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Bike packing tips and hacks for beginner?

Old 12-29-21, 06:44 AM
  #1  
Johhnysmart123
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Bike packing tips and hacks for beginner?

Hi everyone,
As a teenager, i wanted to have my first bike packing trip experience but don’t know where to start. It would have been good to find a member who does this in my local area.
after few weeks watching youtube video, internet researches all of the ‘requirements’ such as bags, campings, ect for a bike packing trip do cost a fortune. Would anyone have any tips or hacks to reduce the cost. Or advise that might be helpful regard to this topic.
thanks
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Old 12-29-21, 08:18 AM
  #2  
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For me, ultralight thru-hiker gear is the best. My last hike was 4 days in the wilderness which rained the entire time. The total weight of all my gear was 16 pounds including food & water. The total cost was ~$2500. About the same as my hiking partners kit that weighed 42 pounds without water. We simply made different choices based around different priorities. I was plenty comfortable, and dry even with overnight temps well into the mid-30's. Upon my return, I still had 2 extra days of food left over & extra warm dry clothes I hadn't touched. On a bike, with the bike carrying the weight & me not giving a darn about aerodynamics, I'd reinstall my commuter rack & Ortleibs panniers bike rack & throw all the gear I already own in there.

I am not recommending my choices for bike backing. I'm not going to recommend anything. What you need is a bike, a means to carry your choice of gear, & an idea of what your requirements actually are.

Ultra-endurance athletes cross continents with a saddle bag, a frame bag, a top tube bag, a handlebar bag, & somewhere in that is a bivvy & a squeeze bag of peanutbutter. Often they go with less. Their priority is speed, not comfort.

If you intend to bring every amenity & have no priority beyond comfort like a car-camper, you might consider a trailer. People do that, too.

You need to decide what you need, what your priorities are & then make choices from there. A lot of the bike-packing "thing" is heavily influenced by cross-continent gravel racing. If that's you, fine. But understand their requirements & thus their gear choices will likely be different than yours.

Last edited by base2; 12-29-21 at 08:42 AM.
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Old 12-29-21, 08:22 AM
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What bike do you have?
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Old 12-29-21, 08:23 AM
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Buy used gear.
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Old 12-29-21, 09:31 AM
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There is a sub forum all about this: https://www.bikeforums.net/touring/
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Old 12-29-21, 11:30 AM
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An ounce of ingenuity is worth a pound of equipment.
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Old 12-29-21, 01:34 PM
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Local bike shops, bike clubs and anywhere else locally that cyclist gather at are probably where you'll find info about persons in your area that already do what you are wanting to do.
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Old 12-29-21, 01:42 PM
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If you are under the age of 18 you might have trouble booking a campsite if it's just you. Many state-run and private places require at least one person in a group to be 18 or over.
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Old 12-29-21, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
If you are under the age of 18 you might have trouble booking a campsite if it's just you. Many state-run and private places require at least one person in a group to be 18 or over.
Good point.

It's not like back in the late 60's or very early 70's when me and a friend rode our bikes 30 miles south of town to camp out at a state park without even telling our parents. Surprisingly (after the fact) the park attendants did let us stay. They did however call our parents and get their consent. One parent came down to spend the night with us and be certain we weren't up to no good. Which we were before they got there. <grin> I think we were only 12 yo.
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Old 12-29-21, 02:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Iride01 View Post
Good point.

It's not like back in the late 60's or very early 70's when me and a friend rode our bikes 30 miles south of town to camp out at a state park without even telling our parents. Surprisingly (after the fact) the park attendants did let us stay. They did however call our parents and get their consent. One parent came down to spend the night with us and be certain we weren't up to no good. Which we were before they got there. <grin> I think we were only 12 yo.
In PA and NJ if you check in in the office you have show proof of age. I can only think of one private campground in recent memory that has not asked me for I.D. It's a place I have stayed at least a half dozen times, so the owner recognizes me. I just flip him the cash and that's that. I am obviously over 18. I.D. and registration has a lot to do with being able to identify people if they damage things or if something happens to them.
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Old 12-29-21, 02:31 PM
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Out West and on Public land, cowboy camp (free).

Warmshowers may or may not be an option, too.

Assess food by cents (or less) per calorie.

Do trips near where you live, transportation to and from trailhead can be a big one

Don't skimp on the sleeping bag or quilt or bivvy or tent or pad (buy used but don't buy junk)
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Old 12-29-21, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by Johhnysmart123 View Post
Hi everyone,
As a teenager, i wanted to have my first bike packing trip experience but don’t know where to start. It would have been good to find a member who does this in my local area.
after few weeks watching youtube video, internet researches all of the ‘requirements’ such as bags, campings, ect for a bike packing trip do cost a fortune. Would anyone have any tips or hacks to reduce the cost. Or advise that might be helpful regard to this topic.
thanks
Check out Adventure Cycling Association as a bikepacking reference.
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Old 12-29-21, 11:25 PM
  #13  
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Go out and do a S24O (sub 24 hour) trip and see what you need or don't need. Find a spot you can get to from your house or place of work (or both in my case) and take it easy.

One does not need to go crazy on the first trip just make sure the bike is in good order and you have some basic stuff. Usually on these short trips I like to just take pre-made food (especially good last time when I forgot the dang lighter for my alcohol stove) and while the food was kinda cold and not as fun it was tasty enough and got me through the night.

If you are looking to do a longer trip you might grab your couch and put on it everything you think you need and see if you can live off of that for the allotted time and what you don't use at the end, don't take with you. This is of course barring first aid and maybe some of that bike tool kit.

Also if you are commuting to work or school and have a place to store the bike and bags (or at least bags and lock up the bike) you can get used to carrying the weight and re-pack as needed.

My first bike tour I did so wrong, overpacked the kid trailer we borrowed took way more than we needed, I wore a dang cotton t-shirt (though thankfully had cycling shorts or my nether regions would have been chafed to bits as this was before ExOfficio Give and Go boxer briefs came into my life) and wouldn't do that again in July in swamp like conditions. I took a lot of food and luckily met up with a friend who took some back with her on her bike to her car. It was a good time, a really good time, I wish I had known what I know now but some of what I know now I learned on that trip. Be prepared to make a mistake or two or three or four (but never five, never ever five) as long as you have fun or at least some good memories you will have done it right.

One final piece of advice if you enjoy camping and cycling and know you want to do it often and for a long time: get the best gear you can. Talk with people who have used it or people who know what they are doing. Yes it costs money but if it lasts forever or at least a really long time, it is well worth it. If this is just something you are trying don't go crazy but if you know this is for you spend a little money and plenty of time agonizing over it and you will be happy. Some of that stuff isn't made to last so you could buy it a few times or just have the piece you wanted and it will last or have some good support behind it.

Ok I lied this is the last piece of advice, baby wipes! Seriously great for "bathing" but really nice for wiping downstairs so you don't get saddle sores and also handy for dirty areas maybe you want to cook or eat on. I like the Honest Co. or similar more natural wipe without fragrances and chemicals and such, better for everything.

Certainly if you need extra help feel free to Private Message me anytime and ask whatever questions, none of them would be dumb because I don't play that game, everyone has to start somewhere and sometimes it can be hard to gain a foothold without asking a question you might think is silly.
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Old 12-30-21, 01:14 AM
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Originally Posted by veganbikes View Post
  • Go out and do a sub 24-hour trip and see what you need or don't need.
  • on short trips just take pre-made food
  • grab your couch and put on it everything you think you need and see if you can live off of that for the allotted time and what you don't use at the end, don't take with you.
  • baby wipes!

^^ THIS is some very sound advice. It's SO easy to overpack.

Also, the bikepacking videos do a great job of creating a "need" for expensive bikepacking-specific gear. But remember that people have been camping with their bikes for decades. When I was in high school in the 70s, I'd just lash a sleeping bag to my handlebars and wear a backpack. Not ideal, but perfectly good enough for a night or two.

Last edited by Rolla; 12-30-21 at 01:35 AM.
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Old 12-30-21, 04:34 AM
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I have a sirus 2.0 from Specialized, it’s a light gravel bike.
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Old 12-30-21, 04:37 AM
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Yes, I’ve been looking for that on Facebook market place, ebay but they don’t seem to be that popular, I rarely find saddle bag but often very far from where i live. People just don’t tent to resell those things.
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Old 12-30-21, 04:45 AM
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Damn, that’s just so interesting, wish i was born in those time. Nowadays even if i want to go and able to go, I don’t know where to camp. Have to book a campsite? or otherwise ill probably choose a good spot in the wood? If i really want to do this, I probably have to wait till 18 or find some local group.
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Old 12-30-21, 04:51 AM
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Sirus 2.0

I have the sirus 2.0 from specialized
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Old 12-30-21, 06:00 AM
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Your bike will be fine. Put a rack on it and bungee your gear. Try to recruit a friend (your own age) for safety and companionship. Be careful on the internet. Even on BF we had a close call a few years back in "Touring." Probably best to just read for info rather than post much about yourself.
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Old 12-30-21, 06:11 AM
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Speaking from experience from one who traveled alone by bike as a young guy, I think OP is far more at risk in the wild. I had three experiences with *****exuals that were very unpleasant. My simple advice would be to tour or bikepack with others. But I can't see anything OP posted here as endangering his safety.
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Old 12-30-21, 07:47 AM
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As in all cycling, hiking/backpacking, leave an itinerary with family/friends.
And, if you deviate, let someone know.
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Old 12-30-21, 08:12 AM
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I've never done more than day trips and supported tours. One thing I've repeatedly heard is to start with short trips and lengthen them as you learn what you really need and will use.
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Old 12-30-21, 08:19 AM
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Originally Posted by BlazingPedals View Post
One thing I've repeatedly heard is to start with short trips and lengthen them as you learn what you really need and will use.
My first trip was 6,000 miles over nearly nearly 4 months. The first day of the the trip marked the second time I had ever ridden a fully-loaded bike. The first night was the first time I ever camped. But I am a rebel.
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Old 12-30-21, 11:04 AM
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Depends on where you are, but IME, in the west, it's pretty easy to 'disappear' off the road, especially if solo, & often preferable to finding a campground,.

For shakedown or weekend trips, a destination site is good, but for longer ones it's very limiting to try to end up at a certain spot- better to re-supply in the afternoon and start looking for a campsite at the end of the day.
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Old 12-30-21, 08:16 PM
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Bikepacking.com
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