...
Banana Boat Sport Ultra Sunscreen, Broad Spectrum...
TSA FRIENDLY - clinically proven broad spectrum protection protects you from UVA/UVB rays.
$11.13
Bestseller No. 3
Coppertone SPORT Sunscreen SPF 50 Lotion, Water...
Coppertone SPORT Sunscreen SPF 50 Lotion, Water...
One lotion bottle, use and reapply as directed; One (1) 3 fluid ounce bottle of Coppertone Sport Sunscreen Lotion SPF 50
$4.99
  • Toilet paper
Bestseller No. 1
Coghlan's Packable Camp Toilet Tissue, 2-Rolls
Coghlan's Packable Camp Toilet Tissue, 2-Rolls
Coreless rolls take up less space in your pack; 140 single-ply sheets per roll
$5.98
SaleBestseller No. 2

Bike Repair Kit

Bikepackers should bring some basic bike maintenance tools like a tire-repair kit. Add to that list chain lube/pins/links along with spare cables for your bike in case anything breaks during extended trips. You could even carry a lightweight lock when stopping into towns to resupply yourself.

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Frequently Asked Questions

bike packing equipment

What Type of Bike Do You Use for Bikepacking?

If you plan to bikepack, adventure-ready gravel mountain bikes like hardtail (front suspension fork), full suspension, and fat-tired mountain bikes are our main recommendations.

How Much Weight Should I Take Bikepacking?

You should pack your bag depending on the length of time you will be traveling, weather conditions, and how much weight your bike can handle. Generally speaking, aim for under 20 lbs without the weight of the bicycle itself.

What Is the Difference Between Bikepacking and Bike Touring?

When it comes to long-distance traveling via roads, people usually refer to “bike touring”. This is when you go from one destination and return home without going off-road through trails or other difficult terrains. In contrast, the term for adventuring on mostly non-paved surfaces is “bikepacking”.

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Price last updated on 2022-10-02. Links & images are from Amazon Product Advertising API. Our editors independently research, test and recommend the best products and services. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article at no additional cost to you.

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