Diving into the realm of bikepacking, our eyes were glued to countless gear lists and ultralight pack lists, seeking the perfect balance for our very first foray into this adventure. Our mission? To compile a bikepacking checklist that was lean yet comprehensive, ensuring we were equipped for every pedal stroke of the journey without being bogged down by excess. From the sleek silhouette of our frame bags to the meticulous selection of our bikepacking bag setup, each item was chosen with deliberate intention. Our focus was not on the traditional camping gear but on crafting a bikepacking kit list tailored to the day rides and explorations we had planned, where the right gear could make all the difference.

We delved into the specifics of our bikepacking setup, from the hydration pack that promised to keep us watered through the miles to the repair kit that stood ready for any mechanical challenge. Essentials like a comprehensive first aid kit, and versatile bikepacking clothes were non-negotiables in our arsenal. As we mapped out our routes, it became clear that our adventure would be defined not by where we laid our heads at night, but by the journey itself and the gear that facilitated it. This article isn’t just a simple gear rundown; it’s an invitation into the heart of our bikepacking trip, highlighting the essentials and the unexpected discoveries that shaped our experience.

The Great Bikepacking Bag Debate

Ah, the perennial question that haunts every bikepacker’s dreams: How many bags, and what size? It seems straightforward until you’re staring down the barrel of a week’s necessities, trying to Tetris everything into a limited space. And let’s not forget, we’re at the mercy of the unpredictable German summer—sunshine one moment, a downpour the next. So, waterproofing? Non-negotiable.

But here’s where it gets tricky. You want enough room to bring the essentials (and a few comforts), but not so much that you’re hauling around dead weight. It’s a delicate balance between being prepared and playing pack mule.

Now, imagine us, two bright-eyed bikepackers, trying to make these decisions for the first time. There was a lot of back-and-forth and a bit of healthy debate. Lucky us, for this first trip, we didn’t have to bring any camping gear (aka sleeping bags, tent, sleeping pads, or any sort of sleep system.)

In the end, we settled on a mix of bags that seemed to promise enough space without overburdening our bikes. For Jana, with her bike’s generous attachment points, it was a combination of a large frame bag and saddle pack, supplemented by a top tube pack and a food pouch for easy snack access. Björn, navigating the Grail’s more limited attachment options, opted for a more streamlined setup with a frame pack and saddle pack, plus a down tube pack for those extra bits and pieces.

But if there’s one thing we learned, it’s that no matter how much you plan, there’s always a curveball waiting. Whether it’s an unexpected song or a roadside cream application, bikepacking is as much about the mishaps as it is about the miles.

Hydration Hijinks

Staying quenched on the road is like a puzzle where the pieces are constantly shifting. You’d think drinking water is straightforward, but throw in bikepacking, and it’s a whole other ball game. Our weapon of choice against dehydration? The Fidlock bottles, 590 ml each, armed with magnetic magic that made them a breeze to use, even when space was at a premium. No bulky bottle holders here, just sleek, space-saving hydration.

But let’s be real, the true test of any plan is the execution. Picture us, two intrepid cyclists, navigating the twists and turns of the countryside, our Fidlocks at the ready. It’s a delicate dance of pedaling, sipping, and occasionally wrestling with a stubborn lid, all while trying to appreciate the scenery whizzing by.

And in those moments when the road got tough, the hills seemed endless, or Björn’s impromptu concert series (he, out of nowhere, started belting out “Alkohol” by Herbert Grönemeyer. Mind you, we don’t even drink. It’s one of those odd, endearing quirks of human nature—when the going gets tough, the tough start singing) it took a more… ‘intense’ turn; those bottles were more than just water carriers. They were our lifeline, a tangible reminder to pause, breathe, and hydrate, turning a routine act into a ritual that kept us grounded and focused.

In the grand scheme of things, it’s the small details like these that stick with you—the way a simple bottle can become a cornerstone of your journey, a touchstone amidst the chaos of packing and planning. It’s a testament to the fact that sometimes, the simplest solutions are the ones that carry us through the most challenging times.

The Chronicles of Cargo: Jana’s Journey

Diving into the depths of my bike bags is like opening a treasure chest—you never know quite what you’ll find. But instead of gold and jewels, it’s the little things that make life on the road smoother, tastier, and a touch more refined.

Essentials: At the heart of it all, the Muc Off C3 Ceramic Lube Wet was my knight in shining armor, ensuring that my ride was as smooth as silk, even when the paths were anything but. The Ögon Smart Case housed my cash and cards, a sleek fortress keeping my valuables secure.

Lighting Up My Life: The Light & Motion Vis Pro 100 Trail & Vis 180 Pro weren’t just lights; they were beacons of hope in the twilight hours, guiding our way and warding off the shadows.

The Snack Saga: Ah, the cornerstone of any respectable bikepacker’s arsenal. From the humble tissues to the indispensable bike tubes, every item had its place. But let’s be honest, the real MVPs were the snacks. Clif Bloks and various energy bars were more than fuel; they were my morale boosters, the little bites of joy that kept my spirits high and my legs pumping. You might know I love cooking, but for this trip, due to its nature, I didn’t bring any bikepacking food or cooking gear.

The Wardrobe: Clothing is where things got… interesting. Picture this: a cyclist, miles from anywhere, with a wardrobe to rival any casual outing. From casual pants to Velocio jerseys and rain gloves to leg warmers, each piece was a chapter in the story of our journey. And yes, perhaps I overpacked, but who could blame me? The weather was as unpredictable as a plot twist in a thriller novel.

Tech Tangle: The electronic web was woven with iPhone cables, power banks, and more—a digital lifeline connecting us to the world we’d left behind, yet so crucial in keeping our journey on track.

Hygiene Haven: In the wilds, cleanliness is next to godliness, or so they say. My arsenal of hygiene products was compact yet comprehensive, ensuring that I stayed fresh even when the trails were anything but.

The Emergency Kit: This was my safety net, a collection of items I hoped never to use but was infinitely grateful to have. From tick forceps to painkillers, it was a reminder of the fine line we walked between adventure and caution.

In retrospect, each item in my bag was a piece of a larger puzzle, a component of the intricate dance that is bikepacking. Some were stars of the show, while others played supporting roles. But together, they created a symphony of preparedness that carried me through the highs and lows of our journey.

Björn’s Gear Gambit

Björn’s approach to packing was a masterclass in efficiency, each item selected with a blend of pragmatism and an eye for the essentials. Navigating the Grail’s constraints required a level of ingenuity and a touch of minimalism, crafting a setup that was both lean and utterly effective.

The Core Collection: At the heart of Björn’s setup was the throat-soothing candy, a simple yet pivotal ally against the dry whispers of the road. The bike lock, a silent sentinel, stood guard over our steeds during brief separations. The essentials—credit cards, ID, and smartphone—were ever-present, tucked away securely, yet always within reach.

Apparel Arsenal: Björn’s clothing choices were a testament to the dual demands of functionality and comfort. The wind vest and long jersey, allies against the capricious weather, were complemented by a pair of short jerseys, rain gloves, and the essential base layer. Leg and arm warmers offered adaptable protection, while a cap and loop added layers of warmth and style. The cycling wardrobe was rounded out with two bibs, casual wear for the evenings, and the indispensable trio of helmet, sunglasses, and windbreaker, ensuring readiness for whatever the skies had in store.

The Tech Trove: In the digital domain, Björn’s gear was a compact yet powerful ensemble. The camera and its companions—lens, memory cards, and batteries—were the chroniclers of our journey, capturing moments of beauty, struggle, and the sheer joy of discovery. The solar power bank, a beacon of sustainability, offered a lifeline to our devices, ensuring that the lights, the Wahoo Elemnt Roam, and our communication tools remained charged and ready.

Wellness and Maintenance: The toolkit, a modest yet crucial component, contained the tire lever, tubes, air pump, and multi-tool, each piece a key player in the ongoing dialogue between rider and machine. The chamois cream and Muc-Off Amino Recovery Balm were the unsung heroes of comfort, offering relief and rejuvenation after long days in the saddle.

Hygiene and Health: Even in the wilds, well-being remained a priority. The FFP-2 masks, allergy tablets, and pain ointment were silent sentinels against the unforeseen, while the face cream and deodorant maintained a semblance of civilization amidst the elements.

Reflecting on the packed gear, it’s clear that each item carried its weight, both literally and metaphorically. The journey was not just about the miles covered but about how each piece of gear, each chosen item, contributed to the story unfolding beneath our wheels. From the practical to the personal, Björn’s packing strategy was a testament to the art of preparation, a balance between the essential and the existential that defines the bikepacking spirit.

Reflecting on the Road: Lessons and Laughs

As the dust settles and the memories of our first bikepacking journey crystallize, it’s time to sift through the experiences, the laughter, and the occasional sing-along to Herbert Grönemeyer. Reflecting on what we packed, what we used, and what merely enjoyed a scenic ride in our bags, a few insights emerge, clear as the daylight that guided our paths.

The Clothing Conundrum: If our bags could talk, they’d likely question our fashion-forward approach to bikepacking. Yes, we might have leaned a bit heavily into the “be prepared for all occasions” philosophy. With access to washing facilities, we’ve learned that less can indeed be more. The weather, ever the unpredictable character in our story, threw a few curveballs, but it’s all part of the game—a game we’re learning to play with a lighter load.

The Top Tube Bag Tale: Jana’s top tube bag, a nifty piece of gear, ended up being the “I might need this” space—an all-too-familiar trap for packers everywhere. Its practicality wasn’t in question, but its necessity? That’s up for debate. It seems the fine line between “essential” and “just in case” is one we’ll continue to navigate with each journey.

The Pouch Predicament: Björn’s eyes are set on a future where a food pouch isn’t just a wish but a reality. The quest for the perfect handlebar companion continues—a space for those must-haves and quick snacks that keep the wheels turning and the spirits high.

First Aid Finesse: Our emergency kit, while comprehensive, will be welcoming a few new members next time around—band-aids and a warming blanket because it’s not just about fixing what’s broken but preventing the chill from setting in.

Tech Tangle: The web of charging cables we wove across our setup was a marvel of modern necessity, but there’s room for simplification. The dream? A multi-adaptor that can handle all our charging needs without the bulk. The search for this Holy Grail of power solutions continues.

The Multi-tool Musing: The allure of a Leatherman or its kin has only grown stronger, a testament to the “nerdy” yet fascinating world of multi-tools. It’s not just about having the right tool for the job but about the sheer versatility and reliability these compact companions offer.

The Chamois Cream Chronicle: And then, the unexpected hero of our tale—the chamois cream. A newfound staple in our kit, its value cannot be overstated. It transitioned from an afterthought to a must-have, a testament to the unexpected lessons that the road bestows upon those willing to ride it.

As we look back, it’s clear that our first bikepacking trip was less about the distance covered and more about the journey within—the decisions, the dilemmas, and the delightful surprises along the way. Each item, each choice, and each mile was a step toward understanding what it means truly to embrace the bikepacking ethos.

With these reflections in mind, we turn our gaze to the horizon, to the next adventure that awaits. The road calls, not just as a path to be ridden, but as a canvas for our growth, our laughter, and the stories yet to be written.

As we wrap up our reflections and tales from the road, we’re excited to share a bit more of the nitty-gritty with you. Below, you’ll find our detailed pack list—the very essence of our bikepacking setup. It’s a peek into our biking souls, a blueprint of our journey, item by item. Whether you’re plotting your first bikepacking adventure or looking to refine your gear, we hope this list serves as both inspiration and a practical guide. Dive in, explore, and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find that one item that will be your ride-or-die on the open road.

So, here’s our detailed bikepacking gear list:

Jana’s Gear:





  • iPhone charging cable
  • XLayer Powerbank Micro 5.000
  • Wahoo ELMNT Roam charging cable
  • Charging cable light
  • Charging cable Apple Watch (forgotten!)
  • Wahoo heart rate monitor


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



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

Björn’s Gear:



  • Throat candy
  • Bike lock
  • Credit cards
  • ID
  • Smartphone



  • Tire Lever
  • Tubes
  • Air Pump
  • Multitool


  • Camera
  • Lens
  • Memory cards
  • Camera batteries
  • Solar power bank
  • iPhone charging cable
  • Wahoo Elemnt Roam charging cable
  • Light charging cable
  • Wahoo heart rate monitor
  • Front and rear light (Light & Motion Vis Pro 1000 Trail and Vis 180 Pro)


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