Bikepacking is a combination of backpacking and bike touring on either men or womens bikes. It is a growing trend in the cycling community, but for beginners, there is often confusion about how to get started. There are at least ten pieces of gear every beginner should have.
- Large Seat Bag
Large seat bags are meant for light, bulky items, like sleeping bags. These bags mount to the underside of a hybrid bikes saddle for convenience.
- Water Bottle Cages
When going out on a weekend tour or longer, it is wise to stay hydrated. While most women and mens bicycles for sale will have a single water bottle mount installed, you may want to mount several water bottle cages on your bike frame, allowing you to drink conveniently and on a schedule.
- Gas Tank Bag
A gas tank bag has several names, but it connects to the top tube of your bicycle. The name comes from its appearance and mounting position, which is similar to a motorcycle gas tank. These bags are suitable for your camera and snacks.
- Handlebar Bag
Handlebar bags mount to the front of your handles. These bags are great for light and moderate items, like clothing, GPS or pads.
- Frame Bags
Frame bags are suitable for heavy items. The bags utilize the strength and durability of the bicycle frame to support the additional weight.
Daypacks are great for items vulnerable to vibration. The bags are like backpacks and do not mount directly to the bicycle.
Any backpacking trip requires a tent. However, you do not want to lug around a massive multi-person tent. Most bikepackers will find lightweight individual tents for the journey.
- Sleeping Bag
As with tents, you do not want to carry an overly bulky sleeping bag. You can find slim designs specifically for backpacking.
- Camping Stove
When you are out in the wilderness or deep on a trail, you will inevitably need a place to cook. A camping stove is small and convenient, allowing for easy and portable cooking on your bikepacking trip.
- Safety and Maintenance Gear
You never want to underestimate the importance of safety and maintenance gear when taking a long trip on your bicycle. At a minimum, you will need a helmet, pads and a bicycle repair kit. However, depending on the length of your trip, you may also want to bring spare tubes, a multi-tool, chain lube, etc. Beyond the bicycle essentials, makes sure you have a phone, map and GPS device. It is also wise to inform people of your traveling plans and itinerary. You should also schedule check-in times, so your family knows when to worry and send for help.
Bikepacking is a fun activity, but it does take a significant amount of preparation and innovation. Bicycles can make the backpacking experience more enjoyable because they help carry the load, but at the same time, you need to take extra precautions to ensure continued usefulness. If you are interested in going on a bikepacking excursion, then contact a local bicycle shop for information on supplies and necessary tools or accessories. Also, make sure to share traveling information with friends and family.