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Plains/desert in the fall/winter bikepacking list
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Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Plains/desert in the fall/winter bikepacking list on 01/06/2013 13:25:30 MST Print View

Here is my set-up from a 4 day trip in western North Dakota in mid October.

Expected conditions:
High 55-80, record 90, low 35-50, record 25. Rain on 25% of the days.
Only 11 hrs of daylight.
High winds likely, very exposed. Dust storms possible.
Rain or snow possible, but not very common.
If it rains you can’t move on the trail, so you will either have to wait it out or bail on a gravel road.
Due to daylight and physical conditioning there would be a lot of time in camp.
Lot’s of thorns.

Bike and pack fully loaded (including food)

2012 Specialized stumpjumper FSR 29, size XL.
Commandpost blacklite adjustable height seatpost
Carnegie high sweep bar
Rocket Ron 2.2 front tire, Fasttrack Control rear tire. Both tubeless.
Arch EX rear rim, Control trail carbon front rim.
Revelation 140 mm-110 mm travel adjust fork
22-33-bash crankset
11-36 rear cassette
Elixer 9 brakes, 160 mm rear rotor, 200 mm front.
Crankbrothers Mallet 3 pedals
Bike weight 13.85kg / 30.5 lbs

This was a trip with my wife, so all group gear was shared, so the weight of the group gear is halved in the packing weight column.

Clothing worn most time:
I/O Merino Hoody XL baselayer shirt 228g/8oz
Specialized Adaptalite MTN glasses 32g/1.1oz
Specialized Ridge gloves 46g/1.6oz
Specialized Rime shoes 45 996g/35.1oz
Specialized Roubaix bibs L 218g/7.7oz
SWool Adrenaline socks 42g/1.5oz
Gira Xar helmet M 316g/11.1oz
Weight worn 1878g / 66oz

Wind shells for cool or windy weather:
MontBell Dynamo wind pants 82g/2.9oz
Stoic Wraith hooded wind jacket 72g/2.5oz
Dustmask 6g/0.2oz

Warm clothing, mostly for in camp/sleeping:
Powrstretch gloves 48g/1.7oz
MontBell UL down pants L 194g/6.8oz
Goosefeet down socks 63g/2.2oz
Stoic Hadron Down Hoody 242g/8.5oz

Sleep clothing/alternate socks:
S Wool boxer underpants (for sleeping) 90g/3.2oz
S Wool liner socks tall clothing socks 48g/1.7oz

Rain protection
Rainshield O2 rain jacket XL 178g/6.3oz
Rainshiled O2 rain pants XL 122g/4.3oz
bread bags (pr) clothing rain foot 16g/0.6oz
OR Versa shell gloves L 20g/0.7oz
Clothing carried 1182g/41.2oz

plastic cup cook cup 30g/1.1oz
Jetboil 100g cartridge (cartridge only weight) 98g/3.5oz
Bic mini lighter 11g/ 0.4oz
Wetfire tinder 4g/0.1oz
Ti long spoon 16g/0.6oz
Jetboil SolTi stove set, no lid, 296g/10.4
10 micropur tablets 10g/0.4oz
AluminumWindscreen 20g/0.7oz
Per Person weight for cooking gear 253g/8.9oz


Lumix WP camera misc camera 200g/7.1oz

3 wet wipes, dried 14g/0.5oz
AMC 0.5 first aidkit (sil-nylon sack removed) 96g/3.4oz
Toiletp+gel in Aloksak 60g/2.1oz
toothbrush+Dr Bronn 48g/1.7oz
Sportslick antio microbial and anti chafing 40g/1.4oz
Chapstick 8g/0.3oz

PrincetonTec Eos headlamp 90g/3.2oz
Blackbrn Flea tail light/tent light 18g/0.6oz
Apple I-phone 112g/4oz
Foretrex GPS 88g/3.1oz
map 45g/1.6oz
plate compass 28g/1.0oz

UL tube 29″ (1 each) 182g/6.4oz
CrankB M13 minitool 170g/6.0oz
Lezyne M+gauge pump 114g/4oz
Patchkit 66g/2.3oz
Leathermn Squirt PS4 plier/scissr 56g/2.0oz
chain lube in microdropper 30g/1.1oz
Tenacious tape 22g/0.8oz
fiberfix spoke (1 each) 15g/0.5oz
neo air patch 15g/0.5oz
plastic tirelevers 14g/0.5oz
zipties set 6g/0.2oz

Packtowel 34g/1.2oz
wallet (aloksak few bills DL, CC) 30g/1.1oz

Per Person miscellaneous weight 1003g/35.4oz

Wingnut backpack 642g/22.6oz
old REI barbag cockpit 154g/5.4oz
Revelate Tangle framebag 180g/6.3oz
Revelate Sling handlebar 98g/3.5oz
Revelate Pika seatbag 388g/13.7oz
S Airevac drybag 48g/1.7oz
clear packliner 38g/1.3oz
M Cuben Airevac 19g/0.7oz
small stuffsack 15g/0.5oz
Platypus Hoser 3l 106g/3.7oz
Packing gear weight 1679g/59oz

Bearpw Hex Inner tent 454g/16oz
RutaLocura carbon tent pole 150g/5.3oz
4 Carbon 9′ stakes 17g/0.6oz
7 Carbon 6″ Stakes 21g/0.7oz
GoLite Hex 3 tent 772g/27.2oz
Neoair shortened 61″ sleep pad 332g/11.7oz
BPL? inflatable pillow 32g/1.1oz
EnLightened Equipment 40+ Wide Long quilt 574g/20.2oz
Per person shelter and sleeping weight 1664g/58.7oz

Total weight worn: 1878g / 66oz
Base pack weight: 5779g / 12.74lbs
Bike weight 13.85kg / 30.5 lbs

Bags are heavy! I have as much weight in packing as I do in sleeping and shelter combined, and that’s with using a 3 person double wall tent for 2!
I could go lighter by loosing the frame bag or the handlebar bag, but they help keep weight distributed low and provide a place for my map.
I did have slightly more carry capacity then needed.

The Revelate Pika rubbed on my tire when the seat was dropped all the way. I ended up just using the 1.5″ drop position.

We never had serious wind and no dust storms, but I think we would have been ok with the full fabric(non mesh) inner tent to keep the dust out..
If needed the Hex can stand up to tremendous wind. The Ruta locura pole worked very well.

Hex 3 with Bearpaw nonmesh inner ternt

I found I could wear my down socks inside my bike shoes by taking out the insoles. this let me have warm feet and still walk around.

Highs were probably around mid 60′s and lows were probably around 25 F, 30 F, 55 F on the respective nights. There was some wind, but not strong, I’m guessing about 15 mph max.

I didn’t miss anything, we had all the gear/clothing we needed.

The only thing not used was the rain gear. But, given the chance of rain(it did rain briefly one night), and the low temps, I would not leave that behind. Well, we also didn’t use the first aid kit, or most of the repair items.

I could also have left my windshirt behind, as I only used it on the bike very briefly, and then in camp. In camp I could have used my rainjacket instead. I am not sure though if I will leave it behind for a similar trip in future. If it had been slightly colder or windier, I would have worn it while active, and I do not like to wear my rain gear for that if it’s dry.

With our down gear over our base-layer shirts, and covered by windshells, we were comfortable on the coldest night and morning sitting in camp and we could adapt to different conditions while active as well.

We were comfortably warm wearing our down clothing inside our quilts on the coldest night (25F and damp), yet not overheating on the hot and dry last night. For me this is a big benefit of a quilt and of using high loft clothing as part of your sleep system.

Edited by Tjaard on 05/30/2013 13:45:38 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Tent note on 06/21/2013 21:50:14 MDT Print View

I should point out that this tent (Hex3) is way larger than needed for the two of us. We can comfortably sleep in it together with our 2 and 5 year old kids.

I brought it any way for this trip as I valued the storm resistance and dust protection offered by the tipi design and full fabric inner.
A smaller tipi tent would be lighter, but I didn't want to buy one just for this trip. I already have a tarp for most other uses.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Re: Plains/desert in the fall/winter bikepacking list on 06/30/2013 10:31:05 MDT Print View

Great writeup! (1) From where do you get your very precise "expected conditions" before the trip? (2) For a gram-counter, is the bike's full suspension worth the weight, or could you make do with a hardtail?

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Questions on 06/30/2013 11:50:13 MDT Print View

(1) From where do you get your very precise "expected conditions" before the trip?
Well, when I say expected conditions, I am talking about climate. So, those are the conditions I am 'expecting'. I got it from: -> Trip planner, this will give you historical data for a 2 week period.

(2) For a gram-counter, is the bike's full suspension worth the weight, or could you make do with a hardtail?
I'd say, for bikepacking in general, you could always 'make do' with a hardtail. For this trail(Maah Daah Hey), a hardtail would have certainly been a great option, perhaps even better than a fully.

Delmar O'Donnell

Locale: Between Jacinto & Gorgonio
Re: Questions on 06/30/2013 22:22:04 MDT Print View

> -> Trip planner, this will give you historical data for a 2 week period.

Sweet. Thanks for that, very useful. Thumbup.

One more question from a guy who's never done bikepacking (but loves to mtn bike): Is it preferred to split the load between your back and on the bike? Is there an ideal proportion? It appears you are trying to spread the weight very evenly all over. I think I count 5 packs?!

Edited by Bolster on 06/30/2013 22:35:53 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
Bikepacking forum on 07/02/2013 13:46:20 MDT Print View


Did you see there is a separate bikepacking forum?

There is also an excellent dedicated website:

Dave C also wrote three review articles on frame and backpacks and discussed the pros and cons. Ryan J. had a recent article on a SUL bike raft set up.

Edited by Tjaard on 07/02/2013 14:00:55 MDT.

Christopher Chupka

Locale: NTX
Crank Bros on 07/02/2013 14:08:41 MDT Print View

How were the Crank Bros pedals? Last year at Moab my Deore pedals were causing me some funny to see but painful wipeouts. I had to re-tighten them every 30 minutes or so. This was over some brutal terrain but I was having to sharply turn my ankles almost 45 degrees to get my foot out.

My feet and Hans tend to get cold in those lower temp ranges. Are you still gonna be at camp in those temps or on the move? VBL liners may help with your feet.

Edited by FatTexan on 07/02/2013 14:11:00 MDT.

Tjaard Breeuwer
(Tjaard) - MLife

Locale: Minnesota, USA
pedals on 07/02/2013 14:42:43 MDT Print View

What did you have to re tighten?

So far, these Mallets have been fine, but my previous pair(the version before these) didn't last long.