Whether it’s backpacking, mountaineering or bikepacking I view my packing list on a spectrum. On the far left is barely enough to spend one uncomfortable night, on the far right is bringing enough to comfortably spend multiple weeks in the backcountry. If the far left is zero and the far right is ten I viewed the four night trip around the Olympic Peninsula as a four.
At fifty-five I am no longer willing to purposely huddle under a tree awaiting first light, but, on the other hand, if I was going to make the miles and enjoy the ride I needed to be very selective in my gear.
I classify my gear as either “luxuries” or “essentials.” A towel is a luxury, sleeping gear is an essential. On the Olympic trip I made my luxuries as barely sufficient whereas my essentials were more conservative. For example, I would have liked to have had a large towel, but opted for a twelve by twelve camping hand towel. On the other hand, instead of a one-pound tarp I opted for a four-pound single-wall tent.
I did purchase one item of gear during the trip: a cheap drawstring backpack. I bought it at the grocery/general store in Forks in order to transport groceries to the campsite. Over the next three days this item proved indispensable for hauling beer and food from the grocery store to the campsite. I would recommend packing along one of these lightweight packs.
The following lists what I brought, what I didn’t bring and what I wish I had brought.
|REI Helio Down 40+A1:B28 degree sleeping bag||This was a mid-summer trip and 40 this bag was more than adequate.|
|Thermarest NeoAir Small||This unit packs small but is easy to roll off of|
|Integral Designs tent||Single-wall mountaineering tent, adequate for two people, luxurious for solo occupant|
|Wool long sleeve||This is a perfect underlayer for cold mornings and great for post ride and evening warmth|
|Rapha Brevet lightweight insulated jacket||Warm and extremely packable – one of my favorite items of clothing|
|Rapha Commuter rain jacket||This was maybe a bit extravagent but we were heading into a rain forest so…|
|Bibs||I brought one pair to bibs in hopes of being able to launder them along the way|
|Club Ride Gunslinger Padded undershorts||This was my first experience with these and they were fine for all day riding|
|Jersey||Standard issue bike jersey with three rear pockets|
|White REI shirt||Dress shirt style, synthetic, long sleeve. Perfect for sun protection|
|Cap||Standard bicycle style hat|
|Velocio baselayer with pockets||I like this one as it has three rear pockets so I can wear it under REI shirt|
|REI wool socks||These are basic REI socks but they rock. Comfortable and non stinky|
|Fuel cannister||I brought fuel while Blaine brought the stove and pot|
|Gloves||Day-glo yellow Pearl Izumi gloves|
|Greenlite Heavy Industries shorts||I like wearing overshorts as you don’t look too out of place in small town stores, bars and restaurants|
|Standard repair kit|
|Tire lever||Only need one|
|Zip ties||The duct tape of bicycle repair|
|Fixit Sticks||A little bulky but cool|
|Tire boot||Old piece of tire|
|Park tool tube patches||These work amazingly well|
|2 inner tubes|
|Touring/bikepacking repair kit|
|Tubeless tire repair||Lezyne kit|
|Chain tool||Fitit stick accessory|
|Universal derailleur hanger||Problem Solvers|
|Chain lube||Small bottle of Boeshield T-9|
|Wolf Tooth chain pliers||Good for undoing master link|
|Cup and spork|
|Pocket knife||CRKT Peck. Super small lightweight knife|
|Assos chamois cream||Small container. Individual packets would work as well|
|Sunscreen||Small tube of SPF30|
|50 ft paracord||For hanging laundry|
|Mini towel||Camping hand towel|
|Portable power supply||Necessary these days. Actually more difficult than I expected to find outlets to recharge|
Possibly the more important list is what I didn’t bring:
|Large thermarest/pad||I would have preferred something that I didn’t continually roll off of|
|Large knife||Nice but not needed|
|Bug spray||Used long sleeved shirt instead|
|Shorts||Nice but not needed|
|Footprint for tent||I don’t even know what these are for|
|Leatherman||Nice but not needed|
Lastly is a list of what I wish I had brought. This is one item – a pump. The only pump that works is your own pump, I forgot this one rule and ended the ride with twenty psi in my tires.