The Beginner’s Guide to BikePacking

By John

Bikepacking is a thing.

The problem is that there are so many meanings to the term that most newbs have a hard time understanding.

From the coined version by Noel Grove (a staff writer for National Geographic) to the whole packing your bike with some camping gear, there are actually a few meanings to the term.

Just like everyone else, we at thebikr.com also have our definitions.

To us, bikepacking is any situation that involves you, a bike, and a backpack, all at once.

I mean, it doesn’t get any simpler than that, and I don’t see any reason to try and complicate something that is clearly explained in the actual word.

As a full-time blogger/online entrepreneur, I have adapted to the whole bike and backpack world, so I consider myself a bikepacker.

I used to walk and carry a backpack, but with the area I live in, I figured that a nice bike would benefit me, especially with the lifestyle I lived.

I ride to coffee shops and hotels with my bike and a backpack that holds the equipment needed to get work done.

But not to leave out any type of “bikepacking,” I have decided to explain the different types of bikepackers out there so that you can have a better understanding of what has become of a simple bike and a backpack.

The Commuter


This is the first type of bikepacker on our list, and this is something I do on a daily basis.

This bikepacker is more of an “I need to get to work” type of person.

Instead of walking with a backpack that holds the day’s essentials, they will take a bike and ride.

These folks are most likely having to haul around a laptop, which is the primary purpose of their backpack.

For people like myself that work on their own terms and still can’t get done with a home office, taking a ride to a place outside the home is very much necessary.

This is as basic as a bikepacker gets, and this is about all you need.

  • Bike
  • Backpack
  • Laptop
  • Chargers
  • Extra battery packs (for cell phones)
  • Some Water
  • Credit cards (unless you have Apple or Google Pay)
  • Some snacks

This is a one-day or couple of hours type of deal, so don’t expect to worry about packing much.

I usually have my backpack ready to go, and it has my laptop, a jacket, and the stuff mentioned above.

The Camper


This bikepacker goes along the lines of what bikepacker.com (merging to bikepacking.com) provides.

You take a bike and some camping gear, and you head out on a trail to where you will eventually snore for the night (or nights), depending on how long you want to make it.

And if you ever find yourself in New Zealand, you can always go on a bike rafting tour, which is another thing that needs to be checked off my bucket list.

This type of bikepacking will be best done as a group, but you would be a lot safer if you were to do it as a group.

But before any riding gets underway, you might want some kind of guide for bikepacking as you really need the bare necessities and nothing more.

For that, I have provided a nice little video from GCN, which is a biking channel that I actually like.

Tips


If you are just starting out, definitely take things slowly.

If you are out of shape, don’t think that you can’t do this, as you will see that the whole exercise part of this adventure is one that will easily become fun.

For you, first-time bike owners, get a solid bike that can go down any terrain.

There are many decently priced rides that come with everything you need, all while saving you some cash.

Safety is always a must, so please do get yourself a helmet, especially if you are not the most coordinated person.

Be visible to cars and everyone around you, and please understand that you do not own the road.

Other than that, enjoy the lifestyle as I’m sure you will love everything about it.

It is absolutely addicting.

Trust me.

Conclusion


Bikepacking is a lifestyle and not just a fad or phase.

Unlike other hobbies that you can easily grow out of, bikepacking is something that you really just do.

From the way a modern-day bike works to the idea of carrying your belongings on your back is just an amazing way to go about things, and I recommend it to anyone looking for a change.

Rather than taking a car to work, I enjoy riding my bike and not just saving gas.

I see things most drivers don’t, and I get to ride into places that cars can’t.

So if you’ve never tried a real bike, today would be a great day to consider getting one.

One bike can do a lot for you if you get a mountain/road-ready bike like I did.

Don’t miss out on what mother nature provides, as you will see things differently from the two wheels that require no gas.

I hope this post has given you a better understanding of what bikepacking really is, and if you do have any stories to share, please do so in the comments section below.

Happy biking!

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