- Bikepacking, altså backpacking på sykkel, er en merkelapp som i det siste har blitt mer og mer synlig som en egen sjanger under bicycle touring. Kjernen i bikepacking er sykling utenom allfarvei, eller off-road bicycle touring, forklarer Newton.
Han maler et fristende bilde av å sykle i klar fjelluft og så leir for nattet omgitt av vakker natur, for så å fortsette eventyret dagen etter.
- Dette er heller ikke noe nytt, men fremveksten av spesialdesignet bikepacking-sekker og vesker har gjort det mulig for syklister å ta seg frem i langt mer krevende terreng enn tidligere, med en sykkel som fremdeles er stabil og manøvrerbar.
- Der tradisjonell touring er basert på å frakte campingutstyr i store, uhåndterlige poser/vesker som er utsatt for å treffe både steiner og busker langs siden på stiene, består bikepacking av tre hovedelementer: Rammeveske, setebag og bagasje festet til styret. Denne bagasjen holder seg innenfor sykkelens bredde, sentrerer vekten og går klar eventuelle hindringer.
- For alle sykkeltyper
I følge Newton er bikepacking en perfekt måte få brukt mer tid utendørs på.
- Du kommer deg lenger enn når du går og får sett mer av naturen, noe som er spesielt viktig hvis du har begrenset med tid. Bikepacking er ikke rakettforskning. Du kan bruke hvilken som helst slags sykkel, selv om det kan være en fordel med en terrengsykkel på grusveier og stier.
Foto: Joe Newton
Ten Bikepacking Tip to get You Started:
1. Your first bikepacking trips should be short, simple trips in forgiving environments. A gentle overnight trip to a comfortable camping spot that you're familiar with, is a good start. Pick somewhere sheltered, with an easy bail-out option if things get tricky.
2. Traditional bike touring panniers are cavernous and almost encourage you to pack more than you need. They're also a bit of a pain when riding off-road. Bikepacking set-ups require a little more thought to keep your bike uncluttered and manoeuvrable. Most people can start with nothing more than a small multi-sport backpack/hydration pack and two 10/15 litre dry-bags. Strap one dry bag to your seat post and the other to your handlebars (checking that they don't interfere with the controls and are secured).
3. Purpose-made bike packing gear usually comprises of a frame bag, seat pack and handlebar pack. Smaller bags can be fitted to the top tube, stem and fork legs on some bikes. This packing style streamlines your bike and keeps your camping equipment secure, allowing you to ride more demanding terrain. Check out the bikepacking gear from Revelate Designs or Porcelain Rocket. Logan has a good pack list for those looking to ride more technical trails and still be comfortable in camp at night.
4. Go light. Bikepacking forces you to take less. Good weather forecast? Try a bivy bag, tarp or hammock instead of your regular tent. Or utilise a man-made or natural shelter like a cave or wooden hut. Heating water for dinner over a camp fire is the ultimate in lightweight stoves but it may not be suitable in all situations. Tiny alcohol stoves or stripped down gas stoves and a simple mug may be all you need to heat enough water for dinner and a coffee in the morning.
5. Typical hiking food that is high calories is the best for bikepacking, in order to save space/weight. Dried dinners and breakfasts are more compact, and can be rehydrated with water found at your camp. However, on a quick overnight trip it's nice to take along proper food. The importance of good coffee in the morning cannot be overstated!
6. Sleeping pads can be bulky, even inflatable ones. Trial and error is the only way to gauge your acceptable comfort level. I switch between foam, self-inflating and air mattresses depending the trip and my mood. Each has their advantages and disadvantages. Selecting a comfortable, soft sleeping area can offset the lack of padding in a minimal sleeping mat.
7. Keep your spare clothes to a minimum. For a simple overnight trip I may carry as little as an insulated jacket/vest, spare socks and a rain jacket as my spare clothes. If you're going out for longer or know you're going to get wet/sweaty then a change of wool shirt and long johns as well as rain pants, warm hat and gloves may be needed. Merino wool base-layers take longer to start smelling than synthetic ones and can 'feel' warmer than synthetics when damp. If I'm riding in approach/trail shoes and flat pedals, then I don't carry 'camp' shoes. If I'm in stiff bike shoes and clipless pedals then a pair of very light camp shoes can be a welcome break after a day on the bike.
8. Enjoy yourself. Heading out the door with a minimal amount of gear shouldn't mean depriving yourself of comfort. If you've pared down your camping equipment to the bare essentials that should leave a little room for your guilty pleasure: your DSLR camera, fishing rod, packraft, a craft beer or two, espresso pot, a book or a hip flask of your favourite tipple.
9. Leave no trace. There is no excuse for not doing this. Remove all traces of your stay when breaking camp and riding off in the morning. Be respectful to nature, and those who may chose the same same camping spot in the future. Take all litter home. Extra karma points if you carry home any litter left by previous, less respectful campers.
10. Don't forget the spork. I add this because I have a well documented tendancy for forgetting my spoon/spork. However, it's not the end of the world. I've carved a simple eating utensil from a twig or utilised a tyre lever in such circumstances. Necessity is the mother of invention. Forgetting your sleeping pad, however, is a more uncomfortable lesson to learn!
BIKEPACKING 101 FROM SALSA CYCLES: