A Beginner’s Guide to Launching Your First Bikepacking Adventure

What occurs when you mix hiking and tenting with biking? You get anything called bikepacking.

What occurs when you mix hiking and tenting with biking? You get anything called bikepacking. It is just what it appears like…a sport that consists of placing packs and equipment on to bikes and using into an journey. If the initial impression that pops into your mind when you hear the phrase ‘bikepacking’ is a bike owner chugging alongside the shoulder, loaded up with 4 panniers, a single on each and every facet of each wheels, you are forgiven. That is bicycle touring. It is been all-around for ages and folks are nonetheless very substantially touring this way. But in latest many years, there’s been an uptick in the quantity of folks swapping out panniers for other sorts of bags, frames and surfaces. If bicycle touring is the grandfather of bicycle adventures, then bikepacking is it is cooler, lighter, grittier offspring. It is what fastpacking is to backpacking. And it is here to keep.

New firms now bursting on to the bikepacking scene are only turning out superior equipment to assist each the novice and the hard-main bike owner obtain adventures on two wheels. The equipment suits on to bikes in a way that is smooth, balanced, and mild, producing it attainable for riders to pedal across a lot more than just pavement. Most bikepackers, though they’ll journey roads, want gravel and dirt, and, in general, are opting for mountain bikes in excess of highway bikes.


Experience What Ya Received

At initial glance, bikepacking could possibly appear like the type of sport with a steep entry position. A brief Google lookup or a scroll as a result of Instagram will switch up tons of visuals of tricked-out bikes and complex looking setups. But in actuality, you can go bikepacking on quite substantially any bicycle. Don’t spend a ton of money on new equipment, together with a set of wheels, till you choose a vacation or two. Experience what’s parked in your garage and figure out what you have to have and want. Then, if you like it, you can invest in a frame precise to bikepacking and optimize your practical experience.

bikepacking 101 intro to bikepacking adventure cycling
Erin McGrady / Genuine Asheville

Pack What Ya Received

Again, hold your financial commitment to a minimum though you are selecting no matter if or not bikepacking is anything you want to entirely commit to. If you’ve got a hydration pack or backpack, use it. Osprey’s Raptor is a excellent alternative but for your initial journey, but there’s no have to have to be picky. “Don’t truly feel like you have to have a complete kit to get out on the trails,” claims Greg Hardy, operator of Rockgeist, a tailor made bikepacking organization in Asheville, NC. “Grab a handful of Voile straps (pictured above) to anchor dry bags to a rack or handlebars and that is all you have to have to get began.”

bikepacking 101 intro to bikepacking adventure cycling
Erin McGrady / Genuine Asheville


If you are reluctant to choose your initial bikepacking vacation with random tools, we get it. The suitable equipment can be the big difference amongst an okay vacation and an fantastic a single. (And incorrect equipment can in some cases destroy a vacation completely.) Luckily, you’ve got choices as a lot more and a lot more firms all-around the region, like Swift Experience Co.,  Mountain Bicycle SF, and Rockgeist, are offering bikepacking rentals. It is a excellent way to take a look at-travel what you are looking at buying, and a minimal-price way to see no matter if or not you even like the sport.

bikepacking 101 intro to bikepacking adventure cycling
Erin McGrady / Genuine Asheville

Just take Your Very first Trip

At some position, you just have to get on your bicycle and go. We endorse producing the initial vacation quick and considerably shut to home. Ryan Prentiss of Asheville, NC (pictured above) began bicycle touring in 2012 and transitioned into bikepacking in 2016. He rode from San Francisco to Peru in 2018 and has been bikepacking at any time given that. His guidance to new bikepackers? “Don’t consider to journey too considerably, too early,” Prentiss claims. “Be nice to your physique and your physique will adapt to lifetime on a bicycle.” In other words and phrases, system a quick trek, get out there, and repeat. Slowly but surely make up your mileage and extend your visits from long day-rides to weekend adventures and beyond.

Don’t Pack the Kitchen area Sink

The wish to prepare for something and almost everything is not a negative issue. In some cases, it is needed. But when it comes to bikepacking, look at what’s unquestionably needed and what’s probably not so critical (textbooks, hiking boots, camera equipment). The plan is to pack considerably minimally so that you can journey mild and rapidly. Prentiss claims his most beneficial bikepacking equipment item is his Vargo Bot seven hundred, a titanium pot with a watertight screw-prime lid. He uses it to boil tea, prepare meals, and shop leftovers. Anything you pick out to convey, you will have to have with you for the long-haul, so pick out properly.

bikepacking 101 intro to bikepacking adventure cycling
Greg Hardy of Rockgeist Erin McGrady / Genuine Asheville

Devote Wisely

All set to devote in some equipment? “The initial piece of equipment we endorse investing in is a framebag,” Hardy claims. “It has great packing flexibility and benefit, carries body weight minimal on the bicycle for optimal handling, and can double as a storage alternative throughout regular path using/commuting.” Following that, your choices are quite a few. Hardy at this time has on his bicycle (pictured above), the Mudlust Personalized Framebag, Cache Best Tube Bag, Barjam Harness, and a Medic Bag. The beauty of most of these bags while is that they can be speedily and conveniently eradicated. You’re not married to a single particular setup so you can change your equipment primarily based on your next, longer journey.


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