Gear and Setup 3.0

Going RACKLESS! This page describes our current bike setup and gear. See here for our original setup with rear panniers and a backpack (Alaska to California) and here for our second setup, with which we used a backpack and a frame bag without panniers (Mexico to Peru).

After over 12,000 miles, we ditched the racks. Here's how it works:

Fork bags, handlebar bags, frame bag, and rear bags. What would you bring for a year of travel?

My (Danny`s) handlebar setup. The Ortlieb bag (yellow) supports were wearing out from all the abuse I`ve put the bag through, so the blue dry bag also serves as a necessary support for the Ortlieb. The water bottle cage is mounted with a hose clamp on the stem, the blue bag simply with straps around the handlebars.

Our homemade fork cages. See here for a description of the cages and how we made them.

We each use a 10 liter dry bag and a 15 liter lightweight backpack on the fork. These sizes were the smallest available and work fine because we don't fill them completely; a smaller dry bag (5-8 liters) would probably be preferable. See here for a description of the cages and how we made them.

My (Danny`s) frame bag and bags on the back. Our spare tire serves as a spacer so my legs don`t hit the the teal bag, the tent. The tent is attached with one strap looped under the saddle rails, and the black bag is attached with two straps looped from the attachment holes under the saddle, over the bag, and around the seat post.

Along with the water bottle mounted on the stem, this handy homemade bottle cage on the down tube solved the problem of everyday water storage. See here for a description of how it was made and how to make your own.

Rex couldn´t see over the handlebar clutter, so now he´s riding in front under the brake lever.

Llamita on Tam´s bike still has a nice view.


You'll notice from the gear list below that we carry neither a stove nor sleeping bags, two of the "essentials" of camping. For how we eat well without a stove, check out Going Stoveless. For how we stay warm without sleeping bags, check out The Snuggle Zone (hint: we use a quilt).

Tam's gear:

Handlebar bag (dry bag attached with straps)
Things I use only in the tent at night
Kindle eReader
ThermaRest NeoAir sleeping pad
Fleece blanket (with bike pattern)
Warm socks
Warm hat

Right fork bag (10 liter dry bag) 
Extra food, especially lightweight, bulky items like bread

Left fork bag (15 liter backpack)
Bike repair and small things I might need during the day
2 spare inner tubes
Tire levers/patch kit
Collapsible bowls
2 liter Platypus
Bike light (when not in use)
Toilet paper

Frame bag (homemade from 200-denier nylon)
Prescription sunglasses

Underseat bag (small stuff sack) 
Tent fly

Rear bag (10 liter dry bag)
Tent poles are also strapped here.
Clothing and random items
2 pairs of bike shorts
1 long sleeve Columbia shirt with UV protection
1 quick dry t-shirt
1 pair hiking shorts
2 pairs underwear
2 bras
1 pair long underwear
1 fleece
1 Rab down jacket with hood
1 pair rain pants
1 LL Bean rain jacket
2 pairs wool socks, one light, one heavy
1 bandana
1 Buff
Gloves and waterproof over-mitts
(Of course, I'll be wearing some of these things)
Paint set and canvases
Paper maps
Photos of our family and journey to show to people we meet
Soap and Shampoo
Sewing kit
Tenacious Tape

Tam in action

Danny's gear:

Handlebar bag (13 liter dry bag)
ThermaRest NeoAir Sleeping Pad
Lightweight polyester sheet
Tent stakes
Spot device
First-aid kit

Ortlieb Classic 6 handlebar bag (our only bag actually made for cycle touring)
Nikon D3100 camera with 18-55mm lens
Wool cap (my camera case while riding)
Nikon 55-200mm lens
Battery chargers and electronics cables
Eyeglasses/prescription sunglasses
Leatherman Wingman multitool
Patch kit
Black Diamond headlamp
 Kindle eReader
Small notepad
SteriPen Classic

Right fork bag (10 liter dry bag)
Fleece jacket
Extra food, especially lightweight, bulky items like bread

Left fork bag  (15 liter backpack)
Bike multitool (plus size 3 and 5 hex wrenches)
Chain oil and rag
Spare bike parts (screws, cables, etc)
Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss
Compass and paper map

Frame bag (homemade from 200-denier nylon)

Underseat bag (10 liter dry bag)
Spare tire
Tent body

Rear bag (13 liter dry bag)
Bike pump
2 lightweight synthetic shirts: one short-sleeve, one Columbia long-sleeve
2 pairs of socks: one light polyester and the other heavy wool
2 pairs of synthetic REI boxers
2 pairs of lightweight synthetic shorts, 1 cargo-style, the other athletic-style
1 pair of REI long underwear
1 pair of REI rain pants
Big Agnes Shovelhead down jacket
Outdoor Research Maximus rain jacket
(Of course, I'll be wearing some of these things)
Mosquito head net (in pocket of rain jacket)
MSR microfiber towel
Jacks'R'Better Down Quilt

Danny in action


  1. May I ask about the tires,they seem to be Maxxis Crossmark,how many miles you have managed to do with a set,in the 3.0 setup?

  2. Hey there, so far we`ve cycled about 3000 miles with our rear tires and 4500 with the front ones, probably about 20% on pavement. They`re definitely showing some wear at this point but still have probably a thousand miles left in them, if not more, enough for the rest of our trip. We`ve been pleasantly surprised with their durability.
    Happy riding!

    1. Thank you,thank you and... I have already said thank you?

  3. Order online for our wiggle fish dry bag medium that will comfortably carry the belongings of four people! Add this excellent and durable quality bag to your cart!