Biking Baja: A Gear List
Wild Confluence co-founder Luke Kantola gives insight into what he is packing as he rides down the coast of Baja California this fall.
By Luke Kantola
Tonight I am leaving to meet a crew of seasoned bike travelers in LA. From there we will head South into Baja California on an entirely self-supported trip down the coast. Here is a look at what I'm taking with me:
A look at the bike all built up
No racks, no panniers... this style of bike touring is known as bikepacking. All of the bags are in-line with the frame of my bike, and help to keep stability and control of the bicycle at a maximum.
The stripped down bike is lean and mean. I built up a Surly Troll frame (which is meant to run 26" mountain bike tires) with 29" cyclocross tires. The result is a bike that feels equally at home on gravel, single track, and pavement. Another upside to running a frame meant for 26" wheels is that I can more easily tour in places where 26" is still the standard wheel size ie: Central and South America.
Here are all of my bags. Left to Right, Top to Bottom: Tripod bag, platypus 2-liter bladder, 750ml water bottle, top tube bag, seat bag, frame bag, and handlebar bag with added front pouch. That's it!
Here's everything that goes into my frame bag:
- Go Pro accessories
- Go Pro Hero+4 Black
- Road Morph pump
- Black Diamond Spot headlamp
- Custom sewn tool roll: Allen key set, chain tool, tire levers, various nuts and bolts, zip ties, etc.
- Polycro ground sheet
- Extra brake and shift cable
- energy bars, lens blower, sunscreen, palo santo/white sage, hacky sack
- Minolta 50 mm lens
- Jack Kerouac's Dharma Bums
- Fleece Gloves
- Spanish English Dictionary
- Sigma 150-500mm lens
The front pouch carries more camera gear and my passport. Other quick access items inevitably get shoved in this space (mainly food)
- Camera bag
- 3 spare batteries
- 10-stop Neutral Density Filter
- Sony A7s w/ 28mm Minolta lens and polarizing filter
Behind the front pouch sits a waterproof dryroll bag that keeps some electronics and clothes dry including:
- Arm sun protectors (I wear a short sleeve shirt always)
- loose fitting pants
- Ditty bag that includes: ibuprofen, toothbrush/paste, earplugs, Aquamira water treatment, spare batteries, gauze roll, tape.
- Electronics bag: Handle grip for Sony A7s, various cables, lav mic, 5600mah usb battery
- Long sleeve thermal layer
- Bug headnet
- Event rain shell
This is the quick access king. Food also inevitably gets shoved in here.
- Benchmade 530 knife
- Sansa Clip+ Mp3 player
My seat bag is full of my sleeping gear and a jacket.
- 20-degree quilt
- Light non waterproof bivy
- Flash 18 backpack (for long stretches without food or water)
- Dridown jacket
- Size small ridgerest pad
There are a few items that didn't get pictured. While I am indeed not carrying a stove, here are some extra items that I am carrying:
- 3-liter water bladder (my water capacity is just under 6 liters)
- Collapsible bowl
You may have noticed a lack of shelter on my list. Since the weather is expected to be very hot and dry I will not be carrying any shelter, but instead my travel companions and I will be sharing tents incase the weather gets bad. I prefer the stars on clear nights.
That's all there is to it. Every little bit of extra space will get filled with delicious food.