In our previous blog post, we told you about our first bike packing adventure. In the lead-up to it, we extensively thought about what we would take with us and how we would be able to stow everything on our bikes.

With a few weeks distance to the trip, we want to draw a conclusion. What was useful and what was unnecessary. What would we do again so and what different, all this in this article.

THE BAG ISSUE

How many bags do we need? What size do they need to be? Being on the road for the first time or planning to be on the road, you start asking yourself many questions.

Important: they need to be waterproof because late German summers also mean challenges in terms of weather. You cannot rely so much on the sunshine all the time.

Also, as spacious as possible, but not too big. Finally, we want to reduce ourselves to the bare essentials and not take anything with us that is unnecessary.

THE WATER ISSUE

Staying hydrated while cycling is not always so easy but should not be underestimated.

Since carrying the bags, we opted for two bottles by Fidlock, each with 590 ml. Because of the magnetic system, they got the advantage of being usable even when there is little space. Without space-consuming bottle cages, they make a fantastic addition to our setup. Plus, the lid keeps the mouthpiece free of dirt in all weather conditions.

THE SET-UP

Which bags did Jana use?

My bike offers many attachment points on both the frame and fork; this allowed me to use a large frame bag and attach my water bottles to the fork, even though I only ride a 52 frame.

- Apidura Expedition Full Frame Pack (6l)
- Apidura Expedition Saddle Pack (17l)
- Apidura Expedition Top Tube Pack (1l)
- Apidura Backcountry Food Pouch (1.2l)

What's in my bag?

Taking more with you than you need is a relatively simple problem and one that everyone is familiar with. But there are some things you don't want to do without. The most important thing, of course, is the snacks. When it comes to hygiene items, I opt for miniature versions and bottled products.

Essentials


Muc Off C3* Ceramic Lube Wet // Cash cards & cash (Ögon Smart Case Original) // Lighting (Light & Motion Vis Pro 100 Trail & Vis 180 Pro) // disinfectant // tissues // 2x bicycle tube

Clothing


Electronics


iPhone charging cable // XLayer Powerbank Micro 5.000 // Wahoo ELMNT Roam charging cable // Charging cable for the lights // Apple Watch charging cable (forgotten!) // Wahoo heart rate monitor

Food / Snacks


Throat Candy // Clif Bloks Energy Chews Mountain Berry // Various Protein and Energy Bars // Salted Nuts // Vegan Chili Mayonnaise // Isostar Powertabs Cranberry

Hygiene


Antibacterial Chamois Cream - Pour Femmes // Shower gel // Hydrophil toothbrush // Shampoo & dry shampoo // Toothpaste tabs for 2 // FFP 2 masks // Hairbrush // SPF 50 sunscreen // Handkerchiefs // Deo // Face cream

Emergency kit


Anti-tick and mosquito spray // Tick forceps // Wound disinfection // Painkillers // Hygiene wipes or baby wipes

THE SET-UP

Which bags did Björn use?

My Grail is not the ideal bike for bike packing, as there are only a few attachment points and the handlebars are not really suitable for bags. For this tour, the possibilities were sufficient, but if we still had to take a sleeping setup, it would be difficult. Whether I can somehow attach a handlebar bag, I will have to try.

Apidura Expedition Frame Pack (3l)
Apidura Expedition Saddle Pack (17l)
Apidura Backcountry Downtube Pack (1.8l)

What's in my bag?

Taking more with you than you need is a relatively simple problem and one that everyone is familiar with. But there are some things you don't want to do without. The most important thing, of course, is the snacks. When it comes to hygiene items, I opt for miniature versions and bottled products.

Essentials


throat candy // bike lock // credit cards // ID // smartphone

Clothing


Wind vest // 1 long jersey // 2 short jerseys // Rain gloves // Baselayer // Leg warmers // Arm warmers // Cap // Loop // 2 Bibs // T-shirt // longsleeve // jeans // 3 boxers // 3 pair socks // Helmet + Sunglasses // Windbreaker // cycling shoes // Flip flops

Tool


Tire Lever // Tubes // Air Pump // Multitool

Electronics


Camera // Lens // Memory cards // Camera batteries // Solar power bank // iPhone charging cable // Wahoo Elemnt Roam charging cable // charging cable for lights // Wahoo heart rate monitor // Front and rear light (Light & Motion as well) Vis Pro 100 Trail and Vis 180 Pro)

Hygiene


Chamois cream // FFP-2 masks // Muc-Off Amino Recovery Balm // Allergy tablets // Pain ointment // Face cream // Deo // Toothbrush

CONCLUSION

After these (eternally long) lists, what would we change next time?

In general, we probably had a bit too much clothing with us. Given that we also had washing facilities available, less would have been enough. Some parts were also unnecessary because of the weather, but that is often not reliably evaluated in advance. So it's better to have too much with you.

Jana feels she didn't really need her top tube bag. It is handy, but everything she kept in it, she could have probably also stowed in her jersey.

Speaking of bags, I definitely got a food pouch on my list for next time. I will have to try it with Janas pouch, whether I can attach it well to my handlebars, but these pouches come in very handy. It would be possible to have more food close at hand, transport an additional drink, or have some technology in the quick access.

We would also add band-aids and a warming blanket to our first aid kit, just in case.

You've probably noticed a bunch of charging cables on our lists, so we want to find out if there are any small, portable ways to replace them with multi-adapters to charge multiple devices at one outlet without having to take a bulky multi-outlet with you. So far, we have unfortunately not found anything.

Another essential purchase on the shopping list for us (especially since we want to be out and about camping and stuff) is a Leatherman (or a similar multi-tool). We have already started to inform us, and it is exciting how nerdy this topic is and what these tools are capable of and offer.

When we talked about this resume yesterday, we agreed that the very most important thing was one thing, the Chamois cream. We wouldn't really have expected that since we never really use any otherwise, but from about the middle of day 2, it was a perfect companion after all.

We hope this information serves as an inspiration or helps you plan your first bikepacking trip. Do you have any questions about any of these topics? Do you have any further tips, or do you think that something important is missing? We are looking forward to your comment!