What Is Bikepacking
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When people think of bikepacking, they know that it is something different. That is because it is the best thing that happened to the bike industry and also for the rider. They love what backpacking has given to them and they really appreciate it. They also want to do it a lot and enjoy every minute of it. When people are into it, they really have a great time and they are happy while they are doing it.
What Exactly Is BikePacking?
It is all about a group of people who love to ride their bikes, explore the world and the outdoors. Then, businesses picked up on it and they wanted to get in on the whole deal. They tend to commercialize it but it is still something that many people enjoy. They love that they are out exploring and they are free to go on the trails that they choose to. This is what they enjoy doing and they want to keep doing it for a long time to come. When they want to find somewhere to go when they bikepacking, they find just the right places all of the time. They know that they can have a great time no matter which trails they are going on. If you happen to be one of the lucky ones that enjoy bikepacking, you will get to spend hours enjoying yourself on all kinds of trails that will really make you feel happy.
It Is Even More Than That
There has always been a time where bicycle touring was very popular but bikepacking takes it even further. These are routes that are off-pavement. The remote trails are just the beginning of an adventure that really stands out for so many people that enjoy it. These trails that people use are more adventurous, quieter than regular routes, and simply a lot more fun for the people that want to camp out when they are riding. It is a lifestyle in a way because the people that like to go bikepacking really live it and they love it. They find that it gives them the ability to get close with nature and to love every minute of it. For them, they can find nothing better than a route that is less traversed and more difficult to maneuver. They also love that they are entering into the unknown and that they will have to go about their way and stay safe too.
Wander, Remote, Backcountry, And Access
These four words are the basis for bikepacking. The people that like to do this enjoy being able to wander. They love that the trails are remote in the backcountry and that they can have access to them. It allows them to really exercise their will and they love to have a challenge. Bikepackers really want to go all out when it comes to being able to ride the trails as they see fit. They enjoy all the time that they spend out in nature. For them, it is something that they will never forget and they must do more. They are always looking for even better trails so that they can get their fill of excitement.
An Alternative To Mountain Biking
For those that like to go bikepacking, it is an alternative to mountain biking. They are on a bike not on a mountain bike. They are in charge of how fast they go by the strength that they have. Since this is a true testament to the strength of a person, people need to be in good shape to enjoy bikepacking. They should also make sure that they are healthy enough to take on the challenges that will be presented to them when they go on the various trails and camp out in the wilderness. Many bikepackers get a physical from their doctor so that they know that they can handle the inevitable excitement that they will feel when they are bikepacking. It will give them an adrenalin rush and they want to be sure that they can handle it in their system. When they know they are strong enough, they let it rip so to speak, and head out on the trails to see what they can do with them.
Loving The Outdoors
As the bikepackers find even more remote routes to cover, they may run into other bikepackers along the way. This is a welcomed event because they can compare how they are doing with their bikepacking interests. People make friends along the way because they share the same interests. It is really something that only true bikepackers can understand and since there are not that many of them, they love when they can meet up with others that understand their love of the bike and the wilderness. It makes a lot of sense to them and they really appreciate each other.
The Cost Of Bikepacking
Some people may think that you need to spend a small fortune to begin bikepacking. This is simply not true. You can use what you have already. Your bike, some bikepacking bags, and camping gear. You can take on a route that is near to your home and do an overnight trip to start to get the feel for bikepacking. It is the minimal that you need to spend some time on your bike in the wilderness and camp out. You will feel like you are having the time of your life and you won’t need to spend a fortune. Making it on just a little bit is what the whole process is about. You want it to be just a little bit that you are living with and making it. It is really all about surviving out there in the remote areas and remaining safe and well. You will want to make sure that you have the things that you do need. Food and water, of course, are very important. Make sure that you have that along with you when you decide to go bikepacking.
After A While
As you get further into it, you might want to invest in a better bike. That is, of course, if you would like to. The only thing that you have to remember is that you have to have a thirst for adventure and not be afraid of the outdoors. If you can safely say that you love this type of thing, then bikepacking is for you. You might want to look into a secondhand hardtail that you can find in the classified ads. This will give you just what you are looking for when you want to go bikepacking and it won’t cost you that much either. You will want to try out any bike that you get before you go out on a trip because you will be in the saddle for a long time. That is, you need to be able to handle the fit so be sure that you try it out before you head out on a long journey. You will be glad that you did because you might end up really sore if you don’t.
You Want To Have Soft Bags For Your Bikepacking Trip
You will want to consider getting roll bags and seat bags at first. These bags are soft and you will be able to fit what you need in them. Once you have a bike that you are really happy with, you will want to get a frame bag. This will allow you to carry even more with you so that you will be able to handle the remote areas a lot better when you are camping out. This is what will get you even more interested in bikepacking because you will want to make sure that you have all the necessities that you need in these soft bags attached to your bike. If you need to, you can also bring a backpack but most bikepackers do not use them. They encumber them while they are riding. Try to fit everything into the soft bags that are attached to your bike.
Here is an example bag you to check out:
Lixada Waterproof Bike Saddle Bag
The Lixada Waterproof Bike Saddle Bag is an intriguing option for those wanting a versatile, aesthetically pleasing option for their ride.
This brand continues to offer a long list of options with this one being a new addition to the collection. Here’s a detailed look at what the bag is all about.
- Under Seat Design
- Waterproof Pockets (2)
- Made of 900 D Polyester
- Tail Hook Design for Safety Purposes
- Velcro Straps and Buckles
- Dimensions: 25.4 x 20.07 x 11.68 cm
- Refined Build Quality
Whether it is the tail hook design, velcro straps, or buckles, everything about this saddle bag is exemplary. The attention to detail is impossible to beat and it is this refined build quality that sets the tone for riders.
Coming in at a mere 0.83 lbs, this is one of the lightest saddlebags available right now. It’s easy on the eyes and doesn’t get in the way of your ride during the day. This is especially important for those who are going to be hauling across different terrains while riding from point A to point B.
- Multiple Pockets
There are two rainproof pockets available in this bag and it’s perfect for different conditions. These pockets are spacious, easy to use, and perfect for those who have multiple devices they need to carry while riding.
- Can Loosen Over Bumps
Depending on how aggressive the ride quality is, this saddle bag can loosen over time. It’s imperative to double-check when it’s time to install the bag into place. Otherwise, it can fall or start to rattle even though it’s well-made.
Get Ready To Ride
When you have all of your gear in those soft bags, you will then want to head out. You will enjoy the ride and love being outside in the fresh air. Get ready to explore the places that you have never seen and you should enjoy all of the outdoors that you can get your hands onto. You will be amazed at how much it will invigorate you to be bikepacking. Make sure that you always practice safety first too. You want to have a special first aid kit on hand just in case anything should happen when you are out in the wilderness.
Make it the most fun that you ever had. Bikepacking is a special and unique way of enjoying biking and the outdoors. It combines it all and you will get to have adventures that you might not have in any other way. If you love it, you will want to do it all the time and you should get to do it as much as possible.
What Is a Singletrack Trail
There are many terms out there for outdoor trails and outdoor sites which can be a great way to find exactly what you’re looking for when it comes to outdoor activities. On the other hand, it can also cause confusion when you don’t know what a term means and show up only to realize your planned activity would be a serious faux pas.
So what does it mean when you see a map or sign that says a track or trail is a “Singletrack Trail?”
Simply put, a singletrack (or “single track” - both spellings are acceptable) is a specific type of trail designed for mountain biking that is wide enough for one bike at a time. This is one of the narrowest types of designed trail and is smaller than the double track or fire road, as well as many conventional recreational hiking trails.
These are trails that often are not shared with hikers and aren’t wide enough for four-wheelers.
Singletrack trails are very popular with mountain bikers because they often offer a variety of challenges as well as a great riding experience. Many single track trails are generally very smooth and flow well from one turn to another going through often very scenic areas with minimum disturbance. But there are also often technical features kept in for mountain bikers.
This includes roots, switch backs, drops, small jumps, and even rocky sections. Many singletrack trails are actually designed with mountain bikers in mind. While many are casual in nature there are also those designed for races, challenges, ore designed with major technical obstacles off certain arms to create challenges for veteran mountain bikers.
A Favorite of Mountain Bikers
These types of trails are incredibly popular with mountain bikers. They are designed for this, and many times these trails are kept up by local volunteers and mountain biking fans who want to make sure they all have a place to continue to practice.
Often times there will even be teamwork between local rangers, park & recreation management, conservation groups, and local mountain bike fans.
What About Shared Trails
The general rules of the trail are that mountain bikers must yield to both hikers and those riding horses. Mountain bikers riding downhill yield to those coming up hill unless the trail is otherwise marked, and of course the classic Leave No Trace.
In addition to this, you hope there is always etiquette between everyone who are sharing the trail but it is the responsibility of the bikers to give way. Local areas may have further rules.
In the Austin Greenbelt, where large sections of the trails going through town are singletrack trails, the bikers are expected to tell hikers they’re coming up on whether they’re on the left or right so the hiker has time to side step, or at the very least, not step in the way of the bikers.
There’s a lot to love about singletrack trails and if you are going to enjoy the great hobby of mountain biking, its only a matter of time until you find yourself navigating these trails during your time outdoors.
How To Choose The Best Gravel Bike For A Bikepacking Route
Shopping for a gravel bike may feel like a daunting task these days. The range and models of different gravel bikes happen to be extensive. Today, you can find a variety of different gravel bikes including the bikes that feature dropper posts, racing gravel bikes, gravel bikes that are similar to road bikes or mountain bikes, and gravel bikes that you can use for bikepacking.
What Is A Gravel Bike
The gravel bikes are categorized as a point where the mountain and road bike meets, which means they offer “the best of both worlds”. They are fast, efficient, and light when riding over compact surfaces, yet still stable and composed enough to take on moderate off-road surfaces or terrain. Gravel bikes are also more than just road bikes that feature off-road tires. The riding position and geometry are less focused on being as efficient and aggressive as possible, with more attention on long-distance stability and comfort instead.
For many of the people that ride gravel bikes, the aim is to experience the outdoors while enjoying the surrounding scenery and to cycle without dangerous roads and traffic jams, away from cars overtaking with only a few centimeters to spare.
Gravel Bike Guide
Gravel bikes have become incredibly popular since none of the other categories are as beginner-friendly and versatile. On the right gravel bike, it is possible to enjoy daily commutes to work, rediscover your neighborhood, explore different countries, or even change up your training plan.
How Do You Plan To Use Your Gravel Bike
As mentioned above the possibilities on a gravel bike are just about endless. But you should still spend a bit of time considering how and where you plan to use the bike so that you can build or choose one accordingly. For example, a steel-frame, adventure-monster 29” may look attractive, but if you plan on riding 90% on gravel paths and tarmac roads, then a Road Plus lightweight carbon frame that features 650B slicks may be a far better option.
The market provides an immensely varied and impressive range of gravel bikes. At the same time, all the manufacturers provide their own interpretations of these segments. Depending on the model or brand, some of the bike concepts provide riders with an option to run various wheel sizes, for example, 700 X 40C or a 27.5 X 2.1 on one frame. There are also brands that now offer a bike model that comes in differing versions, that is suited for either more off-road or on-road riding. One of these examples includes the Norco Search XR. In some cases, it is even possible to find one bike model that comes in various frame materials such as the Rondo RUUT.
Gravel Bike Features
More clearance for bigger tires. The wider tires (maximum 45c) provide the gravel bike with more traction making them a comfortable choice on rough trails and roads.
The bike frame geometry of the gravel bikes includes longer wheelbases, slacker headtube angles, and lower bottom brackets, making these bikes more stable and secure on moderate off-road terrain.
The disc brakes are a common feature in gravel bikes providing predictable and powerful stopping when driving over any terrain.
The standard gravel bikes come with racks, fenders, and extra mounts for items such as water bottles, making this bike the perfect option to load up with your favorite gear for all your backcountry adventures.
Gravel bikes feature flared-drop bars which are slightly wider for added stability and control.
Some of the gravel bikes also come with dropper seat posts that allow you to move your saddle into another position when tackling more technical descents while standing.
Common Types Of Terrain For Bikepacking And Tips On How To Choose A Bikepacking Bike
- Mixed Surfaces
These surfaces include dirt roads and pavements. The gravel bikes, cyclocross bikes, rigid-mountain bikes, and touring bikes are all great options to ride over mixed surfaces. If your bikepacking plans include strictly pavements, the touring bikes may work. However, as soon as you plan to ride on dirt roads, the gravel bike, rigid-mountain bike, and cyclocross bikes will feel far safer and secure. You will soon start to appreciate the improved traction and cushier ride that the knobby tires offer when riding over rougher terrain. The gravel bikes are also great when it comes to handling chunky, loose gravel. They also provide more stable and faster descents when compared to the touring bikes. The fully rigid-mountain bikes are slower and heavier but are also an excellent choice if you plan to spend most of your time riding over dirt roads.
- Doubletrack, Forest Roads, And Gravel Roads
Hardtail-mountain bikes, rigid-mountain bikes, and gravel bikes are the best option for these surfaces. The hardtail or rigid-mountain bikes may be bulkier and heavier when compared to gravel bikes, yet they do provide improved stability and comfort on loose, rocky, or fast descents.
The hardtail-mountain bikes and the rigid-mountain bikes are the better options for a bikepacking tour that takes you over occasional singletracks. The mountain bikes that feature front suspension are effective when it comes to smoothing out the ride which makes it an easier task to navigate over and up rocks and roots. If you plan to mainly ride on technical singletracks, then the full-suspension mountain bikes are usually the best option. Fat-tire bikes are other popular options for singletrack adventures. The large tires assist with smoothing the ride out without adding complexities of suspension.
Gravel bikes are one of the best options for bikepacking tours and adventures and have their place when it comes to spending many hours in your saddle, riding at a speed. They also display a clear advantage over the flat-bar versions of mountain bikes, particularly with the various hand positions that the drop bars permit. However, the mountain bike models are still a more suitable choice when the terrain starts to get tricky or complex, or when you are not sure about the terrain.
Bivvy Bags For Bikepacking
Bikepacking is all about having a good time, finding a good route, and making sure your equipment is on par with modern standards.
This is how you are going to enjoy your trip and it is going to work out the way you want it to.
Keeping this in mind, it is important to look into the benefits of a bivvy bag and what it has to offer to those who want to enjoy their time outdoors.
What is a Bivvy Bag
In general, a bivvy bag or bivouac sack refers to a sleeping bag that is reserved for those spending time outdoors. It is lighter than a traditional sleeping bag making it easier to carry around from place to place on a bike.
This sack is capable of offering a robust, waterproof solution that is easy to set up and doesn’t get in the way of your biking adventure.
Each bivvy bag is going to be composed of different materials but most tend to have a two-tier approach.
This means the first tier includes ripstop nylon that is waterproof and allows for a bit of breathability. The second tier is a nylon-coated urethane that is also waterproof and robust.
With this two-tier approach, it becomes easier to settle in for a nap and feel good about staying warm. This is critical for those who are going to be biking in temperatures that are not always going to be warm as the sun goes down.
The goal of a solution such as this is to make sure the bag is dry and can increase the amount of warmth that is present inside when a person settles in.
Modern bags are made with a purpose and will keep the moisture out. This is what makes them appealing to those who are going out for a bit of bikepacking.
A lot of Bivvy bags tend to have specific features that make them appealing to bikepackers.
These features include full-length zippers that make them easier to use and offer complete ventilation. This matters when it comes to overall breathability and comfort.
It is also recommended to look for factory-sealed seams that can keep the water out in all conditions. This is essential if there is a bit of moisture in the air or on the ground.
The average bivvy bag needs to have a snug fit. This is what allows it to be compact and remain easy to carry around with you on a bike.
The snug fit is also warmer and makes it easier to settle in for a nap.
It is important to note, a snug fit doesn’t mean it should be too tight. The right option is perfect and offers a slightly snug fit as soon as your body goes in.
Air circulation is essential and is a big part of a high-grade bivvy bag.
The right type of Bivvy bag is going to be breathable and waterproof with a multi-layered setup. This is what keeps the vapor out at all times.
In the end, a bivvy bag is a great investment for those who are going to be bikepacking all the time. It is reliable, easy to set up, and compact.
While we have focused on using a bivvy bag on its own, you can also pair a bivvy with a traditional sleepig bag. By putting a bivvy on the outside of your sleeping bag, you can increase the warmth of the bag.
What Is Dirt Touring
If you’re planning to ride with a group of hopeful bikepackers, there are a couple of things that you’ll need to think about. But have you ever wondered what the term dirt touring meant? Read on as we dive into some helpful tips to get you started with your dirt touring adventure.
The art of dirt touring is often referred to as gravel touring, or bikepacking. All of these terms involve traveling on your bike along dirt trails or bike trails instead of on the regular pavement. However, dirt touring also involves some form of camping mainly because you’re moving further and further away from your everyday amenities.
With such a drastic environmental shift, you’ll need to ensure that you properly prepare for the trip ahead. Dirt touring has always brought a tremendous amount of excitement and fun for all of those who embark on the journey. However, preparation is key as you explore the great wilderness on some of the best biking paths in your area.
When it comes to preparing for dirt touring, there’s never really any wrong or right way to get into it. As such, you can easily use regular frame bags, panniers, or even a bike trailer as long as it’s comfortable for you. If you’re heading into tough trails then you’ll need to use bags that are tailored to the situation.
Most bikepacking bags were designed to support the weight needed to deal with tricky or technical areas. However, these need a little more preparation to maximize space. Additionally, knowing where you’re going beforehand makes it easier for you to bring along all of the essentials.
When it comes to paddling through the pandemic, it’s best to start with what you’d like to see and where you hope to end up. So, if you’re planning to see state parks, national parks, or even rail trails, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t go for it. If you’re planning to venture into unfamiliar territory, then it’s best to keep your GPS on standby in case of emergencies.
A GPS will come in handy since it aids with planning a designated travel route. If you’re interested in either gravel, singletracks or even road routes, you’ll be able to select them based on the total length or the geographical area. There are also online resources that will guide you if you need extra food items.
If you’re more inclined to create your own dirt touring route, your GPS will come in handy. It will make navigating through trails and different areas with ease. However, it is still recommended that you take a paper map just for safety. Maps are still considered a hot commodity and can be easily found at bike shops or ranger stations before embarking on your dirt touring adventure.
As we conclude, we have just looked at what is dirt touring for bikepacking. Additionally, we’ve also looked at a couple of tips to get you started on your adventure. Remember, plan your route beforehand so that you can pack all of the necessary essentials!
Reasons Bikepackers Need To Plan For Minimalist Camping
Bikepacking has become increasingly popular among outdoor enthusiasts. It’s one of the best ways to explore the outdoors and have yourself a grand adventure. However, if you are going to be heading out bikepacking while minimalist camping, you’ll want to plan. Planning is essential if you are going to be bikepacking because having a heavy bike can lead you to be weighed down.
Reasons To Plan Ahead:
- Weight Distribution
One of the main things you need to be concerned with when you are bikepacking is your weight distribution. When you are going to be riding on the trail, you’ll want to have a light bike. That way, you can optimize the handling of your bike. When you have poor weight distribution, you can find turning increasingly difficult. This is especially true if you are putting excess weight in the wrong spots. While bikepacking, you’ll want to situate the heaviest items near the seat post. You’ll also want to put heavier items around your frame pack. All of this will ensure that you are keeping your bike’s center of gravity as low as possible which can help reduce its hindrance on your steering.
- Access To Items
Another reason you want to plan has to do with needing accessible items during your adventure. You will need to have a lot of items easily accessible on your trip including food, water, and even maps. Having access to all of these things while bikepacking is essential to having a fun trip. Even if you are camping as a minimalist, you’ll need to have essential things with you along for the ride. You want to plan to ensure you aren’t putting these essentials in areas that aren’t easily accessible.
- You Have Limited Space
When you are camping as a minimalist, you’ll be limited in storage. Despite taking less than you need, you want to work with what you have available. Planning is the only way you’ll fit everything you need in the limited space you have. You’ll have a couple of places to put everything you are bringing along. Without proper planning, you might find that certain things don’t fit without putting them in the right order.
- You Need To Test It Out
One of the biggest mistakes people make when they are going out bikepacking on a camping adventure is not giving their bike a test ride. You don’t want to set out on the trail only to find that your weight distribution is completely out of whack. Nor do you want to find out that you don’t have enough space for all of the camping essentials you are bringing with you. By getting everything planned and packed for a test run, you can see how your bike feels and give yourself plenty of time to make the requisite adjustments once all of the weight is accounted for.
As you can see, bikepacking requires a lot of planning even when you are minimalist camping. By planning things out ahead of time, you’ll guarantee that your bike is ready for the adventure you’re about to embark on.
What Is Wild Camping
Wild camping is camping outside of traditional campsites. You might also know it as dispersed camping or boondocking.
One of the benefits of bikepacking is that you can go to more places than traditional bike touring. Because you will be riding on a mix of dirt roads and even pavement, the perfect bike will provide a backpacking rig with stability for all types of terrain.