Bags setup

Deciding what to bring and to pack is a fine balance between traveling light and having everything you need to survive out there and get face every situation you might encounter on your path.

Here a quick run through of Federico’s packing technique and choices. He is actually a bit of a nerd and you may think there some over engineering here, but when planning you need to do everything that increases your piece of mind. Here’s how he approached it, in his own words.


Packing is one of my favorite parts of bikepacking. I like bikes, but I like packing too 😉

To approach this big packing challenge I decided to go back to my past experiences in web development. Back then I was part of some Agile development teams as a product owner. 

Without going much into details, agile teams approach development sprints working user stories, often writing them on post-its and categorizing and moving them on a board to manage the backlog. It helps visualize the job and organize it.

I decided to go for it. First thing to do was cleaning a wall in the living room to attach a big race course paper on it to create a board. Not necessary, but I liked it.

I then stated putting on the wall all the equipment categories on top of the board, forming different columns: apparel, tools, electronics, food, drink, sleeping system.

Next up was giving myself three-four days to put all the items I wanted to bring on the wall, on smaller post-its, under the right category. It’s good to give you some time to come up with the complete list, simply because you often end up realizing you need something when you’re not thinking about it and you’re doing something else.

And after some thinking here’s the complete list of items I started putting on the floor on Sunday afternoon.

Apparel

Sleeping system

  • 1 x Sea To Summit Spark II sleeping bag
  • 1 x Sea To Summit Ultralight mat
  • 1 x Sierra Design bivy bag

Tools

  • 4 x Tubolito 27.5 inner tubes
  • 1 x Lezine Sport Drive HV Pump
  • 1 x Topeak Mini 20 multitool
  • 1 x Svitol spray can
  • 2 x Tyre lever
  • 1 x 3T Dropout
  • 2 x SPD cleats
  • 2 x Shimano breaking pads
  • 3 x Chain links
  • 2 x Co2 cannister
  • 1 x Co2 valve 
  • 1 x Gorilla tape
  • 1 x Electrical tape
  • 1 x shifter cable
  • 1 x cassette remover & spokes adjuster
  • 1 x tyre repair
  • 1 x Tubolito repair kit
  • 1 x Wet Lube
  • 1 x Knife
  • 1 x Lighter
  • 1 x Emergency blanket

Electronics

  • Garmin Edge 1030 for navigation
  • Garmin Edge 820 ad back up navigation
  • Garmin InReach Mini for tracking
  • Garmin Battery pack
  • Lupine Piko R7 Light
  • Lupine 7 battery
  • Lupine 4 battery
  • 10400 mAh power bank
  • 5000 mAh power bank
  • 3 x USB cables
  • USB charger 
  • Backlight
  • Quechua Headlight
  • Fujifilm X-T30 Camera

Drink

  • 2 x Elite Fly 950 bottles
  • 1 x Life Straw
  • 30 x Water purification tablets
  • 10 x 20g Malto powder

First aid & cleaning

  • Tissues
  • Toothbrush
  • Toothpaste
  • Soap
  • Hands sanitizer
  • Disinfettante
  • Nivea Cream
  • Sunscreen 
  • Small Towel
  • 6 x Elite chamois creme
  • 6 x Elite warm up cream

Quite a long list! And I think I kept it pretty essential.

Step 2 was to secure all the Miss Grape bags on the bike and start filling them. Before it, I removed all the post-its from the columns and did a big bunch of them on the left of the board. On the right, I created new columns named after the bags. As soon as I put one item in a bag, I moved its post-it to the column.

This way I knew exactly where I was putting every small item and I was able to move postis as soon as I realized that one place was not the right one for that piece of my equipment. 

Packing the right way is key for avoiding any unnecessary time loss and have everything you use more handy and ready.

Without going into many details, here’s a split of my gear into my bags

Tendril 4.10 (front frame)

  • Sleeping bag
  • Bivy Bag

Right Bud (stem bag)

  • Garmin InReach
  • Piko 7 Battery
  • USB dynamo Plug
  • Cables
  • The battery in use

Top tube node

  • Knife
  • Food, food, food

Left Bud (stem bag)

  • TBD, weather a 750 Elite Fly water bottle or food

Frame Bag

  • Armwarmers
  • Legwarmers
  • Shoecovers
  • First Aid
  • 2 x Tubolito
  • Cap
  • Fujifilm X-T30

Cluster 13 (Saddle Bag)

  • Sleeping mat
  • Fiandre Pro
  • Down Jacket
  • Rain jacket
  • Rain pants

Elite Tacquin (tool bottle)

  • 2. x Tubolito
  • Multitool
  • Tyre lever and other small tools

Everything ready. Time to take all the post-its down like Michael Scofield in the first Prison Break episode and leave for the expedition.

(I’m writing from the side seat while Mattia is driving. We are going to Milan for our next stop and he is trying to convince me to leave the soap home..)

Back to Top