Top 10 Tips to Kick-Start Your Bikepacking Adventure

Look after your bike, and your bike will look after you. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)
Look after your bike, and your bike will look after you. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

Bikepacking is pretty much backpacking with a bike.

Why I think it’s a gem of a way to experience the world is because it tends to take you off the trodden path.

It’s any adventure that involves riding your bike and staying overnight.

Start by getting a bike. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

Start by getting a bike. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

So if you’ve never been on a bikepacking adventure, where do you start?

1. Get a bicycle.

2. Set a date – you may never feel 100% ready but just pick a date, stick to that date, do what you can in between, and that’s enough.

3. Invite a friend.

4. For longer trips a spot GPS (tracking messaging device) automatically sends emails to your mum or sends for different levels of help if activated when there is no phone connection.

5. Pack light, bring a small tent, sleeping bag and mat, cooking utensils, lightweight waterproof clothing, matches, camera, and harmonica.

6. Take care of your body and your bike. Pack food, water, first aid kit, and bike repair kit.

7. Wild camping is good – you are braver than you think. This is the best way to learn new things about the world.

8. Listen to your body. If you push yourself too hard you might end up doing more damage that will set you back. Pace yourself, you may even see more wildlife this way.

9. You are only lost when you want to be somewhere else.

10. Your adventure is your own, there is lots of advice online to draw from, but every trip is unique so learn as you go.

(Image: Raffaele Giordano)

Bring plenty of water. Entrance to Fish Creek Wash. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

Here are some photos from a bikepacking route in Southern California that follows the path of a famous ride called the Stage Coach 400.

(Image: Raffaele Giordano)

The spot GPS keeps a log of your position that is loaded on a web server for friends and loved ones to see. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

(Image: Raffaele Giordano)

It’s hard to believe this was once the bottom of the ocean. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

Part of the trip goes through the high desert and used to be an ocean, the Gulf of California. The landscape shows channels left behind by underwater mountainous regions.

(Image: Raffaele Giordano)

Stratified rock walls rising up to occasionally impressive heights.  (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

You can see fossils of reef and petrified forests. It’s a geological dreamscape.

(Image: Raffaele Giordano)

Packing light is key to a good journey. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

(Image: Raffaele Giordano)

View looking towards Whale Peak, Anza Borrego National Park. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

Billion star accommodation. (image: Raffaele Giordano)

It’s not 5 star, it’s billion star accommodation. (image: Raffaele Giordano)

(Image: Raffaele Giordano)

Cholla cactus, delights of the USA desert. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

(Image: Raffaele Giordano)

The wide open road. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

If you can make your bikepacking adventure as local as possible, that’s a step in the right direction for reducing your carbon footprint and you’re getting fit at the same time!

(Image: Raffaele Giordano)

Make time to rest and enjoy the view. Anza Borrego with Granite Mountain in sight. (Image: Raffaele Giordano)

With so much of my time these days spent in front of a computer, there is nothing better than disconnecting from technology for a while to refresh your batteries. By choosing something physical, challenging, inexpensive and out in nature, I find I really gain perspective.

Remember, you are braver than you think!

Please share this if you think others could benefit from bikepacking.

Explore Iceland's Exalted Landscape in High Definition
Why Did This Young Man Fail at Being a Traffic Cop? (Photos)