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All You Need To Know About Bikepacking


Looking for the ultimate mountain bike adventure? Try off-road bike touring--where you combine mountain biking with backpacking. Also known as "bikepacking," this type of touring has riders carry their gear in panniers, frame bags or in a trailer while they pedal. Bikepacking is an easy way to get away, ride freely and explore new places you can't reach in a single day.

1. Defined: Bikepacking

Justin Kline

This type of off-road bike touring combines mountain biking with backpacking for the ultimate travel adventure. 

2. Off Road Bike Touring 101

Beth Puliti

A growing trend in the world of mountain biking, bikepacking combines backpacking and bike touring for an exhilarating escape from everyday life. However, before you take part in the fun, you’ll need to take part in some preparation. Some things to consider before you decide to hit the dirt for a while are what items to bring, how you will transport your gear, what type of bike you should ride and what route you will take. Read this article to find out what vital items to bring on your next bikepacking trip.

3. Off Road Bike Touring 201

Justin Kline

After you've figured out what essential items to bring with you on your bikepacking trip, you'll need to choose a system to carry them. And don’t worry, plenty of options abound for transporting your gear. Will you use panniers, frame bags or a trailer to haul your cargo? Learn which carrying system is right for you--as well as what bike to tour on and how to plan your route. Turn that bikepacking trip fantasy into reality with this guide to bikepacking basics.

4. BOB Ibex Bicycle Trailer

kteague via Flickr

I have been known to spend a little extra time in the woods on occasion. And my transportation method of choice? You guessed it. Two wheels. That's why I was stoked to test out the BOB Ibex bicycle trailer. With a 70-pound carrying capacity and three inches of suspension travel, it's an ideal option for mountain bikers looking to escape from reality for a while. Check out the full review!

5. Plan Your Southeast Alaskan Bike Getaway!

Justin Kline

Lots of people dream of touring Alaska by bike. Why not turn that fantasy into reality? It's really not as complicated as you may think. I visited Alaska's southeastern islands several months ago and traveled exclusively via bike once I hit land. (The Alaska Marine Highway System was my means of transportation from island to island.) Use this guide to help you plan your bike adventure. You'll soon find that exploring The Last Frontier on two wheels is one of the most exciting trips you've ever taken!

6. Plan It: An Off-Road Idaho Bike Tour

casey greene

With more than 19,000 miles of mountain biking trails, Idaho is on my short list of states to visit. Just recently, it's moved to the very top of that list, thanks to Adventure Cycling Association's new route that takes cyclists through the heart of the Gem State. It's 518 miles of off-road fun, and offers a 228 mile singletrack option. Oh, and there's more than 50 hot springs along the route. Sign me up!

7. Tour Divide: A Bikepacking Race

Justin Kline

Tour Divide is dubbed the most challenging mountain bike race on the planet. For those of you not in the know, this is a self-supported race from Banff, Canada, to Antelope Wells, New Mexico. Racers follow the Great Divide mountain bike route, as established by the Adventure Cycling Association. Riders must "cycle the GDMBR end-to-end, as fast as possible in a solo, self-supported fashion," the website rules state. The winner of the grueling off-road race will have pedaled the equivalent of summiting Mount Everest from sea-level seven times, but will "win" nothing--except bragging rights, of course.

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