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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  • 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.

Bestseller 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
Bestseller No. 2
Troy Lee Designs Stage MIPS Stealth Full-Face...
Troy Lee Designs Stage MIPS Stealth Full-Face...
LIGHT FULL FACE helmet. MIPS, EPP (slow speed), EPS (high speed) coverage. 690 grams; X-Static helmet liner that is moisture-wicking, quick-drying
$299.00

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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  • Headlamp
SaleBestseller No. 2
Black Diamond Equipment - Storm 400 Headlamp -...
Black Diamond Equipment - Storm 400 Headlamp -...
Emits up to 400 lumens on max setting; PowerTap Technology allows instant transitioning between full and dimmed power
$47.44 −$9.98 $37.46
SaleBestseller No. 3

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 −$63.99 $186.00
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SUUNTO 7 GPS Sports Smart Watch, Black
SUUNTO 7 GPS Sports Smart Watch, Black
$399.00 −$69.01 $329.99
  • Cycling Computer
Bestseller No. 1
Garmin Edge 530, Performance GPS Cycling/Bike...
Garmin Edge 530, Performance GPS Cycling/Bike...
Customize with free apps, widgets and data fields from the Connect IQ Store
$289.99

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
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  • Hammock
  • Bivy
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  • Tarp
Bestseller No. 1
Amazon Basics Waterproof Camping Tarp - 7.5 x 9.5...
Amazon Basics Waterproof Camping Tarp - 7.5 x 9.5...
Multi-purpose outdoor tarp is great for covering items or placement under a camping tent; Rugged rust-resistant grommets along the outer edge for securely tying down the tarp
$18.22
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
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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
Bestseller No. 1
Columbia/Graphite/White Girl's Youth Large 3-Color...
Columbia/Graphite/White Girl's Youth Large 3-Color...
Augusta Ladies & Girl's Mystic 3-Color V-Neck Jersey Athletic Sports Shirt.; 92% Poly/8% Spandex, Wicks Moisture away from body.
$15.95
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Augusta Sportswear Augusta Wicking Mesh Button...
Augusta Sportswear Augusta Wicking Mesh Button...
Wicks moisture; Full button jersey
$35.80 −$9.09 $26.71
Bestseller No. 3
LeeHanTon Men's Henley T-Shirt Soft Performance...
LeeHanTon Men's Henley T-Shirt Soft Performance...
Henley Shirt Fabric:100% Polyester; Machine wash or hand wash,do not bleached.
$20.99
  • Padded Shorts
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  • Cycling Tights
Bestseller No. 1
Fox Racing Men's Enduro PRO Mountain Biking Tight,...
Fox Racing Men's Enduro PRO Mountain Biking Tight,...
Reinforced skid plate in the knee reduces friction with the ground in a sliding fall; CE certified D3O insert for world leading impact protection
$149.95
Bestseller No. 2
GORE WEAR Men's Thermo Cycling Bib Tights with...
GORE WEAR Men's Thermo Cycling Bib Tights with...
Warm men's bib tights for cyclists, Ideal for cold weather conditions; Form Fit for a close fit and excellent mobility, Cycling-specific cut
$170.00
  • Sports Bra
  • Socks
Bestseller No. 2
DeFeet Aireator 3' Townee Socks, Grey, Large
DeFeet Aireator 3" Townee Socks, Grey, Large
Eco- Made Coolmax; Shrink Resistant; Moisture Wicking
$13.99
  • Mountain Bike Shoes
Bestseller No. 1
Five Ten Freerider Black/Grey Five/Red 10 D (M)
Five Ten Freerider Black/Grey Five/Red 10 D (M)
Regular fit, Lace closure; Leather upper, Medium-flex midsole; Benefit: Stealth, Flats; Material: Textile/Leather, Weight: 15.0 oz (425 gm)
$84.88
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Five Ten Freerider Pro Mountain Bike Shoe - Men's...
Five Ten Freerider Pro Mountain Bike Shoe - Men's...
Regular fit, Lace closure; Fast-drying synthetic upper, Textile lining; Stealth S1 rubber outsole for unbeatable grip
$150.00 −$51.12 $98.88
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Five Ten Sleuth Mountain Bike Shoes Men's, Black,...
Five Ten Sleuth Mountain Bike Shoes Men's, Black,...
EVA midsole; Imported; Lace closure
$80.00 −$16.17 $63.83
  • Rain Jacket
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Columbia Men's Watertight II Jacket, BLACK, Large
Columbia Men's Watertight II Jacket, BLACK, Large
Omni-tech waterproof/breathable fully seam sealed; Attached, adjustable storm hood; Drawcord adjustable hem
$90.00 −$30.01 $59.99
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  • Rain Pants
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  • Warm Hat
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  • Travel Towel
Bestseller No. 1
Microfiber 2-Pack Fast Drying Towels (60' x30'')...
Microfiber 2-Pack Fast Drying Towels (60" x30'')...
Super Absorbent: This Ultra-Soft towel can hold up to 5 times water of it's weight.
$12.97
  • 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
SaleBestseller No. 3
  • Fuel
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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
Bestseller No. 3
GasOne Camping Fuel Blend Isobutane Fuel Canister...
GasOne Camping Fuel Blend Isobutane Fuel Canister...
2 Pack - Comes 2 pc of Gas One's Isobutane fuel
$22.99
  • Lighter
Bestseller No. 1
Waterproof Lighter Outdoor Windproof Lighter Dual...
Waterproof Lighter Outdoor Windproof Lighter Dual...
Warning: Do not use it with metal products.
$15.39
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Torch Lighter, Refillable Mini Butane Lighter with...
Torch Lighter, Refillable Mini Butane Lighter with...
🔥Refillable Torch Lighter with Safety Lock, Safe to Use Anytime.; 🔥Waterproof Design Butane Lighter, Perfect for Outdoors.
$10.89 −$0.90 $9.99
  • Nutrition Bars
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LUNA BAR - Gluten Free Snack Bars - Variety Pack -...
LUNA BAR - Gluten Free Snack Bars - Variety Pack -...
MORE OF THE STUFF YOU WANT: 8g protein and a low-glycemic index.; DELICIOUS FLAVORS AND VARIETY: LUNA Bars come in a variety of craveable flavors.
$17.97
  • Camping Food
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  • Dishwashing Soap
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Sierra Dawn Campsuds Biodegradable Soap with...
Sierra Dawn Campsuds Biodegradable Soap with...
All the cleaning power of Original Campsuds. Smells great too!
$9.99 −$1.02 $8.97

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 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
  • 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
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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 −$14.88 $17.08
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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
$16.90 −$6.90 $10.00
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Crest Scope | Mini Brushes-Disposable Toothbrushes...
Crest Scope | Mini Brushes-Disposable Toothbrushes...
No water necessary; Travel-sized; 6 Sets of 2; Not to be used with toothpaste
$19.95 −$4.96 $14.99
  • 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
$14.99
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  • Hand Sanitizer and Antibacterial Wipes
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Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes, Clean Refreshing...
Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes, Clean Refreshing...
Case includes: 6 - 20 count PURELL Hand Sanitizing Wipes
$16.99
Bestseller No. 2
Cleanze Antibacterial Hand Sanitizing Wipes | 100...
Cleanze Antibacterial Hand Sanitizing Wipes | 100...
FDA Registered OTC Product: NDC #77720-003-08
$4.99
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Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes, Fresh Scent, 20...
Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes, Fresh Scent, 20...
Antibacterial Skin Formula; Kills 99.99% of germs; Hypoallergenic and enriched with skin-conditioning aloe
$22.99 −$3.29 $19.70
  • Insect Repellent
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  • Common or Prescription Medications
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Welly Remedies - Children's Medicine Travel Kit,...
Welly Remedies - Children's Medicine Travel Kit,...
Individually wrapped remedies to tackle your common travel symptoms one-by-one.; Kid friendly chewable remedies.
$20.49
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  • Sunscreen
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Banana Boat Sport Ultra, Reef Friendly, Broad...
Banana Boat Sport Ultra, Reef Friendly, Broad...
CLINICALLY PROVEN - broad spectrum protection protects you from UVA/UVB rays.; LIGHTWEIGHT, OIL-FREE FORMULA - non-greasy feel won't weigh you down.
$13.98 −$8.00 $5.98
Bestseller No. 2
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
$8.95
SaleBestseller No. 3
Sun Bum Premium Day Tripper | Travel-Sized Sun...
Sun Bum Premium Day Tripper | Travel-Sized Sun...
Fabric type: 100% Synthetic; Skin type: Normal
$24.99 −$5.00 $19.99
  • Toilet paper
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Bestseller No. 3
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
$5.99

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 2022-05-26. 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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