First time bikepacking tips
Bikepacking, cyclo touring, or however you want to call it. It can feel overwhelming the first time, there is so much preparation, equipment to acquire, routes to map… right?
Not exactly, the first time can be as simple as swinging a leg over your bike and riding off.
If you have been enjoying the thrill and freedom cycling provides and are now looking to expand that experience with bikepacking, it is best to aim for something short and simple: a solo week-end trip on your city bike, a night near a lake or in the woods on your mountain bike, or perhaps ride to your friends and camp in their garden. A short trip like this can already be quite exciting or relaxing.
You can even find legal campsides with fire places, in Europe they are often called bivouac spots.
The first time I went for a ride, I packed a hammock, my sleeping bag and water in a backpack. I rode to the nearest lake and slept there, the next morning I enjoyed the sunrise and rode home to eat breakfast.
I kept doing short trips for a while before I build up enough confidence and experience to cycle multiple days in a row.
Some of these trips included my hammock, myself and I in a park overnight, some of these trips included friends, tents and train trips a bit further out.
As my confidence grew, and my destinations were more distant, I had to bring more food, or buy food on the road.
One approach is obviously to bring cooking equipment, but if you want to go lighter, bring a creditcard and buy food and snacks in stores and restaurants.
I find this approach to be quite useful for short trips and I still do it when I’m only bikepacking for a few nights.
So, in a nutshell: Put all you need in a backpack, go sleep in the nearest park, and have fun!
How was your first bikepacking experience? Let us know in the comments below!