6 ways to



If you enjoy rugged bikepacking routes, a lighter bike makes riding so much more pleasant. But how to cut weight from your bikepacking setup without sacrificing comfort or safety?

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"I wish I had packed lighter!"

Try Multipurpose Gear

Can a stuff sack and your spare layers double as a pillow? Can you eat directly out of your cook pot instead of carrying a bowl? Find creative ways to cut items from your packing list without giving up their function.

Weigh Your Stuff

A simple cooking scale can tell you exactly how many ounces or pounds each item adds to your bike. When you see how fast it adds up you might feel more motivated to make some cuts.

Embrace the Dirt

You're riding a bike, not going to the office, so don't stress about personal grooming. One or two shirts (no matter how long the trip) and a nightly splash 'n scrub with water are all you need out here.

Research Your Route

Essential gear for one ride (warm layers in the cold, or lots of water in the desert, for example) is just unnecessary weight for another. Research expected weather, water sources, and resupply stops to make sure you're prepared, but not over-prepared. 

Streamline Your Menu

Food can weigh between 1.5 - 2.5 pounds per person per day! Stay on the light side of that range by planning your calories, choosing dehydrated starches and foods high in fat content, and repackaging into compact containers.

Lighten Sleep and Shelter Systems

If you can afford new gear, a quality modern tent (or tarp or bivvy), sleeping bag (or quilt), and sleeping pad can cut pounds from your pack list.

Consider Going Without

Are you "packing your fears" or otherwise filling bike bags with items you won't use? Maybe you could even be happy without some common items, like a stove or camp shoes? Weigh your priorities (comfort on bike versus comfort at camp) and find a balance.

Find more details and tips for lightening your load at Exploring Wild.

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