Adventure essentials

Here’s what globetrotting photographer and adventurer Dan Milner takes with him on his bike.

This is great food for thought if you’re planning a bit of bikepacking style adventures in 2017.


Few riders have ridden, pushed and carried their bike in so many wild corners of the globe as photographer Dan Milner (above, not driving), a mountain man who seeks out the world’s roughest, toughest places to ride.


Mavic Alpine XL shoes

Adventures mean river crossings, so I need a versatile shoe that breathes and dries quickly and dishes out grip on loose hike-a-bikes. £110,


Lifeventure pack towel

A towel might seem like a luxury but when your bath facilities are either an icy river or a cold shower in a Nepalese tea house, drying quickly is a priority afterwards to ward off the chill. Pack towels do the job, dry quickly in the wind and are light to carry. £14,


Shimano XT 2×11 drivetrain

Adventures mean using what works best for you wherever you need it. If a double chainring set-up means you have that ridiculously low gear for climbing over 4,500m passes, go with it. My Shimano XT kit has proven insanely durable and reliable in the most demanding places and hasn’t let me down yet. £576.92,


Bastion jacket

This jacket does two jobs in one, combining Primaloft insulation with a Gore windstop layer. It’s laughed in the face of blizzards in Afghanistan’s Wakhan corridor and compresses small enough to stuff in my pack. £190,


CarePlus Water filter

Clean drinking water is key to keeping healthy, and this filter is small enough to carry on the trail. £30,


Titanium spork and Alpkit Mightimug

Packing your own utensils helps protect against tummy troubles when I’m in remote places with questionable hygiene and the 400ml mug is big enough to eat from too. £8,; £20,


Spokes & replacement mech hanger

A bent derailleur hanger is the kiss of death to gear shifting and, like fancy spokes and light wheels, there’s next to no chance of finding spares in remote parts of the world. A spare hanger and a handful of spokes will keep you rolling.


Osprey Escapist 32L pack

The reservoir-equipped Escapist series is my go-to adventure pack. The 32-litre size swallows up everything I need, including camera gear, but rides light and stays stable when on the bike. Well organised and with a helmet attachment and rain cover as finishing ouches. £90,

Duck tape

A metre or two of duck tape wrapped around your pump is a good get-out-of-trouble extra, useful for anything from gear cable outer repairs to patching a ripped waterproof jacket.


Chamois Butt’r & talc

Your nether regions take a battering on multi-day adventures, and so chamois cream applied pre-ride, and some talc post-ride, can help keep you free of ride-ruining saddle sores when showers are rare. Decant some chamois cream into a small pot if you’re going self-supported. £13,


Osprey Dry Bag

A dry bag in your pack means your passport and other travel essentials stay safe no matter how many rivers you fall into or deluges you ride through. £8,


Suunto Core Altimeter watch

In big mountains it’s either helpful or demoralising to know how much more climbing lies ahead of you. Either way, an altimeter watch makes a good distraction from the pain, logs the climbs and descents for pub kudos, and its barometer function lets me keep an eye on what the weather is doing in case I need to run for cover. From £230,


Madison Flux jersey

When you’re living out of one bag, clothing choice is important, meaning you need garments that are durable, wick well and don’t get stinky too quickly. The Flux is aimed at colder rides, but its fabric and venting mean it works great in warm climates too. £35,