Bikepacking – An Adventure!

Bikepacking - An Adventure!

Bikepacking is a mix of bike touring and backpacking. It combines the scenery and thrill of hiking and camping with riding. It is similar to backpacking in the sense that you pack as little as possible to your bike and travel.

Bikepacking is a family and group friendly activity that lasts overnight or over the course of multiple days. If you’re someone who loves to explore and cycle, then backpacking is for you!

Getting Your Bike Ready

Mountain bikes are the most suitable type of bike for bike packing, especially when traveling on trails. However, if you’re only going to be riding on dirt trails, any bike with the option to mount packing racks and bags will do.

Here are some things you may want to pack for your bike:

  • Handlebar bag
  • Panniers
  • ​Bike trailers
  • ​Dry bag
  • ​Daypack
  • Water bottle cage

Here are some things to fill these packs up with:

  • Sleeping bag/tent
  • Extra pair of socks (wool)
  • ​Water
  • ​First aid kit
  • ​Food/snacks
  • ​Gloves (wool)
  • ​Flashlight
  • ​Cooking equipment
  • ​Eating utensils
  • Spare parts/tools
  • Sunblock & insect repellent

How To Prep

Eat light!

  • Nuts
  • Bars
  • ​Powdered milk
  • Oatmeal
What Are The Top Meals & Beverages When Cycling?

Pack tight!

  • Compress your items into their bags
  • Pack the lightest things in the handlebar bag
  • ​Pack the heavier things in the dry bag or pannier
  • ​If needed, add a large seat bag for more storage
  • If needed, pack a bento box bag with snacks or a camera

If this is your first bike packing trip, start off easy. Create an overnight trip that is less stressful and easy to plan!

Planning Your Trip

Plan your route ahead of time while still leaving room for some adventure.

Here are some things you may want to consider:

  • Creating a short and sweet route
  • Bikepacking near a state park
  • ​Using forest-service roads
  • ​Using rails-to-trails
  • ​Having a main course
  • Think about what scenery you want to see

Tips

Picking a high-quality, comfortable sleeping bag is super important. At night, temperatures will drop and feel lower than you'd think, so it is important to pack a sleeping bag that will keep you warm and comfortable.

Be picky with what you pack. Packing lighter is always the best option. After deciding on what you want to bring, narrow it down to what you need. Chances are you won’t use most of the things that you think you will!

If you are bikepacking for an extended time frame, there are post offices that will allow you to mail some of your items to friends and family. This will help get rid of some of your load that you don't need anymore along the way. You can also mail things to yourself that you may need at your next destination. You can pick them up at your next stop!

This post was last updated on July 14th, 2017 at 11:03 am

About the Author Max Shumpert

Over the last few years, I’ve taken my love of the outdoors, hiking, skiing, trekking and exploring to the next level by starting this site. I started a bike shop in Denver, CO, and have seen amazing growth over the last few years. Getting paid to do what I love has been a dream come true for me. That’s also what led me to start BikesReviewed.com. In my shop, I spend a large amount of time helping people find the perfect bike for them and the style of biking they’re going to be doing. It only made sense that I expanded my reach and got online, making it possible for me to help people all over the world. If biking and staying fit is your priority, too, you’ve come to the right place.

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