April 20, 2024

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A Beginner’s Guide to Launching Your First Bikepacking Adventure

4 min read

What takes place when you incorporate hiking and tenting with biking? You get anything called bikepacking. It’s specifically what it sounds like…a activity that involves placing packs and equipment onto bikes and using into an journey. If the first graphic that pops into your brain when you listen to the phrase ‘bikepacking’ is a bicycle owner chugging together the shoulder, loaded up with 4 panniers, a single on each individual aspect of each wheels, you’re forgiven. Which is bike touring. It’s been all-around for ages and men and women are nevertheless really considerably touring this way. But in current several years, there is been an uptick in the range of men and women swapping out panniers for other types of luggage, frames and surfaces. If bike touring is the grandfather of bike adventures, then bikepacking is it’s cooler, lighter, grittier offspring. It’s what fastpacking is to backpacking. And it’s in this article to remain.

New businesses now bursting onto the bikepacking scene are only turning out much better equipment to assistance each the beginner and the tough-core bicycle owner accessibility adventures on two wheels. The equipment fits onto bikes in a way that’s smooth, balanced, and light, generating it possible for riders to pedal throughout more than just pavement. Most bikepackers, even though they’ll ride streets, like gravel and dirt, and, in standard, are opting for mountain bikes over highway bikes.


Ride What Ya Bought

At first look, bikepacking might look like the type of activity with a steep entry point. A swift Google search or a scroll by Instagram will convert up tons of photographs of tricked-out bikes and advanced searching setups. But in actuality, you can go bikepacking on pretty considerably any bike. Really don’t devote a ton of money on new equipment, which includes a established of wheels, until eventually you consider a excursion or two. Ride what is parked in your garage and determine out what you want and want. Then, if you like it, you can acquire a frame distinct to bikepacking and improve your expertise.

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

Pack What Ya Bought

Again, keep your investment decision to a least even though you’re determining no matter whether or not bikepacking is anything you want to thoroughly commit to. If you have got a hydration pack or backpack, use it. Osprey’s Raptor is a excellent possibility but for your first ride, but there is no want to be picky. “Don’t sense like you want a full package to get out on the trails,” says Greg Hardy, operator of Rockgeist, a tailor made bikepacking firm in Asheville, NC. “Grab a couple Voile straps (pictured above) to anchor dry luggage to a rack or handlebars and that’s all you want to get started.”

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


If you’re hesitant to consider your first bikepacking excursion with random gear, we get it. The correct equipment can be the difference in between an ok excursion and an outstanding a single. (And poor equipment can in some cases damage a excursion completely.) Thankfully, you have got choices as more and more businesses all-around the nation, like Swift Adventure Co.,  Mountain Bike SF, and Rockgeist, are presenting bikepacking rentals. It’s a excellent way to test-drive what you’re thinking of acquiring, and a small-price tag way to see no matter whether or not you even like the activity.

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

Choose Your Initial Trip

At some point, you just have to get on your bike and go. We advocate generating the first excursion limited and considerably close to dwelling. Ryan Prentiss of Asheville, NC (pictured above) started bike 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 because. His tips to new bikepackers? “Don’t try to ride far too far, far too early,” Prentiss says. “Be great to your physique and your physique will adapt to lifestyle on a bike.” In other words and phrases, approach a limited trek, get out there, and repeat. Slowly construct up your mileage and prolong your trips from lengthy working day-rides to weekend adventures and past.

Really don’t Pack the Kitchen area Sink

The want to prepare for anything at all and every little thing is not a terrible matter. In some cases, it’s vital. But when it comes to bikepacking, consider what is unquestionably vital and what is maybe not so critical (books, hiking boots, digital camera equipment). The notion is to pack considerably minimally so that you can travel light and quickly. Prentiss says his most valuable bikepacking equipment product is his Vargo Bot seven hundred, a titanium pot with a watertight screw-prime lid. He takes advantage of it to boil tea, prepare food stuff, and keep leftovers. All the things you choose to bring, you’ll have to carry with you for the lengthy-haul, so choose wisely.

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

Spend Sensibly

Completely ready to invest in some equipment? “The first piece of equipment we advocate investing in is a framebag,” Hardy says. “It has wonderful packing versatility and ease, carries bodyweight small on the bike for exceptional handling, and can double as a storage possibility throughout regular path using/commuting.” Just after that, your choices are various. Hardy currently has on his bike (pictured above), the Mudlust Personalized Framebag, Cache Leading Tube Bag, Barjam Harness, and a Medic Bag. The attractiveness of most of these luggage although is that they can be rapidly and quickly taken out. You’re not married to a single unique setup so you can alter your equipment based on your next, for a longer time ride.


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