A Beginner’s Guide to Launching Your First Bikepacking Adventure

What transpires when you incorporate climbing and camping with biking? You get a thing called bikepacking. It’s specifically what it appears like…a sport that entails putting packs and equipment onto bikes and riding into an adventure. If the very first image that pops into your brain when you listen to the term ‘bikepacking’ is a cyclist chugging along the shoulder, loaded up with 4 panniers, one on just about every facet of both equally wheels, you are forgiven. That’s bicycle touring. It’s been about for ages and folks are nevertheless incredibly a lot touring this way. But in modern decades, there’s been an uptick in the selection of folks swapping out panniers for other styles of baggage, frames and surfaces. If bicycle touring is the grandfather of bicycle adventures, then bikepacking is it is cooler, lighter, grittier offspring. It’s what fastpacking is to backpacking. And it is below to stay.

New corporations now bursting onto the bikepacking scene are only turning out superior equipment to assistance both equally the beginner and the challenging-main cyclist access adventures on two wheels. The equipment suits onto bikes in a way which is smooth, well balanced, and light-weight, generating it achievable for riders to pedal across extra than just pavement. Most bikepackers, though they’ll journey streets, choose gravel and dirt, and, in common, are opting for mountain bikes above street bikes.


Experience What Ya Bought

At very first glance, bikepacking could possibly appear to be like the kind of sport with a steep entry point. A fast Google search or a scroll by means of Instagram will change up tons of photos of tricked-out bikes and intricate on the lookout setups. But in actuality, you can go bikepacking on really a lot any bicycle. Never commit a ton of revenue on new equipment, including a established of wheels, until eventually you choose a excursion or two. Experience what is parked in your garage and determine out what you have to have and want. Then, if you like it, you can get a frame distinct to bikepacking and enhance your working experience.

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

Pack What Ya Bought

Yet again, continue to keep your investment decision to a bare minimum though you are selecting whether or not or not bikepacking is a thing you want to absolutely dedicate to. If you have obtained a hydration pack or backpack, use it. Osprey’s Raptor is a good option but for your very first journey, but there’s no have to have to be picky. “Don’t sense like you have to have a entire package to get out on the trails,” suggests Greg Hardy, proprietor of Rockgeist, a customized bikepacking corporation in Asheville, NC. “Grab a couple of Voile straps (pictured over) to anchor dry baggage to a rack or handlebars and which is all you have to have to get started out.”

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


If you are hesitant to choose your very first bikepacking excursion with random gear, we get it. The good equipment can be the change among an all right excursion and an exceptional one. (And inappropriate equipment can occasionally destroy a excursion completely.) Luckily, you have obtained choices as extra and extra corporations about the place, like Swift Experience Co.,  Mountain Bike SF, and Rockgeist, are providing bikepacking rentals. It’s a good way to take a look at-drive what you are contemplating buying, and a lower-price tag way to see whether or not or not you even like the sport.

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

Just take Your 1st Trip

At some point, you just have to get on your bicycle and go. We suggest generating the very first excursion short and considerably near to property. Ryan Prentiss of Asheville, NC (pictured over) started out bicycle touring in 2012 and transitioned into bikepacking in 2016. He rode from San Francisco to Peru in 2018 and has been bikepacking ever due to the fact. His suggestions to new bikepackers? “Don’t check out to journey way too considerably, way too early,” Prentiss suggests. “Be nice to your body and your body will adapt to lifetime on a bicycle.” In other terms, strategy a short trek, get out there, and repeat. Slowly but surely build up your mileage and prolong your outings from long day-rides to weekend adventures and past.

Never Pack the Kitchen area Sink

The desire to prepare for something and anything is not a undesirable factor. In some conditions, it is required. But when it arrives to bikepacking, consider what is totally required and what is perhaps not so significant (guides, climbing boots, camera equipment). The concept is to pack considerably minimally so that you can travel light-weight and quickly. Prentiss suggests his most beneficial bikepacking equipment item is his Vargo Bot seven-hundred, a titanium pot with a watertight screw-leading lid. He makes use of it to boil tea, prepare food, and keep leftovers. Every little thing you select to bring, you will have to have with you for the long-haul, so select sensibly.

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

Make investments Correctly

Prepared to spend in some equipment? “The very first piece of equipment we suggest investing in is a framebag,” Hardy suggests. “It has terrific packing versatility and benefit, carries pounds lower on the bicycle for exceptional dealing with, and can double as a storage option during common path riding/commuting.” Just after that, your choices are quite a few. Hardy currently has on his bicycle (pictured over), the Mudlust Personalized Framebag, Cache Major Tube Bag, Barjam Harness, and a Medic Bag. The elegance of most of these baggage even though is that they can be swiftly and easily eliminated. You’re not married to one specific setup so you can alter your equipment primarily based on your future, lengthier journey.


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