Some of us have spent years riding the same ol' routes and often limited to an area of 50 miles from home. Bikepacking can change that!
Bikepacking is a more adventurous form of cycling, where you can go out and explore for several days. You carry what you need on your bike, can you can spend from one night to several weeks on the trail.
It is a minimal way of bike-touring, where saddlebags are reduced to the minimum, and it is more focused on gravel cycling. However, it can be combined with less-traveled roads. The most appropriate bike would be to use gravel bikes, which are already prepared with screws and gaps to attach and anchor the saddlebags and accessories.
To start a bikepacking, you only have to be brave enough to go out with your bike to ride less-traveled routes, where you will sleep in campsites or by the side of the road. We suggest going with a friend your first time out and work your way up to longer adventures.
So what will you need for your bikepacking adventure?
With very little space in your bags, you'll need to select very carefully what you bring. After equipping your bike with frame packs, you will need:
- Tent and sleeping bag
- Echelon Pouch for your ID, credit card and cash
- Cycling clothes (Including helmet, glove, sunglasses)
- Packable shoes or flip-fops
- Comfy pair of socks for nighttime sleeping
- Warm jacket for cooler temperatures
- Cooking system and food
- First-aid kit (Don't forget ibuprofen, lip balm, and sunscreen!)
- Bike tool kit with multi-tool
- Small flashlight or bike headlamp
- Small towel or washcloth
- Navigation: Your smartphone should work well, but an on-bike GPS system is an excellent back-up.
- Portable charger or solar system
- Water: Depending on your location, you might need a water purification system.
- Raingear: We haven't included these items for your very first bikepacking adventure, so make sure to check the weather before you leave!
The beautiful thing bikepacking offers is the opportunity to have vacations where you can combine exploration, nature, and the bike to get outside.
We recommend your first adventure be just one or two nights, but can you imagine a trip that will take you a month or more to ride? Check out what Cycling in the South Bay is doing! Or how about biking across the country with your dog like Talor? Bikepacking will allow you to push your limits.
Images by: Patrick Hendry