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Bikepacking Essentials for Your Next Outdoor Trek

Hit the trails with the core essentials you need for a single night bikepacking trek – or a multi-day tour.

With enough leg power and determination, you can in theory go just about anywhere on a mountain bike, enjoying the pleasures of the great outdoors on a day trip. But what if you want to go further and for longer? That’s when you start a bikepacking adventure.

Hang on a second. Bikepacking? Am I strapping a bike to my back or something?

You can do that if you really want to – I certainly won’t judge – but the core of bikepacking is the idea of taking gear with you that you could use for camping and survival in as lightweight a way as feasible. A bikepacking trek could take in just a single night’s stay with plenty of riding over two days, or a multi-day trek, although clearly in the case of longer trips you’d need to take more gear with you.

It’s no good simply strapping on your helmet and hitting the trails without any preparation at all, and some bikepacking gear is actually smart to take with you even if you only plan on a short day ride, because you never know when conditions might change. If you found yourself suddenly stuck in the great outdoors, you’d have to think around survival and comfort well before you could engage in more intriguing outdoor pursuits such as astrophotography.

Preparation is key, and your needs for a bikepacking trek in winter will differ from summer gear, as will the needs for different terrain types that may also determine the best bike or tyres to take with you as well.

Curious of what you should consider taking on a bikepacking trip? Read here for some tips and tricks written by Alex Kidman.

LAST UPDATED

May 6, 2022

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My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

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Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
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The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
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