Bikepacking FAQs: Discovering The Bikepacking Holiday Fad And A New Zest For The Open Trail
Imagine the wind in your hair as you pedal strongly up a rugged trail, the escarpments of the Andes Mountains flanking your view. You are working hard with your temporary home strapped to your frame, but it’s all worth it. You are living the bikepacking adventurist’s dream. And who knows? When you have toured Columbia and rest in Bogota, treat yourself to some nightlife and casino games. Known for land-based casinos, Bogota is the perfect spot to end your bikepacking holiday. If you don’t want to leave the trail, curl up in your tent and try our Ruby Fortune mobile casino games.
To help you plan your own bikepacking journey, check out these FAQs to get pedaling on your way.
What Is Bikepacking?
Bikepacking may mean different things to the people that love the relatively new sport. Some equip their bikes with paniers and hit paved European roads. Others stash a bedroll under their handlebars and zip through untamed wilderness atop knobby-tired mountain bikes. Whatever biking style or scenery you prefer, bikepacking is essentially backpacking or minimalist camping on a bicycle.
What Are the Best Bikepacking Holiday Destinations?
Many exceptional bikepacking destinations exist around the world. We’ve selected a few highlights for you to consider.
- Great Divide Mountain Biking Route (US and Canada) – One of the classic bikepacking trails, the Great Divide Route stretches between Banff National Park in Alberta, Canada down to Antelope Wells, NM, spanning more than 2,100 miles. This trail is also the longest off-pavement route in the world.
- The North Sea Cycle Route (Europe) – This trail covers more than 3,728 miles, running through Scotland, Britain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. Mostly paved, this favourite European bikepacking route delivers highlights such as riding through Scotland’s Shetland Islands and cruising along the Norwegian Coast.
- Dolomiti Trail (Italy) – Ride across the Dolomite Mountains of northern Italy on this bikepacking trail that covers nearly 160 miles and requires 31,000 feet of climbing. Featuring paved, non-paved, and single-track segments, it takes you past the dramatic, craggy landscape of this beautiful mountain range.
- Adriatic Crest Trail (Croatia) – From dense forests to rolling hills, this exciting 380-mile trail brings cyclists along the rugged Croatian coast. The trail will take your breath away as you pedal towards adventure along unpaved single and double-track trails. A moderate challenge with 35,000 feet worth of climbing for those who love seeing new sights.
- Eje Cafetero (Colombia) – Step away from stark European wilderness and explore a different culture when you bike from Bogota, the capital of Colombia, and follow bikepacking routes to Eje Cafetero, the country’s coffee hub. You will pass magical mountain passes like the Alto de la Linea and Alto de Letras, one of the longest climbs on earth. You can also stop at Valle de Cocora to bask beneath wax palm trees and sleep a night in a Salento coffee hacienda.
What Should I Take on a Bikepacking Trip?
Less is more. For bikepacking, which usually involves extensive off-roading and mountain biking, you’ll want to pack as a lightly as possible, although many choose to add paniers and trailers.
How Do I Pack for Bikepacking?
Although bike companies manufacture gadgets and cool gear for bikepacking, you can get by with just keeping it simple. Experts suggest you only bring as little as you possibly need, depending on the gear you currently have and how many days you need to be gone. Make sure you have a tool kit, sleeping bag, tent, and dehydrated food as staples.
You can make strategic use of putting cylindrically shaped items under your handlebars and grabbing some nice dry bags to keep your food and clothing organized. You can also pack your tent easily under the crossbar.
What Are Tips and Tricks for Bikepacking?
You want to make sure you can completely take your bike apart and put it back together again, ensuring you understand the machine you’re riding well enough to install new parts or perform common emergency fixes.
Also, pack as much water as you can strap to your frame and keep everything ultra-light to help you balance better on your ride. And most importantly, expect the unexpected and just have fun!
How Do I Manage Bikepacking Hygiene?
Bikepacking hygiene is essential for safety and health. For starters, pack a gallon-sized plastic bag to easily wash your clothes and bike shorts with a bit of soapy water.
Saddle sores may occur but can be prevented through good hygiene and by ensuring that your bike saddle and shorts fit you properly before going on our journey. If you do form saddle sores while bikepacking, you may need to rest for a day or two or apply chamois cream to prevent chafing. If it gets bad enough, you may have to see a doctor before you can resume riding.
Bikepacking is an exhilarating new form of travel and that mountain bikers around the world are enjoying. Try these tips and plan your next adventure from the back of your favourite steel steed.