Lessons in Bike-Packing
Discoveries, insights, and tips from those who know. Lessons from race winners, Apidura ambassadors, and riders who have learnt the hard way.
Betsy Seed – Product Design at Apidura: "In your snack selection, ensure there is something that you really, really, really want to eat. That little pick-me-up of your fave treat is priceless when you are running low on energy."
Josie Allchin – Social Media at Apidura: "Snacks, snacks, snacks. Never underestimate how many snacks you'll want. Snacks. And always pack emergency snacks. Make a packing list before you start packing, and have a practice pack at least a day or two before you set off."
Pierre Coeffe – Apidura Co founder: "If you want to have a good time, eat and drink all the time. Otherwise you get grumpy and the trip turns crappy!"
Chris Herbert – Content for Apidura: "Wrap electrical tape or duct tape around your pump or one of the tubes on your bike (the seat stay or chain stay are good choices). You won’t even notice you’re carrying it and it’ll solve any number of road-side emergencies."
Sofiane Sehili – Apidura Ambassador: "Make sure you have the right tools to fix the most common mechanicals and know how to use them. Also, it might seem obvious, but be organised. Make sure you have what you often need readily accessible. Tools, cables and power banks shouldn't be in your saddle bag."
Joachim Rosenlund – Apidura Supported Rider: "Bring extras and repair material for your bags, zip ties, electrical tape, duct tape, spare buckles.
"If you’re racing or like just like to set up shop quickly, put your mat and sleeping bag into your bivvy bag, then roll everything up together. In the evening all you have to do is roll it out and blow up your mat.
"Always bring a quick link and the tools to use it. It’s not fun to walk your bike for 50km to the next exit point on your route."
What to pack
Ross Arnold – Product Designer at Apidura: "Carry a portable battery charger! A flat phone, lights or GPS sucks in the middle of nowhere!"
Greg Hilson – Logistics at Apidura: "Carrying a spork opens a whole new dimension of eating options from garages and corner shops."
George Huxford - Marketing at Apidura: "You need to pack some spare space. Don't get your setup ready the night before and squeeze everything in like you are packing a suitcase for a flight. You'll want to be able to access and organise your gear without it exploding outward."
Olivia Cowley – Product Designer at Apidura: "Carry some repair materials for your clothing and camping gear. A ripped tent will ruin your sleep and some gear aid tape and a sewing kit take up very little space."
Julien Bader – Designer at Apidura: "Consider taking a compact camera with you to take better pictures and to save your phone battery for navigation and emergencies."
Planning and Strategy
George Huxford – Marketing for Apidura: "If you are starting off, I suggest your first trips should be riding to friends’ houses, B&Bs or hotels. You'll get used to carrying gear, what you need for multiple days and how to pack your stuff to keep it dry and organised. This way if you want to move onto a camping trip later on, you'll already be familiar with loads of the basics and if you make a few mistakes on these first rides you can get warm and dry again much more easily than in a tent or bivvy bag."
Laura Amary – Web Developer at Apidura: "Have backups for your route in case your GPS device runs out of battery or breaks. You should be able to use your phone to navigate or have a list of place names your route passes if your GPS device stops working."
Richard Pengilly – Apidura: "Test your gear before you go! Learning how to put your tent up for the first time at the end of a long day sucks, particularly if you find out you’re missing a few pegs."
Clement Stawicki – Apidura Ambassador: "Learn the basics of orientation. Knowing how to navigate in every situation will really help you. Go outside, don’t hesitate, don’t wait, everything could be an adventure. Make your own experience."
Jonathan Kambskard-Bennett – Round the World Cyclist: "Always keep a spare set of clothes dry. Nothing will kill your mood like being unable to get warm and dry in the evening, and there is nothing worse than starting the day with damp gear.
"Similarly, being too cold is miserable. Be conservative with your clothes and sleeping bag. Unless you are racing, there's no reason not to take a good waterproof and lightweight jacket."
Tori Fahey – Apidura Co Founder: "Look for a shoe with a good sole that will let you walk around safely (even if it’s briefly) in a shop or on a trail.
"Don’t even try to take jeans. I also tend to stay away from conventional bike attire. I only take clothes that work well on the bike and off the bike. Wool is great, because it tends to smell less.
"If the weather is warm enough, take some flip flops for the end of the day; they take very little space and let your feet breathe after hours of pedalling."
Rory Kemper – Race Organiser for Transcontinental No5 to No7: "It’s good to plan but don’t let the unknown stop you from exploring or trying something new. Pack what you think you need and then refine that over time rather than overthinking it first off. You’ll soon realise what you don’t like or won’t use."
Oli Stuart – eCommerce at Apidura: "Having watched a friend wheelie around the Isle of Wight (not by choice), don’t try and use just one saddle bag to carry everything. At least put a handlebar bag on to balance/spread the load."
Catalina Undurraga – Digital Marketing at Apidura: "Take a small musette or compressible backpack along, so you can grab some food near the end of the day, rather than having it take up space on your bike all day. "
Harry Davies – Customer Service at Apidura: "Don’t try to fit everything in one bag. Spreading the load around will make your bike handle more naturally and make your gear last longer."
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