Kid’s Horsethief Bikepacking In Fall Setup

Last fall, I invited E-Fred to join me on a bikepacking trip and warned him that I was going to film it. We decided to do the trip on our Horsethief bikes, which presented an opportunity (or mandated, really) for me to carry my gear differently than I had on other trips.

I’m typically a ‘nothing on my back’ guy, but in this case that was going to have to give. The lack of front triangle space on a full-suspension bike and the fact that my Revelate Designs Viscacha seat bag would hit the tire on bigger hits meant figuring out a different way.

In the end I decided to use a Freeload front rack and Osprey backpack, along with my homemade frame bag. The rack would hold gear I would only access in camp, and would eliminate needing to strap stuff to my handlebars. The backpack would allow me relatively quick access to my camera and tripod.

What worked? Well, it all worked really, though having a bit less weight on my back would have been nice. Next time around I’m going to run front and rear racks to lighten the backpack load a bit.

Here is the gear I used on this two-night trip:

Freeload front rack with Outdoor Research dry bag (Note that this rack is now the Thule Pack ‘n Pedal Sport Rack):

Marmot Atom 40-degree down-filled sleeping bag
Patagonia Nano Puff Hoody
Big Agnes Fly Creek 1 tent in fly-only mode

Homemade frame bag:

Shock pump
Tire pump
Bag of energy gels
Spare tube
Trangia alcohol stove pre-filled
Stove pot stand
Tinfoil windscreen
Titanium pot
Gerber folding saw

Osprey Escapist 30 backpack:

Tent poles for shelter
SLIK Sprint Pro II lightweight tripod
Bag of food
Hyalite sleep pad
Flask of Jagermeister
Allen wrenches and patch kit
Spare camera batteries (x2), memory cards, lens cleaning cloth
Nikon D90 DSLR with old, fully manual 50mm lens (35mm film equivalent of 75mm on this camera body)
Bug headnet
Knee warmers
Long sleeve zip tee
Camp socks
Rain jacket
Hydration bladder

Personals ditty bag (inside backpack):

Mountain money
Wet Wipes
Bottle of Aleve
Esbit solid fuel tabs for use as fire starter
Flint striker and steel
Swiss Army Knife (the real tiny size)
Toothbrush and paste
Iodine tablets
Film canister of chamois cream

Food (shared with E-Fred, along with some food and beer he carried):

Dehydrated meal
6-pack of brats
2 packets of tuna fish
8 Pop-Tarts
10 packs of cocoa

There’s one cool story I want to share from the trip. The first night, just after we’d gone to bed, a wolf started to howl from the other shore. We listened as he slowly made his way around the lake, stopping to howl periodically.

E-Fred left that next day as he had obligations to attend to, and later that evening, before the sun had even completely set, two wolves started to howl to each other, one closer to camp. They howled back and forth for close to 20 minutes, while I stared at my slowly shrinking firewood pile and was reminded of the great wild creatures living in these woods, and how fortunate I was to share that space for a couple nights.

Alone in the woods, howling wolves have a way of reminding you of just what place you hold in that world.


This post filed under topics: Bikepacking Gear List Horsethief Kid Mountain Biking Overnighter Salsa Crew Split Pivot

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Mike Riemer

Mike Riemer

I love being outside. I prefer to ride on dirt. Or snow. If I was born a hundred years earlier I might have been a polar explorer. There's a great natural world out there to see, smell, taste, listen to, and experience. Life slows down out there and the distractions we've created will disappear if you let them. Give me a backpack and let me go.


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David | September 24th, 2014

Looks like it was a great trip. How was the fishing?

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | September 24th, 2014

David - No fishing this time around. There were a few fish rising as the sun was going down though. Next time perhaps.

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Stina Hergott | September 25th, 2014

Sweet post!  I love all the links to the other great camping resources. This has me thinking I need to talk my husband into some ‘bikepacking’.

And I think it’s awesome 8 Pop Tarts made the trip! #priorities

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Chris Dunn | September 26th, 2014

Thanks for the write up.  I’m loving bikepacking on my 2014 Horsethief 1.  The most versatile bike on the planet IMHO.  Come on out to AZ this winter or spring for some desert bikepacking.  Also, I thought I was the only human still eating Pop Tarts.

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R. Taylor | September 27th, 2014

Your trip sounds fantastic!  Are you willing to share where you went?  I do a lot of biking in MN and WI and would love to hit the area in the photos.  Thank you in advance!

Kid Riemer

Kid Riemer | October 1st, 2014

R. Taylor - We were riding on the CAMBA (Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association) trails up in northern Wisconsin. We started at the OO Trailhead near Seeley. There are at least two lakes up there easily accessed via MTB trails that are fantastic to camp at…and I’m sure there are plenty of other great places as well. The rules for National Forests are particularly conducive to this.

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mitch myers | October 1st, 2014

Never thought of bike packing ever. Just have been enjoying these blogs. Just bought a horsetheif 1 and am gathering gear! Think i found a new way of adventure on the bik. Thanks for sharing!

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R. Taylor | October 1st, 2014

Kid Riemer,
Thanks for your response!  I know the Chequamegon Area very well as I take two Mt. Bike trips to the Cable area each year.  I was excited to see your OO reference as I will be riding there next week.  Thanks again for your response!

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Logan | October 14th, 2014

Glad to hear you call it Mountain Money up north as well!

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