Since moving to Washington I have noticed that options for touring in the mountains is somewhat limited on state highways, there just doesn't seem to be that many that run through the Cascades. However, what I have noticed is that there is a maze of forest service roads that could keep one busy for a long long time.
I like the idea of getting out in the forests away from cars, people, noise and having a bit more solitude. It's a little daunting trying to figure out where or how to get started planning a route and navigating these roads.
We don't often have threads discussing this type of touring, so I thought I would start one.
What tips, tricks, and advice do you have for forest service road touring?
A couple of points that I am particularly interested in:
- Route planning
- Bike type, tire width and recommendations, other bike gear (I would like to still use my drop bar touring bike)
- Navigation, paper maps and GPS, which GPS would you recommend for this type of riding? What paper maps to supplement with? Navigation tips?
- Dealing with the unexpected (washouts, poor conditions, etc)
- Anything different supply/gear wise? Obviously I will likely have to carry more food than usual, water filter, and such.
- Any other points you feel like discussing or bringing up feel free!
So let's have a discussion of forest service/off road touring!