Bikepacking: The Essentials

For those that aren't familiar with the term, Bikepacking is the perfect way to combine travelling, camping and cycling together for the ultimate getaway. So if you're looking for an alternative summer holiday, consider rounding up the gang and setting out on a bikepacking adventure. We've compiled some top tips and essential items needed for the perfect trip.

1. The Bike

Yes, we know this is glaringly obvious. However, bike selection is very important for your journey. You'll need a versatile bike that can handle different terrains and also be resilient and sturdy enough to carry your gear. We recommend the perfect adventure bike that will never let you down, the Raleigh Mustang but we'll let you pick your own. The most important thing is that you are comfortable on your bike as you may be on it for a long time depending on your chosen destination.

2. Camping Equipment

This one is a definite essential, and the most common option for regular campers is a traditional tent. However, often these can be bulky and not ideal to carry on your bike. There are compact tents available as well as hammocks, tarps and bivy's which are a very common option as they aren't as bulky as a full tent and can be carried with relative ease. It's important to keep your approach to what you bring as minimal as possible in true bikepacking fashion.

3. Bags, Bottles and Racks

To get the most from your biking adventure you may need to add a few extras on to your trusty companion to facilitate the extra load. For starters, you are going to need a solid pannier bag to store essentials such as food, cooking equipment and any extra clothing you may need. As well as this, you'll need plenty of water and a solid rack on which to place it along with an appropriately sized bottle to ensure that you are hydrated at all times. It's also a smart move to bring any compact bike repair kits and of course some medical supplies for an emergency.

4. Food, glorious food!

Whether you want an authentic camping experience with a portable stove or maybe something a little quicker and easier, you'll need enough food to keep you going on your voyage. Think about the food and snacks you are bringing and try to pack smaller items that are packed with protein and nutritional value that will keep you going for longer. Although, we can forgive a few sweet treats if you have room!

5. Clothing

With the minimalist approach in mind, try to pack light and tight clothing to maximise space for camping equipment and food. Make sure that you are packing weather appropriate clothing as we all know that a British summer is a little unpredictable at times. As you are likely camping in a small tent, you may need to keep warm so consider your sleeping arrangements when packing your clothes for the trip.

6. Navigation

Whether it's on your phone or you've decided to go old school and take a map, make sure that you have planned out your route and that all members in your group are able to make the journey and have the most fun doing so! It's also a useful tool to have mobile GPS access to explore areas that you never knew existed. There are plenty of pre-existing routes that bikepackers all over the UK have shared online so it may be worth doing a bit of research before your adventure begins.

7. Be Free!

The best thing about bikepacking is the freedom it gives you. Never lose your passion for exploring and enjoy yourself. The ride doesn't have to be particularly challenging nor do the camping conditions have to be extreme. Cater your experience to get the maximum enjoyment out of it and you'll do just fine!