What Gear do you Need to Ride The Paparoa Track and How Do you Carry it?

If you are planning to ride the Paparoa Track in March/April 2020, don’t get too stressed about what gear you need and how to carry it on your bike. If you are one of those super fit types planning to ride the entire track in one day, you will be able to get away with limited gear. But staying overnight in a hut/huts is such a great experience that shouldn’t be missed. However, it will mean you will need to plan and carry your gear wisely to have the best riding experience. Here we have complied a list of gear you will need to pack and some tips on how to carry this on your bike.

What Gear to Pack

  • For the Hut...

    • Sleeping bag & liner – lightweight down will give you the best warmth to weight ratio.
    • Change of clothing – eg. merino next to body layer, t-shirt,  lightweight fleece top, tights/shorts.
    • Dry socks & jandals (or lightweight footwear)
    • Beanie/hat & neck muff
    • Lightweight down jacket or alternative warm jacket that packs down small (It could potentially get cold in the evenings).
  • For Riding in...

    • Cycling shoes & socks
    • Helmet & gloves
    • Cycling shorts/pants
    • Lightweight merino top (or your choice of breathable riding top)
    • Lightweight fleece top (or your choice of a mid layer)
    • Waterproof rain jacket
  • Food Suggestions...

    • Breakfast: Instant porridge & fruit or muesli & fruit, muesli bars, tea, coffee.
    • Lunch: Crackers, cheese & tuna, bars, One Square Meal bars.
    • Dinner: Pre cooked meal to heat at night and then cook noodles at the hut, tea/coffee and cookies.
    • NOTE: Cooking Equipment: pack a pot/pan suited for the size of your group, along with eating utensils (knife, spork, plate, cup) – The DOC huts are equiped with gas cook tops, but no cooking equipment.
  • Bike Tools...

    • Puncture repair kit
    • Spare tube & tyre levers
    • Multi-tool
    • Spare chain links & chain breaker (may be on your multi-tool)
    • Bike pump or CO2 canister
    • Small bottle of chain lube
    • Cable ties are always handy
  • Other...

    • First aid kit & survival blanket
    • Book (unless your group has good banter)
    • Camera
    • Pot cleaning scrubber
    • Some spare plastic bags for carrying out your rubbish or wet clothing.
    • Matches or lighter
    • Torch or headlamp
    • Personal Locator Beacon (with one person in your group).

Carrying your Gear

This much depends on your bike set up. Bikepacking.com has some great information on the various different set-ups for carrying your gear.
With our hire bikes, we provide a Thule Tour Rear Rack fitted with a 30 litre dry bag. Our choice is to put your spare clothing into a series of plastic bags and then into the dry bag.  You can never be too prepared!  This gear plus the food will fit into the gear bag that will be strapped to your carrier.  The proviso is around the size of your sleeping bag.

What About Wearing a Pack?

If necessary, you can carry a small lightweight backpack – which could contain your water bladder and hence avoid water bottles.
What you must avoid is carrying a significant large pack because these are just incredibly uncomfortable and makes your riding experience really bad.  And we mean reaaallly bad!!!
An example of what not to do – A mountain biker carrying a large back on their back, pushing their bike 🙁