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FAQ: I’m wanting to go away on my first overnight bikepacking trip, what are some essential items I will need to get together before then?

There are a range of essential items you need before heading away even for just a short overnight trip, and they mostly fall into the following categories:

  • Bike and Bags
  • Tools and components
  • Clothes
  • Shelter and Sleep
  • Water, Food and cooking
  • Toiletries/First Aid
  • Miscellaneous

Below I will go into further depth in each of these categories with a suggestion of the main components you will need, as well what makes them necessary. 

Bike and Bags
This category represents both how you and all your things will get to your destination. A common bikepacking setup will usually contain this combination of bags:
  • Saddle bag
  • Handlebar bag
  • Frame bag
  • Stem bag
  • Top tube bag

Tools and components

This category represents everything you need to repair any issues that you have in getting to your destination, both in terms of parts and tools.

A common range of tools to take for an overnight trip would be:

  • Spare tubes (minimum two per bike)
  • Puncture repair kit
  • Tyre boot
  • Multi tool
  • Pump
  • Tyre levers
  • Chain breaker and chain link
  • Small bottle of lube


Some essential items to bring along would include: 

  • A raincoat
  • Bike shorts
  • Bike shoes and socks
  • Gloves 
  • Underwear
  • Thermals top
  • Legwarmers
  • A warm jumper (cotton-free)
  • Lightweight sports tops and shorts
  • Anything you want for camp (beanie, sandals etc)

Shelter and Sleep

Another relatively self explanatory category, which would include:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping mat
  • Sleeping bag
  • Compact pillow

Water, Food and cooking

This category involves basically everything you would consume of the given time period you’re away. This would include:

  • Water bottles/bladder and water 
  • Water purifying system (tablets, filters, etc)
  • Freeze Dry meals or other lightweight nutrition
  • Riding snacks
  • Stove, lighter, gas canister
  • Spork, knife, pot and mug

Toiletries/First Aid

Some basics and some more specific items, including:

  • Toothbrush/Toothpaste 
  • Sunscreen
  • Lip balm
  • Toilet paper
  • Chamois cream
  • Any other personal products (medication, menstrual products etc.)
  • Stocked first aid kit with bandages, painkillers etc.
  • Emergency blanket


Some further essential, but hard to categorise items:

  • Helmet
  • Headlamp and bike lights
  • Mobile phone with maps and/or physical maps
  • Personal Locator Beacon and/or GPS
  • Sunglasses 
  • Cash/card and ID
  • Camera
  • Pen

Please note, you would definitely want to carry a larger range of gear than what has been highlighted above it you were going away for more than a couple nights. Consider this the bare minimum to get you home on a short trip.