Colorado Trail Video Journal, by Ben and Andy

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This past July, Ben Handrich and Andy Brubaker set out on the Colorado Trail. During their time on the CT they documented each of their 13 days in a video journal, complete with incredible drone footage and valuable insight into bikepacking this legendary trail + Ben’s full CT gear list.

Video and photos by Ben Handrich and Andy Brubaker
For many bikepackers — and mountain bikers alike — the Colorado Trail has a top spot in their bucketlist for routes in the United States. It’s incredibly scenic and beautiful. It’s long and unyielding in its severity. And it’s a daunting task, which for some results in a lifetime achievement of epic proportions.

Back in July, Andy Brubaker, from Indiana, and Oregon native Ben Handrich committed to a full experience on the CT. Before setting out on a 13 day self-supported bikepacking adventure, they started their trip by volunteering on a trail crew via the Colorado Trail Foundation — an amazing organization that maintains, educates, and informs people of everything they need to know about the Colorado Trail. Their four day temporary job with the CTF was to assist in building a new section of trail that would replace an old jeep road with new single track trail.

Colorado Trail Journal Video, by Ben Handrich and Andy Brubaker

  • Colorado Trail Journal Video, by Ben Handrich and Andy Brubaker
  • Colorado Trail Journal Video, by Ben Handrich and Andy Brubaker
Andy Brubaker, left; Ben Handrich, right

Colorado Trail Video Journal

Two weeks after they started the CT from Denver, the two reached the trail’s terminus in Durango recording over 530 miles with 70,000 feet of elevation gain. Along the way they recorded their trip in amazing drone footage and a nightly ‘fireside’ chat recounting each day’s perils and rewards. If you are considering the Colorado Trail and interested in getting play-by-play insight, add this to your watch list. If not, at least check out the scenic intro montage for the drone footage of the trail. Also, further below find Ben’s Colorado Trail Tech Talk video covering his gear list and details of equipment used on the CT + links to his blog posts from the trip.

  • Colorado Trail Journal Video, by Ben Handrich and Andy Brubaker
  • Colorado Trail Video Journal

Colorado Trail Gear List

Here’s Ben’s pack list for their 13 day Colorado Trail trip (by bag). His total packed bike weight loaded down with three days of food, drone gear, and camera equipment was 48.8 pounds. In addition, on day one his backpack weighed just over 11 pounds (usually it was between 5 and 8 pounds).

Outside of the added weight from the camera gear used to make these videos, Ben considers his setup fairly minimal by bikepackng standards. They carried only bare essentials, with luxuries being a Tarptent (versus a bivy alone) and their evening camp kitchen, which included a stove, fuel canisters, and pots.

Revelate Ranger Framebag

2 extra drone batteries
Drone accessories, i.e. sd cards, plug-ins, chargers, etc.
Propane canister
Tire tube
Shock Pump
Tire Pump
Duct tape and electrical tape (wrapped around pump)
3 to 4 days of food

Revelate Viscacha Seatbag

1 pair of Gore Bike Bib Shorts
1 pair of long Pearl Izumi gloves, 1 pair of fingerless Pearl Izumi gloves
1 pair of tights
1 pair of Icebreaker wool underwear
1 pair of Smartwool socks, 1 pair of Darn Tough wool socks
1 pair of ‘around town’ shorts
1 Montbell Down Jacket
1 short sleeve tech shirt
Specialized sun sleeves
1 long sleeve smartwool shirt
Cookpots
SOL Bivy Sack
Inflatable Pillow
REI 45 degree Sleeping Bag
Tarptent (carried in yellow drybag)
North Face Rain Jacket
Rain Pants (I cut the bottoms off, so they are technically rain shorts now)
Neoprene Gloves

Revelate Jerry Can

Grease rag
Chain lube
Crankbrother’s multi-tool
Small off-brand multi-tool with pliars
~10 feet of nylon cord
Zip ties (multiple sizes)
Spare shoe cleat
3 quick links for chain
Fiberfix spoke replacement kit
3 tire levers
2 tire boots
1 replacement presta valve
Some pieces of rubber

Revelate Gas Tank

Quick access food container: Carried Snicker’s bars, clif bars, peanut butter packets, etc.

Revelate Mountain Feedbag

Replacement lenses for sunglasses
MSR Pocket Rocket
Shammy cream
Chapstick
Sunscreen

Blackburn Outpost Cargo Cage (Downtube Bag)

Toilet paper
Wet wipes
Propane Tank
Not shown: Miscellaneous toiletries/other bag – toothbrush, toothpaste, extra matches, extra lighter, Ibuprofen, Benadryl, nail clippers

Camelbak Skyline LR 10 Liter Backpack

Up to 3 liters of water
Cell phone, wallet, car key
Olympus TG-3 camera (until it broke)
Sometimes food, but only on the two long hauls (Waterton to Leadville, Buena Vista to Silverton)

Additional Resources from Ben’s blog

Ben Handrich

About Ben Handrich

Ben is a High School Counselor, Vegan, exercise addict, and mountain biking enthusiast who uses the dark and dreary days of winter to dream up future bikepacking trips for the spring and summer, with a few winter bikepacking mistakes thrown in for good measure. Follow Ben’s blog at Pedals Packs and Pinots.

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