The Woodpackers

Recently, we got back on an old trail that we used to ride, especially during lunch breaks. We used this trail to train in view of a multi-day bikepacking trip. Over the years, wind and snow have broken and even uprooted many trees, resulting in an unpassable section of singletrack that crosses the coniferous forest. So we decided to clear the passages obstructed by the trees. That’s when we noticed that on some of these trees there were bird nests. From time to time, the characteristic noise of the woodpecker at work could be heard in the distance. At that precise moment, the idea was born to “recycle” some sections of these conifers and create birdhouses with them, letting the rest of the logs follow its natural cycle as humus.


Things turned even more interesting since Giorgio, in his spare time, creates handmade wooden products. We immediately saw the possibility of building the birdhouses by turning the logs obtained from our trail building. The idea was very stimulating from a creative point of view since it turned out a small sign of gratitude and appreciation to the environment through which the trail passes. Now we ride there almost every day, waiting for spring and see if the birdhouses will host some broods.


The art of getting by is one of the basics of bikepacking and this approach has also proved useful for capturing unusual shots. Specifically, we needed to create POV angles from inside the birdhouse and to make them as realistic as possible. The solution was to build a ‘WOODYCAM’ using readily-available material such as cardboard, wood, metal, and duct tape. We created a cardboard box to which we have anchored a compact camera (Sony RX100 VI) on one side and on the other a wooden tablet with a circular hole to simulate the entrance of the birdhouse. A metal sheet allowed us to anchor the Woodycam to the gimbal or tripod, as needed.


For this project we have set up our Kona Process 134 with a special “woodpacking” setup, using the tough harnesses of Revelate Designs to carry our harvested wood and the Voilé XL straps to anchor them directly to the handlebars. In the Hopper and Joey bags, we transported our chainsaw equipment and some tools for cooking lunch. In the Mountain Feedbags we carried our fuel and water. In our backpacks we carried the chainsaw, hatchet, tripod, and cameras, while for the rest of the filming equipment we used the Vole seatbags, specially designed to work with the droppers.