Bikepacking doesn’t have to be expensive. You can have fun on a low budget. Warm clothes, spare parts, and motivation are all you need. Motivation is paramount. That’s the biggest lesson that a solo bike trip through Patagonia taught me.
The landscape and climate are very diverse in Patagonia. Some days you sweat your ass off biking through empty, desert landscapes. You try to save each water drop and can’t wait to rest your body under some shade. Other days, temperatures can drop below zero degrees celsius, wind and rain batter your body.
I believe, however, that such an adventure is possible without carrying too much fancy equipment with you. All I had with me were the following items:
- a decent bike with a wide range of gears
- first aid kit
- waterproof backpack
- pair of straps
- warm layers of clothing
- waterproof pants & jacket
- essential tools
- spare tubes
- sleeping bag
- cooking utensils
You might be thinking: “that looks improvised.” Yes, indeed, it was an improvised setup. I never neglected safety, however. My bike and my equipment brought me from Coyahique to El Chalten all in one piece. I experienced some mishaps along the way, sure. But I made it, and that’s what matters. Along the way, I absorbed all the beauty of Patagonia. Looking back, I still feel lucky and grateful.