Gear List

For a complete Bones to Blue packing list see here. The recommended gear list for Bones to Blue assumes that your main goal is to finish the route in 3-4 days. If you are trying to crush it in less than 48 hours or tour for 6+ days, modify as necessary.

Recommended items

Bike – Given the amount of rough terrain, consider either a full-suspension or a hard-tail bike with wide tires (2.35-3.0). A full-suspension bike will smooth out the trail, but limits what you can carry on your bike frame.

GPS – Garmin Etrex 20x and Etrex 30x are well-tested and widely used in bikepacking events.

GPS backup – It’s always a good idea to have a backup option on your phone in case your GPS dies. I use Backcountry Navigator Topo GPS ($12 app on android). Upload the tracks and waypoints to the app and, with your phone on “airplane” mode, you can probably navigate for 1 day or so before your battery dies. See this article for more tips on using your phone as a gps.

TiresMaxxis Ikon 2.35 are a good default. Err on the side of wider tires. The terrain is very mixed (packed fire road, loose rocks, sand).

Chain lubeFinish Line Dry is a good choice. The trails are often dry and dusty, but you will cross a number of streams. Plan on lubing your chain 2+ times a day.

Spare spokeThe FiberFix Emergency Spoke has saved me on 3 different occasions. It can replace a drive-side spoke without removing the cassette.

Water FilterSawyer’s PointOne Squeeze Filter is small, light, effective, and efficient. Getting cold water from a mountain stream without having to wait for pills to dissolve is heavenly.

Bear bag – The Ursack is a great option for bagging your food at night. There are lots of bears along the route. One bikepacker on the Tahoe Rim Trail in 2017 woke up with a bear next to him eating his food supply.

Tire plugsGenuine Innovations UST Tubeless Plugs can get you out of bind when a stick or rock stabs your tire and you start losing sealant. In 2017, Matt and I both had to plug our tires during the race.

BugsSea to Summit Mosquito Head Net is a great compliment to a bivy bag. It’s compact and light.