Looking for tested and proven bikepacking lifehacks? Mountain biking is an awesome activity that everyone can enjoy but bikepacking is much more exciting! There are several reasons why bikepacking is thrilling. One, you will gain better relationships with friends or other bikers. Second, you will discover new places and third, learn a lot from experiencing it.
However, unlike your normal camping activities, bikepacking means being with your bike and self alone — you don’t have a car to carry everything. Bikepacking for the first time can be hard so we came up with 30 bikepacking lifehacks that you can try right away.
- Innovation is in everything- even with tissues! Bring baby or wet wipes instead of toilet or tissue paper. It’s more convenient and hygienic.
- Ditch your usual zip-locks in favor of Reynold’s Turkey-cooking Oven Bags. These stuff are lighter and better for waterproofing your clothes. It can also be used as trash bags. It’s multipurpose and handy in one!
- Don’t rush to reach the resting areas — remind yourself to stay calm and enjoy the trip instead.
- If you are bikepacking in areas with bike shops nearby, your emergency tube can be smaller than the tire size. It’ll inflate to make up the difference and this won’t be reliable forever. It can last until you get larger or re-seat a tubeless tire.
- Merino Wool is a great for bikepacking. Its fibers are antibacterial and will dry out without leaving a stinky odor on your body.
- Tape spare spokes inside the chainstay or in your seat post. Just make sure they are marked properly so you know which wheel they belong to.
- Grip strength alone is mostly not enough, and normal pliers won’t work, so bring a small pair of locking pliers. This can replace your crescent wrenches. Sizes may vary and one can still put down as much torque as needed with a regular wrench.
- Remove any excess strap and melt the ends with a lighter to secure it and prevent it from wearing it out. This will also save an ample amount of weight.
- Sing during camp set up to save you from encountering animals at night. Your singing doesn’t need to be good to do this tip!
- Produce a laminated copy of your valid IDs and passport for security purposes. Place it in your bike’s seat tube or top tube. Convenient and may help locate your bike faster if it is stolen. Also, passports are sensitive and bulky to bring so better leave it safe on a dry and secure place instead of bringing it.
- Loop a piece of string around the thread right where it meets the bolt-head when a bolt vibrates continuously. Soak it in superglue after looping.
- Zip ties are reliable and can replace your panniers. It can last at least 600 miles without failing.
- Petroleum jelly plus dryer lint is a great firestarter. Petroleum jelly can also be added in your first aid kit for chapped skin. You’re welcome!
- Keep a piece of dry birchbark, strip it with your fingers into very tiny strands. Pack hundreds of birchbark hair-like strips in a film canister for your firestarter.
- Pack your first aid kit with what you think is more applicable or more likely to happen to you. If you have allergies, bring anti-histamine. If you hate insect bites, bring some repellent in small spray bottles. Do not forget to bring something for wounds and infection such as Neosporin for large wounds.Don’t have enough space for your first aid meds? Check out these biking bags!
- Buy Body Wrappers Ripstop Pants at 20$ to save you from the wind and bugs. It’s only 4 ounces in weight- much better than usual 13+ ounce long pants.
- The 32 mm or smaller cyclocross race tire with a folding bead, thin, supple sidewalls and high TPI which can roll up to the size of an apple, is a better spare tire than having a Marathon. Strap two rolled, stacked tires in a Salsa Anything Cage. Replace with a strong tire at the nearest bike shop.
- Tight nylon weaves can protect you from bugs- it makes it hard for them to suck your blood. You can try a wind shirt for a starter.
- Make sure to double secure your gadgets and other important things with you. Secure your belongings in a bag and put it inside another drybag. Redundancy is so much better than being sorry after.
- Forget your racks — get a full frame bag that is easier to carry and can have better capacity. This will also save you from rack failure, and space, too.
- Use baby powder or corn starch to coat tubes before installing to reduce chances of a pinch flat.
- Local hardware sells 3M earplugs with a connecting wire and the whole package, including the case, is same as the tube of a lip balm. Use it if you are camping near roads/traffic.
- You can use canister stove to light a campfire but you must be careful. Hold a dry stick over the fire instead of using the stove as a blowtorch.
- Smaller hardware stores have a better selection of stainless steel. Get one to replace your bolt.
- A great campsite location will help you sleep better. Place your sleeping pad in grass, sand or pine needles for a better sleep.
- Kill bacteria in sewing needle by heating it up before using on a blister. Don’t rip the skin off to avoid infection.
- You can repair your torn sidewall by a curved needle without breaking tire bead.
- Don’t forget to stretch regularly if your knees or Achilles tendons hurt. Learn how to stretch it on specific areas with yoga instructors. Stretch every rest stop to keep you fit during the whole bikepacking trip.
- One won’t regret carrying a fleece. You can even use it as a pillow.
- Keep spare cables in your handlebars by threading them in. Pop out the bar and loop it a couple of times.
There are at least a hundred bikepacking lifehacks. Consider this list a start and watch out for more bikepacking lifehacks in the future!