PAVEMENT ENDS – Designing for bikepacker photography

By combining designer’s perspective and DIY-mindset, I wanted to formulate a universal solution to a highly personal problem: how to safely carry expensive photography gear on a minimalist bikepacking tour?

Personal Project by Mikko Akkola

To set off with my project, I went deep in to the subculture of bikepacking. In the heart of that culture I found love to nature, exploring and a very specific style of bicycle gear. I see bikepackers as a neotribal movement. Diverse but like-minded and connected, recognizable by their distinctive sense of aesthetics and brand choices.

Photography is also an essential part of many bikepacking journeys, but the two worlds are not always easily combined. In minimalist packing, it may be impossible to find a protected space for expensive camera equipment, without trading off the convenience and swiftness of use.

After discovering this problem, a simple but stiff, frame mountable camera case was designed and prototyped. The first iteration was proven practical during 16 days of bicycle touring from Helsinki to Gamvik, Norway. However, small changes were made in design of textile parts after this demanding test ride.

Side view sketch of the camera case
Sketch of the camera case
3D model of the camera case

Final stages – camera in the camera holder

Camera case mounted on the bike
Camera case mounted on the bike