2018 North America Bikepacking Kit

Posted on 14 October, 2018

MTB Highlands

Our kit

Before we left we thought long and hard about what we’d need, temperatures we’d face, and invested in a fair bit of newer, lighter and more compressible kit. Although we have lots of camping kit, most of it is a decade or so old and flat out wouldn’t fit into bikepacking bags. Alongside the actual bags themselves we invested in new sleeping bags, sleeping mats and a cooking system. I don’t think we longed for anything more but couldn’t have left anything out either. We contemplated posting home our down jackets when we were in Oregon and didn’t see temps less than 30°c for weeks on end, but by the time we got to the Chilcotins and back to Vancouver we were really glad we’d kept hold of them!

Below is an extensive list of all our kit we took with us. Hopefully you find it useful. Eventually I’ll post our final route, but we roughly went from Reno NV to Vancouver BC via Vancouver island and as far North as the South Chilcotins Provincial Park. We left in mid May and finished in early September.


Andy’s bike...

Mondraker Prime R+ standard except...

31mm Chrommag stem

WTB Bridger front 3.0

Maxis Rekon rear 2.8 (was the original front tire)

2° works components angleset 

Shimano Zee brakes

2x with stealth granny

Added bottle mounts on underside of downtube. (Zefal Gizmo universal battle mounts)

Brand X 125mm dropper

Ergon SMC4 saddle

ESI Chunky grips


DMR vaults

Garmin GPS 62s

Lezyne zecto max 250 rear light

Sahmurai bar end tire plugs


iPhone SE in pocket

Mons Royale Redwood t-shirt

Icebreaker anatomica boxers

Intrepid Apparel Campaign Shorts

Endura Baabaa merino socks 

5:10 Impacts which were replaced after a month with 5:10 Freeriders

POC Sports Tectal helmet

One industries gloves


Revelate Harness

Revelate salty roll

Revelate Egress pocket

Revelate ranger frame bag (M)

Topeak gas tank

Norco Jerry can

Bedrock bags black dragon

Bedrock bags tapeats 

Revelate designs feedbag

Fabric bottle (filled with denatured alcohol for the stove)

Bear Spray

Osprey talon 25l

Salty Roll

Rab Silk Sleeping bag liner

Enlightened equipment enigma 30° quilt

Ursack allmitey bear bag

Thermarest Neoair 

Thermarest stuffsack/pillow

Long johns - 

Spare boxers - icebreaker Anatomica

Spare socks - endura Baabaa merino


Spare T-shirt - Oakley poly/cotton blend

Spare shorts - fox ranger

Mountain hardware ghost whisperer down jacket

Tent footprint


Garmin InReach


Mini tripod

Straps for holding extra water


Drivers license

Chain lube


Thermarest repair kit

Exposure axis mk1 550lu

(Sometimes snacks)

Gas tank


Camera (Panasonic lx15)


Hay fever pills

(Sometimes snacks too)

Frame bag

Spare tube

Trangia stove

Clickstand stove frame

Evernew 1.3l titanium pot

2x sea to summit collapseable mugs

2x titanium spork

2x lighter

Cloth and sponge 

Homemade scraper/spatula 

Tent poles

Empty 2l platypus (strapped to bars if full)

0.7l platypus for additional fuel

Tecnu poison ivy remover


Tent repair kit

Iodine pills

2x Anker 10000 battery packs

Toothbrush & paste


Bear hang kit

Tent pegs

Chamois cream


Spare batteries for gps


Snack/cereal bars

Black dragon

Tent fly

Rab Waterproof jacket 

Endura Waterproof shorts

Osprey Waterproof bag cover


Chain tool

Tire lever


Bag of bolts

Brake pads x2 for both bikes

Cable ties

Mech hangers for both bikes

Mini slider

Leatherman squirt

Mini roll duct tape

Valve core remover

Small pot grease

Trail pouch of Peatys tire sealant

1x gear cable



Patagonia Windproof

Exposure bracket

GoPro battery 

Camera battery

Extra SD cards

Anker solar charger


Multi tool (Topeak ratchet rocket Lite)


3.0l camelbak 

Opinel no. 9



Mini towel

Toilet roll

Mini Optimus Prime


Things that worked...

- Bedrock Tapeats; really simple but really useful handlebar bag. It attaches more solidly than the revelate bag due to the 2 bar attachment points that are wide apart rather than the one thick one found on the Feedbag. This also means that it can hold itself away from the headtube which is a must if you’re running a short stem, this avoids the bag interfering with the steering and crushing all your valuable goodies every time you get to a switchback...

- Mons Royale T-shirt; not much to say other than its really comfortable and being merino doesn’t stink up anywhere nearly as much as my other T-shirt did which is impressive as I only wore this for riding and the Oakley for camp/hanging out... It has started to show signs of wear, discolouring on the exposed shoulder areas that were not covered by my backpack and wearing very thin where my hip strap rubbed on the belt loops of my shorts.

- Intrepid Apparel shorts; super comfy, good pockets, solid zips, decent vents - look as good now as they did when I left on the trip (shorts are now ~3 years old). After having a look online it unfortunately seems like Intrepid Apparel are no longer trading. 😔

Things that didn’t work so well...

- MSR trailshot; it worked really well for a few weeks, then slowed drastically. No matter how many times we cleaned the filter it just wouldn’t pump much water with each squeeze, or worse still, the bulb wouldn’t fill at all. We checked the integrity multiple times and checked for leaks but found nothing. The trailshot also leaked water while performing the ‘shake’ to clean the filter. I contacted MSR numerous times through various channels and have just been passed around or not responded to at all. We ended up sending it back home and buying a Sawyer Mini Squeeze filter instead which has been solid!

- Peatys tire sealant - thankfully we didn’t need to use it because when we got home and emptied all the kit out, the pouch had solidified into one squidgy lump...

- My saddlebags... I started the trip with a Porcelain Rocket Albert. I really liked this as the bag is a good size and the rack holds the bag horizontally rather than on a 45° giving you more room to move back off the saddle. However, the rail section failed about 3 weeks into the trip. I emailed Scott at PR and he sent out a new one, which was great... until about 3 weeks later when it failed again. This time when it failed the bag dropped onto the tire which shredded the material around the frame and damaged the dry bag. I emailed him again and got a snotty reply so I ditched the bag (which was held together with zip ties) and swapped to the Bedrock bags Black Dragon. While the Black Dragon worked really well and was a solid bit of kit, it’s sold as being waterproof. I discovered after a heavy downpour just outside of Mission that it isn’t waterproof, in the slightest, at all...

Jen’s Bike

Specialized Fuse Pro 6fattie standard except...

Front tire Schwalbe Nobby Nic

Shimano SLX brakes


DMR vaults

28t blackspire chainring

ESI ‘racers edge’ grips

Mini Unicorn 🦄 


Polyester Royal Racing jersey 3/4 sleeve

POC sports shorts

Endura Baabaa socks

Icebreaker merino sports bra

Icebreaker women’s ‘Boy Shorts’

Troy Lee A2 helmet

Yeti logo gloves - replaced by a pair of POC Sports gloves

Specialized 2fo shoes


Revelate Harness

Revelate salty roll

Revelate Yakataga pocket

Revelate Ranger framebag (S)

Revelate mag-tank

Revelate jerry can

Bedrock bags black dragon

Bedrock bags tapeats 

Revelate designs feedbag

Osprey talon 25l

Salty roll

Sleeping bag liner

Sleeping bag (enlightened equipment conundrum 20°F)

Thermarest X-therm 

Icebreaker longjohns

2x icebreaker thermal l/s tops

Polyester Troy Lee jersey s/s 

Raceface shorts

Icebreaker sports bra

Helly Hanson boxers

Sock guy socks

MEC loose boxers for sleeping in

Rab waterproof jacket

Endura waterproof 3/4 shorts

Tent inner (MSR Hubba Hubba HP)

Thermarest stuff sack/pillow

Yakataga pocket

2x Sawyer Mini filter and bag



Exposure Axis mk1 550lu


Sometimes food



Hand gel 


Platypus 2l (empty - strapped to bars if full)

Topeak Mini Morph pump

Topeak microshock shock pump

Deuce Ti spade


Knee pads

First Aid Kit

Spare tube

Contact lenses

Feminine hygiene 




Suntan lotion


iPhone SE



Bear spray


2x Buff

Black dragon




Bike locks

Electrical tape


Pain-killers (thankfully we didn’t need these!)


Leyzene zecto max 250 rear light

Sam splint

Mountain Hardware Ghost Whisperer

Flip flops

Ursack allmitey bear bag

3.0l Camelback

Endura windproof

2x GSI outdoors thermal cups



Sun glasses

Wet wipes


Waterproof bag cover

Stuff that worked well

- EE sleeping bag, custom made including the colours! Super comfy, warm and snuggly! Having the option to secure it to the mat as a quilt was great too.

- MSR HubbaHubba HP tent, we slept the majority of the time in just the inner. It was a perfect size for two and kept out mosquitos and packs of angry dogs...

- Suncream, I would have turned into a little pile of ash fairly early on in the trip if I didn’t have suncream!

Stuff that didn’t work so well...

- MSR Trailshot, just had many issues with him - not his fault but he struggled at times!

- Menstrual cup, it just wasn’t the best option for me in this situation...

- Knee pads, I probably didn’t need to take them as I usually rode a section of trail and it wasn’t until I was stood at the bottom that I thought ‘it would have been good to have put my knee pads on for that...’

Wear and tear...

We had to do a few running repairs to the bikes as the trip progressed, here’s a wee list of repairs...

1x SLX rear mech

2x gear cable and outer

2x dropper post cable and outer

2x bb’s

2x rear tires

1x grips

2x spokes

1x saddlebag

4x brake pads

1x chain

And that’s about it! A massive thanks again to Andy at Backcountry Bikes (www.backcountry.scot) who guided us through our bikepacking kit selection, if you’re in the Cairngorms, pop by his shop in Aviemore for gear, advice or just a chat! If you want to know any other kit details or have questions about anything please find us over on Facebook as www.facebook.com/mtbhighlands  

Thank you!

-Andy & Jen

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