A Beginner's Guide to Bikepacking
The great outdoors has long been the destination for those looking to explore. There's something uniquely beautiful about going on an outdoor adventure, and studies have shown it can even benefit your health.
Bikepacking is a perfect way to explore the world around you, but not everyone knows how to get started (or what it is).
Not sure where to start? Don't worry, we’ve got you covered.
Let's take a look at everything you need to know.
Table of Contents
- A Beginner's Guide to Bikepacking
So… What Is It?
As the name suggests, bikepacking is a combination of both biking and backpacking.
Rather than hike long distances, people will use their bikes to ride over rough terrain before finding a location to set up camp.
When it comes to storing your bags, though, they're mounted to the frame and handlebars of the bike, which prevents your belongings from shaking around too much while riding.
What Do I Need to Take With Me?
Before you head out on your 1st time bikepacking, you'll need to make sure you bring a few essentials.
Let's dive into the Bikepacking gear.
You won't get very far on your bikepacking journey without a quality bicycle!
While there are bikes on the market that are designed with bikepacking in mind, a sturdy mountain bike will do as long as you have enough space to mount your bags.
There really isn't a perfect bike for Bikepacking so choose one that suits you. Your local bike shop is a great place to see what's available. You are likely to meet an employee who also bikepacks.
Examples of suitable bikes:
Basic Bike Items
- Water bottle cages
- Chain tool
- Mini tool
- Chain lube
- Basic seat pack
This type of bag or frame pack is designed to fit properly on your bike's frame or handlebars. It's also made from strong material that won't become damaged by scraping against the terrain while you ride.
Pack appropriately for inclement weather, even if you don't expect the conditions to turn poor. I've never regretted bringing rain gear on adventures.
Even in areas with hotter climates, pack an insulated jacket or sweatshirt in case the temperature drops at night.
A lightweight tent or tarp, and sleeping pad or sleeping bag will be all you need to shelter yourself. Equipment to start a fire, a stove, cooking supplies, a radio, etc. are all dependent on the length of your trip and how fancy you want to get.
There will likely be areas where cell phone service is spotty at best (even if you have a more reliable carrier), and a map or GPS can be a legitimate lifesaver if you happen to get lost.
Plenty of Food/Water
It's much better to over pack food and water than under pack. This is especially true if you find yourself lost, or you damage your bike on your journey. Hydration packs are extremely handy.
How Do I Get Started?
You can map out your own route, or you can research routes other people have already taken.
As long as you have a path to stay on, there's nothing left to do but get on the trails and ride!
Bikepacking: Final Thoughts
With the above information about Bikepacking in mind, you'll be well on your way to staying safe as you enjoy an unforgettable journey.
Afterward, you can use your own experience to introduce others into the hobby and share the many benefits it can provide.