Riding seven days with Paul Brasby on the Cloud Peak 500 bikepacking route in August was my cycling highlight of last year. See, Cloud Peak 500 Wrap - Feeling Good. In addition to a memorable experience, I learned valuable lessons to prepare for future bikepacking rides, like a possible ride of the 2,500 mile Great Divide Mountain Bike Route ("GDMBR"). See, Bikepacking the GDMBR.
So, to stoke the fires and to be better prepared, I've been reviewing my bike, bags, and gear with a critical eye toward future rides. I think everything worked pretty well on the Cloud Peak 500, but I know there's always room to improve.
This first post focuses on my Gear List, i.e., everything I carried on my bike on the Cloud Peak 500 and currently plan to carry on the GDMBR. Below in normal type is my Cloud Peak 500 Gear List, see, Cloud Peak 500 - Gear List, followed by my planned change, if any, in blue. As you will see, I don't plan to make many changes. The biggest addition is selected clothing for the likelihood of at least some colder, wetter weather and the biggest subtraction is the number of days of food packed.
|My Jones 29+ (left) and Paul's Salsa CutThroat (right) almost 100 miles into our Cloud Peak 500.|
Sleep Kit: Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1 Bikepack tent, Brooks Range Mountaineering Alpini 30 sleeping bag, ThermaRest ProLite pad, Outdoor Vitals UL Stretch pillow, SeaToSummit Reactor Extreme liner.
Although the SeaToSummit Reactor Extreme liner was on my posted Gear List for the Cloud Peak 500, I left it in the Jeep due to the hot weather forecast. I will take it on the GDMBR. No other change.
Clothes: 2 Voler bib shorts, 2 Voler jerseys, 2 pair SmartWool socks, 1 SmartWool top base layer, 1 SmartWool bottom base layer, 1 Voler wind jacket, 1 Showers Pass Refuge rain jacket, 1 Marmot hooded down jacket, 1 SmartWool camp shirt, 1 nylon camp shorts, 1 pair Pearl Izumi liner gloves, 1 pair Marmot over gloves, 1 Pearl Izumi head band, 1 Voler skull cap, 1 SmartWool stocking cap, 1 buff.
Add clothes for colder and wetter weather, namely, Showers Pass rain pants, Showers Pass shoe covers, SmartWool gloves, Voler arm warmers, Voler leg warmers. Substitute SmartWool head band and SmartWool skull cap. No other change.
First Aid/Hygiene/Personal: Ace bandage, gauze pads, large & small band aids, butterfly band aids, alcohol wipes, Neosporin, hydrocortisone, sun screen, lip balm, insect repellant, aspirin, Tums, wipes, toilet paper, zinc oxide, hand towel, tooth brush/paste, soap, sunglasses, bear spray, phone, wallet
Add Spot X satellite tracker/messenger, Anker PowerCore charger, Timber bear bell. No other change.
Tool Kit: Lezyne Alloy HV Drive pump, Lezyne SV-16 multi-tool, Lezyne Tubeless CO2 Blaster tubeless tire repair kit, extra sealant, 2 spare tubes, Park Tool patch kit, tire irons, LeatherMan Skeletool CX tool, Jones derailer hanger, chain links, quick links, chain lube, duct tape, zip ties, mud scraper
Navigation: DeLorme hard copy maps, cue sheets, Stem Captain compass, CatEye cyclocomputer, CatEye head light and tail light, Mountain Miser thermometer, Gideon's pocket Bible
Substitute Adventure Cycling Association hard copy maps and cue sheets. No other change.
Documentation: Olympus TG-4 Tough camera, paper, pens
Substitute bound journal and add pencil. No other change.
Hydration: 100 ounce CamelBack bladder, 2 one liter bottles, MSR Trail Shot water filter, iodine
Substitute 38 ounce, standard diameter cycling water bottles for the ill-fitting one liter bottles and add a 34 ounce collapsible water container. No other change.
Food (8 days): oatmeal/coffee (breakfast), nutrition bars/peanut butter/jerkey/gels (during the day), freeze dried entree/hot chocolate/bars (dinner)
Decrease to 3-4 days for main meals (no change of menu), increase amount and variety during the day. Overall, I'll carry less food and re-supply as needed. No other change.
Kitchen: JetBoil MiniMo stove and fuel, matches, salt/pepper, SeaToSummit collapsible bowl/cup, XL spoon
Add an extra fuel canister, Pony Express titanium spork, rope for bear bag. No other change.
As you can see, I'm not making many changes to my Gear List. I think my Cloud Peak 500 kit worked well for me, probably because I developed it over several years of shorter, local rides.
Next up - How I plan to pack all that gear next time.
Here's the 1960's classic rendition of "My Favorite Things" from The Sound Of Music.
For the 21st century crowd, here's a steam punk, Alice In WonderLand version of "My Favorite Things."
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