Lots of people love biking and camping, but have you ever considered the possibility of combining the two? It’s possible with bicycle camping, also known as bikepacking. With this activity, you can travel over short or long distances in nature and then set up camp at the end of the day. To get you started, let’s explore these five essential tips for bicycle camping.
Plan Your Path and Destination
When you go bicycle camping, you need to plan a route to take during the day, as well as a campsite to stay at in the evening. Some people may choose to take only a day for their trips while others might plan out a longer distance that requires a few stops before they reach their destination. Check with the trail or park you plan on going to before heading out to make sure that both biking and camping are allowed there.
Keep Your Camping Gear Light
If you’re camping near a vehicle, you can afford to bring all kinds of heavy equipment along with you. But on a bike, you don’t want too much weighing you down. Therefore, you need to keep your camping gear lightweight. Get a light tent and light sleeping bag that both pack down into small forms. Go for foldable or small cooking supplies as well. Besides these, you’ll also need a water bottle, some minimal toiletries, a first-aid kit, and a knife. You should also bring along some bike maintenance and repair tools, such as a tire pump, bike lock, and a tire patch kit.
Get Bike-Adapted Storage
It’s hard to pack all your stuff in a backpack, so you’ll need to get bike-adapted storage as well. This can come in the form of a front handlebar bag, bags on either side of your frond and rear wheels, a seat bag, a frame bag, water bottle holders, and maybe even a bike trailer. You may also be able to use straps or bungee cords to affix large objects to your bike outside of bags as well.
Adjust How You Ride
The extra weight that you have on your bike will affect how it handles as you ride it. As a result, an essential tip for bicycle camping is to adjust your bicycling habits to stay safe. You don’t want to speed up too much, as this can cause you to lose control of your bike. You should also slow down ahead of turns and stops earlier than you normally do. Pumping a bit more air into the tires also gives the bike more cushion for the burden you’re placing on it.
Use a Bike With Traction
The bike you choose to go bicycle camping on will affect your experience greatly. Most likely, you’ll meet some rougher terrain here and there, so it’s good to have a bike with traction so that this doesn’t hinder you at all. You can use a mountain bike to cover you on different types of ground. An electric bike with fat tires can also give you added stability and prevent fatigue. Just be sure that you know where to ride your electric bike by being aware of local and federal regulations and heading to destinations that allow electric bikes.