Bike Camping Gear

Haha, I’ve done walks in NZ where I haven’t even bothered filling a bottle/bladder, instead just having a cup clipped to the side of my pack.

Source do make a good bladder. But not a good bite-valve in my opinion. I use a Source bladder with a Nalgene hose and bite valve - good combination (Nalgene bladders are very unreliable). But I recently purchased an MSR hydromedary (having used their dromedary water storage bags for years) - I’m very impressed so far, and reckon it’s the winner (standard fit opening too, so you can easily attach it most water filters).

I’d agree, I don’t use the Source bite valve

The MSR Drom bags are the best for sure, price is up there though

My 10L drom bag tastes terrible. I’ve treated it with all sorts of things but it still sucks.

I’ve had a 3L Platypus for a few years now. The laminated Platypus side has come off now, but it’s still good. The bight valve is abit, er, sucky, leaking a bit. I’ve got a replacement now.

Firstly, if you plan to fish in streams most of them are fly fishing only - no spinning. You can spin in most of the lakes but you have to check. You also need to get fishing licenses and these are regional so best to buy a day pass when you decide to fish. My dad has an excellent Sage rod which he bought specifically for backpacking that folds down into about 6 sections, and packs into a small roll about 30cm long. this kind of thing is ideal.

Also don’t get a bladder, as Mike D has already said two large bottles that will fit into overside bottle holders is the way to go. With bottles you can fill from streams, its damn near impossible to fill a platy with anything other than a tap. That said you have to boil water from streams even if it looks clear. Especially if its passed through farmland or dense forested areas. Giardia is a problem here and it makes you quite ill for quite a while. I only drink water straight from mountain streams.

I have a Kovea moonwalker that I really rate. Its more on par with a whisperlite in terms of size but has the convenience of Pro-Butane. These are a lot more stable than can mounted ones like the Supalite and easier to shelter in the wind. They are bigger and heavier tho’.

And lastly if you’re planning to Bivy (Swag) around NZ, you may want to give some serious thought to a synthetic. It can be really WET in NZ and a wet down bag is damn near useless. I would only bivy if I was going for a 2-4 day jaunt, otherwise I’d get a superlight tent and split it.

Forgot to mention

PRACTICE - setting up your gear, pulling it down, sleeping on it, cooking with it, packing it etc etc.

Nothing worse than burning your only meal for the day because your not used to the stove, or fumbling about in the cold and dark after a big day when you don’t know your way around your tent.

I recently bought an ex military bivi bag for a little bike ride I did-Nice lightweight tent option that can function as a sleeping bag too if it’s warm enough, though I’d still recommend taking a quilt, bag or some thermals. Waterproof and as long as you don’t zip it fully up, pretty breathable. I took a tarp with me as well just so if it really poured I wouldn’t have water hitting me in the face. Don’t really need a groundsheet since the bivi is waterproof. I didn’t bother with a mat, which I slightly regret, but I still slept alright. The Can stove is great, especially if you have a small stovetop espresso machine. I agree on practicing setting it up.

Oh yeah, forgot about the fishing thing.

Pen Fishing Rod

Fugging shithouse website. Alright rods though, especially for the price, and anything you catch on it feels like a monster. At the bottom of this page is the first fish I caught with it. I’ve caught a few since, including a tonka squid in Tassie last week that broke my line. I’m replacing the line with an 8-12lb braid I reckon; the stuff it came with is just a bit too snappable, and the spool doesn’t hold much at all.

They make a fly version too, dunno how it’d go though. Probably not as a good that Sage rod and gear mentioned before /understatement.

This is a good article: Self-Supported Bikepacking - A Sample Packing List - Pinkbike

+1 on butter when working hard in cold/alpine areas: energy to burn at day, warmth at night.

Another good gear list - borderline on porky but definately sensible.

All Packed… | A Therapy For Pain

My standout piece of gear for bike camping is the Hennessy Hammock. Best sleep I’ve ever had when touring, including credit card touring in motels. It claims the height limit is 180cm but I’m 195 and it was fine, and they make bigger versions if you’re really fussy about leg room. Between the bug netting and rain fly you’re basically environment proof. When I tour with it, I’m the first one set up and the first one torn down in the morning. Stuffs down smaller than a tent or sleeping bag, and really lightweight.

You’ll want a few trees around, but I’ve always used it in the Pacific Northwest (British Columbia, Washington State and Oregon State), where it absolutely reeks of trees, so that’s never been a problem. Apparently it can be used as a bivvy sack by rigging it over your saddle rails, but I’ve never tried that myself.

The optional larger rain fly will provide a large enough dry footprint to park your bike under it too. Also of note in the accessory section are the snake skins, which are basically scrunchy tubes that you can pull down from either end to quickly pack it up (like it isn’t already the fastest setup aside from just flopping on the ground).

These look really good, but I only know of a few people who use them in Australia, and they mostly use them occasionally when they know there will be suitable trees around. They seem to have never taken off in Australia because of the way campsites are setup and the inconsistency of the trees, so most people just go for a lightweight tent or tarp it. I hope you bring your hammock over and have a go using it; I’d be genuinely interested to see how you go. It might be good, especially in Victoria.

i have a hammock and love sleeping in it, but find it takes as much time as a tent to setup by the time you include the rigging for the fly etc. i don’t have snakeskins or fancy quick release pins or amsteel cords though.
it’s nice and cool in summer, there’s not a lot of privacy when getting dressed if you’re in a busy campsite, and it’s hard to store bags and food off the ground. also if you take things into it with you, like books, torches, phone etc, you’ll end up sleeping on them unless you have a pocket or ridgeline to attach them to. the largest size tarp from hennesy can fit two hammocks and probably at least two touring bikes, it’s ridiculously big, i’d recommend just getting the smallest one, it’s a lot less awkward.

they’re a lot of fun…