A beginner’s guide to bikepacking

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Are you bored of the same old beach holidays with lengthy plane or train journeys to get there? Well there is absolutely no reason to restrict yourself in this way, because holiday possibilities are abundant in the modern age. For example, have you considered trying a bikepacking trip?
Bikepacking is growing steadily in popularity among those who want a holiday adventure.

So what is Bikepacking?
Assuming you are not familiar with this type of holiday, the first question you will be asking is: what is bikepacking? Essentially it is a travelling holiday with camping, but you journey from place to place by bicycle. Sort of like backpacking, but without the aching feet. There are different kinds of bikepacking trip though, some of which are more demanding in terms of equipment, preparation and fitness than others.

The three main kinds of bikepacking are: multi-day mountain biking, ultra-light racing and expedition & dirt touring. The first of these is the most popular, and as it can range from simple 24-hour journeys that cover around 40 miles to longer ones lasting weeks, it is ideal for both newcomers and hardened bikepackers. Almost any form of bicycle is suitable for this type of trip, although most people use mountain bikes.

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Lightweight mountain bikes are the most suitable for taking part in a bikepack racing trip, but as these often run to 200 miles or more and involve a variety of terrains they are not the best choice if you are still new to this activity.

Finally, dirt touring is the kind of bikepacking that takes you off the beaten track and into remote areas with muddy trails and rough mountainside instead of paved roads. This is a tough way to learn how to bikepack and would require a specialist bike suited to harder ground.

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Why you should choose bikepacking?
The main reason for choosing to go bikepacking is that it is a unique way to explore your chosen holiday destination. It offers you the opportunity – either on your own or with a chosen travelling companion – to escape from your everyday routine and explore the beauty of nature at your own pace. Those who know about the wonders of bikepacking describe it as being “the ultimate freedom.”

Every part of a bikepacking holiday is in your own hands, from selecting the route that you want to travel to how long you spend in each spot along the way. That makes it the opposite of package holidays where you are restricted to schedules set by others. Another thing that makes bikepacking a unique way to holiday is that it allows you to get some exercise while having fun at the same time – so you don’t come back five stone heavier than you were when you left.

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Bikepacking is the perfect way to spark a taste for adventure and exploration and so many people are discovering that once they have taken their first trip they cannot wait to start planning the next one.