The packing list is always in flux–usually until the moment we hop on our bikes to start the adventure–and is determined by pretty simple factors

  • how long the trip is
  • how remote the route is
  • what time of year we’re heading out

So, here we are, taking off

  • for ten days of really challenging terrain
  • into the middle of nowhere. We’ll have a 145 mile section without any services.
  • in late July

We’ll need to move self sufficiently with light and compressible gear, and carry enough  food for three day sections at a time. We shouldn’t need to worry too much about cold nights, but I run a little cold in the backcountry from constant exposure. Layers are key. Rain gear is a must, and protection from sun and bugs are a priority.

Bear Country

We’re keenly aware that we’re exploring bear country. Backpacking the Olympics about four years back, we had a good head count daily.

For this trip, I bought a spool of ⅛” nylon cord from Outdoor Wilderness Fabrics to make to bear hanging systems for our stuff. Don’t skimp on cord because what goes up has gotta reach back down to be tied off, and you want your food hanging on a limb that’s high off the ground and away from the trunk of the tree. We’ll both carry 100 feet of line with carabiners attached.


Home Sweet Home

My first experiences with camping under tarps made me feel really vulnerable. I had the great luck of guiding trips with a co-instructor who is an engineer. He taught me nuances of pitching tarps, and the art of gauging incline, wind, weather, and rising water lines. Now I love the simplicity of tarp camping, and stubbornly pull out the bulk of our Half Dome when a trip is better served by a tent.


When I was snooping around for an ultralight tarp, I had a conversation with a salesperson who argued against purchasing from an ‘under-the-radar’ company because “a corporate brand name would provide quality and design assurance.”  You all know what I do for a living, so you won’t be surprised that I left the store and bit the bullet a Six Moon Designs Tarp. Haven’t heard of them? Well, most folks haven’t heard of Swift Industries either, so I figured it was time to support another small company. Six Moon Designs is well regarded in the Ultralight Backpacking scene, and the Haven Tarp we purchased has been amazing. The tarp itself compresses down to a liter. I opted for the telescoping carbon fiber poles, and had Six Moons seal the tarp for me. The shape of the tarp is enclosed and feels more like a tent. It has two zip entries with large vestibules for shoving our gear under the tarp with us. One can batten down so that there is a four inch gap between the ground and the bottom of the nylon. I just invested in the Haven Tarp’s companion bug NetTent for the for the Range Tour. I’m hoping it does its job.



Sierra Designs just released their new Backcountry Quilt and Jason is eager to put it to the test. The shape of the “bag” is totally unique, and is a sort of blanket- mummy hybrid. Jason went for the 800 fill, 30 degree model and I got really jealous when I watched him compress the bag. My sleeping bag is my biggest piece of gear, and the Backcountry quilt is ⅓ smaller than mine when it’s compressed.


Down to the Details



.6 L Pot, GSI Outdoors Halulite Minimalist

2 Fuel Canisters, 8 oz.

Silicone Pot Grip, GSI Outdoors

Folding bowl, Orikaso

Knife, Opinel

2 Sporks, Park Tools

Giga Power Auto Stove, Snopeak

Hot Lips, Snowpeak


Camp Suds

½ Sponge


Haven Tarp

Bug Net



Small hiker’s First Aid Kit


Sun Screen

Bug Spray

Chap Stick

Pack Towel

Tooth Paste


Bike Repair Kit

2 Sets, extra disc brake pads

Extra tire (dedicated to Lucas)

2, tire boots (dedicated to Johnson D)

2, 29” Tubes

Extra Spokes

Tri Flow

Personal Patch Kits

Tire Irons

Brake Cable

Gear Cable

Extra Rack Bolts and Hardware

Zip Ties


Backcountry Specifics

Bear Line

Folding Saw

Toilet Paper




Battery Pack

2, Phones

Canon G10

Supernova Plug


2, Garmen Touring Pros



Martina’s Stuff


Tyvek Ground Cloth

Sleeping Bag, the North Face

Pad, Thermarest Backpacker



2 Cycling Chamois



Nylon Running Shorts

Chambray Long Sleeve

Ibex base layers, top and bottom

Light Synthetic Puffy (5”X2” compressible size)

3 pairs socks, one kept in sleeping bag

Cycling shoes

Metallic Gold Keds

Wool Buff

Spring Gloves

Packable Sun Hat

Rain Jacket

Ibex Knee Warmers

Indian Cotton Sarong



Book, Kafka on the Shore

Windsor and Newton Cotman Watercolor Set

Small Sketch Book



Tooth Brush

Diva Cup

Contact lenses




Hydration Pack

Acre Hauser 10 L Pack

3 L Bladder


Jason’s Things


Tyvek Ground Cloth

Backcountry Quilt, Sierra Designs

Pad, Exped Air Mat

Inflatable Camping Pillow, REI


2 Cycling Chamois


Wool Undershirt, Ibex

Wool Leggings, Ibex

3 Pairs Socks

Wind and Rain Jacket, OR

Puffy Jacket, Moonstone Designs

Arm Warmers, Ibex

Wool Buff

Long Sleeve Cotton Shirt

Casual Shorts

Wool Gloves

Rain Pants

Cycling Cap

Baseball Cap


Trout Classic 5 Weight, 9 Ft, 6 Piece Redington Fly Rod

Surge 5 Weight Reel, Redington

Mini Fly Pouch, Elemental Horizons





Tooth Brush


Mora Knife


Hydration Pack

Deuter Compact Air 10L

3 L Bladder

There’s a million ways to pack for an adventure–and the fun of it is honing and adapting according to the kind of trip you’re taking.

If you’re bike-camp-curious, and want to set out on your first adventures you don’t need fancy gear to have a stellar time. If you have a bicycle, a sleeping bag and mat, and a fairly small shelter, then you’re already ninety percent there. Borrow or rent gear when you can, and hit the road.

The more you find yourself getting out, it’ll be obvious what you should invest in. Our gear has been gathered and purchased over ten years. This stuff is expensive. Good gear should facilitate getting out into wild places safely. I started off with really basic, not very technical camping equipment. Going outside with gear that is designed for the backcountry really does improve the experience. Materials are getting lighter smaller and more heat efficient all the time. At its core, gear it about utility. We put ourselves into pretty exposed environments and the things we take make sure we are kept healthy and protected from the elements. It’s that simple.

The next post will be published right before we hit the trail tomorrow morning. It’ll give you a close looks at our bicycles and set-up for the Range Tour.



Thanks for checking out the RangeTour2

We’ll be getting ready to skip town on July 20th. Check out the route we’ll trace, the gear we’ve chosen, and how we plan to carry what we need for ten days in the mountains.


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