So you’re planning your first bikepacking trip. Ready to get out and enjoy what mother nature has to offer. Here are some things I like to do before heading out on an adventure!
Ride your bike loaded with all of your gear. Try commuting to work or go on a few rides so you are familiar with how the bike handles loaded down. Make sure the contact points of the bike are right for you. Pedals, grips, and saddle are the points where your body meets the bike. It is critical to make sure you are ready for extended riding. You can try a short overnight to test your gear before the big ride. This is a good way to make sure everything is ready for the long haul.Two of my favorite bags are the Planet Bike Snack Sack and a Blackburn frame bag. Four other items for the bike I always bring are a KMC Missing Link (chain link) a replacement derailleur hanger incase the bike tips over onto the derailleur, Surly’s Junk Strap, and zip ties.
Make sure people know your plans. If anything should happen they will know where you planned to be. Map out your route and check the local weather. Know some basic survival skills like fire starting and first aid. I have made meals in my backyard on my camp stove and home made alcohol burning stove to make sure I am able to do so. It’s also nice to know how long it will take to cook a meal.
Before the ride make sure your bike is tuned up and ready for the trip. Have the chain, tires, and brake pads measured for wear. Replace as needed. You will need to be self reliant so make sure you can fix a flat tire. We offer a Fix-A-Flat class on the third Friday of every month.
Here are a couple websites I like to reference for trips and ideas for my next trip.
Have fun out there!