One for the gear geeks…




What follows is a list of every last thing (with the exception of food) that I’m taking along for the ride down the Andes. It’s what works for me (or at least I hope it will), but that’s not to say it’s for everyone.



  • MSR Whisperlite International Stove Stolen in Peru and replaced with an Optimus Nova, replaced with a…beer can
  • MSR Fuel Bottle (with petrol or gasoline for the Yanks)
  • Bottle of refined alcohol (for priming the stove so as to avoid a sooty mess)
  • Cheap Alu 1.5L?  Pot w/ Clamp & Lid
  • Cheap Plastic Cutlery
  • Lighter & Matches
  • Plastic Cup
  • Ortlieb 10L Waterbag
  • Swiss Army Knife
  • Cheap coffee ‘sock’ from Costa Rica (also useful for filtering sediment from water)



  • Big Agnes Copper Spur Ultralight 1 Tent – Well ventilated & very light
  • Vaude Groundsheet Protector
  • Marmot Helium Down Sleeping Bag -9oC
  • Thermarest Prolite Plus – Old and with countless patches, but still refuses to die
  • Sea To Summit Silk Liner



  • 1 x Bib Shorts – Endura FS260
  • 1 x Short Sleeve Cycling Jersey – Castelli
  • 1 x Long Sleeve Base Layer – Campagnolo
  • 1 x Icebreaker Merino Long Sleeve Top
  • 1 x Endura Leg Warmers
  • 1 x Fingerless Gloves – Endura Mighty Mitts
  • 1 x Waterproof Gloves – Marmot
  • 1 x Full Finger ‘Smartwool’ Gloves
  • 1 x Mountain Equipment Goretex Active Jacket
  • 1 x Gore Paclite Waterproof Trousers
  • 1 x Lightweight Down Jacket – Montane Nitro
  • 1 x Sealskinz Waterproof Socks
  • 1 x Lightweight Trousers w/ Zipper to Convert into Shorts (Used on the bike) – Nepali Knockoff’s
  • 1 x Ice Breaker 260 Merino Long Sleeve Top
  • 1 x Wooly leggings – $3 From an Ecuadorian Market
  • 1 x Long Sleeve Cotton Shirt – Ditched in Peru
  • 1 x Swimming Shorts – Ditched in Peru
  • 3 x Socks
  • 2 x Boxers
  • 2 x Normal Buffs
  • 1 x Polar Neckwarmer Buff
  • Giro Athlon Helmet
  • Shimano SPD Riding Shoes
  • Salomon Goretex Trainers – For Hiking etc
  • Flip Flops – Broken in Peru
  • Tiny Microfibre Towel


My penchant for photography and gadgets is certainly my Achilles heel when it comes to lightweight packing and the following will likely have the purists up in arms.


  • Macbook Air 11in – Powerful enough for photo editing, yet at 1kg relatively light. Complete with homemade ducktape & foam case -stolen in Santiago
  • Ipod classic 160Gb – Doubles up as a hard drive
  • Iphone 4 – Great for logging waypoints of the trip, and using mapping apps (like Gaia GPS)
  • Fast Find Personal Beacon Locator – Ditched in Peru
  • Kindle Paperwhite – Ditched in Peru
  • Petzl Tikka 2 Plus Head Torch – Doubles up as a front light for the bike
  • Olympus OMD EM5 Camera – Relatively compact Micro Four Thirds format, possibly the best serious travel camera in existence
  • Olympus 45mm, Panasonic 20mm, Panasonic 14mm Lenses
  • 1 x Spare Camera Batteries
  • Spare SD Card
  • USB SD Card Reader
  • Wireless Shutter Remote – Lost
  • Gorillapod
  • Chargers etc
  • Cateye Adventure Speedo, Cateye Strava Speedo



  • 4 x Spare Brake Pads
  • 4 x Spare Spokes
  • 4 x Spare Freehub Pawl Springs
  • 1 x Inner Tube
  • 3 x Sram PowerLinks
  • 1 x Spare Granny Ring – Fearing the Andes may take their toll used
  • MSR Whisperlite Expedition Service Kit
  • Chain Lube
  • Duck Tape – Wrapped around lube bottle
  • Tent Pole Splint & Various Fabric Patches
  • Topeak Mutlitool
  • Plastic Tyre Lever
  • Torx Key – For adjusting brake pad alignement
  • Rema Puncture Repair Kit with Loads of Patches
  • Topeak Turbo Morph G Pump – Effectively a mini track pump, with hose, foldout foot plate and pressure gauge. Weighty but worth it.
  • Brooks Proofide
  • Compass – Ditched in Peru
  • Superglue



  • Barebones Wash Kit – Hotel soap, toothbrush, toothpaste, razor, shaving gel, , shampoo sachet, contact lenses. No deodorant and certainly no cologne – the chicks love it (if only)
  • Minimal First Aid Kit – I’ve stripped most of this out as it can all be bought inexpensively almost everywhere
  • Doxycycline – For Malaria prone areas
  • Sunscreen
  • Chlorine/Chlorine Dioxide Tablets – For water purification



  • Abus Combiflex Lock – Really nothing more than a mild deterrent, but I rarely leave my bike unattended in a public place for more than a minute or so whilst popping into a shop. A tough call, but the weight penalty of a secure lock is severe.
  • Battered Oakley Flakjacket Sunglasses
  • Wallet of Passport, Credit Cards Etc
  • Maps  Now exclusively use Gaia GPS for the iPhone for all mapping
  • Spanish Vocab Book – Ditched in Peru
  • Note Book for Spanish Grammar Ditched in Peru
  • Pen


  • 2 x Sea To Summit Medium eVent Compression Sacks
  • 1 x Revelate Designs Large Pocket
  • 1 x Frame Bag w/ Webbing Straps
  • 1 x Alpkit Fuel Tank Medium – Almost too small to be useful
  • 1 x Kathmandu Superlight (200gr) Rucksack – For off the bike use or carrying extra food if required


  • Kona Explosif 2007 Frame (steel)
  • Kona P2 forks
  • Wheels: Sun Rhyno Lite Welded Rims laced to Hope Pro 2 Evo hubs with DT competition spokes (36 on both)
  • Schwalbe Marathon Extreme 2.25” folding tyres
  • Avid BB7 mechanical disc brakes (160mm rotors)
  • Tekro 501 brake levers
  • Raceface Cadence Drop Bars
  • Truvativ Short stem (60mm) to account for change in geometry brought about by the drop bars
  • Chris King headset
  • Shimano Dura Ace bar end shifters (basic friction system for the front and indexed rear, no rapid fire malarkey)
  • Shimano Saint rear mech (9spd)
  • Sram XGen front mech
  • Shimano XTR crankset (a bit bling but it was good deal off ebay!)
  • Chris King bottom bracket
  • Sram P960 cassette
  • Sram Pc971 chain
  • Shimano m540 spd pedals
  • Salsa shaft seat post
  • Brooks B17 saddle
  • Sram bar tape

15 responses to “Equipment

  1. Pingback: Going Rackless. (Another) New Set-Up | THE RIDE SOUTH·

  2. Does ditching your Spanish vocab book in Peru mean you are now doing quite well in Spanish? Rene at Orbita will be proud of you, if so! I am still battling on but not much espanol here in Sydney. Am looking for your advice on what to take with me next year on Inca Trail (approx. June) to stay warm at night. As you know, I like to travel real light and I can tell from your subzero adventures lately that you must have the right kit to withstand the cold, so please give me a heads up when you have time. You mention buffs and leggings, etc. but I actually don’t know what they are. Much appreciated, Max

    • Haha, ditching the vocab book was more a product of my weight saving campaign than anything else. Great to hear you’re planning on venturing out to the Andes next year, you certainly get about… In terms of keeping warm, I’m all about layers so that I can effectively wear every bit of clothing I have when it gets cold. 2 or 3 base layers (merino etc) with lightweight down jacket and waterproof shell on the top, with woollen tights (leggings), thin cotton trousers, waterproof trousers and multiple socks on the bottom. Buffs are just headscarfs that can be wrapped in various configurations, so are good for neck warming and covering jaw/mouth. Can’t beat a good wooly hat though. Plenty of cheap alpaca stuff to be picked up in the Andes though. A reasonable sleeping bag and a mat that puts a decent amount of air between you and the ground are obviously useful as well. Good luck with the planning! Cheers

      • Thanks Paul. I will check the op shops here or buy the rest in Cuzco next year, though what do you think the chances are of buying alpaca clothing for 180 cm tall people are in South America?

      • I’ve been admiring them too. Especially the attachment method. Would you share how you did that please? Best wishes Miro

  3. Hey Paul! Just found you through Nick Gault. I’m doing the Panamerica offered thing as well. Curious how you mounted the dry bags to the fork, anything cages? Also, how’d you rig up that rear dry bag to the seat? I’ve been using a revelate Vischasa with a sea to summit dry bag pinched under it supported by a rear rack. But your setup looks like it would bounce better on rough terrain! I have Anything racks on the front but generally save them for extra water carrying, leaving them empty most of the time. At the suggestions of some crazy friends, I am toying with keeping the packraft I just bought… opening up the possibilities… Either way, kudos to your trip brother! I’ve made it as far as Cortez Pass in Mexico, planning on some big volcano climbs before heading South to Oaxaca. I’ll be checking out your route as I find my way South!

    • Hi Scott, sorry for the delayed reply…. On the forks they are effectively DIY Anything Cages as I couldn’t source any in time. The seat system (as well as the other bags) is an early prototype for a new bikepacking brand we’re launching with some guys in Peru who produce mountaineering gear. The focus is now on turning the initial concepts into killer products, launching late summer/autumn, under the brand ‘Alpamayo Designs’. Stay tuned… Good luck cracking through Mexico, you’ve got some brilliant stuff ahead of you! Cheers, Paul

      • Please do post a link to Alpamayo Designs Anything Cages especially the 5 belt fastening net when it is ready. Cheers

  4. Hi Paul, I’ve really enjoyed your blog and minimalist setup. In the picture of your current setup, I noticed you use a seatpost clamp-type thing to secure the drybag at the back. What is this contraption? I’ve daydreamed of a minimalist setup like this for the back and would snag one of these in a hurry. Thanks for sharing! And may the adventure continue

    • Hi Dillon, thanks for message and sorry for the delayed response! Yes the seatpost contraption is a prototype we were working on, but ultimately never developed. It worked really well, basically a custom mini-stainless steel rack connecting to a clamp on the seatpost and suspended from the saddle rails via straps. The whole set up was around 400grams and super stable, just difficult to manufacture. All this ultimately ended up in starting ‘Alpamayo Designs’ which has literally just launched:, the idea is to continue the blog over there…! All the best, Paul

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