6 Ways to Save Weight On Your Bikepacking Rig (video)

Interested in shaving some weight off of your bikepacking gear and rig? In our latest video, Neil walks through six ways to lighten up your kit. Watch it here, alongside several of our picks from our recent “most ridiculous item” survey…

Weight adds up fast when you start packing your bike, especially when you add more luxury (and even silly) items. In this video, Neil talks about six obvious and some not-so-obvious ways to save weight on your bikepacking rig. He also shares some of the most ridiculous items folks have taken along on their bikepacking trips.

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  • Most Ridiculous item
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At one point or another, we’ve all overpacked. And sometimes that can be a good thing. Back when we published the second issue of The Bikepacking Journal in 2019, we asked our contributors to share the silliest and most excessive thing they’d ever brought on along for a ride, and we could hardly believe a few of them (our Bikepacking Collective members will remember receiving an illustrated postcard with their copy). So, before we made this video, we asked our readers: What’s the most ridiculous item you’ve ever brought along on a bikepacking trip? We got hundreds of responses from that survey. Neil shared a handful in the video and here are 20 of our favorites:

  • Mario Rodriguez (@mariorodter) – A 1kg flute. Actually a traditional “dulzaina castellana” is made out of wood with a leather cover. People would offer me food and shelter if I stopped playing :D
  • Peter (@HoppedBirder) – Dress shoes. My idea was to have at least something nice to wear in town after a few days through the prairie.
  • Lance Harris – My whole 70L backpacking bag, full to the brim, including a bottle of wine. It was my first ever overnighter and I had no idea what I was doing. I road my only bike, a full carbon race geometry carbon Giant OCR road bike and carried all my gear on my back, while in a very aggressive position on the bike. The ride out to the campground was only about 30 miles thank god, because by the time I got there, my back was KILLING me. Thankfully I was only 24 at the time, because now, at age 37, I can not even imagine attempting this! Many more years of experience and better, proper gear under the belt. But hey, we all start somewhere.
  • Moritz Albrecht (@albrecht_m) – Whole roll of duct tape on a 2 month trip (it weighed about 500g and I didn’t use it once)
  • Jeremy Nolan (@jeremynolan94) – 14 pounds of dried beans on a trip where I ended up having access to a store nearly every day!
  • Josh Russell (@Jrussellsound) – A 46×26 low gear
  • Sam (@on.the.bummel) – Chugirma – traditional Uzbek sheepskin hat. Super toasty cold weather bit of gear. Not most practical for packing but it’s simply the best. https://www.instagram.com/p/CHuwO8ClibT/
  • Kyle – Boat anchor for pack raft fishing
  • riley weaver (@neonekstasis) – ice cream cake!
  • Devin Peyton (@birder_on_a_bike) – My hand sewn golden cape goes on every trip. (It’s even featured in a few pics from your dispatch article “bikepacking NWA event recap” lol)
  • Amanda (@Amandapatzer) – High heels 🤣
  • John Messick (@Johnlmessick) – A hookah
  • Foz (@mtnfoz) – Scandinavian hatchet
  • Jesse Cahill – Hasselblad 500 C/M medium format camera and lenses.
  • Perttu Heinonen (@Travelingmoustache) – In 2016 I was riding the GR5 trail from Amsterdam to Geneva. On the third day I met a nice couple at the Westmalle Trappist restaurant and they invited me to stay at their place that night. Next morning they served me a hearty breakfast and the woman handed me a Westmalle Trappist glass. I tried to refuse saying I don’t have space for such a thing and it probably wouldn’t last those upcoming 25 days of the journey I still had head of me. She insisted, and still today, I have that goblet of thick glass sitting in my cupboard, reminding of those wonderful people and that wonderful trip.
  • Sébastian (@sbstndhl) – A fireplace bellow.
  • Greg (@Greg13kmh) – An ultralight paraglider
  • Melissa Terry (@melcterry) – Tried going hyper-lite and packed miso soup packets as my only food. I was ZONKED!
  • Stanislaw Pennors (@StanislawPennors) – My goat
  • Mike (@michen.rotter) – Three field guides to the plants of Japan, all 100 + pages and one a hardcover. All in Japanese and I dont read Japanese.
    • Now, it’s your turn. If you have any tips for saving weight on your rig or kit, let us know in the conversation below.

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