Bikepacking, Polaris

Sub Four

Five is something of a nice round number, and I was quite pleased when I finally achieved it. Four, on the other hand requires a good deal of thought, research and a little bit of compromise.

What am I talking about? The weight of a pack of kit for a Polaris Challenge.

If you’re not familiar with the Polaris Challenge, its two days of MTB orienteering with a wilderness camp. You have to carry all your gear with you for both days for up to 12 hours of riding and be completely self-sufficent. The event has been around for years, and is probably the route of my competitive interest in mountain bikes (not least for the fact it not all about fitness). I’ve done over 15 in total, with a 2nd and 4th place being my most creditable placings. I’ve also organised one, and I have another in the pipeline this Spring.

Anyway, I digress. After a casual comment on the PC forum, I looked hard at my 5 kg kit list starting to think of ways to save weight. Cutting the weight of something you depend upon for survival by as much as 20% will take some doing, but having spent a bit of time researching various lightweight camping equipment websites and blogs, there are no shortage of ideas out there. Hopefully next time I jump on my bike with a rucksac stuffed with tent, sleeping bag, stove, food, spare clothes and all the other mandatory bits of kit required for the event, it won’t weigh any more than 4 kg, less than 9 lbs.

As I acquire these various pieces of kit, I’ll post up more details…

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