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Bikepacking Tips For Beginners | How to get started?

July 28, 2021

Bikepacking tips for beginners

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Explore some backcountry trails and beautiful scenery by going on an off-road bikepacking ride today!

If you are a fan of the outdoors and want to explore far-away places on two wheels, bikepacking is for you! Quite frankly, there has never been an easier time to go bikepacking for beginners. Outdoor adventure has become more accessible than ever thanks to improved modern equipment such as bikes that are tougher yet lighter. For this reason, bikepacking also known as bike touring off-road, has been gaining in popularity among outdoor enthusiasts who love being on two wheels.

Related: 7 Best Bikepacking Routes In The U.S.
For those who are new to bikepacking altogether and want some tips on how to get started, here's our guide explaining what bikepacking is as well as some bikepacking tips for beginners! The tips included should help get your wheels in motion today. Just follow these tips closely at home before hitting the road. And with some practice, anyone can enjoy this new way to experience the outdoors!

What is Bikepacking?

bikepacking tips for beginners

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Since we are talking about bikepacking for beginners, I think it's best if I first tackle the question: What is bikepacking? Bikepacking is an adventurous, low-impact, and sustainable way to have a physical adventure. The word bikepacking combines two words, biking, and backpacking, which are perfect for this activity that combines camping with cycling. In just 5 years, searches for "bikepacking" have increased by 300%. This style of travel requires skill in both riding a bike as well as packing the necessary gear. Bikepackers use lightweight bicycles as their main mode of transportation while exploring the outdoors on dirt roads or trails. They often camp out under the stars using whatever gear they can carry on their bikes, such as tents or tarps.

It's like traditional bike touring, but without any of the logistical planning. All you need to do is grab your gear and go! Bikepackers can travel farther, go more places and see more in one day than they could on foot. From fishing trips with friends or weekend family outings, bikepacking provides a convenient way for all kinds of people to enjoy life outside. There are many exciting ways that one might embark on an adventure bikepacking trip including weeklong trips through rugged terrain like singletrack trails around national parks and mountainside descents into valleys via jeep trail. True adventure awaits those who put one foot forward towards this sport.

5 Bikepacking Tips For Beginners

For bikepacking beginners looking into starting their own adventures out there: here are 5 beginner bikepacking tips before embarking!

#1 Choose the right bikepacking bike

bikepacking tips for beginners

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

There are several bikepacking tips for beginners to look into. But only one is absolutely necessary. And that is choosing the right bikepacking bike. A bike is an integral part of the bikepacking experience. Depending on what type you prefer, mountain or gravel bikes are ideal for this purpose and will allow for a comfortable trip with enough features to make it enjoyable. Mountain riders may want more rugged tires, while those looking at gravel options should consider wider tire widths that can handle rocks better than thinner ones would be able to do so.

You'll need a bike that's sturdy enough to handle trails with moderate difficulty, but also lightweight enough for long distances. It should have at least one gear so it doesn't get too difficult as the trail gets steeper or terrain more challenging. A drop bar is best because they provide better control and are easy to rest your hands on while riding uphill or in rough conditions. For safety reasons, we recommend wearing a helmet and reflective clothing if biking at night or off-road.

How can you find out what size, price point, features, and gear are best for bike backpacking? Visit a local cycling shop! A good representative at these shops should help determine what's right based on their knowledge about bikepacking equipment as well as bicycle fittings. The cycling shop representative will also help fit your needs best by determining size and price point as well as gear like racks if needed before heading out onto the road!

Related: How to choose a bike for bikepacking?

#2 Plan your daily mileage

bikepacking tips for beginners

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

How far should you ride while bikepacking? What's the average bikepacking miles per day? These are tough questions to answer precisely. Because the answer depends on many factors and may vary from person to person based on their comfort level with different variables such as load weight, terrain difficulty, weather conditions, and daylight hours. The average bikepacking distance for an experienced rider ranges from 25-75 miles (40-120 km) per day depending on these variables that change with every adventure available!

For bikepacking beginners, I would recommend covering 15-60 miles (24-96 km per day. There's no need to rush through it as some people might want you to. After all, all journeys have an endpoint! And do not forget to enjoy the scenic countryside while you are putting in your miles.

Related: Bikepacking Pace Guide | How many miles per day?

#3 Pack all Bikepacking Essentials

bikepacking tips for beginners

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

Packing all your essentials is one of the most important bikepacking tips for beginners! It takes some time and research to find out the right bikepacking gear, but we're here to help! We'll start with bike-specific equipment. Frame bag (the most important!), seat pack for sleeping gear or food, handlebar mount if desired, rack for carrying water bottles or other items in front of the saddle. You may also want a frame bag that attaches between your top tube and seat post (called a "beer bong" by some). A good pump and a fully stocked first aid kit are also essential!

Choosing the right sleeping gear for bikepacking is crucial, as it affects how you sleep and what your experience will be. There are many different options when it comes to choosing your sleep system: hammock camping vs ground tent camping; self-inflating pad vs inflatable air mattress; sleeping bag vs quilt. It's best to stick with a lightweight sleeping bag if you're going ultralight without any other panniers or baggage to weigh you down while riding in order not to hinder performance on the trail.

bikepacking tips for beginners

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash

Water and food are two of the most important things to bring on a bikepacking trip. It's important to have enough water on hand at all times, especially if you'll be out after dark. You can pack a water filter or learn how to distill your own using this handy DIY guide! For bikepacking meals, we recommend high protein foods like jerky and nuts coupled with light snacks like energy bars or fruit leathers. All trips should have a minimum 3-liter hydration reservoir as well as enough calorie-dense foods for long days without any resupply points.

The first thing that most people forget when packing for bikepacking is maps. Always have at least one map so that if you find yourself off course, you can backtrack to get back on track! You also need waterproof matches or a lighter in case it starts raining suddenly and your clothes start getting wet from rainwater. A multi-tool knife is another important tool because it's great for cutting ropes, opening cans, and other things as needed during your trip.

Related: A Beginner's Guide To Bikepacking Gear

#4 Distribute Your Gear Appropriately

bikepacking tips for beginners

Photo by Marek Piwnicki on Unsplash

Another great bikepacking tip for beginners is to be mindful of how you distribute the weight of your gear. Keeping the load light upfront will make steering easier and rides more enjoyable! Planning your bikepacking gear well is key to ensure you have the right tools for every adventure. Consider packing light and distributing weight evenly on all parts of your bike, so it doesn't feel like an extra burden leaning over handlebars or a backpack! To do this, load up the frame bag with heavier items--you'll retain more control on descents if they're not in front.

Stuff heavier items in backpacks that can be strapped onto your frame, seat-bag, or both for less weight on handlebars. Pack lighter items such as snacks on front of the bag so they are accessible without having to stop too often and unload heavy backpack with food from a low rider rack up high overhead (back). Do keep in mind that there’s no hard rule as to where you should pack items such as water bottles versus other gear - this is something best left up to personal preference!

#5 Test Everything Before Heading Out

bikepacking tips for beginners

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

You've already got your bike, tent, and clothes packed. You're ready to go! Before you leave for that long-awaited bikepacking adventure, make sure you test out all of the equipment beforehand. Normally when we talk about bikepacking tips for beginners, this part is essentially left out. It's actually very important not only because it will help ensure a safe trip. But also because you can fix any gear-related problems before starting your bikepacking journey. Just imagine what might happen if one piece breaks or malfunctions while making your way through miles of backcountry terrain. Therefore, it is essential to familiarize yourself with your equipment before you embark on a bikepacking trip. You will want everything working as expected, so try it out beforehand and make sure there are no loose nuts or bolts that can get lost in the wilderness!

Note: Remember to bring an all-rounder repair kit with you in case your bike or some other equipment breaks down.


bikepacking tips for beginners

Photo by Patrick Hendry on Unsplash

So how do you get started bikepacking? The answer is simple. You just need to take the plunge! Whether you’re a beginner bikepacker or an experienced one, we hope these 5 backpacking tips for beginners have provided some insight into what it takes to get started with bikepacking. Bikepacking isn't as scary as it sounds once you get started. Just take a small trip first and then start building up your confidence. And don't forget to have fun along the way!

If you have any questions about these 5 bikepacking tips for beginners, feel free to reach out and contact us! We love hearing from our readers so don't be shy. Stay tuned for more posts coming soon that will help provide additional resources and tips on bikepacking!

Do you have any thoughts to share about bikepacking? Let us know in the comments below!

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