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A Beginner’s Guide to Bikepacking

A Beginner’s Guide to Bikepacking

Lots of people love to ride bikes, take a bike out on the trails, or even set out on the open road. Riding a bike has many health benefits, while also providing a great opportunity to meet other people who share a passion for riding. Bikepacking is one way to boost your healthy while also trying something new. Learn about why bikepacking appeals to so many people and how it it differs from regular cycling.

What is Bikepacking

You do not need to go and get lots of gear to head out bikepacking. You can start off with what you have, which is even better than buying tons of gear up front. Figure out what you need as you go rather than buy stuff you won’t end up using. Self-sufficiency is the name of the game in bikepacking. You can carry everything you need to survive a trip overnight or multi-day adventures. Sort of like backpacking, bikepacking is simply taking your bike out and going on a trip.

Get Bike Ready

The best bike to use is the one you own and feel comfortable with. Rather than go out and buy brand new bike, use what you have. You will need something to carry luggage on before heading out on the adventure. Longer term, you want to consider adjusting the gears of the bike so pedaling isn’t so difficult. Comfort is the name of the game. You will spend plenty of time in the saddle for many days, if you take a longer trip. You will want:

  • A comfy saddle
  • Double-wrap tape for bars
  • Ergonomic grips
  • Gloves

Carrying Gear

You will want something to carry your gear in, which is where bikepacking bags come in handy. Instead of racks and panniers, you’ll use soft bags which fit on the frame. Pack light for your ride because you don’t want to get too much for the road.

First Adventure

The first time you head out, you will want to get some of the following:

  • Two dry bags strapped underneath the saddle and to the handlebars
  • A dayback
  • Couple of bottle cages for carrying water
  • Ski straps for lashing things to bike

The best way to plan a bikepacking trip is hook up with a friend or group and head out for an overnight trip. Don’t try to make a big trip the first time out because you won’t know what you need and may not enjoy going for multiple days with just your bike. When you put it all together, the key thing is to see what you’re capable of and don’t expect too much. You’ll gain experience on the longer tours, but start light and with people who have experience. Soon you may find yourself wanting to take your bike out for multiple week trips as a way to see the world in a new and exciting way.

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