Bike Trail Kulkea Gear Bags

Big Pack Well-suited for Big Wheels

Boot Trekker for Your Cycling Gear, Too

For powderhounds who can’t jet to Portillo, Chile, to satisfy their incline appetite, summer can seem like true dog days. But a quick attitude adjustment and two wheels can open a world of summer fun. And Kulkea’s Boot Trekker can help.

Cycling – either road or mountain bike – offers an outstanding off-season outlet for the endorphin crowd. It’s a great, all-body, low-impact workout (provided your not going over the handlebars), and it gets you outside, into the fresh air, whether you’re on smooth pavement, sticky slickrock, or sinewy singletrack. More and more, intrepid pedalers are turning to adventures that far exceed a quick spin around town.

For guided or self-guided tours, the Adventure Cycling Association  is a great resource. The ACA’s Great Divide Mountain Bike Route is an epic ride, running from the Canadian border to Mexico. My top treks, though, employ the “play hard, rest easy” mantra. Places like the Maine Huts & Trails system  in the Northeast, and the plush cabins of the 10th Mountain Hut Association that traverses Colorado’s Holy Cross Wilderness, are breathtaking destinations.

If you’re traveling to your marathon ride – whether by land or by air – you’ll want a rugged pack that’s as versatile as you are. Kulkea’s Boot Trekker can handle all the gear that a grand pedal requires. This isn’t a pack to use “while” you ride, but “between” rides (unless you stow it in a trailer) or as your travel to your cycling destinations.

And you’ll want plenty of gear. In addition to cycling apparel (bring rain gear, leg and arm warmers, multiple jerseys, cycling-specific shorts, socks, and shoe covers) and casual apparel (comfy cloths and shoes, bathing suit, and the all-important bandanna), your packing list ought to include refreshments, accessories, essential parts, and tools. Fortunately, the Boot Trekker has enough room for everything you bring.


  • Quick energy. Powdered energy drinks like Cytomax and Endurox are high-powered, low-weight fuel options, while energy bars (Luna and Clif are good choices) and energy gels (Clif Shot Bloks and GU energy gels) will keep your motor humming.
  • Water-purifying bottle. Running out of water in the backcountry can spell disaster. Check out systems like Katadyn MyBottle water purifier.


  • Sunglasses (with interchangeable lens for different light conditions). If they’re polarized, even better.
  • Ordinary glasses. If you need reading glasses, you’ll need them to perform basic repairs.
  • Suntan lotion. Don’t burn in the saddle. Apply a sweat-resistant suntan lotion with a rating of at least SPF 30 (50 is better).
  • Bug spray. Mosquitoes, black flies, ticks and a host of irritating critters are waiting in the words. Protect yourself.
  • Hydration system. CamelBak is the gold standard, but there are plenty of options.
  • Lights. Even if you don’t plan to ride at night, factors can put you behind schedule. A simple handlebar light can be a trip-saver.


  • Spares. These include inner tubes and patch kits, chain (or chain links.) brake and derailleur cables, brake pads, and assorted nuts and bolts.
  • High-quality chain lube.
  • Plastic zip ties, for McGyver-type repairs.
  • Duct tape. Thousands of uses.


  • There are several good multi-tools on the market. I’ve always relied on Park tools (though my all-time favorite, the “Tool Wallet,” isn’t available anymore). A quality multi-tool will have hex wrenches, allen wenches, socket wrenches, a chain tool, flathead and Philips head screwdrivers, spoke wrench, and tire levers.
  • A quality bike pump, or a compressed-air system like Genuine Innovations Superflate.

Cargo carrier

  • If you’re doing a multi-day off-road pedal, consider a trailer (which you can use to haul your Kulkea Boot Trekker). The YAK trailer by B.O.B. (Beast of Burden) is one of the earliest, and still one of the best, single-wheel cargo-carriers.

Pro tip

If you’re flying to your next cycling destination, don’t ever pack your helmet in your check in-luggage. The friendly skies can be less-than-friendly to your skid lid, especially if you have soft-sided luggage (even a pack as tough as the Boot Trekker). That brain bucket is designed to crush on impact, and there’s a good chance that it’s going to get banged around during cargo “handling.” Always take your helmet as a carry on.