Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

Bike touring, bike camping and bike packing

Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

Bike touring, bike camping and bike packing

Old 01-29-18, 11:03 AM
  #1  
mattbur
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Aug 2016
Location: NW Pa.
Posts: 236

Bikes: 2016 Surly Disc Trucker, 2001 Trek 950 mountain bike, old Trek 800 MTB for winter use, 1973 Concord road bike

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 98 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bike touring, bike camping and bike packing

I'd hate to be voted as having the most stupid post of the week so I DID try a search before posting this. I didn't get the results I'd hoped for.

What is the difference between bike touring, bike camping or bike packing??

I've seen these terms used in a variety of posts and wonder what qualifies them to be labeled as they are in the post. Are they all equal? Do they mean the same thing?

Perhaps I'm being to anal about this but I hate to use a term incorrectly.

Thanks Tony
mattbur is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 11:08 AM
  #2  
wgscott
Occam's Rotor
 
wgscott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: The Timbers of Fennario (CL77)
Posts: 4,770

Bikes: Steel

Mentioned: 61 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2366 Post(s)
Liked 148 Times in 88 Posts
Bike touring is pretty much any multi-day expedition. It only requires that you have a credit card, or a really fat wallet, or extremely refined mooching skills.

Bike packing means you bring stuff with you. You might still be doing credit-card touring, but decide that you might enjoy brushing your teeth and having a change of clothes. It might also involve bringing food.

When bike packing includes stuff for staying overnight in a campground (sleeping bag, tent, etc.) you are bike camping.

The lines aren't really sharply drawn.
wgscott is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 11:15 AM
  #3  
Leebo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 5,411

Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 737 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
Get on bike, ride, stay somewhere, return home. All good. My take? Touring is more paved roads, camping, is carrying your gear with you. One can bike tour without camping, shuttle for gear, hot showers, fancy digs and meals etc. Bikepacking? That's the real deal, camping and for the most part, dirt, off road, single track as well, camping always. Most of the time bikepaking will require a beefier bike set up, sometimes front sus, bigger tires, frame bags. Me? My karate monkey with 35 mm rims and 3" tires do all well. Front bag, frame bag, small rear rack, wheeeee!!!!
Leebo is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 11:41 AM
  #4  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,390

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6698 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 117 Times in 98 Posts
Bike packing is like back packing on a bike, off into the bush on single track.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 11:42 AM
  #5  
Rob_E
Senior Member
 
Rob_E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,557

Bikes: Downtube 8H

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 248 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
I don't think you'll find consensus on the terminology. I would mostly agree with Leebo, though.

I consider bike-touring to be an umbrella term. If you ride the bike, spend the night somewhere, and keep on riding then you're bike touring. But when used as an alternative to "bike packing" then it could mean primarily pavement touring, or riding a more traditional touring bike or touring set-up, as in racks and panniers.

Bike packing can imply that you will be more off-road. Or it can imply that you will be carrying your gear in a more off-road-friendly set up, i.e. on a mountain bike, frame bag, seat bag, handlebar roll, fork cages, instead of racks and panniers.

Bike camping could simply mean bike touring, with the stipulation that you are camping, as opposed to "credit card touring" which carries the implication that you are staying in hotels or other lodging options along the way. But if I say that I am "bike camping" as opposed to "bike touring," it's usually a matter of gear and intent. A sub-24-hour overnight trip(S24O), to me, doesn't really feel like a "tour" because I never get more than a day's ride from home. So I might call that "bike camping" rather than touring. Likewise I have many trips that are primarily camping trips, but I get there on a bike. It's not about carrying just enough to sleep comfortably, but it's about having a comfortable camp. "Bike camping" probably means I have a cooler, a chair, and whatever else might make camp comfortable that I wouldn't necessarily take with me if I were just going to pack everything up the next day and keep going.

But I don't expect my definitions are universal. I think you use what makes sense to you and provide context when you think it's needed.
Rob_E is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 11:42 AM
  #6  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 5,769

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1227 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by wgscott View Post
Bike touring is pretty much any multi-day expedition. It only requires that you have a credit card, or a really fat wallet, or extremely refined mooching skills.

Bike packing means you bring stuff with you. You might still be doing credit-card touring, but decide that you might enjoy brushing your teeth and having a change of clothes. It might also involve bringing food.

...

The lines aren't really sharply drawn.
I agree that the lines are not clearly drawn, but I disagree with the rest.

Bike touring has generally meant credit card touring where you carry a few clothes but stay indoors at night, eat in restaurants etc, or the more conventional form of bike touring with two to four panniers where you usually are camping but occasionally might stay at a hostel or motel, often cooking in the campgrounds, but eating in restaurants when it suits you.

Bikepacking in the purest sense is using no conventional racks or panniers, but instead using harnesses to hold minimal amount of camping gear on the bike. Usually a harness that holds stuff under the handlebar, behind the seatpost, often a bag in the main triangle of the frame, and sometimes a few small bags strapped to the front fork blades.

Bikepackers often wear small backpacks since they can't carry much stuff on the bike. Bike touring, you avoid backpacks because it is more comfortable to put your stuff on the bike.

I was bike touring with my camping gear for several years before I ever heard the term bikepacking, that is the main reason I disagree on your definitions.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 01:42 PM
  #7  
mstateglfr 
Sunshine
 
mstateglfr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2014
Location: Des Moines, IA
Posts: 8,129

Bikes: '87 Miyata 912, '87 Schwinn Prelude, '90 Fuji Saratoga, Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross V4, '89 Novara/Centurion Ironman, '18 Diamondback Syncr, '18 handmade steel roadbike

Mentioned: 75 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2857 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 84 Times in 58 Posts
Originally Posted by mattbur View Post
I'd hate to be voted as having the most stupid post of the week so I DID try a search before posting this. I didn't get the results I'd hoped for.
Hardly stupid since each response will be a bit different.

bike touring- multi-day or longer ride where gear is carried attached to racks. Pavement is most common surface ridden(with gravel a distant second). sleeping arrangements can include camping, hotels, hostels, couch surfing, etc.

bike packing- overnight or longer ride where gear is packed into little frame frame bags anywhere there is space. Typically this is a more minimalist approach due to lack of available packed space. This setup is good for singletrack and unpaved routes since it keeps your gear up and away from the sides for clearance.

bike camping- overnight or 3 day ride where camp grounds arent a stop along the way, but the actual destination. Typically this is local to where you live. An S24O would be bike camping in my book.





I bike camp mostly. Its easier to get out for a weekend or 3 day trip given my schedule and family calendar. Plus- my kids can go and stay interested the whole time. Pick a campground as the destination and see whats along the way!
mstateglfr is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 02:09 PM
  #8  
escii_35
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: PNW lifer
Posts: 553

Bikes: 2007 C-dale 63cm T series. My 1994 was a better design 1994 Bianchi 61cm El/OS Sachs 2004 Rodreguiz 26' UTB touring thing

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 37 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
The only hard rule I have seen out in the field is,(David Attenburough voice) "Bike Packers do not use low rider front racks with side bags attached."
escii_35 is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 02:10 PM
  #9  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,390

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6698 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 117 Times in 98 Posts
the bags of bike packing kit is not changing your mountain bike at all, nothing to drag in the brush along the trail, no racks added ,etc.


the Go Fast tour route race, along the Transamerica ACA route, have put that kit on race bikes , because it is not making their bikes any wider.






...

Last edited by fietsbob; 01-29-18 at 02:13 PM.
fietsbob is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 03:12 PM
  #10  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 5,769

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1227 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
I am not really sure if most people would call it bike packing if you are on a skinny tire bike doing road riding with bike packing gear but I would call it bikepacking. I attached a photo of a couple partial bikes that show what I am talking about for equipment. No racks and no panniers, just harnesses used to strap bags onto the bikes. I cropped out faces since I only met them once and do not know them very well. The photo was in summer 2016 in Northern Iceland, they were exclusively road ridding with their light weight bike packing gear. Both bikes used the Ritchey Breakaway system for travel.

But most bikepackers I have met are on off-road bikes, not the skinny tire bikes like in the photo.

I probably had four times as much volume of capacity in my panniers and rack top bag with my bike touring setup. But they only carried a couple days of food and were always close to communities. I however spent some time in the interior so I had to carry a lot more supplies and I was traveling on some rough unpaved roads.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg
25crIMGP3097.JPG (333.0 KB, 274 views)
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 03:36 PM
  #11  
gauvins
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: QC Canada
Posts: 1,138

Bikes: Custom built LHT & Troll

Mentioned: 9 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 392 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
My go at this question would be:

Bike touring means travelling with a bicycle as primary means of transportation. There are many variants. Three are frequently discussed.

1.1 Organized tour -- You join a group and ride a set itinerary. Your luggage is usually carried by a van. Accommodations and meal arrangements vary.

1.2 Credit card tour -- you carry relatively little luggage. You spend your nights in accommodations and eat in restaurants.

1.3 Self-supported tour -- you carry sleeping and cooking "systems". Sleeping "system" can be built around a tent, a tarp, a hammock. Cooking "system" usually means some kind of stove, a kettle, and food items, which can be purchased under way.

2. Then there are distinctions based on how you carry your luggage. This is not meaningless drivel as your system will have an impact on where you can travel.

2.1 Traditional touring is done with either a rack(s) and panniers combination (front, rear or both), a trailer, and sometimes both if you must carry a considerable amount of luggage. A traditional pannier system will carry something like 40L/back + 25L/front. Even an ultra-light fan, if s/he uses a rack and pannier system, will usually be confined to roads (bitumen / gravel / dirt) and wide paths because of the width of the panniers. Or so the story goes.

2.2 Bikepacking means that you carry your luggage in bags that are tied to you bike - handlebars, seat post and frame. Bike packing, while limiting the maximum volume of luggage that you can carry, gives a narrower profile. It is said to be more aerodynamic and convenient if you intend to ride narrow paths. A bikepacking system allows you to carry 30L or so
gauvins is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 04:56 PM
  #12  
fietsbob 
coprolite
 
fietsbob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: NW,Oregon Coast
Posts: 41,390

Bikes: 8

Mentioned: 183 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6698 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 117 Times in 98 Posts
Touring Cars .. too
fietsbob is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 06:12 PM
  #13  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,603

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 187 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 3 Times in 3 Posts
> What is the difference between bike touring, bike camping or bike packing??

I am sure there is some blur between peoples uses of the terms. Some of these have been around for a while, but also becoming more or less popular.

I've most heard "bikepacking" as a counterpart to "backpacking". While I've hear backpacking for most all my life, I've generally heard it in two usages (a) overnight hiking away from civilization with a backpack on one's back and (b) tourists traveling the world carrying their belongings in backpacks.

The term "bikepacking" seems to have recently become more popular and the most typical usage I've heard is as a counterpart to "a" above but using a bicycle instead of being on foot. There are a variety of methods gear gets carried including new special "bikepacker" type bags that might hang off handlebars, seat or on the frame. Can you be a "bikepacker" without those special bags? Yes, probably there is also a broader use of the term. Can you be a "bikepacker" on the roads with your special bags? Again yes, probably also a broader use of the term as well. However the largest usage of those "bikepacking" seems to be travels particularly off-roads with a bicycle.

Bicycle touring is a term that gets bandied about in this forum occasionally with some differences if you search. I generally subscribe to the broader term of travels by bicycle including at least an overnight. Within that there are variations of self-supported vs. supported and also "credit card" vs more of a camping style,, etc. While I have a broader term of at least an overnight, I don't necessarily think of my short weekend trips to nearby state parks as "tours" in the full sense of my other "tours".

Bicycle camping isn't a term I've heard as often. I generally think of it quite literally with an emphasis of camping but primarily using a bicycle as means of transport.

So can one simultaneously be "bikepacking" "bike touring" and "bike camping" at the same time? I'd say yes in that each of these terms can be taken in a broader sense and hence would overlap. So I while I think there are slightly different areas of emphasis for each term - I'm also not going to split hairs to determine exact boundaries when one term applies *instead* of another.
mev is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 10:09 PM
  #14  
skookum
cyclotourist
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: calgary, canada
Posts: 872
Mentioned: 1 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 148 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
Bike touring is any multi day excursion by bicycle. It might involve camping or staying in hotels or hostels under a roof. It usually involves racks and panniers and steel framed bikes.The participants are old gray beards and ex hippies, even if now they have credit cards and stay in B&Bs. Some people (hipsters) disparagingly refer to them as Luddites.

Some cyclists even have their gear carried in a vehicle or sent by train, but I don't want to even think about them.

Bikepacking is for trendy young hipsters, with woodsman beards ( if male) and the gear is ultra light weight and carried in bags or rolls strapped to the handlebars, within the frame, behind the seat etc. It is mostly done on unpaved surfaces, like forest roads or single track, and may involve carrying your bike and gear over high mountains and glaciers or floating down wild rivers in a packraft.

Bicycle camping is simply camping with your bicycle.

skookum is offline  
Old 01-29-18, 11:07 PM
  #15  
McBTC
Senior Member
 
McBTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,747

Bikes: 2015 22 Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1488 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by gauvins View Post
My go at this question would be:

Bike touring means travelling with a bicycle as primary means of transportation. There are many variants. Three are frequently discussed....

More of what I saw most going on back in the day was...


1.2.1 Combo-- self-supported/credit card tour -- you carry a tent, sleeping bag/pad and toiletries, including a towel (which is a science in itself), riding clothes, staying in hiker/biker camps overnight but no cooking (stoves, fuel, etc.)-- you look forward to having a big breakfast at a diner in the morning and then eat whatever you want all day long and get some dinner before checking into a campsite or after setting up camp, depending on whatever facilities are convenient before it gets too dark (no matter how large the group, when you're sleeping in your own tent you can eat an anchovy and garlic pizza without worrying about offending anyone).
McBTC is offline  
Old 01-30-18, 05:51 AM
  #16  
mbusky
Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2017
Location: Outdoors as much as I can
Posts: 35

Bikes: TREK 3700 with a BOB trailer

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 9 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
[QUOTE=wgscott;20138473]


"or extremely refined mooching skills"

When I read that line I chuckled because I am reading this bazaar bicycle touring story called The Cycling Adventures of Coconut Head: it is the quintessential tour of mooch, luck, karma and more. It is weird, funny and an easy read.
mbusky is offline  
Old 01-30-18, 09:57 AM
  #17  
Tourist in MSN
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Madison, WI
Posts: 5,769

Bikes: 1961 Ideor, 1994 Bridgestone MB-6, 2006 Airnimal Joey, 2009 Thorn Sherpa, 2013 Thorn Nomad, 2015 VO Pass Hunter, 2017 Lynskey Backroad, 2017 Raleigh Gran Prix, Perfekt 3 Speed -age unknown, 1980s Bianchi Mixte on a trainer. Others are now gone.

Mentioned: 28 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1227 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 8 Posts
Originally Posted by McBTC View Post
...Combo-- self-supported/credit card tour -- you carry a tent, sleeping bag/pad and toiletries, including a towel (which is a science in itself), riding clothes, staying in hiker/biker camps overnight but no cooking (stoves, fuel, etc.)-- you look forward to having a big breakfast at a diner in the morning and then eat whatever you want all day long and get some dinner before checking into a campsite or after setting up camp, depending on whatever facilities are convenient before it gets too dark (no matter how large the group, when you're sleeping in your own tent you can eat an anchovy and garlic pizza without worrying about offending anyone).
No stoves and no fuel means no COFFEE.
Tourist in MSN is offline  
Old 01-30-18, 11:08 AM
  #18  
McBTC
Senior Member
 
McBTC's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2015
Posts: 3,747

Bikes: 2015 22 Speed

Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1488 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 1 Time in 1 Post
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
No stoves and no fuel means no COFFEE.
but, how about coffee with biscuits and gravy, eggs over easy with bacon, juice and jam...?
McBTC is offline  
Old 01-30-18, 11:22 AM
  #19  
Rob_E
Senior Member
 
Rob_E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,557

Bikes: Downtube 8H

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 248 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by Tourist in MSN View Post
No stoves and no fuel means no COFFEE.
I haven't tried when touring, yet, but I've recently become a fan of cold brewing coffee: just mix the coffee and water and let sit 12 to 24 hours, then filter. Problem is that, while I'm happy with iced coffee (if it's warm enough outside), and I can always drink a hot coffee, I'm not so sure about room temperature coffee. So it does seem like you either need a heat source or a cooler. But I'm thinking that for summer touring, I may just go with the cooler.
Rob_E is offline  
Old 01-30-18, 11:33 AM
  #20  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 22,217
Mentioned: 162 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8440 Post(s)
Liked 226 Times in 145 Posts
Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
But I'm thinking that for summer touring, I may just go with the cooler.
Don't forget the ice. And when you realize how much all that weighs, you very well might simply get yourself a Bodum Travel Press. Nice, plastic, insulated French press that doubles as a mug. I don't leave home without it. I even bring my favorite brand of coffee pre-ground.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 01-30-18, 11:47 AM
  #21  
Rob_E
Senior Member
 
Rob_E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,557

Bikes: Downtube 8H

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 248 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Don't forget the ice. And when you realize how much all that weighs, you very well might simply get yourself a Bodum Travel Press. Nice, plastic, insulated French press that doubles as a mug. I don't leave home without it. I even bring my favorite brand of coffee pre-ground.
Currently use this thing, which is similar: https://www.amazon.com/Presse-bobble...dp/B00T088TXS/

But I still enjoy a cold drink when I get to camp, and some of my preferred foods travel better when kept cool, so there are times that I already travel with a cooler. Ice is an added weight, for sure, but with a small, efficient, soft-sided cooler, you can keep the weight down. Also if you keep the ice in a water bottle, it becomes a source of cold water throughout the day. Also, I like some cream/milk/half&half in my coffee, and that needs to be kept cool as well, so I've already accepted the weight of my cooler. It doesn't always come along, but when I have room for it, it usually does.
Rob_E is offline  
Old 01-30-18, 12:17 PM
  #22  
indyfabz
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Posts: 22,217
Mentioned: 162 Post(s)
Tagged: 1 Thread(s)
Quoted: 8440 Post(s)
Liked 226 Times in 145 Posts
Originally Posted by Rob_E View Post
Also if you keep the ice in a water bottle, it becomes a source of cold water throughout the day.
That's not going to happen when you are on the road for 8-10 hrs. and it's in the 90s. I have started out on road rides with the water in my bottles completely frozen solid and had it melt within an hour. Rode across the country during that horrid summer of '99. We had some nightly lows in the mid-80s. Hottest day was 107. Unless you plan to always tour in cold climates, I think experience will teach you to adjust your expectations.
indyfabz is offline  
Old 01-30-18, 02:05 PM
  #23  
Rob_E
Senior Member
 
Rob_E's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 2,557

Bikes: Downtube 8H

Mentioned: 5 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 248 Post(s)
Liked 2 Times in 2 Posts
Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
That's not going to happen when you are on the road for 8-10 hrs. and it's in the 90s. I have started out on road rides with the water in my bottles completely frozen solid and had it melt within an hour. Rode across the country during that horrid summer of '99. We had some nightly lows in the mid-80s. Hottest day was 107. Unless you plan to always tour in cold climates, I think experience will teach you to adjust your expectations.
Perhaps it wasn't clear that I meant that I keep my cooler ice in a water bottle in the cooler. As it melts, I can occasionally enjoy a cold drink. I didn't mean that bottle of ice will remain cold throughout the day when on my bike and exposed to the ambient temperature. I live in North Calolina, and while we have our cold months, like this one, most of my travel has been done in the warmer months.

However, if you're basing your experiences on what you had available twenty years ago, you might find that there are more and better insulation options available. My earliest tours were in the early 1990s with a hard-sided Igloo cooler that was both heavy and difficult to keep cold in the summer months. A couple of years ago my wife bought me a double walled, stainless steel, vacuum insulated water bottle. I filled it with ice water, filled my regular bottle, went out riding. I can't remember how hot it was, only that it was hot enough that some ice water would be a welcome treat if the bottle worked as advertised. Except I forgot about the spare bottle until my wife asked me the next day how it performed. I admitted that I had forgotten, and that it was still in my trunk bag where I had stashed it the day before. I removed it then and found that it still had ice in it from the day before.

That bottle went on to cause me trouble in future rides when the ice would ping against the wall of the bottle hours after I had filled it and convince me that there was some mechanical failure in progress, leaving me trying to examine my gear system while riding as I tried to pinpoint the source of the noise. One time I even remember thinking, "Wait, I've done this before and it always turns out to be ice in my water bottle. But that's certainly not the case in this heat." But I was wrong, and the ice had survived the heat of the day to once again trick me into thinking my bike was breaking in some mysterious way.

But unless you want to add ice to your half and half (yuck) that's probably not an effective solution. I've been using this cooler in various sizes for a few years now: https://www.amazon.com/Polar-Bear-Co...dp/B001PCNXAQ/

It does a very good job. I can usually get away with refreshing the ice once a day. If the temperature is mild, than a cup of ice from a gas station soda fountain will do the job. If it's hot, I may spring for the whole bag of ice and make sure there it is packed full of ice as possible. I took it on a day trip with a frozen Nalgene bottle of water in it to keep my food cold. I also figured the water bottle would be my back-up water source if my main water bottle was insufficient. It turned out to be much hotter than I had expected, and I polished off my main water bottle before I was twenty miles away, and after a few more sweaty miles, I decided to drink the melt off of my cooler bottle, but there was only a few drops. Eventually I was thirsty enough that I decided to risk my food warming up, and had to remove the nalgene bottle from the cooler so that it would melt enough to give me something to drink.

That said, on longer trips during warm weather when I'm traveling off the beaten path, I've learned that I can't ignore a source of ice with assumption that I'll find more down the road. Hot weather and few stores make for spoiled food if you don't plan well, but so far my experience has been that with planning and the right equipment, traveling with a cooler is very possible.

And back, almost, to the subject of this thread: A fair amount of my trips locally are what I consider to be "bike camping." Meaning that I am riding the bike to a camping spot and staying put for most of the time. Lots of time at the same camping location generally means two things to me: lower possibility of coming across some ice, and higher probability that I'm going to want to sit around a campground with a can of something cold. So figuring out how to keep ice cold on a warm day has become a priority.
Rob_E is offline  
Old 01-30-18, 03:18 PM
  #24  
Leebo
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: North of Boston
Posts: 5,411

Bikes: Kona Dawg, Surly 1x1, Karate Monkey, Rockhopper, Crosscheck , Burley Runabout,

Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 737 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 9 Times in 7 Posts
Originally Posted by skookum View Post
Bike touring is any multi day excursion by bicycle. It might involve camping or staying in hotels or hostels under a roof. It usually involves racks and panniers and steel framed bikes.The participants are old gray beards and ex hippies, even if now they have credit cards and stay in B&Bs. Some people (hipsters) disparagingly refer to them as Luddites.

Some cyclists even have their gear carried in a vehicle or sent by train, but I don't want to even think about them.

Bikepacking is for trendy young hipsters, with woodsman beards ( if male) and the gear is ultra light weight and carried in bags or rolls strapped to the handlebars, within the frame, behind the seat etc. It is mostly done on unpaved surfaces, like forest roads or single track, and may involve carrying your bike and gear over high mountains and glaciers or floating down wild rivers in a packraft.

Bicycle camping is simply camping with your bicycle.

Hipsters with beards? Not. How about guys and gals who just like to bike and camp? And mt bike too. Dirt and gravel roads can be soooo nice not to be buzzed by cars all day. Was doing it before there was a name. YRMV. Maybe it's just not for you?
Leebo is offline  
Old 01-30-18, 03:33 PM
  #25  
rhm
multimodal commuter
 
rhm's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: NJ, NYC, LI
Posts: 19,043

Bikes: 1940s Fothergill, 1959 Allegro Special, 1963? Claud Butler Olympic Sprint, Lambert 'Clubman', 1974 Fuji "the Ace", 1976 Holdsworth 650b conversion rando bike, 1983 Trek 720 tourer, 1984 Counterpoint Opus II, 1993 Basso Gap, 2010 Downtube 8h, and...

Mentioned: 432 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1520 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 4 Times in 4 Posts
Bike touring is the big catch-all term that includes a lot of different approaches and different gear. The unspoken emphasis tends to be destination oriented, like "across the country" or something.

Bike packing is one of the variants, named on analogy with back packing. In back packing you pack everything on your back, in bike packing you pack it on your bike. There's an unspoken emphasis on getting to relatively remote and rugged areas, like mountains.

Bike camping, the emphasis is on the camping. The implied destination is being outdoors. You only have to ride as far as your camping spot.

There's a lot of overlap and the definitions change over time. My great uncle did a bike tour in Germany in 1925, and though there are no photos that I know of, I'm pretty sure it would have looked like bike packing as far as the gear was concerned.
rhm is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.