Sunday, August 15, 2010

Budget bikepacking set-up

since getting a write-up published in Dirt Rag mag issue 150 on western Nebraska bikepacking I've been getting a few requests for my budget set-up ideas so here's what I'm rocking thus far on my singlespeed Surly Karate Monkey.

2 sets each of these for a grand total of $8.00

cut the straps in half (I used a woodburner) & attach the quick release buckles on each end, you should now have a total of 4 straps around 3' long

next you'll need 2 Sea to Summit bags, a 13 L Big River dry bag for around $25.00 & a Sea to Summit e-Vent compression bag for around $27.00

on my back is an old Gary Fisher pack with a 100 oz. Camelback bladder & a Cabela's self-inflating camp mattress, inside goes some munchies, couple of cold beverages, small bottle of chain lube, headlamp, first-aid kit, etc.

teamed up with a Jandd frame bag for tools, patch kit, extra tubes & camera & you have my budget bikepacking kit

on the bars goes my $30 Slumberjack sleeping bag in the e-Vent compression bag secured with 2 of the straps

and on the back goes the big River dry bag with a $30 Wenzel 1 man tent & some Smartwool base layers & extra shorts, this is secured using the roll-top part around the seatpost then secured good with the other 2 straps to suck it down & prevent sway, blinky light hooks into strap around the back, only disadvantage is I can't unload the bag without undoing it all but hey, I've saved around $100 compared to the custom seat packs & I'm not racing so not in a big hurry to pack up, just keep stuff in here that doesn't need used until stopping for the night.
the Dry River bag has an oval profile so it's pretty sleek back there & I don't have a problem with it hitting my legs while peddling.

all 3 bags plus straps on the bike for around $90! Compare that to the custom bags on the market, not saying they're not sweet & worth the $$$, I personally hope to own a set of Revelate Design bags someday but just want to let the new folks know this can be done on the cheap & still be fun.
So don't get discouraged when shopping for bikepacking bags, find something that works for you at your price, use what you got laying around & put it on any bike you ride & go out there & spend a night under the stars, if it's done on a bike it's GREAT!


Dakota said...

And when are you going on this big adventure??
Take lots of pictures when you do- and maybe when I get back we can go on another bike ride, just like old times!!!

paxtoncoyote said...

the adventure is going down soon as we get a weekend of cooler weather, you know I hate the heat.