5 Key Bikepacking Basics
“Bikepacking,”—it’s like backpacking, only on a bicycle.
Sometimes you just have to hop on your bike and go wherever the road takes you. Be one with your bike, be one with nature. But before you hit the road, make sure you have all the right supplies and gear to take along.
The most important part of any physical activity is staying properly hydrated. Start your morning off right with an exercise hydration mix like the Matcha Green Tea by Skratch Labs—it gives you optimal hydration with a special kick for the morning. Continue drinking water throughout the day. When water gets monotonous, turn to a sports drink alternative like nuun, which is packed with electrolytes and will alleviate cramps, help muscles function and burn energy efficiently. To carry all these liquids, look into water storage options like this Platypus 3.0L Reservoir that fits perfectly within your bike’s frame in a Tangle Frame Bag by Revelate Designs.
Protein is key to staying energized on long bikepacking trips. Nuts are packed with protein and are easy to eat while riding a bike. Also try some date rolls, which are dried dates rolled in coconut. If bars are more your style, grab some Vega Sport Energy Bars to help you go the distance. Whatever snack you choose, make sure you have them handy using this Feedback by Revelate Designs.
After a long day of riding your bike, it will be nice to have a place to put your feet up and relax. While planning your route, look for hotels along the way or campgrounds. Carrying a tent can be pretty cumbersome, but an ENO hammock takes up very little real estate in your pack. Pair the hammock with a rain tarp and a bug netand you’ll be comfy and cozy all night long. And don’t forget lights for some nighttime reading.
When you’re bikepacking you don’t have a lot of room for extras, so pack wisely. I like to bring along a book, small solar chargers for my phone and GPS, and a camera. I also like to keep some Recovery Accelerator by Vega. This plant-based recovery drink mix is specifically developed to address post-workout recovery. It delivers a 4-to-1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein for optimal muscle glycogen replenishment. It is specially formulated to: replenish muscle glycogen and electrolytes; reduce inflammation, muscle and joint pain; support immune system function and protein synthesis; and reduce recovery time between training. Recovery Accelerator is the key to being able to wake up in the morning and get back on that bike for another day’s worth of riding.
A Trial Run
Many bikepackers haphazardly throw their gear into their packs and paniers the day before their trip, however there is something to be said about properly packing in advance and giving yourself a trial run. During your trial run, pack your bags in the most organized and logical way possible while still equally distributing the weight on their side of your bike. It is important to not only include your water bottles and water storage systems but to also have them filled with water so you get a better idea of the weight distribution. Once you’re all packed, head out on a short ride and make any necessary adjustments along the way. When you feel confident about your gear situation, head home to unpack and while doing so, make a list of what was in which bag so you can quickly pack back up before hitting the road for the real trip.
Now you’re ready to head out on a bikepacking adventure of your own!
Did you just finish a bikepacking trip or do you have one planned in the future? Tell us about it in the comments!