Bikepacking - Start a new Adventure
Experience an adventure on a bike, explore new paths, enjoy nature and spend the night in a tent – these are the essential components of bikepacking. We will explain what you have to pay attention to when bikepacking!
What is bikepacking?
The term bikepacking has developed in recent years, but the idea behind it has been around for a long time. Basically, it is about traveling by bike and carrying your belongings in appropriate bags on the bike. As a rule, bikepackers want to enjoy nature and choose routes in the most remote areas. Bikepackers want adventure, sleeping in a tent and exploring nature in a completely new way. They slow down their everyday life and most people just drive until they have found a nice place to stay. You are more aware of the environment and you simply enjoy life.
If you are also considering a bikepacking excursion, you should definitely read the following sections. We explain what you need for it.
Which bike is suitable for bikepacking?
In fact, there is no general answer to this question, because bikepacking basically works with almost every type of bike. There are riders who use their mountain bike or normal touring bikes, but in most cases appropriate gravel bikes are used. These are basically based on normal road bikes, but have wider tires, more robust components and various options for attaching bags to the frame.
What mounting options are there on the bike?
The mounting options for bikepacking bags are very different. There are classic bag formats that can be attached to the eyelets or luggage racks on the frame. These are usually located on the rear wheel, but bags or water bottle holders are also increasingly being attached to the bicycle fork.
However, bikepacking bags are used much more often, which are mounted directly on the bike and do not require special brackets or even tools for assembly. As a rule, these bags are attached to the bike with straps.
With the handlebar bag, a “tubular” bag is attached to the handlebar. Usually this can be rolled up or packed with lashing straps of any size. Many riders carry their sleeping bags and other light objects here that can be rolled up well
The classic bikepacking saddle bag is attached to the saddle and seat post of the bike with various straps. It then protrudes from the seat post backwards beyond the rear wheel. Most bags can also be adapted to their need here. If, for example, little is transported, the bag can be rolled up small. It is important that the bag itself is dimensionally stable. Otherwise there is a risk that it will touch the rear tire on off-road trails.
Frame bags are narrow bags that are mounted in or on the front triangle. Sstraps are also used here for assembly. The great advantage of these bags is that they are always at hand, even while driving, and you can take things out with one hand. As a rule, snacks, smartphones, lamps and all sorts of small items are transported here, as there is not enough space for large objects.
What accessories are needed for bikepacking?
The accessories for bikepacking are very clearly based on the adventure that is planned. A short weekend trip to the local forest does not need nearly as much equipment as a trip to distant countries for several weeks. However, you should always have the following things with you when you travel by bike and want to spend the night outdoors.
The market for tents is enormous, but there are various manufacturers that specialize in bikepacking tents. These are particularly light and above all extremely compact in pack size. The tent struts are folded up short so that they can be easily stowed in the bikepacking bags. Make sure you are of high quality, because nothing is worse than getting wet when you spend the night outdoors.
Mostly you look for a nice place to stay in nature, where the ground is undoubtedly softer than in a parking lot. Nevertheless, you should pack a thin or inflatable sleeping pad. A high-quality sleeping pad is worth its weight in gold just to stop moisture from the ground.
One of the most important items on a bikepacking trip is the sleeping bag. There are special models for bicycle adventurers. A low weight and pack size as well as a sufficient temperature range for the application are the criteria to be considered when buying.
Reduce yourself to the bare essentials, but it can be a small set consisting of stove, pot & plate. Do not forget a lighter!
There are good multifunction knives that have a fork and knife, but at the same time offer other important features. You never know whether a small saw or the like is even needed.
Depending on where you are traveling, it is essential to take some emergency rations with you, because the nearest supermarket is not always around the corner. Some bars, nuts and one or two packs of instant noodles do not take up much space, but can quickly become the savior in times of need.
You never know how remote you camp. Therefore, you should always secure your bike.
A small emergency kit with plasters, disinfectants and more should always be carried when you spend the night in nature.
For small repairs and plates, it is essential to carry the appropriate tools and replacement hoses.