Bikepacking Made Easy: An Illustrated How-To Guide

Interested in bikepacking or not even sure what the heck it is, but it sounds fun? Blackburn has provided us with this this illustrated guide gives a helpful (and humorous) look at how to load up your ride for a weekend away on the road or the trail.

No matter what you’re packing, the folks behind Roll With It, a bikepacking film and companion book, want to help you learn the ropes. The project was launched this summer by Blackburn, maker of cycling accessories like bike racks, panniers, frame bags, and everything else made to outfit bikes for long treks.

The four illustrations below by Chris McNally that appeared in the the companion book are light-hearted but offer great detail on what and how to pack for different excursions.

Day Trips, Road Bike  credit-card-bike-trip

The Credit Card setup is for day-trippers taking on only moderate miles. Plan to have someone put you up overnight because this is a minimalist’s rig, no room for a tent and not a lot of spare clothes.

An emergency kit, a couple water bottles, and whatever you can fit in a handlebar bag (think: light rain jacket, toothpaste, phone, charger, and all the energy bars you can put down).

Long Miles | Gravel or Cross Bike


The Mix & Match design is for riders with their eyes on the horizon. Your bike should be able to handle tarmac, bumps, gravel, and some mild off-road and you should possess the skills to ride off road as well.

Load your tent, dinner, extra water, and anything else heavy in the frame bag. Toss a pannier on the front (front-loading is better than back for touring rides) with some of the lighter stuff you’ll need for camping.

Be sure to check out our Ride on the Greater Allegheny Passage on a cross bike.

The addition of a seat pack and top-tube bag for food and all other essentials should give you just enough carriage for a self-supported trip.

Single Track | Mountain Bike Bikepacking


If you decide to go full-on backwoods, this Bikepacking Rig may be your best bet. This one is for riders who plan to leave the road behind, favoring single track over long miles and hoping not to see people for days.

It’s similar to the Mix & Match above, minus the pannier (you’ll need that suspension). Toss in a stuff sack and handlebar roll to make room for your stuff while leaving your bike as nimble as possible.

Gone for Weeks | Touring Bike

Roll With It BikePacking

At some point in your bike-packing evolution or maybe your wife kicked you out, you will want to really test your mettle (and your ride’s). When you reach that point, the Full Loaded setup is what you will want.

Panniers on front and rear, frame bags, racks, and basically any other cargo you can strap down to the bike will leave you room for anything you’ll need to pack for long trips far, far away.

Plan to bring plenty of food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, cooking supplies, toiletries, shelter, clothes for warm, cold, wet, and dry, and perhaps a calendar so you’ll know what day it is.



Adventure, Travel, Outdoors, Gear and Fitness