Bikepacking on a Budget: Gear Alternatives and Hacks

Bikepacking can be a lot of fun, but it can also be quite expensive. Between buying a bike, paying for accommodations, and purchasing all the necessary gear, the cost can add up quickly. Fortunately, there are some ways to enjoy bikepacking without breaking the bank.

Gear Alternatives

Here are some cost-effective gear alternatives to consider:


Rather than investing in a tent, consider using a hammock or a bivy sack. A hammock is lightweight, easy to set up, and can be hung almost anywhere. A bivy sack is a waterproof cover for your sleeping bag that provides extra protection from the elements.

Cooking Supplies

Instead of buying a camp stove, opt for a portable backpacking stove that runs on fuel tablets or denatured alcohol. These stoves are lightweight, compact, and only require a small amount of fuel.


Look for multi-purpose gear that can be used in a variety of situations. For example, a lightweight down jacket can be worn while riding, as well as while sleeping. Merino wool clothing is also a great choice because it is breathable, moisture-wicking, and odor-resistant.

Gear Hacks

In addition to alternative gear, here are some gear hacks that can help you save money:

Water Bottles

Rather than buying expensive water bottles specifically designed for bikepacking, consider repurposing plastic bottles from your recycling bin. Many stores carry water bottles with sports caps that can be resealed and used again and again.


Rather than investing in a fancy headlamp, consider using a simple LED flashlight that can be attached to your handlebars using a rubber band or beanie.


Instead of purchasing an expensive GPS device, consider using your smartphone and a free mapping app. Just make sure to bring a waterproof case and a portable charger.

Overall, bikepacking on a budget is possible with a bit of creativity and flexibility. By exploring cost-effective gear alternatives and gear hacks, you can enjoy the great outdoors without spending a fortune.

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