Prepare for a bikepacking adventure with Laura Kennington - Packing tips

05 August 2022

Blogs

Over the years, Adventure Athlete, Keynote Speaker and Author, Laura Kennington has taken on many self-supported challenges with her bike which has allowed her to gradually refine her kit list in the process.

If you’re thinking about embarking on a cycling adventure, this kit list could come in very handy! So buckle up and get ready to take some notes as Laura delves into her absolute must-haves!

“Recently, I’ve enjoyed experimenting with packing lighter. I’ve ditched the panniers and instead opted for a bikepacking setup. I will admit that with an extra small frame, it’s a huge challenge to fit everything in this way (I really struggle with wheel clearance - anyone with a small frame will relate!) but on the plus side, it means I have to be really strict with what I decide to pack - and ultimately this is something I’m always glad of on the climbs anyway!

For my last 2 bikepacking trips, I haven’t been camping which of course hugely saves on the weight. This is what my standard kit list looks like:

The bike: Liv Avail Advanced Pro 1 — aka “Diana” (named after Wonder Woman)

Clothes:

On the bike:

●     1 x Jersey

●     1 x Bib shorts (yep, only 1 but I wash them in the sink/shower every night, wrap them up in a towel and then hang up to dry for the next day!)

●     1 x sports bra

●     1 x socks

●     1 x Buff

●     1 x Waterproof jacket

●     Arm + Leg covers (this is for protecting me from sunburn as much as keeping me warm!)

●     Cycle gloves

●     Cycling cap

●     Cycling helmet.

●     Sunglasses (cycling specific)

●     Cycling shoes

Off the bike:

●     1 x compression leggings

●     1 x vest/t-shirt

●     1 x cap

●     2 x knickers

●     1 x lightweight windbreaker jacket (doubles up as an extra layer for the bike if needed!)

●     1 x lightweight running shorts

●     1 x boxer shorts (to sleep in)

●     1 x socks

●     1 x Vivobarefoot shoes (great anyway but especially for packing with limited space!)

Toiletries (all decanted into smaller containers where applicable):

●     Toothbrush/toothpaste

●     Face wipes

●     Shampoo (decanted into a travel bottle), conditioner bar

●     Face wash / face moisturiser

●     Chamois cream (again decanted into a smaller container)

●     Weleda Arnica massage balm

●     Menstrual cup if I’m expecting my period

●     Suncream

●     Tissues

●     Hand sanitiser

Electric:

●     Battery bank

●     GoPro camera

●     iPhone and QuadLock bike mount

●     Cycling computer (Karoo 2)

●     Suunto 9 sports watch

●     Bone conducting earphones

●     SRAM eTap battery charger

●     Bike lights, front & back

●     Various leads to charge the above, kept in a small dry bag.

Other:

●     Spare bungy cords/voile straps (I usually secure my front and rear bags with bungy cords - again due to this setup being quite tricky with a small bike frame!)

●     Gaffer tape (around one of my water bottles to save space)

●     1 x mini bottle of tyre sealant, presta valve core removal tool, spare valve cores, Maxalami Tubeless Tyre repair kit, bike pump, multitool. Chain oil (longer trips)

●     Small cafe lock

●     Soft water flasks - for carrying extra water as needed. Perfect because they squish down when not in use!

●     Basic medical kit. Varies depending on where I’m going/how long I’m going for but usually at least KT tape, rehydration sachets, Ibuprofen, imodium, plasters, sterile wipes. Travel sickness pills if I’m getting on a ferry!

●     Tennis ball (for rolling into achy muscles!)

Hydration/Nutrition:

●     1 x hydration bladder (1.5 litres) in the frame bag with some combination of an additional 750ml water bottle / various 500ml water flasks that I can pack down when not in use (depending on how much water I think I’ll need to carry).

●     Electrolytes

●     Travel sachets of “greens” for nutritional insurance - my diet on the road is restricted to what I can find/carry and is obviously not always ideal/often rather beige so, I take some of these to boost my nutrition!

●     Snacks! I am never without my trusty bag of homemade trail mix — a zip lock bag full of nuts (macadamia, almonds, pistachios, walnuts, cashews) and dried mango pieces. I’ve honestly lost count of the amount of times my trail mix has saved the day — for me and other people I’ve been out with. Closed cafe/local shop, train/plane delays, something to nibble often whilst you’re on the move to keep your energy up — trail mix to the rescue!  I often tire of overly sweet things fairly quickly when doing long challenges, instead craving something savoury, so it’s great for that, too!

For longer trips I also take tortilla wraps (they can be found in most supermarkets wherever you go and they also pack down nice and small!) and peanut butter (supplemented with cucumber/whatever else I’ve found in the local shop!)

Last but not least…

●     Murphy, my adventure mascot (a small green bear)

Now, who wants to book a cycling trip?! We hope this list helps many people pack for their next adventure. Check out Liv Cycling gear here.

Laura Kennington is a British adventure athlete, author and speaker with a passion for the endurance capability of the human body. A strong believer in the positive impact that adventure and sport can have on children and adults alike, Laura uses her human powered journeys as a platform to inspire and encourage others to get outside.

Website: www.laurakairos.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/laurakairos

Facebook: www.facebook.com/laurakairos

Twitter: www.twitter.com/kairoslaura

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/LauraKennington

Share