Are you in search of some newbie bikepacking suggestions? You’re in the precise place! Over the previous few years, bikepacking has actually taken off among the many biking group. It’s a good way to discover new locations, spend a while outside, and canopy extra floor than you possibly can on foot. I’ve been occurring bikepacking journeys for a few years and it’s arms down certainly one of my favourite methods to journey.
However there are some issues that should be considered earlier than you head out on a bikepacking journey. Components like what gear to deliver, pack a motorcycle for bikepacking, and selecting a beginner-friendly route are all important for planning a profitable journey.
After a variety of quick and lengthy bikepacking excursions myself (together with pedaling 630 miles throughout the state of Washington!), I wish to share just a few suggestions and methods I’ve discovered that can assist you prepare in your first bikepacking journey.
Able to roll? Listed here are my high newbie bikepacking tricks to get you prepared and stoked in your first tour.
Selecting a Newbie Bikepacking Route
In your first bikepacking journey, you wish to select a route that’s manageable. In a single day journeys are a good way to check out gear, resolve should you truly take pleasure in it, and get a really feel for what it’s wish to pedal a loaded bike. Bikepacking.com is a good useful resource for locating and researching bikepacking journeys they usually have a complete part devoted to overnighters.
Different elements to think about when selecting your first bikepacking route are:
- Water availability. Except you’re ready to hold your whole water, it’s a good suggestion to decide on a route the place you recognize there might be dependable water sources.
- Logistics. Loop rides are simpler to plan than point-to-point rides since they don’t require any shuttles.
- Mobile phone service. Whereas it’s good to disconnect from the world, it’s a good suggestion to plan your first journey someplace that has dependable mobile phone service in case one thing goes improper. Damaged derailleurs or a slashed tire can imply an extended stroll out!
- Terrain. Bikepacking routes vary from rugged singletrack adventures to fast-rolling gravel roads. If you happen to’re not accustomed to pedaling and dealing with a loaded bike, it’s greatest to decide on a straightforward or reasonable path or highway in your first journey. There’s no must sort out one thing tremendous strenuous your first time round, particularly when you find yourself nonetheless determining get your setup dialed.
Important Newbie Bikepacking Gear
The gear you want for bikepacking doesn’t differ an excessive amount of from the gear you want for in a single day backpacking journeys. Now we have a wonderful 3-day backpacking guidelines that particulars a few of our favourite tenting gear. You’ll additionally want some bikepacking-specific gear, which I’ll go into element about beneath and you can even discover my full multi-day bikepacking gear listing right here.
In your first bikepacking journey, one of the best bike is the one you already personal. If it’s been sitting within the storage for some time otherwise you haven’t proven it a lot love, you’ll wish to take it to your native bike store for a full tune-up to verify it’s in bikepacking form.
If you happen to don’t have a motorcycle that can work, you possibly can lease one or borrow one from a buddy. REI shops sometimes have bike leases and a few native bike retailers do as effectively.
I don’t advocate going out and shopping for a brand new bike previous to your first bikepacking journey. First, you wish to be sure you truly take pleasure in bikepacking, and second, you’ll wish to get a greater understanding of the kind of bikepacking you’ll be doing as a way to purchase a motorcycle that matches your bikepacking wants. A full-suspension mountain bike is nice for singletrack trails, but it surely’s not the optimum bike for multi-day journeys on gravel roads.
When you some driving beneath your belt and begin to get a really feel for what sort of longer adventures you wish to go on, then you can begin to search for bikes that might be greatest for these sorts of excursions.
There are numerous totally different choices on the subject of attaching gear to your bike. Investing in a full bikepacking bag set-up is dear, so I like to recommend utilizing what you could have already first. Dry sacks might be secured to the handlebars or rear rack with voile straps and water bottle cages might be hooked up to the body.
If you’re trying to buy some newbie bikepacking baggage, listed below are just a few firms that make sturdy and waterproof gear:
- Rouge Panda: They really make customized body baggage to suit your particular bike and you may select from a ton of enjoyable colours and patterns.
- Revelate Designs: Based mostly out of Alaska, Revelate Designs makes high-quality baggage which might be designed to face up to numerous put on and tear.
- Ortlieb: Ortlieb is thought for his or her panniers, however additionally they have a full vary of bikepacking baggage. Panniers assist you to carry extra gear, however remember the fact that you’ll want a rear rack. Additionally, relying on the terrain you’re driving, panniers can bounce round lots and I’ve even heard of the clips breaking, which might be a giant trouble to repair on the path.
For in a single day journeys, I truly want sporting my Osprey Mira 32 backpack. Not everybody will agree that it’s higher to hold your gear in your again, however I discover this backpack to be very comfy, even when loaded with gear. It additionally retains my bike gentle and free from numerous baggage and straps.
My 1 or 2-night bikepacking journey setup is to put on the Osprey Mira on my again (with a 2.5 L water reservoir), a handlebar roll in entrance, a high tube bag for snacks, and a water bottle in my water bottle cage.
Bike Instruments & Restore Package
So far as bicycle instruments go, you’ll wish to deliver a variety of instruments and spare elements with you. Under is a primary listing, however should you’re heading out on an extended bikepacking journey, you’ll wish to embody just a few extra gadgets which I embody in my multi-day bikepacking gear listing.
- An excellent multi-tool. My go-to multi-tool is the Crank Brothers M19.
- Grasp chain hyperlinks. Grasp chain hyperlinks assist you to repair a damaged chain. Take a look at your chain to see which grasp hyperlink you want (10-speed, 11-speed, 12-speed, and so on…)
- Valve cores. Valve cores can fail and if that occurs, you haven’t any approach of pumping up your tires. Carry at the very least 2 spare valve cores.
- Hand pump. The Lezyne Strain Drive CFH can be utilized as a traditional hand pump for each Presta and Shraeder valves and it may also be used with CO2 cartridges.
- Tubeless tire equipment. Most bike tires are arrange tubeless lately, which has drastically lowered the variety of flats. Nevertheless, punctures nonetheless occur, so that you’ll must deliver a tubeless tire equipment with plugs and an insertion device. I’ve the Real Improvements Tubeless Deal with equipment, which additionally comes with valve cores and you may retailer your grasp hyperlink in right here, too.
- Duct tape. All the time good to have!
- Spare tube. Be sure to get the precise tube measurement in your tires.
- Tire levers. In case you get a flat and it is advisable insert a tube.
- Tire boot. These can get you out of a jam should you slash your tire.
- Zip-ties. Helpful for an infinite variety of issues.
Bringing these instruments is important for each newbie bikepacker, however provided that you know the way to make use of them. That’s why earlier than you head out in your first bike tour, it’s vital that you just brush up in your expertise!
The right way to Pack a Bike for Bikepacking
There are numerous totally different opinions on the subject of pack a motorcycle for bikepacking, however for me, I discovered that the next methods work one of the best.
Pack meals, water, tent poles, and different heavier gadgets in your body bag. This retains the burden within the middle of the bike and will help present traction.
Seat publish bag or panniers
Pack the remaining items of drugs like range, pot, utensils, garments, and toiletries in your seat publish bag or panniers. If you happen to’re utilizing a seat publish bag, be sure it’s cinched down tight to stop undesirable sway.
Prime tube bag
I wish to have quick access to my snacks, multi-tool, and telephone in my high tube bag.
I sometimes all the time put on a hydration pack once I’m bikepacking as a result of it permits quick access to water and it will possibly match small odds and ends like instruments and spare elements, meals, and different light-weight gadgets. In case your tent poles don’t slot in your body bag, they will go in your hydration pack.
If it is advisable carry extra water than what’s in your hydration pack, you possibly can connect water bottle cages to your down tube. If it is advisable carry much more water, these water bottle cages can connect to your entrance fork legs with a velcro strap.
Bikepacking Pre-ride Guidelines
Now that you’ve your route picked out, your gear sorted, and you know the way to pack your bike for bikepacking, you’re able to roll! However earlier than you head out in your first journey, here’s a fast guidelines to run by way of to be sure you have all the pieces dialed.
1. Your bike is in nice working order
My largest bikepacking tip is that this: earlier than you head out in your trip, be sure your bike is in nice working order. This contains checking to see in case your tires are in fine condition, new sealant is added in the event that they’re tubeless, the chain shouldn’t be worn, it shifts nice, there aren’t any mysterious noises, your brake pads are recent, and all the pieces feels nice.
The very last thing you need is to get midway into your bikepacking journey and have one thing go improper along with your bike that might have been prevented beforehand.
If you happen to’re undecided do bike upkeep your self, take it to a motorcycle store and have a mechanic look it over. It’s value the additional cash to make sure your bike is in tip-top form.
2. You’ve brushed up on some primary bike mechanic expertise
You, or somebody in your group, ought to know :
- Change a tire
- Repair a damaged chain
- Exchange a derailleur hanger
- Lube a series
- Use a tire boot in case a tire will get slashed
- Insert a tire plug
If these all sound scary to you, I like to recommend signing up for a primary bike upkeep course or watching some YouTube movies.
3. You’ve deliberate out your route and have completed cautious analysis
Identical to planning a backpacking journey, planning a bikepacking journey requires cautious analysis and preparation. You could understand how a lot meals to deliver (belief me, being hangry on a completely loaded bike shouldn’t be enjoyable!), the place there are dependable water sources, a tough concept of the place you’ll camp, what the forecast and temperatures are wanting like, and some other element you possibly can consider. The extra you propose, the much less probably you’ll end up in a sticky state of affairs.
4. Your gear is organized and examined
Be sure to pull out, manage, and check, all of your gear earlier than packing it up in your bikepacking baggage. On a current bikepacking journey, I forgot to check my water filter solely to understand that it was clogged up and consequently, it filtered water actually gradual. Not the top of the world, but when I had examined it previous to my journey, I might have flushed it out or purchased a brand new one.
One other mistake I’ve seen is individuals assuming that each one of their tent elements are within the tent bag, however then discover out that the poles or rain fly is lacking once they go to arrange camp on day 1.
All the time manage and check your gear earlier than you permit!
5. You’ve instructed somebody the place you’re going
Final, however not least, inform somebody what your bikepacking route is and if you anticipate to be completed. If nobody is aware of the place you’ve gone or if you’re purported to be again, it will possibly make getting assist and even rescued extraordinarily tough.
It’s additionally a good suggestion to hold a GPS communication system should you assume you’ll be out of mobile phone service vary. The Garmin inReach Mini is a good possibility.
Fascinated about studying extra about bikepacking and mountain biking? Make sure to try Becky’s weblog, Two Wheeled Wanderer.
What are your newbie bikepacking suggestions? Do you could have recommendation for these simply beginning out? What questions do you continue to have about bikepacking? Drop a remark beneath!