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Mountain Bike Camping gear list
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Jordan Hurder
(jordanhurder) - F

Locale: Southern California
Mountain Bike Camping gear list on 05/02/2006 18:03:18 MDT Print View

I need to cut weight here, but there are some unique circumstances:
1. I'm riding trails, not fire roads. Nimbleness on the trail and a full suspension bike are in the cards, not a bike loaded to the gills with panniers. Ergo, packability is more important than weight.
2. A tent is a necessity- bugs are nasty in So Cal in the summer. Also, I'd rather stuff a tent in a compression sack than take a UL tarp and have to bring trekking poles.
3. Any other suggestions are most appreciated (but please consider my rationales- although I hope people will contradict them, since I'm pretty open minded about this stuff).

Pack: Gregory Ekko. Just under 4 lbs, but auto-cant harness and exo-frame frame sheet are worth their weight (IMO), due to the body work that goes into controlling a bike on rough trails.

Rear rack: Moots tailgator. 150 grams!!! (lightest rack in the universe), and just large enough to hold a sleeping bag on top and a sleeping pad underneath. I was planning on using bungee cords to secure the items to the rack, but i feel like people around here cringe at the mention of bungee cords... spectra guy lines cut to length and tied around the rack? I'm curious.

Bag: probably a Big Agnes Lost Dog 50 (no hood = more compressible, plus it's decently light). Oh yeah, and I'm a strict vegan, so no down bags...

Pad: probably a Big Agnes non-insulated air core. Heavier than a Z-lite, but much more packable. Maybe even torso length... is that uncomfortable? Please advise.

Stove: snow peak giga power manual. Light, and I don't expect it to be too windy. MSR windpro if conditions demand it. How are those esbit stoves? I'm curious.

Cookware: Sea to Summit plastic spork, MSR Titan Kettle to boil water in. Mary Jane's organic dehydrated meals for dinner, sharkies and clif bars for lunch, museli for breakfast. anyone know of someone who makes dehydrated soy milk? man that would be sweet.

Tent: Montbell Hexagon. Lightweight, roomy enough for extra gear (bike gear like helmet, gloves, etc) and big enough to share with a bike (albeit uncomfortably) if i'm caught in a deluge. since the bike will stay outside at night, i decided i could use the floor space for gear storage and wouldn't need to sacrifice precious pack space for a tent that has a nice vestibule (but more fabric, like a Big Sky Evolution). I may lighten the tent with a custom Easton carbon pole or Ti stakes. Is it worth it?

misc things: black diamond spot LED lamp for camp use or in emergencies to light the trail. Dakine 3L reservoir (there goes the pack space), and an MSR waterworks filter. I'll probably carry the filter in a mini frame pack on my bike. Bike tools and spares go in a silnylon stuff sack, bike clothes go in another silnylon stuff sack.

So, what should I do to make the load lighter?

Edited by jordanhurder on 05/02/2006 18:06:05 MDT.

Donald Watson
( - F
lightening the load on 05/04/2006 20:34:04 MDT Print View

buy a B.O.B. Ibex trailer and you can bring everything that you want without having your seat rammed into your crotch with the addition of your pack weight. yeah it cuts down on your manueverablity, but if you're planning on riding like you're on a bmx course you don't want a sleeping bag bungeed on your rack or at about the time that you realize you made that impossible landing you will see your sleeping bag rolling merrily down the side of the mountain. if you really just want to cut weight, go with a bivy, don't bring a pad ( substitute a couple aspirin, personally i think that esbit stoves suck ( but alot of people really like them, so....)probably where you're going in callie you can't just pick up dry twigs and cook over a mini campfire, but that is the ultimate sucky, but ultimately lightest stove, just like the ultimately lightest that doesn't exist

Rod Lawlor
(Rod_Lawlor) - MLife

Locale: Australia
Pad Length on 05/04/2006 21:12:33 MDT Print View

I blew off the torso length pad for bike touring when I was a lot younger than I am now. I found that those overused (abused?)quads would act as a thumping big alarm clock every time I rolled over.

Go for the full length pad. You'll have a lot more energy and a lot more fun the next day.


Jim Colten
(jcolten) - M

Locale: MN
Re: lightening the load on 05/04/2006 21:32:28 MDT Print View

TarpTent Cloudburst 2 would be lighter than your tent and have room for gear too. I'm perfectly happy with one in peak bug season here in MN and WI.

Hard to imagine being nimble on a bike while wearing a pack, even an ultralight kit .... but I'm not a mtn biker so my imagination doesn't take me far in that area.

Edited by jcolten on 05/04/2006 21:32:59 MDT.

Casey Ryska
(cryska) - F
MTB Load on 05/05/2006 00:26:31 MDT Print View

I've been tinkering with a MTB packing list as well. For my load I was thinking of ditching the tent and using an ultralight bivy or sleeping bag cover (i.e. ti goat bivy, or montbell breeze-tec cover). If temperatures permit, I was also going to skip the sleeping bag and use my OR Zero belay jacket and my lightweight wool baselayers to sleep in. This adds versatility and also alows me to fit everything in my pack. For a sleeping pad I was going to take the mountaineering approach and cut and tape a ridgerest so that it folds like a z-rest and I can pack it next to my back for extra support. I was alos toying with the idea of using my MTB and a light tarp to create a lean-to, but the problem lies in figuring a way to stand up my MTB.

My goal is to get everything on my back and as light as possible. It's probably a pipe dream, but if I could get everything into my camelback hawg it would be ideal. I also have a full suspension and I don't want anything hanging off my rear so I don't have to worry when I get into the technical terrain (where the fun really begins).

Daniel Goldenberg
(DanG) - M
Re: MTB Load on 05/05/2006 07:51:51 MDT Print View

You might consider a Carradice bag to supplement a small backpack. Just google "carradice" for info. These are transverse saddlebags that mount underneath your saddle. They are ideal since they don't require a rack, and they place the load at a location that you hardly notice. These bags are available in different sizes up into the 20 liter range.


Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: A way to stand up my MTB on 05/05/2006 13:40:32 MDT Print View

Casey, Something I do when I have to: Jamb a stick in the front brake lever to keep it locked, double a 12 foot length of cord and hitch it around the seat post (2 half hitches on the bight), and stake out each side. The bike will stay upright and secure. Then you can use it for a tarp support. However, given the option, I would rather tie onto a tree or something. The bike will make ingress and egress difficult.

Check out the gear lists on this site. There are dozens of weight reducing combinations.
Getting rid of panniers is a good idea for trail riding. You'll just knock them off or shred them or your rear wheel. However, carrying a pack when trail riding (or any other bike riding) puts the COG really high and will definitely compromise your control and safety. Consider reducing your load to what will go in a large stuff sack, say, 9x16 or 18, to ride on a rear rack, then use a large handlebar bag for hardware, kitchen, etc. That will keep your load lower and out of the way.

Edited by vickrhines on 05/05/2006 14:30:28 MDT.

Vick Hines
(vickrhines) - F

Locale: Central Texas
Re: Mountain Bike Camping gear list on 05/05/2006 14:10:52 MDT Print View

See my previous post about hauling your gear. Let me add, even with the BA polyester bag, you should be able to pack in a BIG stuff sack and a handlebar bag.

I used Esbit exclusively on a 9 month bicycle trip -- and still use it when resupply is not an issue. A lightweight, compact Esbit burner/pot support can be as simple as a 1.25x10 strip of expanded aluminum gutter screen bent into a circle. Add a windscreen (oven liner) and a bit if of oven liner as a base - to keep the Exbit tabliet off the ground, and you have a sub 1 ounce stove. Esbit is more weight efficient than anything else and safer than any liquid fuel. A 1/2 ounce tablet will boil 2 cups of water reliably. Its fine if you are not doing any complicated cooking.

UL tarp and treking poles. You don't need poles - use the bike - see my previous post. A UL tarp will be much ligher and more compact, but you will need some practice (and some bug protection, probably). And BTW, you can protect the bike in a storm with a tarp - which you can't do with the tent.

Lightening the Montbell? I wouldn't bother, myself. It barely weighs 3 pounds. But I would save it for road trips where privacy can be an issue, and use a tarp in the backcountry. The tent's too big to fit in a single stuff sack with your other gear. On a road trip you can use regular panniers and have enough room for it.

I get dehydrated soy milk and dehydrated rice milk at a local health foods store. Check your local area.

Tools, etc, could go in an under-seat pouch to keep them separate from the other gear and handier.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Re: Pad Length on 02/24/2007 15:14:36 MST Print View

I am 6'5" and use a torso pad cut to come from my shoulders to jsut below my crotch. When I put my empty pack under my head and rain gear under my legs I find I am pretty comfortable. I have not noticed much difference with hiking.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Re: BOB on 02/24/2007 15:21:17 MST Print View

If you are on singletrack(like the question was) there is no reason to take a BOB: Climbing with a MTB and BOB is much more work and less fun than hiking uphill, Descending with a BOB sucks, you can't rail high speed turns, drop jumps etc. Why even bother? I would rather hike. This is where lightweight backpacking comes in to save the day. After all, if your carying a lightweigt set-up like any of the hikers on this site you can easily pack it on the bike. Also I think it is a little odd as a member of backpackingLIGHT to suggest bring a piece of equipment that weighs a ton and has no function other than carrying more gear.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Re: Mountain Bike Camping gear list on 02/24/2007 15:34:14 MST Print View

Hi I won't reply to many of the specifics gear ideas since other people allready have, plus they are the same as for hikers, read the rest of the website or the book. What I can help you with are tie downs: Use lightweight cam buckle straps, they are way lighter than bungy cords, much more secure and easy to use. I used a Topeak seatpost rack and had my sleepingbag and part of my food on it, and it survived several 2' drops (with a 140mm travel suspension bike).
I needed to keep the rack bag long and low so that I could get of the back off the saddle for steep descents. I added a small bag that velcroed on to the stem and handle bar (REI $15) to hold windbreaker, tools, lunch bars and map. The best thing I did was tie my hydration bladder to my handlebar. This setup has several benefits: 1: not to much needed to go into my backpack, so it is smaller and lighter, a heavy, tall backpack throws your balance of and presses you uncomfortably onto the saddle. 2 the weight in the front counterbalances that in the back, to keep the bike from wheelying out. The weight fixed to the bike(front and back) helps with traction.
We used the giant (16", foam covered) twisty ties from menards or so to tie the hydration packs to the handle bars, but are experimenting with other solutions.

Also, depending on your frame design, you might be able to use an in-frame bag, which ads storage space and keeps the Center Of Gravity low. Beware though that very small bike accessory bags are often quite heavy, you end up adding a lot more weight for very little storage space.
Make sure to get a comfortable saddle with a groove or cutout in the center, because more weight is resting on it.
Have fun!

Edited by Tjaard on 02/24/2007 15:39:57 MST.

larry savage
(pyeyo) - F

Locale: pacific northwest
mountain bike list on 02/25/2007 14:04:05 MST Print View

I've used the moots rack for 2 years with good results. I've decided that front racks on technical trails really suck or maybe it's just my skill level.
I found an old Scott bar that's a wrap around aero bar with a center bridge,the complete oval shape that lets me bungee to the extended part.
I'm also trying an adventure race type pack in the mix even though pack wearing and mtn biking is not a good mix the extra stability/adjustability seems to work well.
The bar was called the at4 pro by scott.

Eric Parsons
(EricP) - F

Locale: Alaska
The pack on 02/27/2007 18:31:05 MST Print View

I know your reasoning but I would find a different pack, 4 lbs is way too much of a pack for biking.

Even if riding trails, my experience is that I get sick of having the weight on my shoulders and will gladly make my bike heavier for less of a load on my sit bones and shoulders.

Ever use a frame bag?
If you sew you can make one the full length of the top tube and still have access to your water bottles, if you're not using water bottles you can make or buy one (wildfire designs) for the full triangle size. They keep the load nice and centered so it dosent jack up the bike handling at all.

Also you can sew on some straps to your sleeping bag stuff sack and clip it under your handlebars.

Check out for old posts of racers setups for the great divide race (GDR), they have it dialed ultralight.

Trailers suck... IMO

reread your post... full suspension whoops.. yes this is a unique situation..

Edited by EricP on 02/27/2007 18:36:03 MST.