What is adventure Cycling?
Backpacking/Adventure Cycling for the Initiate!
First, take what you have, ride what you own, and have fun!! In the event you want to prepare a little more than that, consider this………….
People traveled cross country by bike since just about its invention! Backpacking or adventure cycling is different from regular touring but overlaps in their experience and equipment. Bike packing is the combination of mountain biking and back packing. Usually on trails, gravel roads, and the like. Touring is on the open road. S24O can be either of these, depending upon where you live. S24O is a quick getaway closer to home. You can use any type of bike because you usually pack light! Keep in mind, you do NOT need much gear for a S24O!
Whether you plan to do a S24O (Sub 24 hr. Overnighter) or a lengthier multi-night trek, many of the same preparations and equipment needs will be met.
Check out camp spots near you using a general search for camping. Bed ’n Breakfasts can be a great way to start out. If you plan to tent it, KOA’s to private campgrounds can be located. Bike trails often have camp spots along them somewhere. County parks, state parks, and other public campgrounds can be located easily on Google maps. Consider a bike trip to a place that has great theater or music events. Go primitive or go pampered, just go!!
What do I need to go Adventure Cycling?
First, what bike should I use? The most common answer is the one you have right now. The key to S24O lies in starting now, with what you have available. Trail, MTB, Cross, gravel, or touring bikes can all work. Be sure it fits you and has the seat you need for lengthy periods in the saddle.
Bring something to take shelter in, especially if it rains, which it might! The smaller the tent, the less you carry. Tents vary from a lean-to tarp to an enclosed hammock to a tent like the Big Agnes Copper Spur LV tent. Topeak Bikamper makes a great bike tent for a single person that is small, lightweight, and uses your bike handlebars as part of its suspension system.
Sleeping bags come in synthetic and Goose or Duck Down. A down bag will be much lighter and much less bulk. The Stealth Angel runs under $100.00, weighs 1.5 lb. and keeps someone warm down to 56 degrees, F. Waterproof and water-resistant down feathers make down a great, lightweight option.
Tools amount to a few items depending upon what your plans might be for supper/breakfast. Basic tools for bike care- multitool, CO2 cartridge/inflator, tube, tire levers for starters. A spoon and fork for eating utensils. Bamboo utensil kits are lightweight. Swiss Army knife makes a very useful addition. A cook stove, such as the Whisper light by MSR, can make any kind of hot dish or coffee/tea. The Whisper light operates on white gas. Matches or a lighter is a must on outdoor excursion. A large, enameled cup can cook a lot of things. If you have room, two in a collapsible bowl. If you prefer not to eat right out of the pot! First aid kit that can take care of minor injuries. Carrying a solar blanket is also a safety measure. If you do not plan on any rain, but want to have some protection, just take a 55-gallon garbage bag. If you do not have a light on your bike, you may want to consider a head lamp. This can also be worn on your helmet as a headlamp.
Clothing can be easy. One set up for riding and the other for when you are not riding. Add a 100 polar fleece if cooler weather might prevail. It is always wise to switch clothing at night so that you avoid sleeping in the sweat of the day that may be still lingering on your clothes. Wear flannel if its flannel season! You do NOT need to get special bike care to do this. Wear what you have already!
Food can be an endless topic. Essentially take something to munch on during the ride, and if it is longer than 15 miles, something to replenish when you finish. Hammer nutrition makes some great bars, along with Honey Stinger waffles, the whole host of other energy bar makers. My favorite food without cooking is cheese and bread, rice cakes, or crackers. Peanut butter and something to put it on works great anytime! You can buy packets of peanut butter for one time uses. Keep it simple. Many companies put out dried soups, pasta dishes, and other dried meals. Tuna and Salmon can now be found in package form that does not need to be refrigerated until after opening, if there is any left! Dried fruits and veggies can be great. Gorp makes for great snacks. Coffee or tea can be made easily if you brought your stove.