Going on a cycling adventure is great fun and the best way to experience different places in the country. But, sometimes packing the gear can be difficult. If you are planning to load your bike with an unnecessary stuff, you will get uncomfortable and increase a chance of getting injured. (source)
Do you want to know how to lighten your pack, while keeping the most important stuff with you?
Let me explain:
With this ultralight cycle touring guide, you’ll learn how to rely less on your gear and more on your own judgment. To achieve this, you need to focus on three main things: to minimize your luggage, replace it with the lighter stuff with the same efficiency and find multiple uses for as many things as possible.
Following these easy tips, start your ultralight bikepacking tour less laborious and more comfortable. So, without further ado, let’s dive in.
1. Lighten Your Gear
There are many ways to lighten up your luggage. Ultralight gear is a perfect solution to reduce your pack weight. It may be more expensive, but it is worth the extra cost.
Another way to lighten up your pack is to make your own stove out of soda can. It will save your space and reduce the weight. You could also remove the excess from the stuff that you want to bring.
For example, cut your toothbrush in half, because every little bit of weight counts. But the most effective way to cut your weight is to remove the unnecessary stuff. Of course, never leave the essential gear at home.
Just leave behind the items that you don’t need to use.
The more clothes you bring, the more weight you will carry. It takes up some valuable space because it is bulky. So, try to choose clothes that you can wear while cycling, hiking and going to town.
This may sound strange for some people, but it will save your pack space and lighten up your luggage. Always bring that extra clothes for a night time. If you are going on a long cycling trip, it is a good option to purchase those cheap plain white T-shirts.
They come in a tight package, so it will save you space. Because they are too ordinary and not expensive, you can throw it away, when you want to change your clothes. This way you’ll lessen your luggage weight for a little bit.
3. Food and Water
We already mention you can use a handmade stove. It is lighter and cheaper. But, what about the food that you need to pack?
Considering you are taking a three days trip, you need to eat three times a day that leads us up to 9 meals in total. That is a lot of food to carry. So, what to do?
Before starting your journey, make sure that you eat at home or at your car. Pack the amount of food, that you will need before your next stop. Because you are cycling much faster than hiking, you’ll probably pass through some town where you can have a meal.
So, when packing food, make sure to know where your resupply points are. This way you’ll carry only what you need until you get to the next stop.
As for the water, you don’t need to bring filters. Instead, use chlorine dioxide pills which will kill the bacteria. Or you can filter the water through a bandana before drinking if it has sediments.
But, if you prefer a filter, choose the lighter one that weighs about two ounces. This way you will lighten up your bag.
4. Choose the Smaller Size Backpack
One of the most important things when lightening your load is to use a smaller size backpack. This way you will limit the space in your bag, so you will make better decisions about what you really need.
Many things will have space inside them, so use it to pack some other stuff inside of it. For example, place as much stuff as you can in an open pot. Close it and put it down in the bag.
If you are road touring, you can save a lot of weight. Everything that you need is some tools and wrenches for repairing a broken chair or fixing a flat. For some other problems, the assistance is always nearby.
For a backcountry cycling you will need one spare tube per rider, two spare cleat bolts, a derailleur hanger, Park tire boots, a Fiber Fix replacement spoke, a pump, a glueless patch kit, two tire levers, a chain tool, small Leatherman and a small multi-tool.
If you need a knife for your trip, bring the razor blade instead. It is equally effective in the most situations and much lighter to carry.
6. Pads and Sleeping Bags
Choose the pads that weigh about one pound. They are very comfortable and the best thing is that you can pack it to the size of a bottle. So, not only they are light, they also save space.
For those who prefer a sleeping bag, it is always best to bring the down one. They weigh about one pound. Pay attention not to pick the warmer one, because you will have extra weight to carry.
7. Medical Kit
When it comes to the first-aid kit, bring those medical items that you’ll need the most. For example, pain-relief pills, bandages, blister pads, gauze pads, and medical tape.
These simple tips will help you make a plan and decide which stuff you really don’t or do need. For cycling, the important thing is to know the environment, local weather conditions and to lighten up your pack. You need to be comfortable so you can avoid some injuries.
The best thing to stay safe is to bring ultralight gear. The crucial thing about cycling and hiking is to save your energy. The best way to do that is to cut your pack weight.