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Sunday, October 1, 2023

2023 Black Hills Bounty - How I Pack All That Gear

Last week I posted a Gear List of what I plan to carry on the 2023 Black Hills Bounty bikepacking ride. Here's how I packed all that gear on my Jones 29+ mountain bike. Every bag has some extra space, providing easy and flexible packing during the ride. 

Fully loaded Jones 29+ mountain bike, ready to roll on the Black Hills Bounty.

Truss Fork Bags (forks):  In addition to being light and strong, the Jones truss fork provides a built-in structure to support a pair of bags. Recognizing this potential, Jeff Jones teamed with Revelate Designs to create these bags, each offering nearly the capacity of a seat post bag. For quick access in inclement weather, I pack the tent and rain jacket in the left side bag, along with a Spot X tracker in an outside mesh pocket. I pack the sleeping pad, sleeping bag liner, and pillow in the right side bag.

Harness + Salty Roll (handle bar):  I pack the sleeping bag and down hoodie in the middle third of the Salty Roll bag, leaving more than a third of the bag on each side for all the clothes, except liner gloves, skull cap, and wind jacket. On the left side, I pack arm warmers, leg warmers, and SmartWool stocking cap. On the right side, I pack camp clothes.

Egress Pocket (handle bar):  Strapped to the Harness and atop the Salty Roll bag, the Egress Pocket holds sunglasses/glasses, toilet paper, and bag of medicinals. In the left side outside mesh pocket I pack a pair of liner gloves and in the right side outside mesh pocket I pack a skull cap. I often put other things in this readily accessible bag.

Loop Hold H-Bar bag (handle bar): This bag fits under the map case, tucked into the space between the lateral tubes of the Jones handle bar. It's bigger than you think, is a great use of space, and is on the bike full time. In it I carry chain lube, water filter, journal, pencils, and Bible.

Mountain Feed Bag (handle bar/stem):  In the left side bag, I carry a 26 ounce water bottle filled with water, as well as lip balm in the outside mesh pocket. In the right side bag, I carry a 26 ounce water bottle filled with trail mix (almonds, peanuts, M&M's, raisins).

Mag-Tank 200 bag (top tube by the handle bar):  This handy bag with a magnetic closure allows easy, one-handed access to 2,000 calories of on-the-fly food. I often put my camera in there, too.

Jerry Can bag (top tube by the seat post):  This sneaky little bag holds an entire tool kit, including a tubeless repair kit, patch kit, tire plugs, CO2 cartridges, valve cores, valve stem, extra chain links, quick links, spare derailleur hanger, multi-tool, tire irons, and LeatherMan tool.

Terrapin bag (seat post):  This modular setup comprises a harness that attaches to the bike and a 14 liter dry bag that easily removes from the harness. I pack this dry bag with food, so I can readily remove the entire bag for secure overnight storage. In addition to 1-2 days of food, the Terrapin bag also carries the spare tube wrapped in duct tape, a Nemo foam seat pad, zip ties, and a kitchen stuff sack with spork, salt/pepper, collapsible bowls, can opener, spare matches, and iodine tables, and the SmartWool top and bottom base layers.

Frame Bag (main triangle): The frame bag is divided into top and bottom compartments. The right side of the top compartment holds a 38 ounce water bottle and a 26 ounce "dirty" water bottle (used to draw and hold unfiltered water), as well as peanut butter, honey, tortillas, and a spork for easy access for lunch. The left side of the top is a relatively thin sleeve that holds wallet, phone, battery, and cords. The bottom compartment holds a hand towel, a hygiene stuff sack with soap, razor, toothbrush/paste, alcohol wipes and zinc oxide, and a first aid stuff sack with ace bandage, gauze pads, large & small bandaids, butterfly bandaids, Neosporin, aspirin, ibuprofen and Tums.

Down Tube Cage:  Strapped to a Salsa Anything Cage on the bottom side of the down tube is a stuff sack containing my Jet Boil MiniMo stove, fuel, and cook pot.

Rear Axle Cages:  Bottle cages near the rear axle hold two 38 ounce Soma Further water bottles, secured with a flexible tie-down.

In addition to the bags and their contents, I mounted on the handle bars a Garmin 530 GPS device, Lezyne 800XL head light,  CatEye cyclocomputer, Stem Captain compass, Timber bear bell, Knog Oi bell, Ergon GP3 grips, and some stubby bar ends near the levers. The crowning touch is a Slow Moving Vehicle sign strapped to the back of the Terrapin seat post bag.

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