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October 1, 2023
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CyclingTips for Beginners

What Is Bikepacking?

One of the most thrilling and immersive experiences I’ve discovered is bikepacking. “What is bikepacking?” I hear you say. Say no more. In this blog post, I’ll share my insights into bikepacking, including the essential setup, the best bikepacking brands, and some exciting bikepacking ideas to ignite your wanderlust.

Bikepacking 101

Bikepacking, at its core, is a fusion of cycling and backpacking. It combines the freedom and exhilaration of biking with the self-sufficiency and adventure of backpacking. Unlike traditional touring, bikepacking emphasizes lightweight gear and off-road riding, allowing you to venture off the beaten path and truly connect with nature.

You’ll Need A Good Setup

To embark on a bikepacking journey, you’ll need a well-thought-out setup. The essentials include bikepacking bags, gear, and possibly a few bike modifications. Bikepacking bags come in various styles and sizes, designed to fit snugly on your bike while distributing the weight evenly. A typical setup includes a frame bag, handlebar roll, seat pack, and sometimes additional accessory bags. These bags provide ample storage for your gear, food, clothing, and other necessities.

When it comes to gear, prioritizing lightweight and compact options is key. Look for durable yet lightweight tents, sleeping bags, and cooking equipment. Investing in a lightweight and compressible sleeping pad can greatly enhance your comfort during overnight stops. Additionally, water filtration systems are a must-have for any bikepacking adventure, ensuring a safe and reliable source of hydration throughout your journey.

Modifying your bike for bikepacking can significantly enhance its capabilities. Consider fitting your bike with wider, knobby tires for improved traction on dirt and gravel trails. Install a bikepacking-specific handlebar system that offers multiple hand positions, allowing for long hours of comfortable riding. It’s also worth considering a dropper seatpost, which enables you to lower your saddle for better maneuverability on technical descents.

Know What The Best Bikepacking Brands Are In Advance

Choosing the right bikepacking gear and accessories can be overwhelming, but several brands have established themselves as industry leaders. Companies like Ortlieb, Revelate Designs, and Apidura offer a wide range of high-quality and reliable bikepacking bags. These brands have mastered the art of designing bags that are not only durable and waterproof but also easy to attach and remove from your bike.

Cool Ideas You Can Try Out

When it comes to bikepacking ideas, the possibilities are endless. From epic multi-day adventures to shorter overnight trips, there’s something for every level of experience. For beginners, I recommend starting with a one or two-night trip on a local trail or campground.* This allows you to familiarize yourself with your gear, test your endurance, and build confidence before tackling more challenging routes.

Enjoy Your Ride

To make your bikepacking experience more enjoyable, here are a few tips: pack light but don’t compromise on safety essentials, plan your route carefully and have backup options in case of unexpected obstacles, embrace the simplicity of life on the road, and take time to appreciate the beauty of your surroundings.

Bikepacking opens up a world of adventure and self-discovery. It allows you to escape the confines of everyday life and explore the wilderness on two wheels. With the right setup, the knowledge of the best bikepacking brands, and a sense of adventure, you’ll be well-equipped to embark on unforgettable journeys that will leave you craving more. So, grab your bike, pack your bags, and let the open road guide you to incredible experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime. Happy pedaling!

*Please note that I am not a professional and that you should first consult with a GP or any other health professional before taking up any such adventure.

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