Bike Packing On My Surly Karate Monkey


I try my hardest to keep my videos short’n sweet but I just had way too much cool footage to make a 4 minute video. So! I introduce my longest video to date!

This trip was a very last second decision. On my ride home from work I stopped at the local co-op and grabbed some vegan friendly snacks, through all of my gear into my 90 liter pack (seriously, who rides with a 90L pack? haha), lubed my bike chain, and ran out the door. It is about a 4 mile ride to the edge of the city where the trail head starts. My game plan was to just keep riding until I found an awesome tree overlooking the river along the trail. Instead I rode another 4 miles out to a secluded pond. The climbing was very difficult because the tree had very few limbs. But I ended up reaching a limb 80feet above the ground where I set up the double portaledge and just watched the stars while hanging high in the sky. It was so serene and the weather was perfect. The next morning I was awoken by the birds chirping and the sun shining bright. Sitting there on my portaledge that morning was probably one of the best breakfasts I have ever had!

I built my Surly Karate Monkey from the ground up as a trail-slaying-machine. This trip was her first bike packing trip. Hopefully soon she will be tested on a real long distance trip but for this trip I biked to Shakopee, MN from my home town of Chaska, MN. It was about a 16 mile round trip. WATCH THE VIDEO BELOW!

Gear List

(I created this gear list AFTER the trip, haha. Like I stated in the video: I literally grabbed everything from my gear closet, through it in the biggest backpack I own, and ran out the door).

-Portaledge – Custom Built “TREEfool Portaledge of Love”
-Sleeping Bag = Mountain Hardwear Ultralamina 30
-Sleeping Pad = Thermarest Ridgerest
-Pillow = Exped UL Pillow

-Pants = Columbia
-Shirt = Polyester T
-Shoes = None! (Cycling shoes are Giro)
-Socks = Thin polyester socks
-Undies = Polyester Awesomeness
—Extra Clothes
-Softshell = Marmot Ether Jacket (best jacket EVER INVENTED!)
-Insulated Jacket = Craghopper 100 fill
-Wind Jacket = Merrel hooded wind jacket

-Just a bunch of vegan friendly snacks. Including: muesli w/ soymilk, chips and hummus, and a few vegitable dishes.

-Bowl = Backcountry Ti Pot
-Spork = Backcountry Ti Spork
-Stove = Didn’t need one on this trip!

-Bottle = Collapsible Nalgene (3 liters)

-Flash Light / Head Lamp
-Watch / Clock

-Poop baggies
-Toilet Paper
-Emergency Kit

-Knife = Spyderco h1 Ladybug (best knife in the world!)
-3 Drybags for organizing and hanging gear inside the portaledge
-Plastic bag for food/garbage
-Camera = CamOne Infinity
-Charger = Mifi
-Tripod = Cheapo from Target

-Helmet: Petzl Meteor 3
-Harness: Petzl Sama w/ DIY lanyard loops (its cheap and easy, I just got to make a tutorial still!)
-Rope: Sterling 9mm HTP
-Lanyard: Custom 8mm with Wild Country Ropeman
-Ascension: RADS: Grigri, Petzl hand ascender, petzl pantin
-Carabiners: 2 autolocking, 7 screw locking, 20 non locking
-Throwline/Weight: Homedepot high-vis line with DIY throwbag
-In-Tree Throwline: MagThrowBag
-Portaledge Anchor: 15 feet of climbing webbing


The Bike
I am a bike mechanic so of course I have to share the build!

Frame: Surly Karate Monkey Ops Large
Fork: Surly Karate Monkey
Rims: Spank Oozy 295
Hubs: Hope Pro Evo2
Spokes: Sapim Double Butted
Tires: Geax Barro 29×2
Cassette: Sram 1051 (10 speed)
Rear Derailleur: Sram x7 clutched
Shifter: Sram x9
Front Chain Guide: e13 XCX
Chainring: Porkchop Buzzsaw 37t
Cranks: Truvativ Singlespeed
Pedals: Crank Brother Eggbeaters
Seatpost: Carbon
Seat: Specialized Phenom
Stem: S.I.
Handlebars: Raceface Carbon 580
Brakelevers: Dia-Comp vintage purple ano!
Brakecalipers: BB7
Grips: Odi
Cables: Jagwire


3 thoughts on “Bike Packing On My Surly Karate Monkey

  1. Hey I was wondering how I can start to learn how to do all this! I live in WA and have little to no experience in climbing/rope ascension and repelling, let me know if you have any resources for me!

    1. Join a local climbing gym, even if it is just rock climbing it will help you become acquainted with rope work. Then, buy a good tree climbing book. A book will be all inclusive and you will not miss any safety tips like if you just watch videos on youtube.

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