What occurs once you mix climbing and tenting with biking? You get one thing referred to as bikepacking. It’s precisely what it appears like…a sport that includes placing packs and equipment onto bikes and driving into an journey. If the primary picture that pops into your thoughts once you hear the phrase ‘bikepacking’ is a bike owner chugging alongside the shoulder, loaded up with 4 panniers, one on both sides of each wheels, you’re forgiven. That’s bike touring. It’s been round for ages and individuals are nonetheless very a lot touring this manner. However lately, there’s been an uptick within the variety of individuals swapping out panniers for different sorts of luggage, frames and surfaces. If bike touring is the grandfather of motorbike adventures, then bikepacking is it’s cooler, lighter, grittier offspring. It’s what fastpacking is to backpacking. And it’s right here to remain.

New corporations now bursting onto the bikepacking scene are solely turning out better gear to help both the newbie and the hard-core cyclist entry adventures on two wheels. The gear matches onto bikes in a means that’s smooth, balanced, and light-weight, making it potential for riders to pedal throughout extra than simply pavement. Most bikepackers, whereas they’ll trip roads, favor gravel and filth, and, typically, are choosing mountain bikes over street bikes.


Experience What Ya Bought

At first look, bikepacking may appear to be the form of sport with a steep entry level. A fast Google search or a scroll by means of Instagram will flip up tons of photographs of tricked-out bikes and sophisticated trying setups. However truly, you possibly can go bikepacking on just about any bike. Don’t spend a ton of cash on new gear, together with a set of wheels, till you make a journey or two. Experience what’s parked in your storage and determine what you want and wish. Then, when you prefer it, you should buy a body particular to bikepacking and optimize your expertise.

Erin McGrady / Genuine Asheville

Pack What Ya Bought

Once more, preserve your funding to a minimal whilst you’re deciding whether or not or not bikepacking is one thing you wish to totally decide to. Should you’ve received a hydration pack or backpack, use it. Osprey’s Raptor is an efficient choice however in your first trip, however there’s no should be choosy. “Don’t really feel such as you want a full equipment to get out on the paths,” says Greg Hardy, proprietor of Rockgeist, a customized bikepacking firm in Asheville, NC. “Seize a number of Voile straps (pictured above) to anchor dry luggage to a rack or handlebars and that’s all it is advisable get began.”

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


Should you’re reluctant to take your first bikepacking journey with random gear, we get it. The correct gear may be the distinction between an okay journey and a very good one. (And improper gear can generally break a visit altogether.) Fortunately, you’ve received choices as an increasing number of corporations across the nation, like Swift Adventure Co.Mountain Bike SF, and Rockgeist, are providing bikepacking leases. It’s a great way to test-drive what you’re contemplating buying, and a low-cost technique to see whether or not or not you even like the game.

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

Take Your First Journey

In some unspecified time in the future, you simply need to get in your bike and go. We advocate making the primary journey quick and considerably near dwelling. Ryan Prentiss of Asheville, NC (pictured above) began bike touring in 2012 and transitioned into bikepacking in 2016. He rode from San Francisco to Peru in 2018 and has been bikepacking ever since. His recommendation to new bikepackers? “Don’t attempt to trip too far, too early,” Prentiss says. “Be good to your physique and your physique will adapt to life on a motorbike.” In different phrases, plan a brief trek, get on the market, and repeat. Slowly construct up your mileage and prolong your journeys from lengthy day-rides to weekend adventures and past.

Don’t Pack the Kitchen Sink

The will to organize for something and all the things just isn’t a nasty factor. In some conditions, it’s mandatory. However relating to bikepacking, think about what’s completely mandatory and what’s perhaps not so essential (books, climbing boots, digicam gear). The concept is to pack considerably minimally in an effort to journey mild and quick. Prentiss says his most beneficial bikepacking gear merchandise is his Vargo Bot 700, a titanium pot with a watertight screw-top lid. He makes use of it to boil tea, put together meals, and retailer leftovers. Every thing you select to deliver, you’ll have to hold with you for the long-haul, so select properly.

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

Make investments Correctly

Able to put money into some gear? “The primary piece of drugs we advocate investing in is a framebag,” Hardy says. “It has nice packing versatility and comfort, carries weight low on the bike for optimum dealing with, and might double as a storage choice throughout common path driving/commuting.” After that, your choices are quite a few. Hardy presently has on his bike (pictured above), the Mudlust Customized Framebag, Cache High Tube Bag, Barjam Harness, and a Medic Bag. The fantastic thing about most of those luggage although is that they are often shortly and simply eliminated. You’re not married to at least one specific setup so you possibly can change your gear based mostly in your subsequent, longer trip.


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