The Spend What it Takes Bikepacker

thecriscokid

Explorer
That little esbit ti unit is now on the list. I'd really like to trim my set up and start riding my lighter full suspension bike and doing more 2-3 day trips lighter, faster, and with more flowing fun. It is such a delicate balance. There is nothing better than hot coffee on a cold morning. I've never tried going without a stove but have been thinking

This thread has been more useful than google. Keep it coming Flounder
 

Saiyan66

Adventurer
As an avid mountain biker who hasn't transitioned into the bikepacking fray yet, I have a question. How come you limit the weight you carry in your backpack to so little? I have always preferred having more weight on me than on the bike and it is common for me to have a 10lb camelbak for just a few hour ride. I would imagine that weight could easily double or triple for a 1-2 night trip. What are your thoughts regarding this? Thank you.
 

HumphreyBear

Adventurer
Each fuel cube weighs 14 grams and will boil that cup of water in about 5 minutes. If I go out for two nights, I usually take four fuel cubes. That's hot meals and hot coffee for two days. Total weight - 120 grams. Most importantly, that system is tiny, not just light.
I'm assuming that the fuel cubes are hexamine, so it is worth noting that if you use hexy tablets then you can't take them on airlines (at least over here) and you should never use them in confined spaces as they give off some nasty chemicals when burnt. Worth their weight in gold, though, we used to use them in the army and they are so much simpler than liquid fuel stoves.
 

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
As an avid mountain biker who hasn't transitioned into the bikepacking fray yet, I have a question. How come you limit the weight you carry in your backpack to so little?
The amount of weight you carry, and how you carry it, directly translates to your ride quality. The lighter and more balanced you are, the more likely it is your ride will be fast, flowy and fun, just as mountain biking should be. I don't like too much weight on my back as it makes me feel like a slug. When the singletrack gets fast and flowy, I don't want a fifteen pound monkey on my back flopping around or fatiguing my upper body. This is again why frame bags are so great as they keep the weight low and balanced. It is amazing how important it is to be very lightly loaded. At 23 pounds of gear, I rip down the trail fast and free. At 28 pounds I'm laboring and really just schlepping my junk from A to B. That's not nearly as much fun.

Eric, the Esbit system is great but has one serious caveat. Even a small breeze will prohibit a full boil. So, extra time and care has to be taken to create a proper wind break. You also have to use a pretty darn good match to get them lit. I use storm matches. The size of that system still blows me away. Just not having that small isobutane fuel can makes a difference.

Believe it or not....there's lots more to cover if anyone is up for it.
 
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Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
I find one of the things that makes me nervous is heading out into the remote wilderness unsure how prepared I am agains foul weather. Especially in the mountains. There's always that moment before you head out when you're standing in your living room holding a jacket asking yourself, "take it, or not." Below are two pieces worth taking because they're so crazy light.

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer $135 TWO OUNCES!!!
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You read that right - two ounces. What's even more amazing is how small it is. I dared our sales rep to put it in his mouth - he said it was possible. It actually fit in his mouth. Not a great place to store it, but.... This is a water RESISTANT piece, so it won't fend off a proper storm, but it will add wind protection and additional warmth if layered over just a bike jersey and arm warmers. I use mine (very new, haven't used it much) if I'm stopped for a few minutes and want to evade a chilly breeze.

Mountain Hardware Quasar Anarak $375
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This is more appropriate if you do expect a proper storm. Fully waterproof and breathable, this is storm gear on a diet. At only 10 ounces, it's very light, but durable enough to inspire confidence. Packs down to about the size of an orange.

MSR AC Bivy $200
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I'll be the first to admit - I hate bivy sacks and this one is no different. I have yet to spend a night in my AC Bivy, but it has come with me on two trips. If I expect bad weather, I'll take a tent. So, my bivy is there just in case weather catches me off. As bivy sacks go, this one is very nice. At one pound, the 2-layer fabric appears to be very breathable, and the cut is ample if you need to shove some gear in there with you.

Tarp vs. Bivy - The opinion of three dudes: Three of us recently kicked around our opinions of bivy sacks, tarps and tents. Tents we all agreed are a nice luxury, but come with an additional pound to pound and a half over bivys and tarps. Tarps are in our opinion a pain. For one thing, it's only half a solution. You still have to put something on the ground. What ground? The ground that is either soaked, getting soaked, or soon to be soaked. We don't mind riding through puddles, we're not wild about sleeping in them. Plus, you have to assume Mama nature is not so cruel as to rain on you AND deprive you of trees or stake-worthy ground for your flimbsy tarp "shelter." Bivys on the other hand offer 360 degree protection that requires no trees, stakes, guy lines, or even flat ground. I've crawled in my bivy and sat on a log for an hour while rain passed. It's also super fast to just dive into your bivy at a moments notice while you're dry, and not run around in the rain trying to get your tarp up as fast as possible. Tons of people love tarps, and use them with great success. I think the only time I've enjoyed a tarp is when it was paired with a hammock, and that's it's own discussion.

STS Ti Spoon $14
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Ever eat out of a freeze dried food pouch only to have your knuckles covered in foody goo? Get a longer spoon. :)
 
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Gooseberry

Explorer
I have forgot a sleeping bag and was at 11 k feet when I realized it. My little solo tent just did the job. Yes I will take the extra weight to take a tent just to be in a shelter. I did sar above bishop ca and was very happy that I had a place out of the bugs for my k9 and I to eat and rest. The other team members had a bivy and a tarp and let's just say they got it with the bugs .
 

fisher205

Explorer
It's that time of year and this thred needs a bump. I really think it and budget consious ought to be pegged to the top.
 

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
Bedrock Bags from Durango!

There's another entire thread on the Bedrock Bags, but they should also be on this thread. Andrew is the founder of Bedrock Bags and Packs and that dude can stitch together some of the finest bikepacking bags I've ever seen.

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www.bedrockbags.com
 

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
BLAM! Need to empty that bank account? Try this:

Rob-English-Tour-Divide-bikepacking-adventure-bike01_zpsa624ef66.jpg

This was at NAHBS this year and just shows how bikepacking is once again cutting into the mainstream. Rob English built this Tour Divide inspired rig and wowie, wow, wow. What a machine. Note the front hub with extra cog. Not sure how that guy can go to work with that thing in his quiver. I'd be chasing a horizon if that were my rig.
 

Flagster

Expedition Leader
Nice bike but how often do you break a rear cog? Identical hub spacing only helps if the wheel is rideable...
So if you trash the rear wheel and put the front on the rear...do you ride a wheelie home?

What am I missing?...why not just ride with a spare cog if they are that fragile?
Seems to me broken spokes and a damaged rim would be much more common than a broken cog?
 

Christophe Noel

Expedition Leader
Pretty sure it's a cog with more teeth. As I recall, the eccentric BB would accommodate enough adjustment to permit the use of two different sized cogs. I do agree, it's a little gimmicky, but still. Ain't she perdy?
 

Flagster

Expedition Leader
Ok that makes more sense...

No doubt it is one sweet ride...belt drive too ???

I would think a chain would still be the go to for back country stuff...I would rather carry a few powerlinks than a spare belt...
 
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