Ambassador Erkki Punttila recently joined our filmmaker Joonas Vinnari. Antti-Pekka Laiho from Suunto, and photographer and guide Timo Veijalainen on a recent bikepacking film expedition to Kiilopää, which is north of the arctic circle. Brrrr. Erkki is no stranger to cold bikepacking trips so he put together this handy post outlining the gear required for such an excursion. 

“Me and Timo were riding Kona Wo’s. A very capable and lightweight trail monster right out of the box. Schwalbe Jumbo Jim 4.8″ tires provided plenty of flotation even for my fat ass. AP was riding the Wozo that has a Manitou Mastodon Comp Air 100mm fork up front and runs on 27.5 3.8″ tires. The bikes worked without any issues even in -20°C temperatures. A good tip is to set up your tubeless wheels well beforehand and make sure that they seal correctly and don’t leak anymore. It might be difficult to get them to seal correctly in cold weather.” -Erkki 

“Ortlieb has gone all out with their waterproof line of bikepacking bags. I have used a lot of Ortlieb products (dry bags, duffles, and the Element 42 backpack) in the past and found them to be truly waterproof and durable. For this trip we got to test the bikepacking gear and it did not disappoint. Despite the challenging conditions, the bags worked flawlessly. I was delighted to see a TIZIP zipper on the frame bag. It is the same zipper I have on my paddling drysuit – so I know from experience that it is truly waterproof. Many other manufacturers use waterproof materials for their frame bags, but the zipper can be the weak part. Sometimes you have to leave your bike in the pouring rain overnight and it is not cool to realize that there is a big puddle of water on the bottom of your frame bag in the morning. The Ortlieb handlebar bag has a sturdy harness system with adjustable spacers and the roll-top accessory bag was easy to operate with gloves.” –Erkki

Erkki goes into much more detail in his post, including layering, bike setup, and extra gear needed. Give his post a read for the full rundown, and if you haven’t seen Rails to Trails, be sure to watch the short film now!